Time To Head For The Corral

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Howdy Folks!

Hold your horses and don’t be callin’ for a posse to come and git me. I’ll come back to the fold and will voluntarily turn myself in. I should be headin' back to my corral by the afternoon so don’t be gitten' all stirred up and stop all that frettin’. I kept myself one step ahead of any varmits, so no harm done, still have my scalp (oh wait, scractch that). Anywho, I am gittin’ kind a tired o’ ridin' that ol’ Tacoma’s saddle, but can tolerate it for one more day. It sure would be good and fittin’ to have a nice home cooked meal waitin’ for me once I git back to the Yucca Estate…

Touched, that is what I feel today. Several people have written notes to tell me that they miss me and look forward to my return, that is from personal friends and my work friends. That kind of concern and support really does me good. I do hope those who have kept up with my travels have enjoyed the read and photos. 

Just before I started writing this I realized I did not know what day it was. Somewhere along the way, I lost one whole day, thinking today was Tuesday. I had to check a calendar to get me back on track and ready myself for reality. To be honest I really, really could spend at least one more day up here by Moab, Utah. This is one of my favorite places with Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park next to each other. Arches I have done a couple of times and would still like to explore there even more. But today I entered Canyonlands and it has astounded me! I checked out most of the view points along the drive, but not all. Hiking would have been nice, but short hikes alond the rims and down some paths were enough for a day visit. This is definitly on my repeat list of places to further discover. 

One of the things I would love to do is take the steep, narrow drive trail down to the bottom of the canyon. It woud be thrilling and frightening at the same time. I watched as one vehicle was slowly ascending on the skinny switchback road. I could hear that engine straining to make the climb. Another vehicle later started to descend, but I lost sight of that one and I was not about to crawl out on the edge to see where he went. If my pictures don’t give you an idea, let me tell you, the first ( and only) step is a long, long, long way down.

Today just whetted my appetite for getting out for another adventure into the wild, wild West. Today, traveling across part of Western Colorado and then into Utah brought back the feeling, the instinct if you will, that this is the land that fits my soul. Being in this rugged beauty, with the wide open spaces, the colors, the shapes, the natural features of the land brings a large measure of tranquility to my inner core. I sat for a short time on the edge at one view point, feet dangling over the side, feeling nearly overwhelmed with what the earth created, the forces that brought it all about, the shapes, the layers, the colors, textures all form a terrain whose immensity is measured not only in the deepness, but in the vast expanse that extends aa far as the eye can see. 

This past week to 10 days has allowed me to experience such variety in the earth’s landscapes. Having been raised a farm boy, I’ll always have that connection to the farmlands of the upper Midwest. Traveling through Ohio and Indiana, then Illinois and into Iowa, the crops were very similar but the lay of the land is what captured my attention. From flat land to gently rolling, followed by steeper contours, tidy farms and abandoned ones too, gravel roads, perfect rows of lush corn and soybeans, the ongoing wheat harvest, rolled bales of hay and straw scattered about in the fields, all these are priceless scenes similar to what I knew as a boy. Then the wide open spaces of South Dakota,  prairie grasses bending to the will of the winds, ranches that stretched for miles, wheat fields that extend off into the horizon, and then the Badlands and Black Hills, the mountain forests, the flowing streams, waterfalls and the rocky cliffs stretching to the sky, all this variety with Nature’s abundant beauty I absorbed and adored. The beauty of Nature can be seen and felt but when my eyes struggle to take it all in, it is my heart that truly retains it in its’ entirety.

Two times this week I felt the most alive and connected during and after strenuous activity. The first was a very strenuous hike up a steep trail to an overlook above Spearfish Canyon in South Dakota. The second was today, as I hiked around many of the overlook points, where, just being in the element that I most enjoy helped put me in a calm and introspective frame of mind. For me the strenuous activity, coupled with inspiring surroundings in Nature is what helps center me and keeps me close to perfect peace.

Getting a bit edgy.

u   kdonald940@cox.net © Donald E. Kline 2012