Breakfast, Parks Ranger District, Colorado

We woke up late this morning. Late by the standards of our old life. We would both have been several hours late to work and would probably have sheepishly reported the time to friends if we were asked what time we woke up. But here there is no reason not to get up late. There is a beauty in watching the morning encroach into our tiny vessel. By the time we struggled out of our wool blankets, sun was streaming through every window and the world was alive outside.

First task: Coffee water starts heating on the stove. Pull a frying pan out and stick it on the other burner of our van’s stove to make some toast. Peanut butter toast and coffee for breakfast today.

With toast in hand and our tin mugs full of bright dark coffee, we sat outside the van in our new found back yard under the warm Colorado sun. The stream running past our campsite today babbles and gurgles happily as we eat. The vista is classically Colorado: snow topped mountains in the background and wooded slopes advancing down toward us with this lush stream finding its way through the valleys and spaces between the mountains. K2, our Malamute, sits in the dust at our feet and unobtrusively, though not subtly, watches every move of the peanut butter toast. Her head moves from one of us to the other always watching the toast. There are days we hate having a dog with us. So many tasks are so difficult with her, and we are not lacking in difficult task already. But this morning, in the bright sun, with the cool bubbling sounds of the river, we love having her. My toast is done so her focus shifts entirely to Casey and she lays her head gently on Casey’s lap with dark brown eyes looking adoringly up at the toast.

A hummingbird flits around the bumper of the van, sussing out this new item in its reality. The morning is getting later, but at this moment, I don’t think there is anywhere we could possibly get to today that would be better than here. K2 is finally rewarded for her patience with the last corner of peanut better toast.

“So, what’s the plan for today?”