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Monday, November 26, 2012

Wilderness Treasures

Wilderness oases grow precious to me over the course of many visits. This is one such place, the last place that K camped in the desert. We've now dubbed it K's Rock.
As I walked around the site last week, I remembered all the little things, the spots where K and I liked to sit, the red ledge where we saw a lizard skitter away, the deep red blooms adorning the cacti last spring, and the boulder where K and I basked in the early morning sun. I treasured the memories but, at the same time, I relished sharing this precious place with our new family member, Shyla.
I cherish these places partly because generations of our dogs have visited them. I can visualize each of our dogs soaking up the sunshine in a favorite campsite. I can feel their spirits next to me as I stand in the spots where they stood. Shyla is now part of the legacy of our Labs that helps make these places so precious.
I adored seeing her explore the places that I hold so close to my heart.
When we arrived home after the trip, I realized that many people, perhaps even most people, probably don't understand how I come to deeply treasure seemingly unremarkable places in the wilderness. This thought hit me because there's been a tendency in our area for publicly-owned land to be shut down to all citizens.

Indeed, this summer, a trail that I'd traveled with each of my dogs for almost 15 years was suddenly closed. Up until that day, K and I had been hiking on the trail most days despite the steady progression of her cancer. During each hike, we'd stop to sit in a spot where I've sat with almost all of our Labs, most of them now gone. It's a spot where the sounds of the forest and the views of the mountains drown out all else. Civilization seems like it's millions of miles away.

Throughout the spring, I kept thinking that, as long as K could hike as far as that special spot, we were okay - the cancer wasn't winning. It was one of those crazy thoughts that a person has when they're faced with the unfathomable. To me, the trail wasn't just a path between two places but an enchanted part of the forest, a special magical place, where I'd lived important moments of my life, not just with K but with other canine pack members.

I know that the world never stops changing - but I truly hope that I, and others like me, don't lose the wondrous places in the wilderness that bring alive memories of people, animals, and moments that have shaped our lives. While someone else might think that these places can be replaced by "another trail" in a different part of the forest, it's simply not true. Certain special places have become part of the fabric of my life and my history. For that reason alone, I'll always be drawn to them.


  1. Another great post...

    Yes, memories do make a difference when it comes to choosing the path -

    Or the path choosing us -

  2. Kia Ora KB,
    I agree. I think sometimes places also can hold a reverence for us as well. Ataahua. Kia kaha e hoa.

  3. Special places, with memories, re-visits, and photos of previous times, they are so important, and yes, the wilderness areas mean so much to me too, places Hugh and I go to, camp, or walk for a day, they have a special place in our memory book.treasure them in your heart and they will always be with you. Fond greetings from Jean. p.s. your last photo, is that in Utah or near home?

  4. We understand what you are saying and feeling KB.
    Those wonderous places are precious and live in our hearts with so many memories. These trails are not just another place on the earth- they are memorialized in our hearts.
    All of your furrys who have traveled to these places- a part of them still remains- just like the paw prints that are imprinted on your heart.
    I am so glad that Shyla has been given the opportunity to see and feel this beauty too.
    there are no words to describe these photos- they are magical.

  5. I love your way with words. They make me think differently.
    Nola's Mom

  6. I agree with Tweedles ...these photos are magical. I can almost feel/see the generations of dogs that have visited these places. Something about that image with the photographs of the beautiful rock and cliffs is so true and precious!

  7. That is crazy the trails could close so suddenly. Frustrating
    Benny & Lily

  8. I could not agree more. There are places that hold a deep feelings and are deeply spiritual to my MOM (and me). Those words do not even begin to describe how they make us feel. And such beautiful photo to go with your beautiful words.
    Oh and to answer you previous question of me. Yea we don't have to much snow, most melted away. And yes even if there was snow we still would have camped. Plan on doing it again on Christmas day.

  9. Some places just hold a certain magic. I think we leave a little of our spirits there for others. I'm glad that you and Shyla got to visit some of your favorite places!

    Your vacation photos keep making me think how dark and velvety Shyla looks. K always seemed so red, but Shyla seems like polished mahogany!

  10. what a shame they shut one of your favourite trails, that must make you so sad xxx good job you have all your photos to keep the memories alive.

    not sure if you notice this tho, ive found that since i got storm i have to go one walks to different places now. storm doesnt enjoy the places deefa use to. deefa loved the woods. storm loves the open spaces of fields and beaches. it felt kind of sad for a while that i couldnt go where deefa loved but over time ive come to love finding the new adventures that stormy enjoys instead now and i will still have all the photos from times gone by with deefa xxx

    lots of love

    Charlene and Stormy

  11. A beautiful post and more fabulous photos, thanks for sharing. Your words remind me of the camping trips and adventures my Cairo and I went on over the years until she passed away from cancer. Time in the wilderness with a dog (or two or more) is always the best time.

  12. Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories, Shyla, and photos that are as if we are standing there with you.

    xo Cinnamon

  13. The best thing is, you do CHERISH all those moments! You do enjoy life and nature. One should never take these beautiful gifts for granted.

    We are thankful that we get to share the adventures with you and your family. Most of us will never get to see the beautiful wilderness in our lifetime. Thank you KB for sharing so much with all of us.

    Lily Belle & Muffin
    p.s. please give R & Shyla an extra hug from their little doxie furends.

  14. Especially love the last photo. I'm with you - I can't stand it when trails are closed! What is special to a few doesn't make it any less special.

  15. It is a lovely thought that all of these places are imbued with the spirit of so many special dogs and good friends.

    We are keeping you in our thoughts today as you take Shyla to her xray.

  16. Must be very special to visit this place with Shyla. Show her where you hiked with K...very beautful and exciting rocks. The last picture is great. We will have cold wheather to the weekend. Tyra is recovering but she cant hunt for several weeks unfortunately. I think there will be some rehab too. But we have to train the young ones....

  17. I understand. These spots are magical, and resonate forever in our heart and soul. Wonderful and beautiful post, KB!!!

  18. What a beautiful post and gorgeous photos! We understand, KB.

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  19. Just as any place that you share magical moments with a loved ones, they will always be a map to your soul. :)

  20. That last photo itself is just magical. I still have many spots along the walks I take today with the current four that bring back very strong memories of special moments with Dakota.

    Thanks for taking the time to catch up on our blog posts. We knew you would want to know about Phantom's big birthday.

  21. Happy Birthday--girl of the mountain!! total understand your feelings HUGS!!

  22. That last shot literally knocked my socks off. Wow!

    I, too, have special places that can't be replaced. It's just not the same. I am glad you have treasured spots in many places; hopefully you'll be able to always have access to the others.

    We didn't go as far west as you did over the holiday, but red rock... heavenly red rock!

  23. Hi Y'all,

    Some people will never understand that it is the appreciation of the beauty that surrounds us, not things, that bring happiness.

    I think your readers do understand or they wouldn't be here.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog


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