Limited sleep cycles have afforded me many beautiful awakenings and although each sunrise is different, the morning glow has always stirred emotions of gratitude. One recent morning I thought to myself, “I get it” as I sipped on my coffee and absorbed the morning mountainous glory that unfolded before me. The brisk 50-degree air produced a shiver as I caught a glimpse of pond ripples. A herd of mule deer grazed at the base of sky scraping Douglas firs and several unnamed trails crisscrossed towards the towering San Juan Mountains.
Approximately one week ago I was sitting at the Durango airport with thoughts of concern. Had I made a mistake? Was I being irresponsible? Lack of fear and independence is what I’ve asked of my family, heck, sometimes demanded it. But, leaving them in a secluded mountainous corner of southern Colorado in an unproven cabin didn’t feel right. I reflected, smiled and my feelings quickly changed. The years of travel and exposure had been a primer for present day.
A quest to find a remote cottage in the Rocky Mountains landed us in the middle of the San Juan National Forest. My preference was off the grid, but my wife’s lack of myopia prevailed, and we settled on a partially unplugged cabin. Although such a place isn’t for everyone, it has everything we desire. It’s a place to relax, disconnect and discover. It will serve as base camp for morning walks, evening jaunts, short hikes, day treks, fly-fishing expeditions, whitewater paddles, ATV/snowmobile excursions, game harvesting, backcountry pack trips, the list goes on….
The surrounding area boasts see-forever views and towering mountains reaching for the heavens. With over 3 million acres of National Forest and surrounding wilderness, there are many paths and streams calling our name. May we be fortunate to spend a lifetime roaming mountains and valleys as well as casting in many heavenly waters.
Access at an elevation of 8800’ requires planning and adjusting. The final hurdle presents a well-maintained gravel forest service road that coils like a nervous Texas rattler, but the arrival is so worth the effort. Being surrounded by 360 degrees of Mother Nature’s bounty is pure bliss.
The introduction to the “Diente de Oso” cabin produced a few trying incidents and I’m sure many more will follow. Regardless, the dwelling and its unique surroundings has allowed us to reconnect with life’s simplicity, wonder and exquisite beauty.
After seventeen days of nature’s natural high, several water heater gremlins, one 4×4 bearing repair, three state lines and countless of pit stops, the first chapter has been scripted. I’m more than happy to say Erin, the boys and our two dachshunds arrived safely and full of adventurous tales.
I remain thankful for many things but especially appreciative of my unfaltering family. Without their willingness to accept these unscripted journeys, none of this would be possible. Together we find ourselves renewed enriched and most certainly grateful.