It's predicted to be another summer scorcher today, but at 6 am the 49° cool feels good on my skin. To pedal a bicycle on a narrow dirt trail, as the morning dew on the high grasses brushes my calves and gurgling creeks flow under the shadowy, crystal yet moist morning air is, in a sense, perfection. Ever since making the transition back to the 12-year old orange single speed, I've been feeling more at one with the whole biking process. It's just…you go where you look, hills feel a little shorter, the narrow feels more manageable. But that's not really the point. To be out in it, the green yes, but more interesting to me is the red, blue and yellow of the myriad of Rocky Mountain wildflowers dotting the meadows that fill in the spaces between the pine and aspen groves. And then there is the lake. A mountain lake in the early day, before anybody is up, as the duck family lazily wanders it's shore line, and the hanging anticipation of some sound that is truly wild, be it a lake bird or a moose or a coyote, is one of the finest places in the world.
This was my scene on this morning. It gets the brain flowing, but it also makes one contemplate the future. You start to think…how simply could I really live? Is it still possible in this once wild country to find a plot of land, with a good mountain nearby and possibly a lake, and live off the land? Could we grow a garden, learn the proper crops for the locale, and feed ourselves? I'm a decent fisherman, and on NOLS courses was one of the more successful at providing natural food to our group. There are abundant wildflowers to make salads with, to maintain a balanced diet. Is it still possible to find a spruce grove, to fell the trees and peel them, let them cure over the winter, and then build a cabin…not a vaction home…but a home. Nothing huge, maybe 10' x 15'. Find big stones, collect them and build a fireplace to keep us warm on those frozen winter nights and days. But how to survive the winter? Maybe learn to hunt, and, in the most ethical way possible feed ourselves…with a deer or an elk. Not for the sport of it, but for the life providing energy its meat would provide.
I don't need much. Or I should say, we don't need much. We don't need a ski resort, because we prefer to hike up and ski down. We dislike cities, but we like to create art…be it writing or drawing or painting or what not. People tell me I write well enough, that I take good photos. And I know Elaine writes well enough, and she is an exceptionally talented artist. Perhaps there is a little source of income there. We need each other. That is essential. And eventually, a family, to teach the wonders of the natural world to. And of course, we need to be able to survive – shelter, food, basic clothes.
I love my life now. But then, you think to yourself, over the course of a 24 hour period, what are the times we are absolutely most happy? I think, by and large, it is, together, in the mountains, in beautiful spots. It's not spending money, not fancy meals, not fancy hotels. It's much simpler actually. More research is needed though. They don't teach this kind of thing in schools. To turn a dream into a reality requires, in this case, work and knowledge. Both of which are possible, as are all dreams.