These Days…

These days, my front yard is a mountain meadow, spread with wildflowers, trees, and plants I don’t know the names of. Some mornings, I wake to find a small gathering of elk munching their breakfast. Now and then, but rarely, a moose wanders through. There are rabbits and foxes, also. My back yard is a mountain, strong and woody. Friends have told me that they’ve seen a bear up there, but I never have. I have heard the chirping of a mountain lion in the night.

A brook ripples through the meadow, bringing music to match the birdsong that accompanies my meditation. The water is clear and cold.

My meditations are short, no more than a few minutes, focusing my day on the loveliness that surrounds me. Then I shave, comb my hair, walk around a bit and take in the scenery. Although it’s summer, the morning air is still cool and sometimes (like this morning) I need a jacket.

I love my meadow home. A few people think it’s crazy that I sleep in my car, even through the winter, way up here on the mountain. For me, though, it’s a wonderful way to keep myself sane.


For the past few days, a couple of young women have been camping in my spot, which I don’t mind. I think it’s marvelous that other people get to enjoy the same beauty that I do. So, I’ve been sleeping in different places along the county road. Last night, it was just near the top of Ute Pass. Here’s the view that I woke up to.


I am truly blessed.


In others news, I’ll be leaving for California tomorrow evening. I’m excited to go, because I havent seen the ocean in several years and I’m jonesin to get salt water up my nose and sand in my shoes.

I have made some tentative plans, as to where to go. Fiesta Island seems a popular place to meet other vehicle dwellers. So I’ll probably head over there first thing.

Then there’s Taco Tuesday at South Beach Bar and Grill. According to Google and Yelp!, it’s the place to go for tacos. Situated on the beach, with a view of the sunset, how could it be bad?

Also, I want to explore Old Town San Diego. There’s a tobacco shop called Racine and Laramie, and according to the website, it was founded in 1869! I want to find a nice pipe, for evenings in the meadow with a glass of wine, bourbon, or coffee. Some nice, handmade sandals are probably on the shopping list, as well, along with an artisan made coffee cup (for those nights with the new pipe and mornings with the elk).

Otherwise, I have a week to meander around SoCal. If I play my cards right, there will be lots of beach time.


As always, thanks for Liking, sharing and following.

~Enjoy the Life you’re living!


First things first, I have to give a great big western “THANKS, PARDNERS!” to Colorado Tire and Service. I recharged my own AC, and it still wasn’t even cool. I called and asked for a ballpark quote to replace a compressor/collector combo. $700! I was bummed. The awesome thing is that they could have simply done what I asked and billed me, but instead, they did only what it needed and billed me for that…and it’s definitely COLD.   I was expecting a $700 bill. Instead, it was $161 for the recharge. I’m grateful

Also, I picked up a hitchhiker yesterday on County Road 3. It’s relatively untraveled, and in the fifteen months that I’ve been staying up here, he’s the only pedestrian I’ve seen. (Yes. We’re remote.) He’s headed to Dallas and needed a ride to I-70. As we drove along, he offered to buy me some gas. Naturally, I declined. As we approached town, he said, “Pull into a gas station. I’m gonna get you some gas.” I said, “You really dont need to. This is where I was going anyway.” He said, “I know that, but I want to do it.” So, at his insistence, I stopped at my usual place. When we stopped, he got out, walked around to the pump and filled me up. I’m grateful.

TRUTH: We must be as open to receive as we are to give. It’s the way things work.

Having said that, I am completely unprepared for California. No trunks, shorts, t-shirts or sandals. What have I been thinking? Wait! I’ve been living on a mountain in Colorado! (I’ll trade sand fleas for tics, I suppose.) Guess I’ll hit some thrift shops when I get there and set up a new wardrobe for the week. Maybe grab a souvenir hat. Yeah?


Thanks for following, Liking and sharing.

~Enjoy the Life you’re living.


I love my life. Days are warm, the sun shines most of the time, and all of my views are like this one. Lately, I’ve been lazy getting out of bed, which is something I need to stop. (My bed is just so comfortable these mornings!)

I’ve been taking time for mindfulness, though. Each morning, I spend a few minutes listening to the sounds of the meadow. Birds, the brook, a breeze through the leaves; I let the scene impress itself onto my consciousness. Every day begins with peace. No expectations or hurry. Although I’m getting up late, I have allowed time for this.

At the moment, another trip is in the planning stage. This time to California. I have no real itinerary. Like everyone else, I’ll head straight for PCH and let Maggie drift. The trick is getting there. Leaving the mountain after work on the 22nd, I’ll drive to someplace in Nevada, then on into Cali on Friday. Before I can make the trip, though, I have to replace the AC compressor.


~Enjoy the Life you’re living.

Rain and the Arapahoe…

It rained most of the day, Tuesday, so I didnt do much shooting. The shot above is of a place along County Road 3, which leads up to the meadow I sleep in, and further on to the mill.

