Dogie : meaning ‘a motherless calf in a range herd.‘
I return to the trailhead that I discovered previously when exploring the Palatki ruins. The snow and ice is rapidly melting, creating a slippery river at the trails descent into the wild Sycamore backcountry wilderness. It’s a beautiful February day, with clouds shimmering on the horizon like hot grease on the edge of a skittle.
I move with the stealth of a ninja down into the canyon. The turquoise river is rushing below, continually carving new artwork into the red sandstone. I don’t see another living soul the whole entire time, nor beast. Only crows, hawks and the occasional vulture circling overheard.
There is something special about prolonged silence. No words were spoken, or music played for over six hours straight. It eases my mind of the stresses that come from everyday life.
I eventually exit the Dogie trail and work on a searching for a place to set up camp for the night. The open BLM land is ripe with camping opportunities as long as one is a bit adventurous. Slowly I rumble over a horse path and find a primitive spot that looks ideal for me to rest for the night.
I forgo my tent cover so that I can watch the brilliance of the night sky. The temperatures drop to below freezing, but the shooting stars and twinkling galaxy above spark wonderful memories in my brain and keep me warm throughout the night.
I get about five hours of sleep in before my mind is wide awake and ready to receive the sunrise of a new day. I see a hot air balloon rising in the distance against the morning sun of the Red Rocks in the Vortex.
It’s the most beautiful image that truly captures the spirit of this adventure fully. I completely relate to Dogie, as most days I also feel like a motherless calf in a range herd.