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Friday, July 19, 2013

Why I love the mountains

I love our mountains for a whole host of reasons.

I love the craggy peaks that hold snow all year long. 
I love the Hermit Thrushes who sing their hearts out every summer.

I love the flowers.
But, for the past few years, city life seems to be reaching its long fingers in our direction. I've had a few unpleasant adventures in our forests this summer, including finding illegal fires, running into crazy motorcyclists, and getting close to incredibly unsafe gun shooters. Today's solo mountain bike ride took the prize. It involved a stolen vehicle left in the forest and a dirtbag illegal campsite that may be associated with the stolen vehicle. To top it all off, I spent a long time giving witness testimony after reporting what I'd seen. Because an investigation is underway, nothing will happen fast to clear out the dirtbags - so I'll have to avoid the area for a while. This kind of stuff is getting more common around here, and it breaks my heart. Why can't humans just let some places be pure and peaceful?

I see some simple solutions, like gating certain 4WD roads that attract criminal activity, but the "authorities" just shake their heads - and cite the notion that the National Forest is a "Land of Many Uses". Hmm, does that include illegal uses like stashing stolen vehicles? Whose land is it, anyway? You'd think that the bureaucrats owned it, based on how they ignore the pleas of some citizens to take simple actions to improve the situation (believe me, I'm not the only one speaking up).

Enough negativity... I keep my dogs away from the areas where the "visitor activity" concerns me so no one will hurt them, and we revel in the beauty of the more isolated parts of our forests.
On another positive note, I'm sure that everyone around me has known that it would happen all along - but I can feel Shyla getting closer to me every day. I think that we are growing an incredible bond. She brings me joy, silliness, and lots of smiles.
And part of how we're growing our bond is by spending time in the peaceful and deserted parts of our forest together. Our time in the forest nourishes my soul.
The future is bright...
And Shyla looks like she agrees.


  1. That's so sad people are disrespecting the forrest. I love the mountains too, but they can't top the beach for me.
    Nola's Mom

  2. I know exactly how you feel. The longer I live where I do now, the more I dislike the city and the more I stay away from it.

    Shyla is really another amazing dog, and truly a gift, and she shows that more and more, doesn't she?

  3. It is so sad. our river always seems to be filled with cans, rubbish...dirty baby nappies, junk. The council is trying everything to limit the 4x4 hoons from tearing up the beach and grassy areas....but it seems never ending. Cannot understand why people who want to use an area can't clean up after themselves. Think it's a world-wide trend.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  4. We feel the same way about our forest. We wish the irresponsible people would stay away.

    I was thinking of you and Shyla..,maybe you were also a daughter of the mountains- and you and Shyla have that bond.

  5. Now, there's a new word for us down here,
    'dirtbag camping" we call it fly camping, no tent, nothing but a sleeping bag, tarp, and maybe a gas stove. I cannot understand people these days, who do these awful things, so sorry you had to give witness, and now not go to that area, I truly hope you are safe in another part of your beautiful mountains. Two girls and R, and Runner too, all mountain lovers. Greetings from Jean

  6. The sadness is the feeling of being pushed deeper and deeper into a shrinking paradise. And if you sense this and it is disturbing imagine how the other creatures are forced to react. We have had a real problem with people and bear encounters this summer and it is the bear that loses every time. It will be too late to fix once the pristine purity is trampled. Off my soapbox now. I rejoice at the spirit and bond that you and Shyla are forming.

    P.S. desensitizing Nuka about the clippers is a great idea.

  7. Hey there KB
    I know you get so many comments about your amazing pictures, (and I don't want to sound trite) but they really are stunning! You have an amazing talent for photography! I would so miss the images of your world if you moved into the clutches of the city. How horrible that you are having to face the encroachment on your environment's happening more and more, all over the world, at an alarming rate.
    Anyway, your growing bond with Shyla brings a smile to my face - you deserve it!
    Thank you too for the previous posts of the bear cubs, the playful dogs, etc, etc.
    Keep up the good spirits.
    Sending lotsaluv from your friends in South AFrica

  8. I think some of the disrespect comes from the way people are raised these days. They are brought up with no exposure to the natural world. They live in crowded suburbs that have been scrubbed clean of nature. Heaven forbid someone sees a fox! They want animal control to come kill it! Whole childhoods are spent staring at screens of various sizes. It's hard to understand/respect the awe of nature when you are busy shooting cartoon aliens to smithereens. I am thankful I grew up rurally in an age before PCs and their like. While I do appreciate what technology has brought, it is no substitute for being outside!

  9. Oh yes as a dog I can tell you you have not mistaken the look on Shyla's face. She most defiantly agrees. We also share you concerns about what in going on. Oh how I wish there was space for me to tell you a few tales of what MOM and I have encountered in the woods. While we cant people to enjoy the beauty and wonder of creation we also want it to be safe for all. Grrrrr I say to those who spoil that.

  10. We love getting out in the middle of nowhere and hate to see the disrespect for the land. Mother earth is for all of us and everyone should take care of her. Sadly, some never will. We find ourselves more and more avoiding cities like the plague. Give me fresh air and open country.

  11. Evil exists everywhere but it doesn't seem right that this should happen on your gorgeous and peaceful mountain, KB.
    You are such a beauty, Shyla, and you have wormed your way into all of our hearts!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  12. I love the wilderness, too, but unfortunately it does provide cover for some unsavory characters. I mostly hike in areas inaccessible to vehicles - I feel safer there. I can see confidence and love in Shyla's eyes!

  13. I can understand your love for the mountings, its Lovely to look at.
    Shyla is a great model again. She looks so happy.

  14. People escape to the wilderness for all sorts of reasons. Unfortunately, some of those reasons are less than noble. I am glad you and Shyla are staying safe.

  15. I am technically in the country but my property backs onto a major highway. I can not tell you how disgusted I am at the amount of garbage I find in my fields from people littering. I hate it! I love my country side...don't ruin it.

  16. Speechless. I, too, can't believe something more can't be done, and faster. Some people just don't get why wild is beautiful.

    But I am so happy you and ShyBear are growing closer by the day!

  17. I know you feel you spoke of negative things, but there is so much beauty in this post that it still warms my heart.

  18. Beautiful photos!

    We encounter similar problems here--pretty much all of what you mentioned. A couple of years ago someone dumped a stolen car down a mineshaft near where we live and hike. I'm constantly picking up trash and packing it out. One of the worst things is broken glass from people shooting up bottles. I personally believe that it's important to try to keep that stuff cleaned up, because I think when people see that a place is trashed, they are more likely to add to it. (That's just my theory.) Fortunately, we don't often run into the crazy ATV/dirt bike crowd, but we do once in awhile. We would love to see the canyon where we do most of our hiking gated and restricted to nonmotorized use, but it's unlikely that will ever happen.

    Glad you and Shyla can still find deserted areas to enjoy nature! I always try to remind myself that we are incredibly lucky to have such a beautiful place right outside our door and can still often hike for hours without encountering a soul.

    Susan and Wrigs


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