May the Forest be with you, to borrow a phrase…

West Dolores River, Mavreeso CG San Juan NF

…from the coffee mugs we bought at a US Forest Service office.

Fraternal twins hug the West Dolores River about a mile apart.  Small and intimate, they invite lengthy meditation, listening to the many voices of the river, breathing in the fragrance of water and green, and watching the firs and spruces do nothing obvious at all.  Mavreeso Campground and West Dolores Campground keep a low profile among the trees in the San Juan National Forest, not far from the town of Dolores, CO.

Trails lace up the mountain slope through fir, aspen, and open benches covered with wildflowers.  The trailhead for Lower Stoner Mesa serves up an encounter with Christy sitting high on Diva and a brief conversation about trail ups and downs and getting a horse some exercise.  Forest trail lesson: who yields to whom?  Motor bikes yield to hikers and to bicyclists and we all yield to horses.  And even horses yield to the bear who has been regularly lunching in the serviceberry patches that crowd the trail.

 

Late afternoon brings out a flock of Cedar Waxwings hawking swarms of insects over the river. They start at tea-time, hawk on through the dinner hour and right up to dusk.

This treasure in the Forest seduces us to spend days connected to the real world and disconnected from the digital sphere.  Mavreeso will beckon us back each time we pour coffee into a mug…May the Forest be with you

#publiclandsworthprotecting  #sanjuannationalforest

About the Author

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I grew up and lived in the DC Metro area for most of my life. For the last 20-some years of my career, I worked for the Federal Government. Much of that time, I worked with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Forest Service. Visiting refuges and National Forests around the country, working with the folks whose jobs were to protect, restore, and manage the wild lands, forests and creatures that depend on them is where my heart resonated. I didn't know it then, but that's where my public lands advocacy must have been born. I moved from DC to southwestern NM in 2008. I continued to work until 2013, when I left the government in December. Now I spend my time volunteering for various conservation non-profits. And traveling through the west to National Parks, Refuges, National Forests and BLM lands in our little motor home. And advocating for the protection of these lands that belong to all of us. I enjoy writing, photography, reading, birding, and driving bad roads in my big-girl 2001 F150 4x4.

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