Make memories happen, get out there and live! Life is waiting for you..
Share your next adventure with us on our MAD Hippies Facebook page or here on the blog
Explore and experience, peacefully!
Make memories happen, get out there and live! Life is waiting for you..
Share your next adventure with us on our MAD Hippies Facebook page or here on the blog
Explore and experience, peacefully!
This is not a long or lengthy in-depth article by any stretch of the imagination. If you need fanciful big and colorful words or endless ramblings This might not be of much help. It’s just a short [though perhaps complex] thought that has been bouncing around waiting to be, shall we say, dealt with. Unfortunately it might be blown with the wind, not really finding much ground to land on.
Just who are you anyway? It’s funny, we see your Facebook posts and then we see you in the physical world. While both are similar in many ways, there are differences that raise red flags. Is FB just a place where you put all the good stuff, you know, build yourself up and make life look very appealing and exotic when it’s really not? Remember, we see you outside of the cyber world. Perhaps there is [to some degree] a level of truth in there. Maybe, in some deranged way, the real world is the place you put on the act? Who knows anymore…
What is real? All media outlets seem to slant everything, we’re manipulating ourselves constantly to the point where reality has taken on its own new virtual image. Who is who, what truth is what truth and what exactly are we willing to accept anymore has indeed sunk to a new low. Chaos is not some far off place or event…It’s here and killing us from the inside out.
Most of us live mundane day in day out lives, 18 of 24 hours spent commuting, working and sleeping. Of the 6 hours that are left there’s not much in there left for ourselves, much less some exotic life. Who Are we kidding, we waste so much time, willingly or not, doing things we’d rather not do. To what end? Time is slipping away faster than we think and isn’t coming back, what will we do with it? Manipulate ourselves some more or make it real? The world and it’s underlying attempt to make everything seem incredible to drive the economic engine has stripped us of our vulnerabilities, left us impersonal and lacking deep heartfelt and normal everyday lives and relationships.
Explore and experience, peacefully!
One of the best attributes of hiking in the wilderness is not necessarily the view, the adrenaline rush, excitement of completing a personal goal or even the notion that you’ll be offline for a few hours, all of which can indeed arouse the adventurer in all of us. But, there is one aspect that goes unseen, that we might not always pay attention to, an energy, if you will, vibrations emanating from all living and active entities within the natural environment. Surging about unseen, enveloping all things in and around the expansive wild that seems to calm the mind, slowly seeping in, lending a hand in shedding the negativity of the day in – day out grind that so many of us endure throughout the week. A busy mind can become so cluttered with mundane activities that the simple details that amount to complex thoughts get lost in the mix. Being out in the mountains of Colorado has indeed opened up those channels allowing for clearer contemplation of reflections versus those constant nagging and downright irritating choices that swarm around creating a whirlwind of stress and busyness. With the mind set at ease, the soul relishing in the positive energy of the natural world and the body responding to its new found calm, the thoughts of human existence soon return and begin to open the channels of creative thought in exploring the reality of our own makeup and nature, our relationships and matters of the heart…the fabric that meshes body, mind and soul.
It’s a wonder any of us can think clearly at all in our technologically driven world where faster, bigger and more power seems to be the object of our fascination. With all the seemingly endless transmissions beaming around, bouncing back and forth between satellites and surging through the air going here and there one might wonder what is all this invisible information doing to us. Do we appear in some abstract way as [The Matrix] shot full of energetic pulses that are literally eating away at our physical, even our mental and perhaps spiritual selves? Have we lost the art of humanity? Are we becoming more and more distant from each other? Has empathy been lost for our fellow man? Love? Perhaps we’re so entangled in the “web” that we’re paralyzed, not physically, but rather mentally and spiritually, though one might argue that such symptoms could also have great affect on us physically as well. A visitor from another planet, perhaps a time traveler from the past, hell maybe someone from deep within the Australian Outback whose never been exposed to technology might wonder if the modern earthbound human race has some type of neck deformity as we all walk around looking down [at our phones] now days.
