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Posts Tagged ‘cumbres pass’

View looking down Conejos Canyon. — Photo by Pat Bean

“The more I draw and write, the more I realize that accidents are a necessary part of any creative act, much more so than logic or wisdom. Sometimes a mistake is the only way of arriving at an original concept, and the history of successful inventions is full of mishaps, serendipity and unintended results.” — Shaun Tan

Following the Road 

Hmmm. I think I took a wrong turn a couple of dozen miles back. — Photo by Pat Bean

One lovely fall day a few years back, I took a wrong turn in Chama, New Mexico, a quaint village with a population of not much more than a thousand residents. After a bit of exploring the town’s charm by dawn’s light, I set off again toward my Texas destination.

My lack of directional sense, however, sent me driving in the opposite direction.

It was an awesome drive, and my fascination with the scenery distracted me so much that it wasn’t until I was near the top of Cumbres Pass, high in the San Juan Mountains, that I realized my mistake.

Instead of backtracking, I decided to simply continue on and discover what else the road had in store for me this day. While I usually carefully charted my daily routes during this  wandering without deadlines period in my life, I occasionally let the road decide my path.

However, with scenery like this, I think I’ll just keep going. — Photo by Pat Bean

This day was one of those, and I soon found myself in Conejos Canyon, one of the wildest places in the United States, and where grizzly bears once roamed.  I have seen a gazillion stunning landscapes in my travels across North America, but this day’s drive might have topped them all with its kaleidoscope of color and surprises.

I learned early on not to bemoan my flawed sense of direction, but to enjoy the unexpected wonders it brought. This day made me especially thankful for the lacking gene – and also for my willingness to simply go with the flow.

Bean Pat: Paperback Reader https://dereid99.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/paperback-reader/  Usually it’s just the opposite, so this tickled my funny bone.

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

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“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” George Eliot

Travels With Maggie

 

Fall high up in the Combres Pass in Southern Colorado. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Maggie and I are just outside Reno today, where I’m catching up on laundry and house-cleaning chores before I get back on the road tomorrow. Maggie’s spent the morning smoozing with our next door neighbors here at the RV Park.

It’s still summer here, with huge sunflowers lining the roads and wild grasses tall and browning from the long hot summer. But, just as mother used to say it was 6 o’clock somewhere when she wanted an early afternoon beer, it is fall somewhere.

Two landscapes that pop immediately out of my memory banks when I think of autumn are the one I saw last year in Colorado and the 2006 autumn that caught me in Maine. I still thrill remembering the orange, lemon and strawberry colored cocktails that the landscape served up.

Fall is truly my favorite season. And in that I find myself not alone.

Ode to Autumn

Maggie and I spent five days beneath this tree at the Paul Bunyon Campground in Bangor, Maine, in the early fall of 2006. Each day the leaves turned more scarlet. -- Photo by Pat Bean

 

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,

For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
–John Keats

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