Mercurial spring weather has slowly given way to predictable sunshine that fills our trails with visitors from every compass point. Their smiles and manic speech is a reminder of how fortunate we are to live in this place and to enjoy the treasures out our door.

Shimmering white snowfields creep higher up mesas and mountains with each passing day, as their winter bounty fills creeks and rivers with torrid whitewater.

Is it inflating boats, the crescendo hiding below an approaching horizon line, or the shock of algid water that is stealing away my breath?

Another year in my life flows into the confines of memory, and in the celebration, the enigma of what I've done to deserve these friends and family gives me pause.

On the day of my birthday, Keri and I spend 10 hours riding and pushing our bikes. We did the same for eight hours the preceding day and have another five once our spot on Earth rotates to greet the rising sun.

Despite what exhaustion we feel, she pulls two oranges and cake mix from her bags to fashion a backcountry birthday cake. Our moods illuminate as a fire begins crackling and the toil of the last 45 miles vanishes with the smoke, into the wind.

My emotions of the final day soar to summits in the La Sal Mountains and plunge into the muddy Colorado River coursing through the valley at their feet. She became my life preserver in those final miles.

Burgers, onion rings, and shakes accost us. We capitulate.

Turtle toes


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