Apparently micro-managing time involving every aspect of human activity makes us better, or does it? While being responsible in our endeavors is a good thing, we leave no room for flexibility, for random life. We live and breathe by the clock at work plagued by deadlines and ridiculous schedules all to eventually, hopefully, spend some quality time at home which generally equates to torturing ourselves with to-do lists that went undone all week. How’s the old saying go, we need to stop and smell the roses? Sounds like good advice [although preferably a pine tree]. But how does one stop when every minute is absorbed with some task, self inflicted or not? Moreover, how do we put down our electronic devices and just let ourselves breathe for a moment? Why do we do it to ourselves to begin with? How many times have you, or someone you’ve witnessed, reached for a smartphone or grabbed an electronic tablet to fill just a moment? Social media, gaming, satellite TV, texting madness… is it an addiction or can we just not unplug for just a short time? Has such social static impacted our relationships and changed us as a people to the point where communication has become more comfortable through a text, email or instant messaging? Are we hiding behind technology and losing our sense of feeling, awareness, compassion and love?
Seems that our verbiage tends to get lost in translation, hidden somewhere between the lines of our hen-pecking on our keyboards, or G-d forbid, the often comical and frustrating method of swyping! Certainly we can all attest that swyping has the ability to confuse, and or, insinuate something other than what was said. Unfortunately the question still remains, how can emotion truly be understood through artificial methods of communication. Looking into someone’s eyes can tell a story far beyond what is said. The tone of one’s voice can reveal their emotion. Body language alone is a telltale sign of an individual’s state of mind. All these things, and probably much more, get lost when we opt for an impersonal conversation through technology. A phone call would at the very least allow us to hear the other person, granted we don’t see them, one point of contact is made. And who doesn’t love to see that crazy person in the supermarket talking to the produce while on their Bluetooth device!
Hopefully it’s a no-brainer that no amount of cute smilies or emoticons could ever replace the heartfelt warm embrace of a friend or loved one. Hallmark has made millions on creative and intuitive ways to send our emotions across the world. And now with the internet age we simply send texts, emails and the like attaching emoticons in place of our own feelings and physical selves. Sad, but true. The warm touch of someone who cares deeply for another has no replacement. Expressing our feelings towards one another can never truly be known apart from being in the presence of another and pouring out our souls. Connections are made, long term friendships are solidified and deep meaningful relationships are formed when we bare all and extend ourselves to one another in real time, space and context.
So, what, do we all have to take a walk in the woods to relax and find ourselves again? Do we need to completely unplug and return to the stone age to get get back in touch with our feelings? Doubtful. Technology has its place in our world and certainly within each one of our lives. But like all things, moderation is the key. Taking time out for one another, or indeed even self, would be a highly recommended activity. Remember, what that walk in the woods provides is something that is quite hard to mimic in many, if not most of our modern situations. Quiet is a calming of the mind, a surrounding yourself with natural energy and a complete severing of all things unnatural. Think about it, there aren’t too many places that can provide such an atmosphere as this. With the mind and body at ease, the soul soon follows. A detox if you will from all things foreign to the sublime spiritual self. Hence, a walk in the woods! Of course those woods could be a beach, a mountain, a field…just find space between you and everything else to create an environment of unbroken tranquility, albeit alone or with a companion. The art of love requires personal attention where the only distraction is an overwhelming outflow of our emotional bond with someone you care for deeply. We love our time in the Colorado high country and have dedicated ourselves to at least one wilderness outing a week to unwind, explore and have, as it were, our own uniquely raw and unfiltered life adventures, together.
If you haven’t heard already, the Wilderness Act turns 50 this year. In the 50 years that it has been in place, even prior to its induction, many people explored and enjoyed the natural beauty of the outdoors and acknowledged the understanding that our vast wilderness holds an energy that goes beyond the wondrous beauty of what the eye sees. Indeed there is a spiritual essence to being in the outdoors that our psyches thrive on which seems to feed our souls with an unexplained calmness. Our experiences are similar, we too feel a sense of peace and calm when out in the wilderness be it hiking, backpacking, camping or other. Sadly many don’t know about the Wilderness Act, why it even exists or sadly why it would even need to exist. One distinct feature of this act, unfortunately, is the basic need for protecting our uninhabited regions as It doesn’t take long to realize the importance of some type of control when we look at urban and industrial sprawl. We recently took a survey that asks many questions and gives opportunity for questions and comments. What struck a nerve was two questions, “What do you think the wilderness will look like in 50 years and what do you fear about it?” we’d like to know what you think. Our answer was simple and to the point, we fear urban and industrial sprawl and envision [based on current trends] a wilderness not necessarily overrun, but destroyed and void of its primal energy. The Wilderness Act follows, please leave a comment and let us know what you think!
