Saturday, January 25, 2014

Snowy Day at Stagecoach Hollow

Snowy Stagecoach Hollow

If you follow a crooked road west, heading towards the row of blue mountains charged with procuring the setting sun, you'll discover a steep canyon carved by a ribbon of black ice. The secluded glen is called Stagecoach Hollow.

Local legend has it that a tenacious mistral prowls the area bedeviling visitors. Winter snow creates a monochrome landscape where white aspen contrast with the dark pine. Because the rugged terrain is a mosaic of mud, rocks, snow and ice, navigation requires the nimbleness of a goat.

Howling like a ghostly demon, the relentless wind chased us down into the brooding forest. The mysterious sanctuary was a tangle of gnarled tree trunks and broken limbs. Confined to a murky chasm during the December dusk, a daunting staircase was the only way out.

The stiff breeze kept pace, whirling through the treetops and over cliff edges like an insane daredevil. Across a footbridge and finally back up top, a final blast of blowing snow stung like gunpowder. Despite the blustery fiend's ability to drive one mad, we managed to keep our heads.

A hazy, full moon guided us back to our hillside home. With imaginations intoxicated by hot chocolate, we spun ghost tales late into the night and recounted our spooky escape from that frightful abyss known as Stagecoach Hollow.

It's a secluded glen

Carved by a ribbon of black ice

The landscape is monochrome

The wind chased us into the forest

Tangled trees and broken limbs

A daunting, snowy staircase

The breeze is like a daredevil

We made it back up top

We managed to keep our heads

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Red Bridge - Colored Pencil Drawing

"The Red Bridge" Colored Pencil

An organic landscape is reorganized by geometric structure. The pages are shuffled producing a book filled with memories and bound by imagination. Billowy clouds in a dramatic sky oversee pointed peaks and a rush of rolling hills. At the forest's edge, a reflective pond is a watery mirror that flows with symmetry. The red bridge is a powerful link between an uncultivated landscape and urban sprawl.

The deep chasm between primitivism and sophistication is bridged by a scarlet structure. Energetic vehicles traverse the vermillion viaduct in an attempt to reconcile weary travelers with their cozy nests. Distressed souls are transported from an urban Tartarus over Troublesome Gulch and into the beautiful Elysian Fields.

The overpass is a garnet gateway to a mountain meadow where the favored enjoy perfect bliss. It's a terrestrial paradise that offers a pleasant retreat from the pressures of modern civilization. The divine abode has soft green grass, purple flowers, golden aspen groves, cool life-giving air, and everyone is happy and peaceful. It must be Heaven on earth and I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

I Like Pizza - The Delightful Ganymedeans

"I Like Pizza" by Bern and Lukas Miller

In the year 2076, Jupiter's massive, red storm exploded into a cataclysmic event that sent shockwaves streaming through the galaxy. An orbiting moon-planet named Ganymede was slingshot into deep space. Rocketing toward the sun, it was heavily damaged as it passed through the asteroid belt.

The pummeled planet was spinning out of control before finally coming to rest within the Earth's orbit. Incredibly, we not only inherited a second moon but also strange, new guests from a beleaguered colony.

The Ganymedeans are a peaceful bunch who miraculously survived the harrowing 400 million mile journey. They lived in subterranean chambers while subsisting mainly on native roots and grubs. In the most dramatic rescue the world has ever seen, brave pilots from the IGG (Inter-Galactic Guard) shuttled survivors back to Earth.

After months of military debriefing, medical exams and governmental processing, the lucky pilgrims have assimilated into our way of life. They have become productive members of society and their shared knowledge has been vital to our understanding of how the solar system works.

Lured by the irresistible influence of American pop culture, most of the refugees have settled in the United States. They have developed a particular fondness for amusement parks especially the roller coasters, ice cream and pizza.

The delightful Ganymedeans can be seen toting younglings on their horned heads as they shuffle happily between the most exciting rides. With tentacled arms, the hungry aliens shovel pizza pies into their two mouths, eight at a time.

The expatriates prefer the warmer climate of the Nevada desert where they've built red-roofed homes in circular-shaped neighborhoods. Natural horticulturists, they stomp around in white space boots planting grass and trees.

The entire story seems to surreal to be true. Who could have ever imagined that during our nation's tricentennial, one of the most provocative questions of all time would be answered. We are not alone.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Land of the Dead Tree

Land of the Dead Tree

Off we went
On an ordinary hike
Heard the woeful coo of a mourning dove.

High on the ridge
The sound resonated in our hearts
And raised us up nine thousand feet above.

To the Land of the Dead Tree

Our journey began at the Old Cabin Crossing, a neglected remnant of days gone by. We continued on a lonely path through mysterious Dark Forest all the way up to Windy Saddle. From there we traversed prickly Cactus Pass and climbed onto Flattop Rocks.

Racing daybreak, we dashed under Sunshine Arch into a high mountain meadow. There it was... The Land of the Dead Tree. Just in time, golden grasses were flickering in the morning light. Blue Volcanoes appeared hazily in the east and Bergen Peak was a stoic sentinel to the south.

The Western White Mountains of the Great Divide were a spectacle. We soaked in the sun but on the shortest day of the year, rays began to vanish. As the afternoon faded into evening, we had to say goodbye. Because as you probably already know, all good things must come to an end.

Old Cabin Crossing

Mysterious Black Forest

Flattop Rocks

A high mountain meadow

Golden grasses

Blue Volcanoes

Stoic Bergen Peak

The Western White Mountains