Thursday, 22 June 2017

Wednesday June 21, 2017

Dinosaur, Colorado

Kindness, Bugs and the Summer

The other day, Elizabeth was watering the lawn at her business, The Westward Motel. Being somewhat dehydrated, I ambled along in front of the place and asked her if the water was drinkable. And so I was invited to drink.

“This is the best water,” she reassured.

I asked her about her rates for accommodations. “Do you have monk rates?”

“Sure, I’ll help you. You can stay for free. How many nights?”

“Three for three.”


Elizabeth and partner, Shawn, demonstrated optimum hospitality. We gifted them with a small package of books by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. They were happy. It was our check-out time and time to move on.

And speaking of happiness, our group of three, were exceedingly content with the swim, yesterday evening, in a spring that fed into the Yampa river. My limbs got especially relaxed from the dip last night. Second to walking is swimming. My experience is that they go hand-in-hand.

Now my stretch for trekking today took me on Hwy 40 to the hamlet of Dinosaur. It was here that many discoveries were made of fossils, bones and remains of the huge animals of pre-historic times. Rather neat, if I might say so.

The reality of today was not sighting T-Rex, but having thousands of bugging, buggy wiggies constantly around my torso and head. I don’t know if they are out here to celebrate the summer solstice but they are definitely having a party with me. I take it as an austerity.

After our 20 mile trek today, our group drives back to Steamboat Springs to the Yoga Center of Steamboat to celebrate the summer’s arrival.

May the Source be with you!

20 miles

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Tuesday June 20, 2017

Massadona, Colorado

Dry Day

All three of us like the early morning treks. Millions of stars adorn the sky up above. I asked the boys, Hayagriva and Marshall, if they were familiar with the Classical Music “The Planets” by Gustav Holst. They had never heard it. So I played “Venus, The Bringer of Peace” from the album on my phone.

How soothing and appropriate it was to have that playing while we looked up at the heavenly bodies and chanted our japa (mantras) over top of the music. We had the road to ourselves. We were kings of the road. The area west of Elk Springs is so desolate. Even rush hour makes you wonder how it could be so calm at the usual hectic hours between 7 and 9:00 a.m.

Once the sun arises, it is not long before it becomes merciless. That then draws black flies and mosquitoes. They have a circus and they come in numbers as plentiful as the stars had been up above. The further west I go, as the boys settle in the van for their reading sessions, the more dry as a bone the land becomes.

Wildlife is rare to see now. They are attracted to green but here it’s sage plants. Even hawks and crows are hard to come by. This is a desert for sure. There’s even some resemblance, in spots, to the Grand Canyon.

Fortunately, with my phone, while I walk, I am able to call anywhere in North America and get office work done at the same time. You just have to watch your step. Rarely does traffic interfere. There is so little of it. There are no billboards which is great.

Our meals comprise of snacks in the form of trail mix, wraps at noon and a cooked kitchari, a rice and moong lentil with vegetables, in the evening. By 10:30 a.m. I did my quota of twenty miles.

All is good!

May the Source be with you!

20 miles

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Monday June 19, 2017

Elk Springs, Colorado

Butch’s World

We are in the area traversed (or rather galloped) by the notorious Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Butch was apparently a thief, a robber of banks and of horses. One local person told myself and the boys that Butch would send photos of himself in the fine clothes he had stolen to the actual merchant he had taken them from. That sounds like pouring salt on the wounds.

We were cooking our kitchari outside at Maybell’s park when the history of the West was coming our way.

Backtracking to Steamboat Springs was intended for chanting and a chat about Tales From Trails at the Sundance Yoga Studio last evening. Talaya hosted us, and the group that showed up was great. They especially liked the philosophical point that we are not our bodies. “The body is the vehicle and our soul is the engine that mobilizes the body.”

I believe that Butch Cassidy, in a big way, was taking his body to be the self: perhaps even considering  himself as God and thus doing whatever he so wished.

Today has been an interesting day of meeting motorists. One person from Maine offered me water. So did a fellow from Boulder. A mystery donor left two fresh bottles of spring water on the shoulder of the road, for me, no doubt. How kind. There’s no one else around. It’s a desert here.

One final guy, 55, said he was from Saskatchewan. He pulled his truck over, walked up to me where I was trekking at Elk Springs, a ghost town of sorts, and asked, “Can yah come and visit me?”
“Where do you live?”
He pointed to his truck and let down the tailgate. There we sat and chatted.

“Why is there so much pain in the world,” he asked. “I thought a monk would know.”
“Because people forget to count their pleasures and gifts,” I said.

May the Source be with you!

20 miles