Why do I do it?

Reciting from Delilah for the Birds

Living in a rural area in the Colorado mountains provides a unique set of obstacles to be dealt with, including a forty-five mile commute, one way, on winding mountain roads which can be treacherous in winter weather conditions and clogged with tourist traffic in the summer that can turn a forty-five minute drive into and hour and a half. It can be nerve wrecking and even hair raising at times. And the wear and tear on my vehicles – proper maintenence and tires, etc… – due to all the mileage I put on them gets downright expensive!

I hate that commute and for several years now I’ve been asking myself why I do this live in this remote place. Three years ago, I hit black ice and rolled my car over on its side, totaling the car and raising my insurance, even though I had broken no traffic laws or violated the rules of the road. I hadn’t been driving too fast or being reckless. It was simply the road conditions that caused me to wreck. The cop almost landed on his derierre when he approached to issue me the ticket because the road was a sheer sheet of ice.

But it’s not just the commute. There are other unique difficulties that come with living off-grid, like hauling water and keeping generators and solar systems functioning, and chopping wood for winter fuel. Only in such remote locations does one have an internet outage during the writing conference that your hosting, causing you to have to stay at a hotel and miss one full day of events, as it happened during this year’s WordCrafter virtual writing conference. It can be tough when you don’t have the simple ammenities that many people take for granted.

Yesterday, as I was driving home from work, I saw something that reminded me of why I live where I live, in spite of the need to do that often treacherous and all too frustrating commute. As I turned off the highway and headed up the dirt road that I live off of, I came around a corner and saw a patch of brown, almost hidden in the meadow grasses below a heavily forested hill. At first I thought it might be a cow or perhaps a horse, as the folks who live just over the hill keep livestock, but it didn’t stand tall enough above the grasses to be of the equine or bovine persuasions. I slowed down to get a better look, and the sound of my car must have drawn the as yet unidentified animal’s attention, causing it to look up and allowing me a good look, as well.

I hit my brakes and then threw my car into reverse, backing to a spot off the road, where I had a fairly decent view of a large brown bear which was now watching me to see what I was up to. The bear watched me for a couple of minutes, as I dug in my computer case for my Kindle, the only device with a camera that I had available. Then, he must have decided I didn’t pose much of a threat and went back to whatever he had been doing in the grass before I came along. The grass still hid him partially, but I was able to snap several photos of him before he lost interest and decided to head back over the hill. I had a much better view as he ambled away, so I slid out of my car and walked to the back of the car to snap a few more shots. He looked back to see what I was doing, but didn’t seem to concerned, as he turned and continued on his way.

That’s why I do it. That is why I make the commute, and why I make lists and keep things stocked up, so I don’t end up making extra trips, and do all of the other things that are kind of a pain, but are necessary to accomodate my chosen lifestyle. That’s why I work so hard to grow a following and make money from my writing and publishing skills, so I won’t have to make that commute anymore.

Because living where I live, I get to see things like that big brown bear and many other kinds of wildlife that city dwellers miss out on. The bear I saw yesterday was only one of many wildlife sightings that living here has offered me. Many are just glimpses, such as the two foxes playing in a drainage pipe at the side of the road, or the bobcat running through the trees, but on a few occasions, I’ve even been afforded the opportunity to capture them in photos and created the wonderful images I’m sharing here today.

The flora and fauna surrounding my Colorado mountain home are what makes it all worth it. Beside road side wildlife, my mountain home offers opportunities to view and often, photograph many species of birds and plant life. Beautiful wild flowers and and magnificent bird photos inhabit my photo library, where the images of a small fraction of all the magnificent species to which I have been witness to, have been captured. Many encounters that I wasn’t able to capture through the lens have instead inspired poetry or found their way into stories that I’ve written, or other writings.

All of this serves to remind me of the reasons why I do what I do, and live where I live, strengthening my resolve to keep doing what I’m doing. My motto has always been “Endeavor to Perservere”, or keep on keeping on, and that’s just what I’m going to do, but now I remember why I’m doing it.

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29 Comments on “Why do I do it?”

