Soon after leaving the city limits of Durango, brown turns to green and the San Juan mountains stun us with their beauty. Our route to lesser-known-gem-of-a-park Grand Canyon of the Gunnison is a treat.
I’ll have bittersweet birthday in Durango. Perhaps a history hike can shake us out of our funk.
The photographer in me finds the charred remains of the burnt forest darkly beautiful. I quickly push that ugly thought from my mind and do not stop to take pictures of the scarred landscape. The sky is hazy. The west is burning. But in New Mexico’s Enchanted Circle we will find blue skies and a surprisingly sweet tourist town.
My ears fresh from the city and not yet in tune with nature sounds, I do not immediately discern what makes the sound. Perhaps a child? A moment later, a cacophony of yelps and howls tells me it is a pack of coyotes. Aside from the wind, the birds, and the chorus of grasshoppers, these are the only sounds we hear from our campsite during our stay.
As we close in on the New Mexico border, flat open plains give way to rolling green sage and juniper covered hills. After nine days of 100-110 temperatures in the Dallas area, a cold front has moved into Texas and brings welcome rain. The rain is scrubbing away not only the dust from a long period of drought in the area, but also a bit of the pain associated with what we’ve left behind. Thus begins day one of our 4-month hiatus from “real life”.