elevate yo’self

Hey! You know, being back in civilisation isn’t so bad after all. I’ve just had a beautiful day full of lovely encounters and am feeling blessed.

Each Sunday, Durango fairground hosts a really great flea market from 7am – 3pm. I headed down there today intending to find Dina & Art Martinez, an endearing Navajo/Ute couple who make beautiful ceremonial jewellery and costumes. Last week when Turid and John were visiting, we had a long chat with the couple and I bought a gorgeous choker/hat tie (for my cowgirl hat!). They wear all their creations during sacred dances and ceremonies before they sell them, so they tell me they are blessed. As I was departing, Art came up to me and gifted me with one of their gorgeous handmade necklace that had been purchased some time ago by girl who wore it on a grand adventure around Europe before trading it back for another one of their pieces. The Native Americans have important trading customs and their pieces are worth more in value if they’ve returned to them with a story to tell. I was so touched by the gift I had tears in my eyes, and am in the process of providing the necklace with more stories myself.

Sadly last week I didn’t get a photo of the couple themselves, but Turid did capture one of me with their handsome hound. Today my intention was to spend some time with them, buy some gifts for my family and grab a snap of them, but was sad to find their stall wasn’t present this time.

So! I took my time to look around the rest of the market and came upon a smart looking stall with a sharply dressed young man behind the counter. The Elevate Hammock Company! I believe I actually slept in one of these hammocks on my river trip, and had also been very temped to buy one in Durango Outdoor Exchange a few weeks ago and so was happy to see the stall. As it turns out, the sharply dressed young man, Greyson Juggren, is in fact the owner of the company… At only 21 years old! I love love love meeting proactive young folk and so it was a total delight to hear the passion and enthusiasm he has for his venture and I must say I would be mightily impressed with the design, branding, ethos etc even if it belonged to a big-name company, but the fact that it’s coming from someone so young and obviously talented just ticks all the boxes for me even more. The hammocks are super comfy, lightweight and compact, but the best thing is that for every hammock sold, the company will plant two trees in a village in the developing world. That means you’ll not only be at one with nature swinging in the trees loving life, but also doing your bit to help give back to nature too! Greyson, it was a pleasure to meet you and I think we should all head out for that hike together soon. I know what is definitely getting a spot in my luggage home! I really do love taking the time to talk to people and hearing their stories.


Next stop was Earth Girl Goodies, a great vegan cafe not far from home. I had an extremely nourishing and delicious rice bowl full of fresh ingredients and a big green smoothie.

I was loving life out in the cafe garden writing in my diary about the hammock company, with the sweet sweet border collie Piper by my side when I struck up conversation with another really cool young gentleman! Chris has just been to The Sweaty Buddha hot yoga class and was stopping in for a smoothie himself . We shared stories for a while, and he has successfully managed to persuade me to join a yoga class tomorrow morning (might do all those muscles I worked during the last pack trip some good). Anyway, it turns out we have a mutual acquaintance in modern day shaman Stacey Couch (www.wildgratitude.com), and a love of nature in common too. As I was leaving, Chris came back over and told me to wait right there as he had a present for me… He ran to his car and came back with a (once again very well branded) delightful looking bar of dark chocolate. He and his brother have set up their own chocolate company and sell their products with high quality retailers in the area! The Ballantine Brothers produce unusual and utterly devine (yep, already finished the bar) organic, vegan, non-GMO artisan chocolate that I can’t wait to try more of. A very cool surprise…another proactive, ambitious and interesting young person. Such a treat to have met you too Chris and I’m ready to get my yoga on tomorrow!


The point of all this rambling is to emphasise how absolutely important it is to take the time to talk to people! Life always seems to introduce you to the sort of people you need in your life, but you have to be open to it and willing to share your stories too. Life is for sharing, and many doors can open through chance encounters like these.

Happy talking! Xx

P.s ….check the hammock company’s mission statement: “Our mission is to inspire, to encourage, and to enable. We are determined to getting people outside and adventuring. We want people to think differently about going outside. We want people to adventure as a form of therapy, as a way to slow down and reflect, as a way to get away from it all.”

Then check the chocolate company’s: “a health food company that takes you on good-for-you food aventure”

See! It’s all about the adventure 😉

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