Public Law 88-577 (16 U.S. C. 1131-1136)
88th Congress, Second Session
September 3, 1964
To establish a National Wilderness Preservation System for the permanent good of the whole people, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
Section 1. This Act may be cited as the “Wilderness Act”.
Sec. 2. (a) In order to assure that an increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement and growing mechanization, does not occupy and modify all areas within the United States and its possessions, leaving no lands designated for preservation and protection in their natural condition, it is hereby declared to be the policy of the Congress to secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness. For this purpose there is hereby established a National Wilderness Preservation System to be composed of federally owned areas designated by Congress as “wilderness areas”, and these shall be administered for the use and enjoyment of the American people in such manner as will leave them unimpaired for future use as wilderness, and so as to provide for the protection of these areas, the preservation of their wilderness character, and for the gathering and dissemination of information regarding their use and enjoyment as wilderness; and no Federal lands shall be designated as “wilderness areas” except as provided for in this Act or by a subsequent Act.
(1) Within one year after September 30, 1964, file a map and legal description of each wilderness area with the Interior and Insular Affairs Committees of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, and such descriptions shall have the same force and effect as if included in this Act: Provided, however, That correction of clerical and typographical errors in such legal descriptions and maps may be made.
(2) Maintain, available to the public, records pertaining to said wilderness areas, including maps and legal descriptions, copies of regulations governing them, copies of public notices of, and reports submitted to Congress regarding pending additions, eliminations, or modifications. Maps, legal descriptions, and regulations pertaining to wilderness areas within their respective jurisdictions also shall be available to the public in the offices of regional foresters, national forest supervisors, and forest rangers.
(b) The Secretary of Agriculture shall, within ten years after September 30, 1964, review, as to its suitability or nonsuitability for preservation as wilderness, each area in the national forests classified on September 3, 1964, by the Secretary of Agriculture or the Chief of the Forest Service as “primitive” and report his findings to the President. The President shall advise the United States Senate and House of Representatives of his recommendations with respect to the designation as “wilderness” or other reclassification of each area on which review has been completed, together with maps and a definition of boundaries. Such advice shall be given with respect to not less than one-third of all the areas now classified as “primitive” within three years after September 3, 1964, not less than two-thirds within seven years after September 3, 1964, and the remaining areas within ten years after September 3, 1964. Each recommendation of the President for designation as “wilderness” shall become effective only if so provided by an Act of Congress. Areas classified as “primitive” on September 3, 1964, shall continue to be administered under the rules and regulations affecting such areas on September 3, 1964, until Congress has determined otherwise. Any such area may be increased in size by the President at the time he submits his recommendation to the Congress by not more than five thousand acres with no more than one thousand two hundred and eighty acres of such increase in any one compact unit; if it is proposed to increase the size of any such area by more than five thousand acres or by more than one thousand two hundred and eighty acres in any one compact unit the increase in size shall not become effective until acted upon by Congress. Nothing herein contained shall limit the President in proposing, as part of his recommendations to Congress, the alteration of existing boundaries of primitive areas or recommending the addition of any contiguous area of national forest lands predominantly of wilderness value. Not withstanding any other provisions of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture may complete his review and delete such area as may be necessary, but not to exceed seven thousand acres, from the southern tip of the Gore Range-Eagles Nest Primitive Area, Colorado, if the Secretary determines that such action is in the public interest.(c) Within ten years after September 3, 1964, the Secretary of the Interior shall review every roadless area of five thousand contiguous acres or more in the national parks, monuments and other units of the national park system and every such area of, and every roadless island within, the national wildlife refuges and game ranges, under his jurisdiction on September 3, 1964, and shall report to the President his recommendation as to the suitability or nonsuitability of each such area or island for preservation as wilderness. The President shall advise the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of his recommendation with respect to the designation as wilderness of each such area or island on which review has been completed, together with a map thereof and a definition of its boundaries. Such advice shall be given with respect to not less than one-third of the areas and islands to be reviewed under this subsection within three years after September 3, 1964, not less than two-thirds within seven years of September 3, 1964, and the remainder within ten years of September 3, 1964. A recommendation of the President for designation as wilderness shall become effective only if so provided by an Act of Congress. Nothing contained herein shall, by implication or otherwise, be construed to lessen the present statutory authority of the Secretary of the Interior with respect to the maintenance of roadless areas within units of the national park system.(d) (1) The Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior shall, prior to submitting any recommendations to the President with respect to the suitability of any area for preservation as wilderness —
(A) give such public notice of the proposed action as they deem appropriate, including publication in the Federal Register and in a newspaper having general circulation in the area or areas in the vicinity of the affected land;
(B) hold a public hearing or hearings at a location or locations convenient to the area affected. The hearings shall be announced through such means as the respective Secretaries involved deem appropriate, including notices in the Federal Register and in newspapers of general circulation in the area: Provided, That if the lands involved are located in more than one State, at least one hearing shall be held in each State in which a portion of the land lies;
(C) at least thirty days before the date of a hearing advise the Governor of each State and the governing board of each county, or in Alaska the borough, in which the lands are located, and Federal departments and agencies concerned, and invite such officials and Federal agencies to submit their views on the proposed action at the hearing or by not later than thirty days following the date of the hearing.
