riding in over reservoir



The high country fades first.


The grasses on Pole Mountain turn to yellows, reds and browns.


Now the cold, wet autumn approaches.


Wool sweaters and down jackets and I even pulled out the long johns one day last week.  My fingers don’t work as well in the damp afternoons and I remain huddled longer and closer cooking over the old wood cook stove.


The aspen leaves tilt and some turn.  It’s happening.  I’m ready. Though all I have wanted to accomplish this season remains pending.  Time enough. To rush, push, get it done, and yet I know what this season does to me.  Sets me stirring. Like leaves in the wind or cold silver waters after a fresh rain. To be out there, breathing, feeling, sharp sensed, wild like a deer, uncontained… Running in the woods and riding the high country when staying home, remaining focused, keep grounded, containment becomes closer to impossible… most years.  Maybe not this one.


For now I want to be right here, where I am, doing what I’m doing.  Today.  Tomorrow is something else.



me and bob



Maybe tomorrow, for today my hands are full.


Simple living isn’t simply living.  There’s work to be done.  Beyond hauling water and splitting wood, though those things must be done too.  Days are full. Between building, books and guest ranch business. Cooking, cleaning, lighting candles, heating water in which to wash.  Writing words, peeling logs, gathering eggs, shoeing horses, hanging laundry on the line in between storms, figuring out what to feed the boys, and chasing the goose out of the road as another visitor drives away.  Would I want it any other way?  Well, sometimes, yes.  Indoor plumbing would top my list right about now.

Building.  Two more months until snowfly will more than likely shut us down for the season.  Not to say there won’t be snow before then.  Next week may bring the first of it.  I envision us shoveling off the work site, sweeping off our logs, working in heavy boots and thick gloves, watching our breath rise with the rising walls. Soon.


setting upright for ridgebeam


moving up



As the mountain releases, so do I.  The slow, certain exhale to dormancy. The big sigh of relief. For years I attributed this to making it through another season without losing a client.  I mean really losing.  As in, loss of life.  Injuries, well, that was part of it.  You’re in the mountains now.  But the pending fear of the big loss was ever present.  I lost sleep over it, but never a client.  Yes, that was a serious fear for me and a serious consideration in the outfitting business, while my clients would come in complete trust and often ignorance for which I would assume responsibility and risk.  Many folks treated a horseback ride in the high country as a walk in the park.  For me, it was their life on the back of my horse, which in turn meant their life on my back.  I took it seriously.  No, I have no intention of ever sharing the crazy stories I could tell of what my clients did, or what we did to them… suffice to say, I took my outfitters oath almost as seriously as a doctor does to her clients.  Truth is, I learned from all of them, and loved the opportunity to share my world, my time, my horses, my mountain.  And at the end of it, every time, I was glad I was done.  Hopefully with great memories, better riders, and a mountain that remained unaffected for all the hours and foot prints, both horse and human, we laid upon her.



on ute ridge looking southwest



Breaking water in the oil change pan outside the cabin that serves as the goose’s pond.  Ice most mornings now.  I await the honking of the flocks coming down river, congregating on the flats of the reservoir below Ute Creek, hoping some primordial longing to belong will call Rikki.  Friends tell me otherwise.  Get used to it, they say, you’re stuck with a goose.   I still hold hope that nature will prevail.  He will want to fly off.  I’ll let you know.  Yesterday morning was the first time a flock flew over head.  He ran to me instead.


Tonight after a dinner at the guest cabins he walks home with me and the wildly barking dog in the light of the moon.


This morning he remains on vigil, looking down at the river.  Something in him knows, stirs.  The river calls him.  Will he follow the primal voice and fly back to where he belongs?



photo by forrest



Lessons learned from looking between the horses ears.  Because sometimes I see more clearly from there than from between my ears alone.


What next?  What today? What lesson do I need to learn? Between my legs or out my kitchen window.


I used to run ‘em  in.  Made sense when I had twenty, even forty head to get in each day, brush out, pick hooves, saddle and get out on the trail.  Now I have seven. Now I can take the time. I am their leader, not their menace.


Sometimes what we’ve been looking for is right there before us.  Open your eyes, they remind me.


Between the horses’ ears.



gin on crow


riding in


Now back to work.


For those who received a complimentary copy (hard copy or pdf file) of The Last of the Living Blue,… please take a few minutes to write, post and share your review. If you need help learning how and where to post and share, please write me directly at gingetz@gmail.com. And for those who have already shared and posted reviews, and those who have written me personally to tell me your thoughts, thank you.  Most sincerely.


As for the kind words some of you have shared, I can’t say I don’t need to read those things.  I am finding myself horribly insecure with such matters right now.  The first book was more personal than I would have liked (thanks to the poking and prodding of my initial editor), and the second came out too soon for me to be able to start selling myself all over again.  I am a bit burned out on the whole process.  Though not on writing.  I am a writer.  I am not a salesman.


Now I find myself turning pages back to and through already written words, back to Ginny’s world, the world we shared and lives that tangled and intertwined in the Patagonia winds.  This book too shall come.  It begins, the time has come.  A new birthing.  It stirs, awakens, as it was meant to do.


Time for letting the grapes ripen, the wine sweeten, seasons come and go, everything in its time, no matter that I’m as bad as any one for wanting it all yesterday…




Much appreciation and gratitude to Carrie Browne for posting a lovely review of my books on her blog, The Shady Tree.  I also enjoy noting the progress Carrie has made on her poetry, photography and blog layout and design.  Her blog is a wonderful place to visit.  Enjoy!



riding home



A return to the approaching autumn.


This morning, the first elk call of the season heard across the mountain above the crazy calls of returning coyote. Tonight, hard rain on the metal roof.  And already I wonder when it will turn to the silence of snow.






butterfly 2


3 thoughts on “Full.

      • Beautiful pictures and even more beautiful, the words. Thank you for sharing. Now where exactly is this at? Our cabin is in southern colorado, but I noticed your reference to East Texas in your past, we are from Beaumont and currently live in Houston, when we don’t drive up to spend time at our real home at the cabin in the Sangre De Cristo mountains.

Thank you for your interest in Gin's writing.

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