As I mentioned in another post, I want to explore Dillon, so I began at Arapahoe Café and Pub.

As you can see, it isnt a huge place, although there is a lower level. People told me, today, that I have to go back and do the downstairs, so look for another post in the near future.

Just let me preface everything else with the savory, spicy aromas that greet you at the door – woodsmoke, chilis, onion, and of course, meat. These redolent fragrances subtly introduce you into a small entry area, adjoining a spacious dining area. The decor is exactly what you’d expect in a Colorado mountain town – Vintage Rustic. Log cabiny, with lots of native pine. On a warmer day, the patio would have been splendid.


Forgive me. I was very hungry and forgot to get pics of my plate. (I know.) I did remember to shoot the restaurant, though. That should earn me a few make-up points. Right?

Places like this often have eclectic menus, and Arapahoe Café is no different. Offerings begin with Prince Edward Island mussels steamed in a white wine herb broth, Barbecue Cheese Fries, and other appetizers. Dinner entrées include Rocky Mountain Ruby Red Trout, Road House Meatloaf, and Tillamook Smoked Sharp Cheddar Mac N Cheese (specialty mac n cheese topped with chopped bacon and house smoked Carolina pulled pork or chopped beef brisket). The sandwich board is also broad and, although Reuben’s Reuben tempted me, I opted for Jake’s Beef Brisket Sandwich. It was big, and beefy, tasty but not dry. After trying the spicy sauce, I did end up asking for a jalapeño for a little more kick. The bun was fresh and lightly toasted. Sides were basic – coleslaw and fries. Paired this with a nice malbec, the meal was satisfying and delightful.

At this point, I should also make note of the drink menu. Arapahoe Cafe’ and Pub has a pretty good assortment of beers and ales in bottles and cans, or on tap. The wine list is small, but the malbec I had was enjoyable.

A surprising departure from the standard mountain café fare was the after dinner drink menu. Limoncello?  Yep. Tawny Port? Also a Yep. You can also get Irish coffee or Bailey’s and coffee, along with Whistle Pig Rye Whiskey.

So, if you’re in the neighborhood and looking for a good tasting, affordable meal, Check out the Arapahoe Café’ and Pub.



Thanks for stopping by.

~Enjoy the Life you’re living.

Something I wrote a couple of years ago…

it’s still my creed.

Don Barnes·Thursday, January 7, 2016

I am not better or worse, no more or less deserving, no higher or lower than anyone else.

In the universal scheme of things, I am completely insignificant. If the Lord tarries and no meteor hurtles from the depths of space to strike us into oblivion, my life will make no lasting difference. A thousand years from now, no one will remember me. I am simply a man, walking in this world because it is where I am. There is no over-riding purpose for my life. I have no destiny to fulfill. When I die, the stars will not go out. The world will not stop spinning.

This knowledge allows me to live peacefully among my fellow humans. Because I am not superior, or inferior, I must view each one as an equal. I must not eye them with my judgment, or weigh them in the balance of my personal justice. Each one is responsible for himself, before the One who made him. My duty is only to facilitate that person’s ability to draw nearer to that One.

If you, however, choose to judge and condemn me, I cannot stop you. Please, though, remember to prove your own heart before you start gathering stones.

Feeling Much Better…


It’s surprising what a difference just two weeks can make. Now that the days are noticeably longer, and I’m waking up to a little bit of light, my attitude has become so much better. Although I’m generally a pretty positive person, sunlight in the morning is a powerful booster.

Last night, I was able to get back down to the meadow and sleep. The road is some distance away, and higher up, so the sounds of passing vehicles dont reach me. Getting up was easier as I anticipated the scene that waited just outside my door. When the alarm came on, I removed the curtain and lay still, gazing at the trees that surround the place. Sitting quietly, my bare feet on Maggie’s running board, I listened to the brook and birdsong, enjoying the cool air against my skin. First time I’ve been able to do that since the autumn.


Today, I’m in a nostalgic mood. Listening to Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” has me missing the sunny 70s and California. There’s a story about Sunset Boulevard, a billboard with that album cover, and a woman in a see-through blouse, but I wont share it now. What I will say, is that I’m ready to make the trek back to PCH for a few days. The trip is slated for the last week of June. There will be pics and some video, so stay tuned.


In the meantime, I’ll be checking out Silverthorne’s next door neighbor, Dillon. It’s a little further up from the interstate, but seems to have a bit more local feel. There’s Pug Ryan’s Brewery, Arapahoe Cafe’ and Pub, along with a couple of thrift stores . I should have broadened my experience before, but winter kind of put me into a rut. Now that spring has sprung, I’m feeling more adventurous.


That’s all for today. Thanks for following. Remember the Vagabond Rules:
Dont Worry. Be Grateful. Be a Blessing.

~Enjoy the Life you’re living.