(2) Any views submitted to the appropriate Secretary under the provisions of (1) of this subsection with respect to any area shall be included with any recommendations to the President and to Congress with respect to such area.
(e) Any modification or adjustment of boundaries of any wilderness area shall be recommended by the appropriate Secretary after public notice of such proposal and public hearing or hearings as provided on subsection (d) of this section. The proposed modification or adjustment shall then be recommended with map and description thereof to the President. The President shall advise the United States Senate and the House of Representatives of his recommendations with respect to such modification or adjustment and such recommendations shall become effective only on the same manner as provided for in subsections (b) and (c) of this section.
(1) Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to be in interference with the purpose for which national forests are established as set forth in the Act of June 4, 1897 (30 Stat. 11), and the Multiple Use Sustained-Yield Act of June 12, 1960 (74 Stat. 215).
(2) Nothing in this Act shall modify the restrictions and provisions of the Shipstead-Nolan Act (Public Law 539, Seventy-first Congress, July 10, 1930; 46 Stat. 1020),the Thye-Blatnik Act (Public Law 733, Eightieth Congress, June 22, 1948; 62 Stat. 568), and the Humphrey-Thye-Blatnik-Andersen Act (Public Law 607, Eighty-fourth Congress, June 22.1965; 70 Stat. 326), as applying to the Superior National Forest or the regulations of the Secretary of Agriculture.
(3) Nothing in this Act shall modify the statutory authority under which units of the national park system are created. Further, the designation of any area of any park, monument, or other unit of the national park system as a wilderness area pursuant to this Act shall in no manner lower the standards evolved for the use and preservation of such park, monument, or other unit of the national park system in accordance with the Act of August 25, 1916, the statutory authority under which the area was created, or any other Act of Congress which might pertain to or affect such area, including, but not limited to, the Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225; 16 U.S.C. 432 et seq.); section 3(2) of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 796 (2) ); and the Act of August 21,1935 (49 Stat. 666; 16 U.S.C. 461 et seq.).
(b) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, each agency administering any area designated as wilderness shall be responsible for preserving the wilderness character of the area and shall so administer such area for such other purposes for which it may have been established as also to preserve its wilderness character. Except as otherwise provided in this Act, wilderness areas shall be devoted to the public purposes of recreational, scenic, scientific, educational, conservation, and historical use.
(1) Within wilderness areas designated by this Act the use of aircraft or motorboats, where these uses have already become established, may be permitted to continue subject to such restrictions as the Secretary of Agriculture deems desirable. In addition, such measures may be taken as may be necessary in the control of fire, insects, and diseases, subject to such conditions as the Secretary deems desirable.
(2) Nothing in this Act shall prevent within national forest wilderness areas any activity, including prospecting, for the purpose of gathering information about mineral or other resources, if such activity is carried on in a manner compatible with the preservation of the wilderness environment. Furthermore, in accordance with such program as the Secretary of the Interior shall develop and conduct in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, such areas shall be surveyed on a planned, recurring basis consistent with the concept of wilderness preservation by the Geological Survey and the Bureau of Mines to determine the mineral values, if any, that may be present; and the results of such surveys shall be made available to the public and submitted to the President and Congress.
