Postcard: Sun at last, CO

Photo by Devon O'Neil
Photo by Devon O’Neil

Even with temperatures struggling to get above zero, a bluebird day in Colorado’s high country beckons us outside — especially when the previous week delivered one long run of storms, not that there is anything wrong with that. Here, a couple of friends and I near our high point above the upper Blue River Valley.

Postcard: Frisky donkeys, USVI

Photo by Devon O'Neil
Photo by Devon O’Neil

Don’t mind the wildlife, just focus on the sun, sand and ocean. At least that’s what I told myself as I ate lunch in front of these two friendly fellows a couple of weeks ago in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Donkeys roam freely on St. John, fifth legs and all.

Postcard: Sandy Cay, British Virgin Islands

Photo by Devon O'Neil
Photo by Devon O’Neil

Kids love the beach. They might not appreciate the turquoise water, or the sailboat churning along the horizon, or the mountains looming across the Caribbean Sea a country away. But that’s why being a kid is so innocent. You get to just be and play. As an aside, it sure is hard to leave this scene and go home to minus-15 Farenheit wind chills. But kids, like adults, love snow too.

Postcard: Central Mass wildlife

Photo by Devon O'Neil
Photo by Devon O’Neil

There we were, driving down a two-lane road in lovely central Massachusetts earlier this month, when 20 wild turkeys bolted across it. Do these guys know how close we are to Thanksgiving? I wondered. Or how much it hurts to get hit by a car when you weigh 10 pounds and most of that is feathers? We didn’t stop to inquire, but I imagine both answers would be no.

Postcard: Truckee, CA ski stud

Photo by Devon O'Neil
Photo by Devon O’Neil

With all the uncertainty swirling around us this morning after Election Day, lest we not forget that life will go on, the sun will continue to rise, and ski season is headed our way. This little gem of a skimobile, captured during a quick stop in Truckee, California, two weeks ago, gives me hope.

 

Postcard: Crazy colors in an empty Wilderness

Photo by Devon O'Neil
Photo by Devon O’Neil

Don’t worry, this is the last foliage photo of the year from me. It was taken in a northern Colorado Wilderness area on September 23. After hiking in six miles to reach our campsite, we spent four days staring at this scene. It almost became mundane … until we had to leave; then it became sad and even more beautiful than it had seemed all along.

Postcard: Chores to tackle in Creede, CO

Photo by Devon O'Neil
Photo by Devon O’Neil

Fall is the shoulder season in mountain towns. But that doesn’t mean we lack things to do. Wood needs to be split and repairs must be made, all before winter arrives. Since we never know exactly when winter will arrive, this tends to create a sense of urgency. Thankfully, most days the colors above and around us help that urgency melt away like the snow will melt away, seven months from now.

Postcard: Monarch Crest colors

Photo by Devon O'Neil
Photo by Devon O’Neil

Nature is wild. Maybe that’s stating the obvious, but sometimes you have to say it anyway. It’s frickin’ crazy what colors appear as the seasons change. When we came upon this scene early on the world-renowned Monarch Crest trail outside Poncha Springs, Colorado, I stopped in my track and admired the tundra like an alien. It was hard to convince myself to stop staring and start moving again, but eventually we proceeded, down the glowing mountain.

Postcard: Heaven in an aspen grove

Photo by Devon O'Neil
Photo by Devon O’Neil

Sometimes I drool during a long mountain bike descent. I collect what I can at the bottom, maybe lick my mouth just to be sure the remnants aren’t egregious, then reflect on what caused the drool—usually some sort of physical and mental bliss on dirt. Involuntary smiling is another symptom of an awesome descent, as my old friend Ross demonstrates here in the middle of a peaking aspen grove this week.

Postcard: Bitterroot Valley, MT

Photo by Devon O'Neil
Photo by Devon O’Neil

About an hour south of Missoula in western Montana, the Bitterroot Valley provides a vast, quiet recreational paradise for those who live there. I passed through last week on assignment and got out for a sunset ride with a handful of locals. A nearby wildfire helped create the colorful sky.