I'm sitting in our office typing this with a familiar smell permeating my nostrils. Smoke, not from a summer cook out, but from rampant fires burning throughout the west. We've been lucky in that no flames are near town, but smoke arriving from all compass points fills the valley, obscuring from view completely, the Book Cliffs only 1.5 miles distant. Combined with 65+ days of temperatures reaching over 90 degrees and scant rain, we are all ready for a change of seasons.
Exercise and outdoor recreation have been a challenge; if one isn't up and going by 6:30 or 7am, you risk heat stroke or an asthma attack. While those hours aren't overly early, they seem far fetched when one's preceding days began at 4am.
While we have been active, it has generally felt more sporadic than our personal normal. Work schedules just haven't seemed to sync up. For the duration of summer, we've only made two alpine escapes with a total of six nights in Rita the Casita. Those escapes have been blissful, however brief. Trees, creeks, cool breezes, wild flowers, time spent with friends watching sunsets and sharing beers, reliving a day's worth of activity.
Instead we've filled these doldrum days with minor, yet inevitable home tasks. Though needed and mildly satisfying, we would be lying if we claimed our to-do list shrinking was a sound replacement for days spent with knobby tires in dark, mountain dirt.
Soon we'll be making a break for it, with Rita in tow. British Columbia, with it's 1000s of technically diverse trails, and thick green vegetation, is calling. Of course we may not escape the smoke, for fire rages across much of BC, but their heat wave is maxing out around 85. Sounds delightful! Hell, we may even wake to rain thumping off Rita's skin.
I haven't had a mud caked grin following a ride in years.
|When rocks win|