(3) Not withstanding any other provisions of this Act, until midnight December 31, 1983, the United States mining laws and all laws pertaining to mineral leasing shall, to the extent as applicable prior to September 3, 1964, extend to those national forest lands designated by this Act as “wilderness areas”; subject, however, to such reasonable regulations governing ingress and egress as may be prescribed by the Secretary of Agriculture consistent with the use of the land for mineral location and development and exploration, drilling, and production, and use of land for transmission lines, waterlines, telephone lines, or facilities necessary in exploring, drilling, producing, mining, and processing operations, including where essential the use of mechanized ground or air equipment and restoration as near as practicable of the surface of the land disturbed in performing prospecting, location, and , in oil and gas leasing, discovery work, exploration, drilling, and production, as soon as they have served their purpose. Mining locations lying within the boundaries of said wilderness areas shall be held and used solely for mining or processing operations and uses reasonably incident thereto; and hereafter, subject to valid existing rights, all patents issued under the mining laws of the United States affecting national forest lands designated by this Act as wilderness areas shall convey title to the mineral deposits within the claim, together with the right to cut and use so much of the mature timber therefrom as may be needed in the extraction, removal, and beneficiation of the mineral deposits, if needed timber is not otherwise reasonably available, and if the timber is cut under sound principles of forest management as defined by the national forest rules and regulations, but each such patent shall reserve to the United States all title in or to the surface of the lands and products thereof, and no use of the surface of the claim or the resources therefrom not reasonably required for carrying on mining or prospecting shall be allowed except as otherwise expressly provided in this Act: Provided, That, unless hereafter specifically authorized, no patent within wilderness areas designated by this Act shall issue after December 31, 1983, except for the valid claims existing on or before December 31, 1983. Mining claims located after September 3, 1964, within the boundaries of wilderness areas designated by this Act shall create no rights in excess of those rights which may be patented under the provisions of this subsection. Mineral leases, permits, and licenses covering lands within national forest wilderness areas designated by this Act shall contain such reasonable stipulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary of Agriculture for the protection of the wilderness character of the land consistent with the use of the land for the purposes for which they are leased, permitted, or licensed. Subject to valid rights then existing, effective January 1, 1984, the minerals in lands designated by this Act as wilderness areas are withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mining laws and from disposition under all laws pertaining to mineral leasing and all amendments thereto.
(4) Within wilderness areas in the national forests designated by this Act, (1) the President may, within a specific area and in accordance with such regulations as he may deem desirable, authorize prospecting for water resources, the establishment and maintenance of reservoirs, water-conservation works, power projects, transmission lines, and other facilities needed in the public interest, including the road construction and maintenance essential to development and use thereof, upon his determination that such use or uses in the specific area will better serve the interests of the United States and the people thereof than will its denial; and (2) the grazing of livestock, where established prior to September 3, 1964, shall be permitted to continue subject to such reasonable regulations as are deemed necessary by the Secretary of Agriculture.
(5) Other provisions of this Act to the contrary notwithstanding, the management of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, formerly designated as the Superior, Little Indian Sioux, and Caribou Roadless Areas, in the Superior National Forest, Minnesota, shall be in accordance with the general purpose of maintaining, without unnecessary restrictions on other uses, including that of timber, the primitive character of the area, particularly in the vicinity of lakes, streams, and portages: Provided, That nothing in this Act shall preclude the continuance within the area of any already established use of motorboats.
(6) Commercial services may be performed within the wilderness areas designated by this Act to the extent necessary for activities which are proper for realizing the recreational or other wilderness purposes of the areas.
(7) Nothing in this Act shall constitute an express or implied claim or denial on the part of the Federal Government as to exemption from State water laws.
(8) Nothing in this Act shall be construed as affecting the jurisdiction or responsibilities of the several States with respect to wildlife and fish in the national forests.
Sec. 5. (a) In any case where State-owned or privately owned land is completely surrounded by national forest lands within areas designated by this Act as wilderness, such State or private owner shall be given such rights as may be necessary to assure adequate access to such State-owned or privately owned land by such State or private owner and their successors in interest, or the State-owned land or privately owned land shall be exchanged for federally owned land in the same State of approximately equal value under authorities available to the Secretary of Agriculture: Provided, however, That the United States shall not transfer to a state or private owner any mineral interests unless the State or private owner relinquishes or causes to be relinquished to the United States the mineral interest in the surrounded land.
(b) In any case where valid mining claims or other valid occupancies are wholly within a designated national forest wilderness area, the Secretary of Agriculture shall, by reasonable regulations consistent with the preservation of the area as wilderness, permit ingress and egress to such surrounded areas by means which have been or are being customarily enjoyed with respect to other such areas similarly situated.(c) Subject to the appropriation of funds by Congress, the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to acquire privately owned land within the perimeter of any area designated by this Act as wilderness if (1) the owner concurs in such acquisition or (2) the acquisition is specifically authorized by Congress.
