"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

28 January 2014

Back in the Saddle

Word came down that Old Scratch was officially repaired was the first day I took note of direct sunlight once more shining upon the House of Owls and Bats. I knew it was coming; it had gotten to that point here in deep winter I was counting days as I watched the sun's glow expand across the valley. It's about this time of winter when anything above forty quaint 'Merican degrees on the fahrenheit scale is plumb toasty, as in warranting a t-shirt.

The return of the sun and my vehicle fixed? Oh, fuck yes. Life became quite wonderful.

It was a mild day before the snow that we hopped down below to the far eastern edge of the greater metroplex to pick up Old Scratch. Eastbound traffic was an adventure of patience going down and schadenfreude coming back up. I blared punk-rock and we had champagne in the driveway to celebrate when we got home whilst waving at passing tourists hoping to find a shortcut down the hill. We were already home. It is possibly sociopathic to chuckle at that fact on a Sunday afternoon tourist-traffic snarl-up, but we do so, and quite often-always!-without guilt.

The storm of a day before had been far more impressive in terms of accumulation than initially foretold by meteorological prophets. Mei fei tsu. Prophets don't know everything and oracles are often confidence games preying upon the gullible's Confirmation Bias.

Because of my vehicular woes over the past nearly month, I'd been sticking to the routes closer to town. At least there are trails around town. Be that as it may, I like to explore, and found myself feeling somewhat tethered. I struck out for a place further afield for walkabout to a soundtrack of belly dance music.

The snow devils danced in the countenance of a mosh pit. Me not minding that thar punk-rock, I know a little bit about being caught in the mosh. Against diamond-bright fresh snow and a turquoises blue sky, the snow devils created queer mirages as I trekked through, their phantasmal talons and fangs lashing icily at my shell and snowpants.

Mine were the first tracks on the trail since the fresh stuff had fallen, and the wind erased those as quickly as my snowshoes laid them down. I didn't go far, just to a point I could take in Mount Bierstadt and its ominous Sawtooth Ridge. Beyond that point was a sign advising of snowslide area. It'd snowed and the wind was fierce. I decided against taking a chance.

After all, I was alone. Were something to happen, there'd be no one to help me. Not Superman. Not Wonder Woman. Not even Charles Bronson.

Besides, there was something decidedly not on the day's agenda. Oh, what was that? Dying, but perhaps I lack a spirit of adventure. Then again, living's a pretty interesting set of adventures thus far. I'm too busy to want to explore the other side of mortality.   


  1. Something about a solo hike that is special to the soul.Nicely evocative piece. I like coming here, because it reminds of younger days when I had periodic adventures like this, in the woods of northern MInnesota, or mountains of Colorado.

    1. Thank you. I hope to be able to still do some of these things when I'm in my seventies, if not eighties. Occasionally, I run into those older folk on the trail, so I think it can be done.