summer soul session

“We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.” 

― Malcolm X

i am just returning from a short hiatus to park county. it was so good to get away. i flew out highway 285 with a coupla friends, got turned around on the gravel road needed to get to the cabin, and arrived about 10p, just as the twilight faded to starlight. we stayed at the home of my dear friends just past fairplay. and although i say cabin it is really much bigger than that. it has 3 bedrooms, a game room, 2 baths and is on 15 acres. the only real drawback i can think of is that the water has a very odiferous and silty sulphur content which makes showers and tap water really a chore. there were deer, jackalopes, horses, cattle, hawks, and a multitude of other creatures great and small. we spent the 4th at the salida indendence day festival. salida is a small bohemian art community nestled in farm country just south of buena vista colorado. salida has become one of my favorite tours to entertain friends and visitors. there are sweet galleries and vintage shop, cafes and organic food venues dolloped like fleurettes on a wedding cake. the oh-so small town american celebration was quaint, colloquial, and actually felt refreshing. there were festivities, rafts, paddleboats and canoes along the arkansas river which flows along a mountain shoulder. cherry ginger basil lemonade, kids on bikes and with balloons, vets, and pets on leashes all intermingled with the usual suspects to create a sense of patriotism and summer fun. and that fun permeated our adventure.

my friend tommie and i were taking a walk on the ranches on the evening of the 4th. its a gravel road and there were wildflowers everywhere- orange, purple, yellow and white. the ranch parcels are seated just north of 285 and are delineated into sections of 18-36 acres. as we meandered along the gravel road, we were yakking about some things we hadn’t discussed much recently. she got married in november and although we have seen each other at birthdays and holidays, we haven’t had the time or opportunity to just share our thoughts about what’s been and what’s next so we were taking this chance to fill this space.  tommie had stopped (as she often does) to make a point when we heard the distinctive lawn-mowerish hum of a dirt bike coming up from behind us on the path. we scooched over and the driver came to a complete stop to my direct left, parked his feet onto the gravel, turned off the engine, turned me and stuck out his hand saying “i’m john meyer” with sunglasses in place and a lonely spooky smile. i shook his hand and mentioned that we were friends of his neighbors which he followed with a smarmy and additionally chilling “i’m so glad you came. would you like to feed the llamas?” i looked to tommie hoping she would pass, but since she is an animal rights activist i didn’t really have to wonder if her next words would include yes. as seemed to be his fairly greasy way, he offered us two options- to ride on the buggy or to walk to his property and meet him with the nutritional concoction he used for his 4 furry creatures. 

as we entered the meyers property, the llamas – especially the brown one became extremely territorial, coming to the edge of their fence to see just who the hell we were -even looking at us with a mistrustful and “go ahead- make my day” look in their eyes. we trekked beyond the llama pen  along a drive which curved around through the middle of two large aspen groves with an additional curve up to his house on the right. the 4 wheeler parked next to the house like it hadn’t been running in days. there was a 5 ft.american flag hanging from the 2nd floor balcony, and a trailer and a fishing boat were parked up behind the driveway. it was very much like a scene from chainsaw massacre.. we knocked on the door twice and there was nary an answer. as we were now completely spooked, we headed back down the drive to get out to the main gravel road with a quick stop to chat quickly to the over alert llamas. we headed back to our cabin and had dinner which i made in the city and brought down- roasted salmon with cucumber dill, jicama confetti salad, quinoa and black bean salad, and a lemon frosted yellow cake (the last 2 purchased not made).  i have to admit here that i woke up several times that night with the worry of slasher dreams- probably a result of the “criminal minds” marathon i had been enjoying earlier in the week. the tales of john meyer began on the 4th of july. they have already been told several times, been embellished, tailored, quoted, and compared. it has been suggested that john is a relative of michael meyers.

the 36 hours in the high country seemed to add a few months to my life. i got back to denver with ready to have a couple more days away from work. the real estate on the front side of our units has become one of my therapy projects. i clipped and watered and mulched quite a bit last night when the heat of the sun had flown. 

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some friends from chicago came into town over last weekend. some other friends let us use their vacation home outside fairplay to have a getaway. it was pretty magical. we arrived on thursday evening