Sec. 7. At the opening of each session of Congress, the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior shall jointly report to the President for transmission to Congress on the status of the wilderness system, including a list and descriptions of the areas in the system, regulations in effect, and other pertinent information, together with any recommendations they may care to make.
Approved September 3, 1964.
[Crest House at the Summit of Mt Evans in Colorado]
Ever had one of those weeks where you just can’t get a breath in, where you feel spread thin. Indeed, we just had one. But you know, interestingly enough on the backside it’s all good. Sure we were caught in a whirlwind of activity, going here and there, doing this and that from left to right and engaging with people, places and events we’ve been wanting to make happen. Crazy part is, we didn’t see it happening all at once! Alas, now that it’s over and done, there seems to be a pleasant calm settling in relieving us of the constant go go go mentality and leaving in the wake of its path fun memories of another eventful week in our lives that not only produced the next generation, but a blast form the past and a castle in the sky. Just more pieces of a puzzle, so to speak, that are mere evidence that once again we understand a little bit more about ourselves and this incredible journey called life. Curious question this time around was why did it all happen at the same time? it all came together, unrelated events, at the same time and melded together as if to say it was all meant to be and you wouldn’t begin to understand until after the fact.
Perhaps a little more detail is in order. The biggest and most profound event this past week, our daughter gave birth to our first grandchild! We’re a buzz with excitement for sure as the next generation has entered [our] world. While certainly the excitement has been with us for months on end, it seemed to have turned a corner with the first cry, our first glimpse of a sweet face and our first chance to hold and look into the eyes of our grandson. Surrounded by our own emotions, we found ourselves reliving the memories of our own children’s births, flashbacks of days gone by. From early parenthood to grand-parenthood we’re embracing the continuing evolutionary process of a growing family and looking to the future while remembering the past in anticipation of a fulfilling life.
If that weren’t enough, in the midst of our becoming grandparents, we had visits form our past, a seemingly unfolding trend in our lives that continues to surprise us as these random blasts from our past produce reunions and rekindled friendships. Interestingly, this all seems to spark our curiosity of who we are, moreover, who we were and who we’ve become. To be honest, it doesn’t seem that any of us have changed all that much. Sure, we’ve all had a lifetime of experiences that have shaped and molded us in various ways, but that’s inevitable as we all mature and grow in life. But in the end, we seem to be the same as we always were, perhaps a bit more guarded in our ways, but by and far, if we are honest with ourselves, pretty much the same people we’ve always been. Sure, we all go through phases, we try new things, we throw things out, hell we’re constantly growing in some form or fashion, but strangely, years later, it’s still the same us as it’s always been, guess we just need to step outside of ourselves every now and again and see through someone else’s eyes…someone who knew us back in the day and has since come back into our lives.
Thirdly, this week we found a castle in the sky! Sounds intriguing, yes? Indeed it was. With all the goings on we never had much time to do what we love, get out and explore. Though to some degree we explored all week, saying that in an abstract way, as exploration also comes from within. After all was said and done, we finally found some time for ourselves and set out on an adventure we’ve been wanting to do for quite some time. Driving to the summit of a 14,000′ mountain peak in the Colorado High Country. Yep, it’s possible! The highest paved road in America just happens to be in our backyard ascending ever so slowly to the summit of Mt Evans. What a rush and thrill it was! And while many focus on the amazing views [and they are!] there is another story here that most will never know, at the summit there is a castle in the sky. But this is no mere building, it’s evidence of love, life and indeed, in some strange way, a monument to that hidden gem in life that only two deeply in love people can share together. At the top, standing to the side, almost as an afterthought, and most definitely in the shadow of why anyone would make this trek to begin with [Mt Evans] is a building that lay in ruins, only the walls left, of something special that began years ago. The Crest House was the vision of a carpenter and German immigrant named Justus “Gus” Roehling who envisioned building “A castle in the sky” for his wife Edith. Needless to say, a dream come true. You can imagine the harsh environment they endured while erecting it, but love has no boundaries in our book, and the castle in the sky became a reality in 1941. Unfortunately in the late 1970s an accident left it in ruins where only the walls remain today. The Forest Service maintains it now as an observation point to Mt Evans and the surrounding high alpine environment on which it sits. Looking through the windows and touching the walls one can get a sense of the energy that still remains of days gone by.
