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mountain dreaming

July 20, 2011

These days, we can drop the kids off for a whole day with my parents—pajamed and bed-headed—without much more than a kiss goodbye. No diaper bag, no complicated nap powerpoint (if he rubs his eyes for a full 30 seconds, try putting him in the stroller, walk him around the block 3 times while chanting Buddhist sutras alternating with snoring noises). In fact, the kids can barely trouble themselves to hug us goodbye, so caught up are they in the possibilities of a boxed-cereal breakfast.

Dan and I scurry back to the truck. The truck! (Instead of the Subaru I’m always mommy-ing around in these days). The first thing we ever purchased together, like 100 years ago. Drive, drive, drive. Arrive here.

It’s always so amazing to me how you can be sweating it out in town, irrigating yourself with iced coffee and maybe feeling just the tiniest bit grumpy about the way the heat is welding your thighs together, and meanwhile, less than an hour away all this is going on.

Swoon to the max.

12,000 feet – virtually the top of the world!

It’s hard to remember that these wild gardens are simply a covenant between the flowers and the insects – no humans required.

~alpine clover~

~old man on the mountain~

~tenacious alpine daisy~

I’ve heard that snags (dead, standing trees) are used by 30% of forest animals at one time or another.

Parry’s primrose was Dan’s dad’s favorite Colorado wildflower. He came to Durango from Canada 13 years ago seeking it out like others seek out Mesa Verde or the Durango-Silverton narrow gauge train.

~parry’s primrose and marsh marigold~

Where the pikas live. Squeak!

~mountain sorrel~ (deliciously sour)

If Dr. Seuss could have invented flowers, he would have dreamed up elephant head.

~elephant head~

Whatever it takes to get here—deadlines schmeadlines, nap powerpoints, hiking with a plantain leaf tea-soaked bandana around my newest, ankle bee sting—it is always, always worth it.

Happy Wednesday!

* My secretary is out for the day, but soon (Friday?) we’ll announce the winner to the giveaway.

* And, thanks for the birthday wishes for Baba, you guys are the nicest people. I wish I could have everyone over for zucchini pancakes (if I weren’t too hot to cook). On second thought, let’s just go to the mountains and let the kids go feral!

22 Comments leave one →
  1. July 20, 2011 12:49 pm

    THOSE are amazing flowers! And you are a lucky girl to have such amazing parents. I don’t have anyone to just drop my kids off with. Sigh.

    p.s. yes, dead trees are very important. I love taking pictures of dead trees too. : )

  2. July 20, 2011 12:49 pm

    I used the word amazing twice. I’m a dork.

    • July 20, 2011 3:21 pm

      If it makes you feel any better, I spent the whole day whispering “omygod, omygod.” Sometimes words just fail.

  3. July 20, 2011 12:53 pm

    For the love of all that is holy, you sure do live in a gorgeous place. And ack! Happy bday, Baba! I somehow missed that.

    Thanks so much for sharing these photos with us. So beautiful. I forget that we live in a beautiful world when I’m trapped in my concrete cave.

  4. Kathy permalink
    July 20, 2011 1:07 pm

    I’m swooning….
    I missed spending time in the moutains, with the exception of the drive through Wildcat Canyon every morning and every evening for six days. These are gorgeous photos of gorgeous flowers. I can almost feel the rare air upon my skin and in my lungs.
    You live in paradise, all year round!

  5. July 20, 2011 1:07 pm

    It must be hard not to run away and spend the entire summer in that beautiful place. Mountain sorrel…I will definitely keep a watchful eye out for that one.

    “I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and cedar and poplar trees. The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk, opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets. It has given me blessed release from care and worry and the troubled thinking of our modern day. It has been a return to the primitive and the peaceful. Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my blood and benumbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail; and when I hear the coyote wailing to the yellow dawn, my cares fall from me – I am happy.” – Hamlin Garland

  6. July 20, 2011 1:17 pm

    Rachel, what a post after my own heart! It’s it lovely the way so much inspiration comes from nature. Going to the mountains is like hitting the reset button on reality, if you ask me! What amazing flowers! It was reminding me of all the diverse flora of the Trinities, where the wildflowers bloom all summer, depending on elevation, thanks to a perpetual spring that flows from the bottom to the top… !!

  7. July 20, 2011 1:46 pm

    dr. seuss flower rocks, but i think the daisy was my favorite. it’s speaking to me. you guys sure know the right thing to do on a date. :)

  8. July 20, 2011 2:32 pm

    What an awesome getaway. I loved all of the pictures!

  9. abozza permalink
    July 20, 2011 2:37 pm

    Absolutely beautiful! I’m sure you enjoyed every last second! :)

  10. mama meredith permalink
    July 20, 2011 2:41 pm

    I’m swooning to the max at your writing! Love it!

  11. July 20, 2011 4:49 pm

    You’re always there when I need a relaxing post…. We are roadtripping to Yellowstone TOMORROW and I cannot wait to leave the city, although I’ll still be irrigating myself with iced coffee. I do hope to find some heat to weld my thighs together (gawd, I so love your writing, I just need to reuse it!) because Seattle weather has been really shitty so far this summer. <3

  12. July 20, 2011 8:32 pm

    Beautiful photos, what a lovely way to beat the heat! I am always amazed at the complete exotic-ness of some of the wildflowers so close to our doorstep (up here in rural Ontario).

  13. July 20, 2011 9:10 pm

    I’ve been to Colorado only once, twelve years ago at about this time of year. A friend of mine and I went camping and hiking in the mountains for a few days before going to the wedding of another friend (and, for that matter, showing up very unwashed for her rehearsal dinner — but no one cared). I expected to get swept off my feet by the views of the mountains, and I was. But I didn’t expect the wildflowers, and oh, how I loved them.

  14. July 20, 2011 9:58 pm

    yep – swooning! gorgeous!

  15. July 21, 2011 8:13 am

    I’m in! That’s so gorgeous, I’m all jealous and weepy that my summer travel plans fell through. Back to plotting the overthrow of the opressors and a new scheme for gettin’ the heck outa Dodge (a.k.a. New England).

  16. July 21, 2011 4:44 pm

    You don’t have to lie. We know that’s pee on that ankle bandana. Don’t worry … With all these gorgeous flower scents, nobody can tell. And I doubt the pikas care. =>

  17. July 22, 2011 11:00 am

    Oh, how I would love to “meet in the mountains and let the kids go feral.”

    I don’t want to sound like I don’t appreciate the mangoes and bananas and all that, because I really, really do, but you’re always confirming for me that the mountains are what my heart longs for.

    Wishing you many more days spent at the virtual top of the world…

  18. July 22, 2011 2:00 pm

    This sentence is perfection – “It’s hard to remember that these wild gardens are simply a covenant between the flowers and the insects – no humans required” – as was, it seems, your day on the mountainside.

    And I guffawed at your line about the nap PowerPoint. That was us so completely with our oldest.

  19. July 22, 2011 7:56 pm

    love your photos and posts!

  20. July 22, 2011 11:03 pm

    Gorgeous. Man, I miss long mountainous hikes. :)

  21. July 27, 2011 9:46 am

    Ah yes, the nap powerpoint. Guilty as charged.

    And these pictures, the mountains, the fact that you get to drop off your kids and enjoy time alone with your husband surrounded by so much beauty…I’m as green as the broccoli you harvested.

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