The Second Trip
Copyright - 1998 - Les Doll - All rights reserved
We are into mid June and the camping season is well upon us. In these Northern latitudes, the seasons leap into existance. There is no real transition between too cold to go, and just right to go. It goes from day to day. Yesterday was warm, almost hot, today is undecided as of yet, but the bright morning sun promises another beautiful day.
Although we are totally enchanted by the sunshine and the warm breeze, we are aware of the harshness of this environment. Winter coats, rain gear, long undies, and a little dry firewood are stowed in the hidden recesses of the van. We have been lulled, by the enticements of June, only to be stung by the varying moods of May. This is the high country, and all comers beware!
Our camp is situated to take advantage of the morning sun, the chill mountain air is dissipated by the arrival of Ol' Sol. The aspen and poplar groves will shade us at noon, almost as if it was somehow planned that way.
We are alone in this alpine setting.
Miles of rutted trail and overgrowth have left their marks on the dusty sides of our van, but the solitude of this place is well worth the blemishes on the paint job. Our memories are etched into the fading paint of this old van. That dent happened on the trip to Lost Horse Lake, while this scrape tells of our brush with a low hanging branch on the trip to Badger Lake. The rust spots and the scratched bumpers are fond reminders of good times well spent.
We are blessed this year with a new addition to our private campfire circle - her name is Lucy, and she is 30 pounds of sheer "get up and go", "get down and get dirty", and "let's go and do SOMETHING", energy. It is now four in the morning, and Lucy NEEDS to go out !
Meet Lucy - she's a six month old border collie, and if she was equipped with wings, she would be halfway to Mexico and back, while I struggle with my shoe laces in the darkness of a pre dawn June morning. Of course, our van is equipped with modern conveniences, such as 12 volt electric lamps, but I hesitate to blast this exquisite moment with artificial light. The sun is just barely hinting at the arrival of another perfect morning, and my lady is still abed.
It takes the ultimate in dog training skills, to keep a young border collie under control, while groping around in the duffel bags for a fresh pair of socks.
After several minuets of fruitless searching, I realize that since I already have my shoes on, finding a pair of socks would necessitate the removal of said shoes. Therefor, I proceed with my original plan of walking the dog, without making unnecessary noise in the process.
Now, our van is equipped with a large sliding door that weighs about 4 tons. Due to lack of time, the sliding mechanism on this door did not receive the scheduled lubrication that it is entitled to. Knowing that the unearthly screech of this mechanism would disturb the slumber of my sleeping beauty, I devise another means of egress.
Fortunately, our van has an aisle between the front seats, so that if one was so inclined, they could come up from the rear of the van, through the aisle between the seats and exit out one of the passenger doors. Since the dog is now in a semi-agitated state, I decide that this would be the best course of action.
Unfortunately, the storage space in our van is quite limited. Most of the excess gear, consisting of cooking pots and pans, lawn chairs, badminton rackets and fishing rods, are temporarily stored in the drivers area, while we are retired for the night. Undaunted by this pile and risking a fish hook in the belly, I strive to transport both myself and my faithful dog, to the great outdoors that yonder beacons.
After some minor clattering and banging, a small avenue of escape appears amid the gear. I glance back at my beloved, noting how peaceful she is in her sleep, although one eye seems to be open and glaring at me. It's probably the dim light, so I ignore the daggers that are flying my way.
Finally, and now with a near frantic dog at my heels, I escape to the frisky air of a June morning in the high plateaus of this amazing country. Lucy does not pause to admire the scenery, she does her business in a matter of fact way, sniffs at the van door and waits to be let in.
Giving up, I grind open the door, let the dog in, and settle back into my now chilly sleeping bag.
My coffee is piping hot, just the way I like it. Both my girls are up and around, one stirring the coals of a smoky campfire, the other wagging her tail. Each one is smiling at my disheveled appearance and a glance in the rearview mirror tells me why !
Love abounds in this little Eden.
The saga continues ... to follow along this trail, click here!