Unexpected Encounters

Unexpected Encounters

We love to visit our friends all along the way, so when a good friend asked us to brave high altitude in snow season to soak in sacred waters with her for her 60th Birthday, we said YES! We were honored to hold space for her during this sacred time and to spend some time in natural hot springs. She had a favorite place and invited us for a few days just before the American holiday, Thanksgiving. It seemed Mother Nature was willing to cooperate. After a stopover in Flagstaff, AZ we were grateful for Pleasant Journey Alpacas to stay with our Harvest Hosts Membership. We enjoyed a quiet night, a bit of electricity for our little space heater and fantastic neighbors. The next morning we were excited to experiment with the handpan and alpacas. Here’s is what happened, we captured it on video for you!

Fun to see what the Alpacas would do for the handpan!

Since Mother Nature was creating an opening for us to drive up in altitude we took advantage of the opening. We know that roads are well plowed but our van on the edge of roads with slippery frozen melted snow can be very scary, especially with no side rails. We planned to drive in the midday, up through Ouray, CO to Orvis Hot Springs near Telluride, CO. We checked the road conditions cameras and we were confident about our climb in altitude. We were mesmerized by the beauty of long slow drive up the mountain with a gorgeous view of the Rocky Mountains. As we wound up the mountain we began to notice that the snow was getting deeper and more prevalent. As we climbed even further it was clear that some areas where what we call ‘black ice’. Mountain people like us know that ‘black ice’ can be dangerous because it looks like its just damp, but actually it’s a sheet of ice. We proceed slowly, pulling over to let little front wheel drive cars with skis on their roof, go ahead. As we climbed in altitude Bright Hawk found herself gripping the wheel as if that would make her more accurate in her driving. She paid close attention to the road, watching for black ice, going slow and steady. That was Bright Hawk’s superpower when we were climbing, slow and steady. Often in a slow and steady pace you can find contentment and stability through an otherwise stressful situation. Hollis appreciated this calm strong approach and joined Bright Hawk in holding the energy of our end result: Landing at the Hot Spring, soaking in sacred waters, and chatting with our friend.

After a stressful drive we were grateful to have overcome with determination and stability. We finally landed at Orvis Hot Springs. Living in a van offers many benefits and challenges, it seems to call some of us on a deep level, and often people don’t fully comprehend this is our 3rd winter in our van. We often take a couple of months away from the van by house sitting for others but it takes a bit to fully comprehend a couple that lives full time in an RV Van. As a result we don’t always pack in the same way for things, because we always have a kitchen with us or we always have a variety of clothes stashed in our van. Our work can be done everywhere and when running your own business, every opportunity to get some work done is a potential step in progress. Progress is the reward when working for yourself! As we empty out into the room with our friend we are reminded of just how different we pack. Thank goodness our friend is flexible. In the hot springs we use quiet time in the sacred waters to more deeply develop our brands and make plans for our future. Our planning often inspires our friends to harvest their own potentiality, and since our friend is about to retire, she loves to think about it. We love to support anyone dreaming of their future and working to overcome whatever holds us back. We all enjoy the waters, discuss our potentiality and our future. After several days, we all receive the rewards of deep relaxation and we are faced with only a small window to leave this mountain town without large accumulation of snow on the roads for the next many days.

We make our plans to go our separate ways after great times in sacred water. We use all our resources about weather and road conditions to plan on landing in a little donut hole between all the storms set to reach this area in the coming day. We plan our road trip in the middle of the day this time with just one challenging area. The roads in Norwood, CO could be dangerous if the temperature drops, although we notice it’s not supposed to be too cold. It is the warm spot just before a big snow storm and we are grateful to have found a place to safely hunker down in between storms. Our biggest concern was road conditions heading out, sometimes mountains can have unexpected weather.

As we headed out we were grateful to have a mostly easy drive, yet with a few spots of black ice. When a mountain shadows a part of the road, yet the snow is melting on the other side of the hill down into the shadow area. Often that can become black ice and we are quickly approaching the one high altitude pass that could be a potential problem, Norwood, CO. We are grateful when the road is mostly clear and we are aware that our choice to leave during the height of the sun was a good choice. We come around a blind corner to slowed traffic, “Oh No, I hope it’s not an accident!” As we both look ahead and wind around and up the mountain we begin to realize what will become the biggest challenge off this mountain top.

We are in a line of traffic just like the cows, being led up the hill by a herd of cattle, literally. The handlers on their horses working hard to keep the cows from cutting us off. As we drive right next to cows working so hard to get up the hill through snow and right on the edge of a pretty large cliff. We are inspired by their trust for each other as they follow blindly behind each other. Occasionally one would get spooked and step out of the line and we would feel connection to this amazingly strong animal. We have all had those moments, where we step out – challenge the status quo and either change the whole group as a result or realize it was not the right time and jump back in. Fascinating to watch the handlers on their horses driving these cows to another place for reasons we didn’t comprehend. We found ourselves grateful that these cows get to walk and graze on grass and although we had no idea what their destiny was, we knew it was better than in some places in our country. Witnessing farming has influenced how we see our food.

As we mentioned, #Vanlife, will change you forever. Vanlife is challenging with unique blessings and lessons. Applying compassion, love, understanding, excellent communication, and vulnerability we are uplifted with an experience that teaches us a lot about human relationships with nature, animals and each other. Simple witnessing the entire herd being moved by the handlers on horses, with the ancient art of being a cowgirl/cowboy, we could sense the deep love and respect they had for the animals. Also, we sensed that the animals, for the most part, trusted their handlers. Although, just like with humans, there are always outliers and sometimes they would change the entire line of cattle for the better. Such as getting them away from a steep cliff, we would notice that the handlers would see what spooked them, and then let it be changed. Is this an example of living in harmony with cattle, we weren’t convinced, but we had a deeper understanding of the history of cattle raising.

Video of our COW encounters

This was our biggest challenge leaving the area. We were happy to arrive at the Hovenweep Campground, pretty much all to ourselves as the holiday was upon us. We hope you will keep reading as we continue to harvest stories from our adventures on the road of life. Stories are developed by Hollis Taylor (Author of Divine Androgyne) & Bright Hawk your Storyteller here at BrightHawkProductions.com

We are working hard to develop more products for you this winter, so stay tuned for upcoming big announcements. Need something positive and unique for your event? Bright Hawk offers performances for 60-90 mins of live storytelling with the handpan that will leave your community feeling connected, loved, and inspired. A modern rendition of the ancient art of storytelling with a very modern instrument. Bright Hawk’s messages are sincere, inspiring and engaging to audiences that desire positive thinking, lifelong learning, and love for all people. Bright Hawk offers real-life travel stories, original and traditional fictional stories to intrigue even grown up imaginations. Bright Hawk is planning her 2020 schedule now and welcomes invitations to visit your community in 2020!

Available for your 2020 Event – Calendar is filling quickly!!

Have you downloaded my 2019 Stories and Music CD?


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