Mountain Mama Redux

My first blog, Many Rivers To Cross, started out as a travel blog and eventually morphed into a nature blog. I was so afraid of being online that I used mountain mama for my identity. Eventually I became more comfortable and open about who I am. What you see is what you get now, both online and in real life. I’m me in many forms and incarnations. I continue to love spending time in the mountains and taking nature shots. I’m a city girl gone wild.


What you gonna do when you get out of jail?

I’m gonna have some fun

What do you consider fun?

Fun, natural fun ~ Tom Tom Club


I got my first 4 wheeler/ATV/quad twelve years ago when I was 50. I’ll never forget it. I was at a pot luck with friends and announced with great enthusiasm, “We bought four wheelers today!” I was met with dead silence and cold stares. It didn’t occur to me that my horse-lovin’, back-packing’, tree-huggin’ friends might not approve of motorized vehicles. No worries. We’re responsible riders and don’t go tearing things up.


My husband has been riding motorcycles in the Big Horn Mountains since he was a kid. His entire family has bikes. His mom started riding her four wheeler at 60. It’s a great way to get into the mountains and it’s way better than bumping along over rocks and potholes in a pickup truck.


Thunder, lightening, hail and torrents of rain. That’s been our weather pattern for the last month or so here in Big Wonderful Wyoming. The grass is emerald green and lush in the valley. The snow on the roads finally melted enough for us to get our camper up in the mountains so we went camping over the weekend.




We loaded up everything on Saturday. My husband took off with our two dogs, pulling the camper with our diesel truck over Dayton Cane. I waited a bit and hopped on my bike to go meet them, using the Red Grade road which is not suitable for campers. The sky looked ominous but I was ready for an adventure come rain or shine!


There was a brief shower on the way up but after that it was smooth sailing. I took my time to enjoy the magnificent scenery, the new crop of wildflowers and fresh air. I loved cruising through the mountains and taking even more nature pictures. Being on my bike gives me a sense of joy and freedom that I never anticipated when I started riding.




It rained Saturday night but we were snug and warm. The next morning we took a walk. Everything was gleaming in the sunlight.




I love nature. I’m astonished when people say that they don’t really enjoy being in nature. How is that even possible? As a child I missed out on outdoor experiences, maybe I’m making up for it now. The earth has so many gifts to offer us, so much beauty, tender and raw. I love the open spaces, the meadows full of flowers, the running water. Nature helps me align spiritually and acts as an energetic guide throughout the year.


The word “wild” is popular right now. There’s Wild, the book by Cheryl Strayed, Mary Oliver’s question about your “one wild and precious life” and stories about undomesticated, untamed, women told by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Thankfully there are still wild places. The mountains hold ancient power. They sing a song of summer with gifts of color and life. Wildlife is abundant:  there are antelope, deer, moose, fish, birds and wolves.


Recently, I was reminded of my wilder, younger days, those days when I was more reckless. I considered a few things I didn’t accomplish. I’m not a blues piano player. I don’t speak French or Spanish fluently. I’m not as bohemian as I thought I’d be. I chose the well-travelled road of a traditional wife and mother. That, I don’t regret. Now I take calculated risks. I’m loving these wild days, on my bike, feeling bold, with the wind in my face.



  1. Gaelyn on June 11, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    Although I’m not overly fond of the noise of ATVs I can see having some fun on the back roads with it. I’d just shrivel up and die without nature. Glad you got the camper out.
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    • Loran Hills on June 12, 2015 at 8:23 am

      I’m not fond of the noise, either, but I tolerate it. I’m glad we got the camper out, too, Gaelyn!

  2. Sandra Pawula on June 12, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Loran, I loved learning about this new fact of you! I’m thankful too that there are still wild places even on this little Big Island. Keep enjoying your bliss.
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    • Loran Hills on June 12, 2015 at 7:59 pm

      Sandra, may we keep the wild places wild!

  3. Kathryn Mensah on June 25, 2015 at 11:21 am

    I love that you used the Tom Tom Club lyric! I put a big smile on my face and brought back many joyous memories. I really miss being able to be in the mountains. My heart and soul are in the mountains. I finally can exhale (both figuratively and literally there). I am home there. Thanks so much for allowing me to live vicariously through you as you enjoy the bliss of Nature.

    • Loran Hills on June 25, 2015 at 11:41 am

      It’s great lyrics! You’d love these mountains – they are just spectacular.

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