Showing posts with label colorado. Show all posts
Showing posts with label colorado. Show all posts

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Deep Creek - Book Review

Deep Creek by Pam Houston
Terrifying splendor.  Wonder nested in grief.  Reconciling grief and hope.  Traveling the world over to discover the real adventure awaits you at home.  Creating a life in the midst of a thousand departures.  Savoring the one thousand arrivals that bring you to you—to your home of homes.  This is Deep Creek.

In Deep Creek, Finding Hope in the High Country, author, teacher, ranching greenhorn, and survivor, Pam Houston, takes us inside the paradox of becoming.  Though we may initially think the genesis of this homecoming odyssey is Houston's purchase of a dream ranch and homestead in the Colorado Rockies, the larger revelation, as unveiled through linked essays, is how her connections to nature, animals, trauma, and eventual healing come together in perfectly imperfect ways to build a life filled with gratitude and wonder.

This is a memoir that finds its essence in those spaces where two disparate elements are held together.  For instance, while the West Fork wildfire is threatening to destroy Houston's beloved ranch, she is able to stand amazed at the extreme beauty of the raging firestorm.  There is a breathtaking awe to be felt in the face of the fury that might destroy everything you own.  This capacity of the author to appreciate the splendor of potential devastation turns something bleak into something transformative.

Likewise, while Houston explores the grief associated with climate change, she simultaneously urges us to sing the song that is the language of wilderness and to feel a certain joy within the mourning.   In this manner, one may begin to reconcile grief and hope.

Besides these themes, there is more to appreciate while reading Deep Creek.  If you love animals, there are horses, mini donkeys, Icelandic sheep, Irish wolfhounds, and chickens.  And then there is the glory of Colorado's San Juan Mountains and the Upper Rio Grande Basin.  For those who dream of living on their very own piece of land, there is plenty to stoke that fantasy.

I was drawn to Deep Creek for many reasons.  As one who lives in Colorado's San Luis Valley, I have  been to the places shared by the author.  To experience them through another's perspective, makes those places come alive in a new way.  Houston's affection for her animals also resonates deeply with me.  To read of how the land has been so significant in her becoming who she is today, reinforces my own connections to this place that is growing me into the fullness of my own being.

If you need any more reasons to read this book, read it because the writing is compelling.  Read it because the author is an enigma.  Read it to contemplate how you become who you are in relationship to what matters to you.  Read it to celebrate the life that emerges when you dare to dance with paradox.














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Friday, July 7, 2017

Review of Women's Keen Targhee II Mid Hiking Boots

The author with her best hiking buddy, Toby.
When it comes to high adventure in the mountains I call home, there is nothing more important than gearing up my feet for action.  Having just purchased my fifth pair of women's Keen Targhee II Mid boots, I think it's pretty safe to say I am very keen on these hiking boots.

Four-Wheel Drive for Your Feet

When climbing Colorado's 14ers (peaks over 14,000 feet in elevation), it is easy to spot the rookies.  These are the hikers in flip-flops (no-wheel drive) who are heading back down the trail with painful blisters and major regrets.

The difference between an exhilarating day on the mountain and a day that will go down in infamy is, for me, the difference that is made in wearing what Keen refers to as "four-wheel drive for your feet."




Let's Get Real

First, let me confess that I have the world's most sensitive feet.  Before discovering Keen hiking boots, I experienced the most epic blisters and endured heel pain that can make a grown woman cry.  When you add weak ankles to the mix, I wasn't exactly extreme hiker material.

Why I Need Keen Boots in the Rocky Mountains


The Nitty-Gritty Details  

These Keen boots work for me in several critical ways:

  • They are comfortable from day one.  Unlike other hiking boots, there is no extended break-in period.
  • The mid height of the boots provides my ankles with much-needed support.
  • Waterproof leather uppers and breathable mesh lining make blisters a thing of the past.  Dry feet are happy feet.
  • Lug soles offer up confidence-inspiring traction in even the most challenging terrain.
  • Given that every ounce matters while hiking and backpacking, I find the weight of these boots to be just perfect (significant enough to protect my feet, while light enough to keep my legs fresh all day).
  • Have I mentioned that the price is right?  Many hiking boots will set you back a few hundred dollars.  With the Keen Targhee II Mid hikers, you are getting a quality boot for far less.

Not a Mountain Mama?

Crossing a slippery log bridge over rapids in my Keen boots.


Let me conclude this product review by saying you don't have to be a mountain mama or an extreme hiker to enjoy these boots.  I wear mine every day just because I find them to be my most comfortable footwear.  

And besides, it's pretty awesome to have four-wheel drive boots for extreme grocery shopping.  I have been known to summit the fresh produce aisle in record time.  There's no stopping me now!







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The Review This Contributors

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Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner