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barnburner
03-22-2011, 02:38 PM
Note: This is a two part story. Because this chapter exceeds the forum character limit, the second half of the story, and it's painting, are posted here:
http://barnburner1946.deviantart.com/#/d3c6kyu

Paradise Found
As Sean and Mariksa draw nearer hour by hour, the Mountains lose their shadows, and become more of a majestic spectacle. Their spectacular beauty becomes hypnotic. Gone is the constant vigilance they have practiced as they crossed the country. A band of hostile Indians, or a group of Outlaws would have had easy pickings, because these two find it almost impossible to tear their eyes away from the awesome beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Before they left the Arapaho Village, Tadu had given Sean and Mariska a piece of very valuable advice. “Autumn is almost upon us. You will not have time to both hunt enough food for winter, and, build your cabin before winter. I will draw you a map to a cave that will make a good place for you to live this winter, allowing you to concentrate on building up your food supply. While you are hunting, you will be able to find the spot you want to build your cabin, and then can start on it next Spring.”
Tadu's map has led them into the mountains, and then eventually to the cave of which he spoke. It was indeed a perfect match for their immediate needs. Unless a passing traveler in that area, made a quick dogleg to the right after passing the red Butte, they would never even know this cave existed. It sat on the other side of a small river fed by a waterfall that kept the cave hidden from easy detection. A trail led right behind the waterfall, and into the cave itself. There they would be protected from the bitter winds of winter that Tadu had warned them about, and even without a fire, would be considerably warmer than being outside. An unexpected bonus, was that it was much deeper than Sean had expected. This would allow Sean to drag the wood for their fires, into the cave for storage where it would stay dry, making it unnecessary to go out into the bad weather for firewood.
As Mariska began loosening the straps on some of the supplies in the wagon, she asked, “Sean, when can we go up in the mountains and get a good look from really high up?” Checking the position of the sun in the sky, Sean answered, “If we get everything unloaded and into the cave fairly quickly, we should have time to get a good look this afternoon.” With both of them eager to get their first good look at this country that they have dreamed about for so long, they turned to their tasks with renewed energy, and soon were headed up into the high lonesome. A couple of hours later, they found themselves atop a spot that offered a magnificent view. As they sat on the edge of this lofty precipice, Sean put his arm around Mariska, and they just allowed themselves to soak in the indescribable panorama of the river, the waterfall, and the mountain ranges that seemed to go on forever. The remainder of the afternoon passed with very few words passing between them, for no words were necessary, or, even adequate in this instance. Finally, as evening was passing, Sean broke the silence. “Wife of Mine, what would be your pleasure? Do you want to leave now so that we can get back to our cave before dark, or, do you choose to watch the sunset, and stay the night on the mountain before going back in the morning?” Mariska's answer did not surprise Sean in the least, “Mr. Eaton, did you even for a moment consider the idea that I would walk away from seeing this sunset on our first day in our new homeland? Just find us a safe place to sleep tonight. I'd prefer not to roll over in my sleep and fall off the side of the mountain.” “Just as I expected,” said Sean. “I've already spotted the very place. It will only be a two minute walk from this very spot.” Together they shared this special sunset, and then spent a very long, and very chilly night in the mountains, for they had not realized just how cold it would be at night at their elevation, which Sean estimated to be between eight and ten thousand feet.
As the next morning arrived, and as soon as there was enough light to make walking safe, they headed back down to their cave. Once there, a fire was quickly started, providing badly needed warmth, and a hot breakfast. As Mariska poured Sean a cup of steaming coffee, Sean said, “After breakfast, why don't you catch a nap. Neither of us got more than a few minutes sleep in that cold, and you could use the rest.” “I certainly could,” replied Mariska, “but, I can see that my husband has no intention of following his own advice. Therefore, neither will I. When did I become weak and helpless? Have I not carried my own weight across this big country of ours? I will do the same in our new land. So, finish your coffee, and let's get busy. We can both sleep tonight.”
Laughing, Sean countered, “Just as I expected... OK, You can get all our gear organized in the cave, so we will know where everything is at, even in the dark. Meanwhile, I will build a corral in the back of our cave, where our horses and mules can stay safe from the elements, and wild animals. Once that's done, maybe you can see if you can catch some fish out of the river for supper, while I take one of the mules and start dragging wood into the cave to build up our firewood supply.”
And with those tasks, began the start of daily life for Sean and Mariska Eaton in the long awaited homeland of Colorado.


NOTE: I want to thank everyone that has taken time to read my story. It's the first time I've ever done anything like this, and I remain delighted that someone would want to read what I've written. A special thanks to all those people, and you know who you are, that have offered so much support during this process. I cannot begin to express just how much it has mean to me.
As soon as I give the book one more proof read, and touch up a couple of paintings, I will upload it to a file sharing site in pdf format.
I will then post the link in the Chat Forum for anyone that might want to download it.
Thanks again!

Alexandra
03-22-2011, 04:37 PM
Oh Mike, I hate to see this story come to an end! Great work my dear friend!

D Akey
03-22-2011, 08:47 PM
Yeah, Barnburner, I would love to be able to download it and take it in since it was already well underway when I came back to the forums.

Can't wait!

