Live The Life You Love and Love The Life You Live
Every year we go ATVing in the Rockies. We pack up our trailer with ATVs, food, drinks and clothes and head off to Colorado. This year, because of the Covid-19 Pandemic there was a lot of uncertainty if we would be able to go, or if there would be travel bans preventing us from going. The recommendations were to social distance and wear masks when you couldn’t guarantee a six-foot distance. We planned to bring my boyfriend’s parents and meet both of his sisters there. Due to health reasons and the Coronavirus that plan fell through.
The place we go to is very secluded by nature. There is only one road in. Only some of the people live there year-round. And when we go riding, it is obviously not an issue to maintain a distance from others.
Although many of the people we planned could not join us, his sister, Kris, and my dear, lifelong friend, Lyn, met us there. We had a fantastic time, as usual.
We could have decided to stay home, just in case. We could have canceled because the original plan didn’t work out. We might have chosen to play it safe and stay hunkered down at home due to the Coronavirus threatening our health. We could have made the choice to save our money for retirement.
Instead, we decided to live the life we love and love the life we live. I do not regret that decision one tiny bit.
Life is Short, Take the Trip
So many people I know work their tails off to have some imagined, amazing life when they are in retirement. Many people I know have great jobs and save their money for some beautiful life they will have when they are done with whatever they are doing now. Some people I know invest all of their effort to make their bosses rich. They may even be making themselves quite wealthy. In my opinion, what they are lacking is the wealth and riches of adventure.
My friend, you are not guaranteed the money you are saving. You don’t have a fail safe that you will be healthy or even alive when you reach whatever imagined date you have determined is the perfect time to travel, have adventures, see the things, chase the dream, or cross it off the proverbial bucket list.
We believe life is short, and since we may not get another chance, we take the trip every chance we get.
Focus On What is Important
As we are riding in the mountains, there are rocks and narrow trails that are barely wide enough for our ATVs. There are some places the mountain is on one side, and the sheer rocky drop off is on the other side. You must focus on where you are and what you are doing.
What I learned while I was avoiding my machine and I tumbling over the side of the mountain, where others have died is, we must focus on where we are and what we are doing. We must be present in every moment, not because it’s always a life or death situation, but because it’s the only life you get.
So, put down the phone, turn off the TV, turn down the music and be present. Listen to the children chatter. Listen to a brook babble. Say the significant words. This is the life you get. Be present and focus on what is important.
As I mentioned, some of the trails we ride are really kind of treacherous. We are smart about it and don’t take crazy chances, but sometimes we do have to get off of our machines and make sure we should actually go that way.
Some of the trails we take are rocky and bumpy and have lots of natural obstacles. We meet other people along the way and many times, we have to stop in the widest area we can find to let them pass because there isn’t room for both of us to go through at the same time.
We ride these narrow paths and see the beauty of wild flowers, shiny, unusual rocks, quaking aspens, the tallest pines, and here and there bits of history of old mines and water tanks and unbelievably pretty waterfalls to reach the summit. There we find a view that is magical. We stand on top of the world watching clouds make shadows on the hills below us. We enjoy the experience of feeling as if we have conquered something few others have and many never will.
What I learned is in life, there are many times when life seems rocky, and bumpy, and full of obstacles, and some of those times you must go it alone. When you reach those moments in life, remember that sometimes the worst difficult paths lead to the most beautiful and amazing places in life, and once you are there, you may feel like you have conquered the world and done what few others have or ever will.
Don’t Expect Anything But the Best
Most days in the Rockies we experience incredible weather. We enjoy lots of sunshine, moderate temperatures and balmy breezes. Even when it rains it seldom lasts long. We have been rained on a few times. Once, while we were there it even hailed on us a little. In Colorado we are so close to the sky we are able to see a storm coming from a very long way from where we are. It would be very easy to see a few dark clouds and cancel all plans for the day and stay tucked away in our cabin.
But every single time we had bad weather the largest portion of our day was sunny and gorgeous.
The life lessons I took away from the stormy skies of Colorado is this:
1. Just because it may look like a dark cloud is following you, the good times can prevail.
2. Every time you think you see dark times ahead it doesn’t mean it will turn out that way.
3. Even if you get hit with hard times, it probably won’t last long.
4. Don’t waste your time worrying about what hasn’t even happened yet.
5. Don’t let the thoughts of what could go wrong stop you from doing anything.
Everything Has a Lesson
Riding in the Rockies over Hancock, Cumberland, Tomichi, Tin Cup, Black Sage, and Wuanita passes and up Terrible Mountain one must be very focused on what you are doing, but there is also so much amazing wonder and beauty to behold.
There is a huge variety of flowers such as, Rocky Mountain Columbine, Blue Bells, Daisies, Indian Paintbrush, Fireweed, Rocky Mountain Bee Plant, Larkspur, Sand Dune Wallflower, Prairie Flax, Lupine and Pink Mountain Heather.
Then there’s the trees like quaking Aspens, Cedar, Pine, Spruce, Fir, Cottonwood, and Juniper. The rocks are even beautiful. You will see a mixture of petrified wood, agate, quartz, marble, and many, many rocks with either gold or iron pyrite, also known as fool’s gold. As you ride along the trails shimmer and shine with tiny flecks of gold.
The flowers sprout up everywhere, even out of the tiniest crack in a rock. Trees shoot out of the top of shear rocky cliffs.
What could I possibly learn from rocks, trees, and flowers? Bloom wherever you are. Never let the tough stuff stop you. Don’t let what others say about you keep you from shining in your way. Grow wherever and whenever you can. Learn from everyone and everything you can.