I live in Washington state, a land of mist and rain and trees. When I come to Colorado I am enchanted. My skin and eyes and nose get crusty with the dryness. My breath shortens from higher altitudes. And my eyes relax and widen as I take in mile after mile of landscape. Ponderosa pines and Junipers fill my site instead of the Western Red Cedar or Douglas Fir.
I have family ties in Colorado and that sweetens my connection to this place. My grandfather owned a motel outside of Denver for many years and passed away in this place. I never knew him, but I think I would have enjoyed him. He loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter and fisherman for most of his life. He used to bring the cows to the mountains in the spring and home to lower lands in the Fall. He knew how to castrate cows. And he was an auctioneer. Oh yeah, and he liked whiskey. These are the things I know.
I’ve never killed a wild animal. I’ve never wrangled cows. But I like to think that my grandfather would be proud of what I’ve learned from the natural world. I can make fire without matches or a lighter, build shelters, and I feel a sense of kinship and peace in nature. It is the way I connect with the mystery of this world.
I’ve been in Colorado just over a week now. My first few days I spent in Granby (about an hour & a half outside of Denver) attending the first ever Forrest Yoga Conference. Yup, more yoga. About 6 hours everyday. I took some amazing workshops with new-to-me teachers. Inversions and Arm Balances rocked my world. Cat Allen and Ann Hyde of Houston created a killer sequence for turning on long lines of energy in the body and connecting us with the very real fact that arms are only one part of doing arm balances. Your core and your legs have to be mightily turned on. Watch out Two Rivers Yoga students – you’re gonna get some new material!
I also took an amazing workshop with Brian Campbell which taught us how to find some key muscles in the low back and pelvis. He gave us ways to massage them and release tension. So I learned where some of the Erector Spinae are, the Piriformis (those of you who are tight asses know this muscle), and the QL (Quadratus Lumborum). He is a great teacher and will hopefully be coming to Two Rivers in the winter for a 3-day anatomy course!
Afterwards I headed to Pagosa Springs, Colorado in the SW part of the state to visit old and dear friends who just had twins 10 months ago. These people are the kinds of friends that you pick up right where you left off, even though you haven’t spoken to them in ages. They are amazing. As I write this post I am sitting in their large yurt, the tapping of my laptop keys their lullaby as they try again for another night of sleep.
In downtown Pagosa flows the San Juan river. There are places where the sulfury hot springs water comes out to meet the cold clear river water and locals have created pools. You can cook in the pools and then go and jump in the cold. Some of the nights here have been so clear I’ve seen the milky way and an inordinate amount of stars. The number that mess with your mind. Oh and I learned to milk a goat! The first time I failed. Second try I got a stream to come out consistently. Not the big white kinds that my friends can get, but it was a start!
I head for New Mexico next. There I hope to track wild bison and talk to anaconda tamers. But more on that later:)
Have you ever been to Colorado? What kinds of adventures did you have there?