Why bother you with the boring details of our life and the events of this past week? Good question, if you endured to this point we’ll tell you. There’s much in the details of everyday life if we take the time to notice, to listen and to explore the messages that our own events and energy give us [when] we pay attention. Not an easy task mind you, especially in the midst of all the goings on, but they’re there, forming patterns and setting the stage for a “wow” moment if we pull to the side and allow the realization to sink in. How could three seemingly unrelated events in the same week relate to each other? Certain point of intrigue that somehow did begin to unfold giving us signs that something was brewing, something was in the air and something for some reason wanted our attention. Hopefully we’re not lulling you to sleep, life’s stories are amazing to us, this one in particular [go figure] as indeed we all have our own personal stories that are telling us something and they’re all worth hearing.
So what’s the deal here? A little history might help. We lived in Seattle for many years, at which point our daughters were born. Our youngest who just turned us into grandparents was having strange dreams the night she went into labor. Dreams of tribal sounding music and wondering why the band kept playing the music that make her go into labor. Well, interestingly enough, this band just happens to be friends of ours from back in our school days growing up in the south [Texas]. They have just finished a tour, and oddly enough the night our daughter was dreaming and went into labor, they were performing in Seattle during this time. Hmmm, interesting, no? Energy has a way of unlocking itself from a distance and opening the gateway to new things we like to say. So here you have it, in a nutshell, rekindled friendship, completely oblivious to the energy they produced while our daughter was going into labor. Our friends toured through Denver after the birth of our grandson and it certainly made for fun conversation when we found time to sit back and get reacquainted. So what’s a castle in the sky got to do with this? Perhaps symbolism. Our adventure was merely to just get away, to relax and soak up an incredible high alpine experience. But, as it always seems to be, there are other forces working in and around us that we don’t always necessarily have control over. While our outing was spectacular, the Crest House pulled us in. Not even the center of attraction, Mt Evans, had what it took to get our attention this time. Other factors were at work drawing our attention as it were to something otherwise mundane and eventless. An old building in ruins atop a 14,000′ mountain can hardly compare to the environment that dwarfs it. Unless of course, you’re like us, knowing or unknowingly involved in the curiosity of life beyond what the eye sees. Today, a vision of the past brought together the present and proceeded to lend some of its energy to two tired souls who wandered away for a few moments to put things into perspective. We often wonder if walls could talk…on this day they did.
Babies have a funny way of making us look at our own pasts, pasts that involve memories and people who have come and gone, and in some cases returned. And then when you’re not paying attention, it hits you with an unforeseen event or place that jars your curiosity to put it all together and realize that this whole week has been orchestrating itself to unfold in some cosmic life lesson. Who are we, what have we become and where are we headed. Abstract as it sounds, especially with a lifetime of memories and travels, it doesn’t sound like we’ve gone anywhere but here. Here? Our lives together have grown [MADly] together, but the evidence has grown outward. Just as one can see the universe as growing outward, so do we. Indeed we came together in our own cosmic collision some 30ish years ago and have been growing outward ever since. But in the center, here we still are, continuing as ourselves and never really taking the time to realize we’re still the same, still here and still growing in our love, energy and experiences.
Indeed, evidence is seen in our grandchild. Evidence is seen in our friendships. Evidence is seen in other’s monuments to their own lives of love, mystery and intrigue. While it might have taken an excursion to 14,000 feet above sea level, indeed life’s evidences of realness in all of us is everywhere, and yet nowhere. You don’t need to travel to the far reaches of the universe to see it, it’s right there with you, with all of us. Each one of us a continuing saga of life itself. Sure it was a crazy week, we felt like we were overstimulated at times, but honestly it’s all good, it’s all fascinating and it produced further evidence of our lives being alive and growing ever outward. Stories within stories, there’s no end to the depth of how connected it all is. While the next generation made a grand entrance, it was seemingly foreshadowed by energy from the past that opened the door as perhaps a guide to the future. That energy came in the form of a blast from the past, unknowingly tapping into energy and sending it outward in the subconscious. And at the end of it all, a memorial to life itself, to the love we all have generating within us all exploding outward to continue the infinite pattern of life, beyond life and the endless pattern of it all that seemingly goes unnoticed with each passing breath.
Beyond what happened, or even why it happened, the question remains, why now? How did it all come together at this one time and unfold the way it did? In the end, if there truly could be such a thing, we’re loving life and the never ending mystery to our own existence.
Peace! MAD 🙂