The San Juan forest and the mountains wind down around us, from mountains to mole hills. My head really starts to wrap around what we are doing with this journey. I had left Philadelphia only a month ago, never having driven on a dirt road before the trip, let alone traverse mountain passes. My learning curve would be pretty steep (pun intended, get it? cause mountains.)
The mountains will humble you in ways the plains, the hills, and the valleys will not. I now know my vehicle very well on a personal level, and have been learning about myself and my surroundings more than I ever thought possible. You gain a true respect for the old pioneers that used these passes, even the new pioneers that work in these mountains using these roads as a daily drive to get to and from work.
We aren’t breaking any new ground. What we are doing is growing a sort of appreciation for this natural world that could easily overtake us if it wanted to, and hopefully, planting these seeds of appreciation in our readers and followers. Living on the east coast, we never fully grasped the power that nature had over us, and it will eventually flex that power. I’ve read books about how awe-inspiring it can be, but it’s only poetry until you experience it for yourself. Perspective is situational. We are brought up to believe what is shoved in our faces. Go out and find it.
Taken with a Pentax k1000, unedited. Will appear in the book.