Project Athena - Day 294 (Bridges)

Now That's a Bridge

Several years ago, Lara and I took a wonderful Colorado road trip to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We didn't really plan where we would go, we just got in the car and drove. We saw some amazing scenery along the way and this was one place we stopped so I could photograph this awesome arch bridge, near Leadville, CO. At the time, I did not know it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. I just knew it was a photo opportunity that would not come again for a long while.

I am pulling it from the archives today because I love this picture and also I have run out of cool looking bridges found in northern Colorado. Hope you enjoy.

Red Cliff Bridge, built in 1940 near Minturn, Colorado    Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 55mm • F/8 • 1/125s • ISO 200

Red Cliff Bridge, built in 1940 near Minturn, Colorado

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 55mm • F/8 • 1/125s • ISO 200

Project Athena - Day 293 (Bridges)

Building Bridges

Did you know that "Woodward, Inc. is the world's oldest and largest independent designer, manufacturer, and service provider of control systems and control system components (e.g. fuel pumps, engine controls, actuators, air valves, fuel nozzles, and electronics) for aircraft engines, industrial engines and turbines, power generation and mobile industrial equipment." (Wikipedia).

What I know about this company is that they have gorgeous grounds that rival some of the most beautiful arboretums in the world; back in the 60's, 70's and early 80's they required their male employees to wear military style haircuts and neckties to work; they are currently building a new mega-facility in north Fort Collins on what used to be my favorite golf course (glad to see they have not torn down the old barn and silo); they are self-insured, meaning their employees get great medical coverage with a MD on site; and they pay their bills on time.

What I didn't know is that I could actually park in the visitor area to take this picture. Thanks Lara, former Woodward, Inc employee, for the tip.

Woodward Governor, Fort Collins, CO

Project Athena - Day 292 (Bridges)

Crossing Another Bridge

I just got home from a beautiful life send off for my friend Fay. It was a beautiful Buddhist ceremony, called “Shing Kam: Pure Realm of Shambhala,” written by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. Fay, who was a Shambhala Chaplin, also shared her final teaching on practicing kindness, which was a gentle yet deeply moving message and exactly how she lived her life.

It felt great to also reconnect with friends I've not seen in awhile, to revel in the well lived life our sister Fay and to practice the kindness she wanted for us all. I am sure she is well onto her next journey by now and smiling all the way. As you cross the final bridge into where ever that may be dear Fay, know that all is well.

Poudre River Trail Bridge, Fort Collins, CO

Fujifilm X-E2 • Fuji XF18-135mm lens • 25.4mm • F18 • 1/50s • ISO 320

Project Athena - Day 291 (Bridges)

Bridge Over Changing Waters

It's winter-like again here in Colorado. Cold, windy, rain and snow mix. So, from the archives of this fall, I pulled this picture that I shot on the CU campus.

As I reflect back on the last six months since shooting this image, I feel both gratitude for all the experiences this project has brought my way and a longing in my heart for something unknown. As my wise mother shared with me last week, "life is not meant to be lived like it is a dress rehearsal. This is it. Every moment of every day is the real deal."

This truth has been having its way with me every since she spoke these words. I am seeing how I currently live my life like I am rehearsing for something to come.  I am absolutely addicted to my comfort zone and while I hear my heart begging me to break free of this, I appease myself with platitudes  like "when the time is will finally get to.....blah, blah, blah."

Underneath all that, I then feel anger, resentment, even rage for marginalizing myself. I can see now how that anger sits under the surface of almost everything I touch. Even this project, at times, has felt like I am practicing for my dream role in life and I keep it small to maintain my comfort level.

I am ready for a shift in my reality. I don't know what it's going to take to start showing up more FULLY in life but I will start with putting out a prayer for this shift to begin now along with a willingness for change. I am asking for courage to be here as I sense there may be some bridges burned in this exciting transformation.

Reflection of Bridge, CU Campus

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 46mm • F/7.1 • 1/30s • ISO 400

Project Athena - Day 290 (Bridges)

"Mile into the Wild" Walkway

I spent the day at the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg with Lara and our niece, Tasha. The mile long, raised walk way is truly incredible in terms of offering the public a birds eye view of all the habitats as well as it being non disruptive to the animal who have found sanctuary at this home.

Every time I visit this 720 acre refuge, I am more in awe of the long term vision this organization has for caring for its rescued lions, tigers, bears, and wolves. The facility itself is a testament to quality of care they give these animals. Knowing they could not add stress to the already troubled animals by allowing the public in to view their habitats at ground level, they simply chose to not allow visitors at all for many years. It wasn't until 2002 that the sanctuary was able to build this ingenious, unobtrusive observation system. The animals do not consider the sky part of their territory and could care less about all the strangers that come to see them everyday.

This innovative concept of elevated walkways and viewing decks is such a remarkable breakthrough, it is changing the way other facilities where wild animals are kept in captivity design their observations systems, protecting the dominion and freedom of the animals.

"Mile into the Wild" Walkway

Fujifilm X-E2 • Fuji XF18-135mm lens • 25.4mm • F20 • 1/75s • ISO 200

Project Athena - Day 289 (Bridges)

Shambhala Bridge

This bridge is at the Shambhala Mountain Center, home to The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya. This is one of my favorite retreat places in the Colorado Rockies. A serene valley is surrounded by  gorgeous aspen groves, rocky peaks with stunning outcrops, and aromatic pine forests. It is a lovely and safe container for expanding, contemplating and deepening in awareness. The Great Stupa is magnificent and the energy is one of welcoming all people.

When I was here last Saturday, I kept feeling the presence of my dear friend Fay, not knowing she was in the process of making her transition. But she was definitely with me as walked the land, sat in the Stupa for meditation, and soaked in the sunshine while relaxing at this wonderful mountain retreat. Fay spent time here several years ago as part of her spiritual and life path. I know she loved it here as much as I do. Thank you for the visit that day Fay. Fly free.

Shambhala Mountain Center Bridge

Fujifilm X-E2 • Fuji XF18-135mm lens • 18mm • F14 • 1/110s • ISO 200

Project Athena - Day 288 (Bridges)

Passing Over

This one is for a beloved friend, Fay. Sending you light and love dear sister as you make this transition to the light. You have been a true inspiration in my life and the lives of many. Your infectious smile and brilliant shining eyes captivated my heart from the beginning. Thank you for being you. Thank you for sharing your love with so many. Your physical presence will be missed. Your spirit will continue to be the sweet fragrance of a springtime flower and the millions of stars shining brightly in the night sky. You are loved.

Bridge in Rocky Mountain National Park

Fujifilm X-E2 • Fuji XF18-135mm lens • 27.9mm • F/20 • 1/5s • ISO 200