  1. A wonderful post Kaye Lynne.. we lived up a mountain in Spain for 17 years and in the first couple power cuts and intermittent internet were part of our life..winter was touch and to too with -10 at night and snow.. Things improved on the power and tech side after that but it gives me an inkling of what your daily life is like. Tough to maintain an online presence especially when it is work related. But as you have illustrated there are so many reasons why you love it. Now we live in Ireland and everything is to hand… I still miss those days when you could see for miles as eagles circled overhead…x

    Liked by 3 people

  2. CarolCooks2 says:

    A wonderful snapshot of your life Kaye very interesting πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I lived in Colorado Springs for a few years, but far to the north of the city. We were about 8,000 ft. up. It was mostly high prairie, but I got to see antelope, which was a spectacular sight. Bravo to you Kaye for living off the grid. We’re in Michigan now with woods all around us, even though we live near the city. There’s plenty of wildlife, which is a huge plus. ❀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    Kaye Lynne Booth​ with a wonderful post on the joys and
    tribulations of living up a mountain in Colorado a 45 minute commute to civilization in all weathers, but with some wonderful reasons to stay. For all of us who just pop to the shops, and switch on our computers expecting to have service, it is a testament to Kaye Lynne’s commitment to the work she does online..and loves.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. artrosch says:

    That’s such a cool story I want to hit my head against the wall. We’ve “known” each other for at least ten years and I don’t know anything about you, except how much support you’ve given me. Keep a decent camera with you at all times. Especially where you live. My daughter lives in Boulder. Someday we’ll meet in person. Probably.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Surely you’ve met your daughter by now, Art. Lol.
      Seriously though, you do know stuff about me, if you think about it, Art. You were there when I lost my son, and I’ll never forget the reading your lovely wife did for me. You know what types of music I listen to, because you used to complain about it when I had my Writer’s World social network when I was first starting out online. And I’ve listened to your music on YouTube and I know you like jazz because I read Confessions of an Honest Man. We really have known each other a long time. You were one of my first internet friendships, and you have stuck by me while others have fallen by the wayside. Thanks for always being there. The support goes both ways.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Kaye, I didn’t realise that you lived in such a rural place. I must be honest, I love visiting remote places for a few days, but I love living in a city. We also have solar, a generator and a borehole but this is because the government is incompetent and can’t keep the lights on or guarantee an uninterrupted water supply. Maintaining these things does require effort and money.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Living in the city does have its advantages, like being able to run out and grab some fast food when you’ve had a long day and don’t feel like cooking, but I wouldn’t trade for my mountain home. I am aiming to be able to work from home full time and eliminating the commute though.

      Like

  7. Thanks to Sally, I found you Kaye. What a place to live and I love how you blend your life with nature. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad that you did find me here, Jane. I have always been an outdoor person, enjoying hiking and backpacking, fishing, dirtbike and ATV riding, rafting, skiing, and of course camping. Since moving here fifteen years ago, I have become an avid birdwatcher, and I’ve turned my property into a bird and wildlife sanctuary, with bird baths and feeders, a water garden, and a rock garden filled with bird and butterfly attractors. It’s great. Every spring I have new bird families nesting here.

      Thanks for visiting. I hope to see more of you. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi kaye, It’s good to know more about you and your living style. It’s spectacular to see the bear and other wildlife that city dwellers have to travel far to have a glimpse of them. Living style is a personal taste and choice and I’m glad you found yourself and stick with it because it makes you content and happy. I’m a city girl all my life and wonder how people have the basic needs met when they live off the grid. The driving distance would be the most inconvenient part, I think.

    I hit the black ice once driving from Seattle to Portland. It was scary but thankfully didn’t have an accident. I don’t think that cop was fair to issue you a ticket and not fair that your insurance premium was increased because of the accident due to no fault of yours.

    Thank you for sharing the photos and take care. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Miriam. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

      I didn’t think that ticket was fair either, but they said they had to ticket me for something because I lost control of my car. And yes, it was quite scary. Fortunately I went toward the mountain side of the road rather than the river side. But it is a choice and I’ve lived in rural settings, often off-grid all my life. I love it. ❀

      Liked by 1 person


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