Crestone, Co at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, was enveloped in a cloud of voracious mosquitoes that tormented us night before last. (Actually a few nights ago. I’ve tried posting but internet signal in this valley is very hit or miss.) We were a sad little sight tucked away in the van looking longingly out the windows at the rushing creek running just through the trees next to our campsite. Our huge campsite with picnic table and fire ring. We waited thinking the cool evening air would chase them away, but it did not.
We scooted in and out of the van to make bathroom runs and once when the monk was trying to get back in, the door jammed and he started running back and forth and in circles squealing trying to outrun the mosquitoes, I was laughing so hard I could not open the door.
The rest of the evening was spent talking, reading and then quietly listening to the sound of the creek. Lovely and sad.
A few nights ago, another mineral springs extravaganza. That camp had everything one could possibly want, including bunny rabbits running wild everywhere. A storm blew through that night and the monk and I had to jump out of bed to pull in the awning. The next morning the monk informed me we were drinking Genghis Khan’s urine, or dinosaur pee. I don’t know where that came from. I thought you all should know.
We met up with two other friends, Joyce from Denver and David from South Africa. We make quite the crew. You just don’t see many 6′ + white Buddhist monks with such an entourage.
We stayed at the Great Sand Dunes National Park for two days cloud watching, eating, talking and last night a movie on my little Chromebook.
Here we are at the lodge restaurant where we ate so many meals we were on first names basis with the supremely patient and wonderful waiter Cody.
And what are the odds….While I was cooking my oatmeal in the van this morning, the young man (top left) knocked on the cabin door where Joyce and David and the Monk were, and asked to use the bathroom. They turned out to be such a sweet group from Sri Lanka, recently moved to Denver. The guy literally took three steps back when the monk opened the door and asked him ” Are you Sri Lankan?”
One of the many gifts of travel is the people you meet and connect with.
The monk “releases” a Quan Yin statue in the wild. Members of his congregation bring these statues to his temple when they move or someone dies or they no longer want them. The monk keeps them until he finds homes for most of them and some he “releases” in the wild. This one was placed under a tree, down a dirt road not far from a farmhouse. While we were there, three very cool dogs came to greet us. They’re the only ones who know where the statue is hidden.
It’s our last night in the valley and I will be sad to leave. I’ve fallen in love with this incredibly beautiful State. I can’t wait to come back with Tearful.
Everyone heads to Denver in the morning but I am still undecided which way to head home. Southern route or northern?
I love that you do this — make your way through with humor and grace and descriptive powers. Thank you for sharing the journey with us. I wish I were the one to discover the statue released in the wild. I guess, in a way, by sharing it here we, too, are recipients.
Dear Elizabeth, I am so happy you are on this journey with me and that I can share in yours. Your little island cottage! It’s absolutely amazing, I am rejoicing for us both. If only I could have one of those chef ladies ride with me!!!
The monk releases his statues and you release your artworks, both potent spiritual artifacts that bless whoever finds them. What a journey you are on. You look like a kid in those pictures. It’s the openness to life, your radiance.
Thank you for such a sweet compliment Rosemary!