Tales of romance are often hot and sweaty. This was all that and more. …Re-Romance Now !…Harper…
Soaking In Romance-
Just a few weeks ago, the morning after the party at Evergroove, a small recording studio used by musicians in the mountains above Denver began at a leisurely pace. Still, we were anxious to hit the road for a three hour ride to Valley View Hot Springs. It’s been a year this week since my decision to stay and build a new existence in Evergreen. So much has transpired as I’ve morphed from the pits of despair to a being able to fully give and accept love. It’s a magical time. A time of romance.
Willow drove, this independent mountain woman that I share so much with. The road so familiar to her, the hot springs pilgrimage so much a part of her life the past 35 yrs. She has longed for it, speaking of the hot springs often since we met almost six months ago. Three hours on the road, time for sharing, talking. Time for reflection on the ecstasy I felt playing my harp, bending notes with professionals jamming beneath tall pines outside the studio for four hours the night before.
We stopped briefly at a small narrow bead shop, tucked between the general store, bait shop and gas pumps. A hold over from another era, with crystals, stones and findings for a pair of earrings to match the perfect purple sundress Willow found hanging, waiting for her on a rack of hand-dyed clothes.
We wound south along the two-lane highway out of the mountains into a wide sun filled San Luis Valley. The recent heat wave and drought left parched land spotted by irrigated patches of grazing land and farms. The mountains to our east were younger, more jagged and rough than those of the foothills where we lived. After hours, a turnoff with little signage lead us 7 miles down a dusty gravel road toward a small outcropping on the hillside. At the base of the long abandon Orient Mines high above was Valley View Hot Springs. Under sage and pines dotting the grounds of the Orient Land Trust, was the constant rush and babbling of running waters flowing down from the top pond. Hidden campsites and tiny cabins, shared facilities and stonewalled, spring fed pools awaited in this clothing optional slice of paradise.
The next morning we walked a narrow path up the mountainside to a special spot she knew. A small stream cascaded into a mini waterfall over a ledge to a shallow pool where it joined ancient waters bubbling through the ground at body temperature. Moss covered boulders provided seating and arm rests as we nestled our naked bodies down and pushed toes into pebbles to stabilize us against the gentle current. Alone we alternately shared thoughts and drifted though meditative silence as the sun moved the shadows. Natural plant growth and stone sheltered us on three sides, our view funneled out to the valley a thousand feet below. To the west across the valley the outline of the Sanres Mtns. A light breeze, a small yellow bird, the movement of iridescent purple blue dragon flies, a shape in the pines morphing into a young deer that had been grazing just yards away. We soaked it all in and became part of our surroundings, as time stood still. As shadows changed we modified positions. The essence of romance shared now, and revisited for all eternity.
Our day played on till twilight. We shared hot springs, saunas and lunch in a grove along a babbling brook. Later that night, a new adventure. An hour hike along an abandon gravel road would take us upward to 9,800ft., past the remnants of 70 yr. old ghostly foundations marking miners towns, leading to the collapsed ore tunnels of the Orient Mines. Sometime just before sunset, out of the vast depths of fractured mine shafts would come the roar of a quarter million wings soaring into the night and into our memories forever.
In a twisted vortex, a swirling mass that lasted 20 minutes, the massive colony of Mexican fee-tail bats, loomed and zoomed against a red/gold sunset over the Sangres in their nightly search of food.
We soaked up life the next day. Pools of water, pooled thoughts and dreams. As the day ended, car packed, we wove our way back home on roads devoid of traffic. Trekking the valley, heading northwest back up toward the Rockies, we arrived back at Willow’s mountainside home for the final moments of the glorious sunset we had been chasing.
Life is good...Harper