AT-TA
03-22-2011, 09:52 PM
Barney, i too hate to see it finished....Lovely and sensitive story with traces of american history... I learned a lot, imagined myself beeing Mariska,;) like i would get scared of coyotes, listening to them hauling at night, cougars and bears...it must have been hard for women but most of them stayed beautiful till the end of their lives....because hardship molded them into fine and kind people.
And congratulation to your "first book", i know you will try again.And this last picture is gorgeous... the water almost immaculate....beautifully done.:)

Caesar
03-22-2011, 10:22 PM
Thank You, dear Barnburner for taking us with You on this adventurous trip to the west and across your world and mind in a way.
We're over the top now with You to admire the ineffable beauty of this landscape on Your painting and to nostalgically wave ou hands and say our farewell to the Eatons.
We'll miss them, but .... never say never ... ;):D

mannafig
03-23-2011, 01:08 AM
Congratulations on this final part dear Barn it has been a real delight to read.:):)
and now I can read it all again in one sitting:D
Thank you so much for sharing this:):)

barnburner
03-23-2011, 01:09 AM
Oh Mike, I hate to see this story come to an end! Great work my dear friend!

Thanks Sandy. I am excited to have finished it, so that I can put it together in book form. Yet having put so much into this project, there is a bit of sadness within me that it's finished, if that makes any sense.. :)
Thanks for all your encouragement. Truly appreciated my dear friend. :):)

barnburner
03-23-2011, 01:11 AM
Yeah, Barnburner, I would love to be able to download it and take it in since it was already well underway when I came back to the forums.

Can't wait!

I am delighted that you wish to read the entire story. I, along with my wife, have done a couple of proof reads already, so I hope to have it ready for download
before the week is up. Thank you very much. :):)

barnburner
03-23-2011, 01:16 AM
Barney, i too hate to see it finished....Lovely and sensitive story with traces of american history... I learned a lot, imagined myself beeing Mariska,;) like i would get scared of coyotes, listening to them hauling at night, cougars and bears...it must have been hard for women but most of them stayed beautiful till the end of their lives....because hardship molded them into fine and kind people.
And congratulation to your "first book", i know you will try again.And this last picture is gorgeous... the water almost immaculate....beautifully done.:)

AT, I am touched that you found so much of value in my story. Thanks for your kind comments on that last painting. I wanted to end the book with a really good painting, and I must admit, I was happy with how this one turned out. That waterfall took several versions before I felt comfortable with it.
Thank you.:):)

barnburner
03-23-2011, 01:19 AM
Thank You, dear Barnburner for taking us with You on this adventurous trip to the west and across your world and mind in a way.
We're over the top now with You to admire the ineffable beauty of this landscape on Your painting and to nostalgically wave ou hands and say our farewell to the Eatons.
We'll miss them, but .... never say never ... ;):D

Caesar, I am so glad that you enjoyed this little trip that we have all taken together. I truly appreciate your comments along the way. Thanks so much.
and...as you say...never say never... :D:):)

barnburner
03-23-2011, 01:23 AM
Congratulations on this final part dear Barn it has been a real delight to read.:):)
and now I can read it all again in one sitting:D
Thank you so much for sharing this:):)

Thank you so much Amanda...
Actually, the only reason I wrote this book was to give you a reason to paint the cover painting.... :D:D:D:)
LOL....
Thanks for all your kind comments along the way and your advice on doing portraits. Truly appreciated! :):)

pat1940
03-23-2011, 05:50 AM
My dear Barney, I feel that I am losing a friend, if that makes any sense, it has been such a joy to read your wonderful story,( will be downloading it) you must feel a little sad that it has come to an end, but knowing you just through AR I bet you come up with another great story, congradulations on your completion:D:D:D

coops
03-23-2011, 08:16 AM
This has been such a grand adventure for us as well as Sean and Mariksa and I for one and sorry that is has come to an end albeit a happy ending. Well done Barnburner for such a wonderful and exciting story with brilliant pictures:)

barnburner
03-23-2011, 09:07 AM
My dear Barney, I feel that I am losing a friend, if that makes any sense, it has been such a joy to read your wonderful story,( will be downloading it) you must feel a little sad that it has come to an end, but knowing you just through AR I bet you come up with another great story, congradulations on your completion:D:D:D

It makes perfect sense to me..since I sort of feel the same now that it's finished. I'm touched that you enjoyed my story that much.
Actually, I suspect I will do another story. This was a great learning experience, and I truly enjoyed doing it. Thanks for your support Pat. Very much appreciated! :):)

barnburner
03-23-2011, 09:09 AM
This has been such a grand adventure for us as well as Sean and Mariksa and I for one and sorry that is has come to an end albeit a happy ending. Well done Barnburner for such a wonderful and exciting story with brilliant pictures:)

Katie, I can't tell you how happy I am that you have enjoyed this little journey across the American West in the 19th century. I dearly appreciate your support and your wonderful comments along the way.
Thank you so much! :):)

semd74
03-23-2011, 07:01 PM
Thanks for sharing your story and painting illustrations...really hate to see it come to an end

barnburner
03-24-2011, 01:21 AM
Thanks for sharing your story and painting illustrations...really hate to see it come to an end

Thanks Steve.. I truly appreciate that. It has been huge challenge, a great learning experience, and a lot of fun.
I sort of hated to see it end also, but now that I have finally stepped in it, I probably will do another. :):)

javier
03-25-2011, 11:40 PM
Well every story touches your order. Great work