2002-09-02 @ 7:40 p.m.
This is a real lake.
We did real camping, well, nearly real camping. Near Real Camping is out of a car, but via a logging road, without running water, and with or without outhouses. Quite civilized, actually. Real Camping is out of a backpack, with a minimum 3 hr hike from where you parked.
Enough with definitions.
Deuce just jumped onto the keyboard and nuzzled my face. Do you think he missed me?!?
It felt like a dream. I woke up to a see-your-breath morning. We drank coffee around a low smokey campfire and waited for the sun to appear over the mountains.
I walked out over the range, one morning, across cattleguards and through stands of cottonwood. A pair of red-tailed hawks wheeled and screamed above.
The next morning we fished. Flick, whiiiiirrrrrr, sploosh, ticka-ticka-ticka.
One particularly rum-laced evening I romped with the dogs in the field. The frisbee was barely discernable in the mild campfire light. Tug-of-War and Keep Away, running, chasing, rolling in the dusty grass. Mac and I got along great. We returned to the campfire (out of breath, of course), and snuggled next to the flames. Mac's owner gave me her leash and told me to keep her in my tent that night. I think they had an ulterior motive, what with a 5 year old an a toddler already in that camper...
Mac and I slept back-to-back until daybreak.
Each evening, when the sun was one hand from going behind the mountains, I'd hike down to the lake to a rocky peninsula and dive into the green water. Frogs would scatter on the shore when my wake splashed into the reeds. Eyes wide to the green stumps below, I pulled the cool water around me. Alone on the shore, with the sun now two fingers from the mountain ridge, I would comb my hair to dryness in the evergreen breeze. I untangled it and watched the golden sunlight shine it dry.
Juniper wafts from the peninsula. The poetry is here.
It is so quiet that I thought the distant hum was the highway. "No, that's the mosquitoes."
We sat in a diner in Hope this morning. Rain fell, as rain always does in Hope, and we ran through the parking lot. Right then, I blinked out a raindrop and laughed.