I had the great fortune to receive a visit from my parents last week. We ate good food, had some great conversations, and spent a good chunk of every day outside, playing.
On the first day we kept it mellow by paddling around a local chain of lakes and soaking up the sun, with dogs as both escorts and entertainment.
On the second day we headed for the alpine with fishing rods, leaving late summer in the valley and driving up into fall in a matter of minutes.
Early on the third day I checked weather closely, knowing that only the bluest of bluebird days was going to be good enough (at this time of year) for what I had in mind. Nothing but bright sun was on tap, so we loaded up paddles, boats and lunch and left the dogs to sleep away the afternoon.
Our destination? A quiet little slice of slow moving river to transport us, ever so slowly, through a gorgeous canyon on a stunning afternoon.
Never having paddled a river before, they were justifiably nervous upon putting in. But the river was low, and it seemed the worst luck we might see on this day was grounding out and dragging our butts on the bottom. With a little instruction and a few river miles behind us, they forgot their nervousness and really seemed to enjoy watching the canyon, with all of her attendant views, history, and wildlife, come floating by.
It was a long day for all of us--lots to see, lots to wonder about, lots to process. Sleep came easily after 5+ hours out in the sun.
The next day we all felt a bit tired, so we opted to meander around the house, reading and napping in the shade most of the day, then head out for a sunset hike. I kept them on their toes by choosing a place they'd not yet seen on previous visits.
We topped the ridgeline in the last light of day, eating sammiches with root beer and ginger snaps under a crimson tinged sky.
Then we hiked down in the dark, with the city lights twinkling beneath our feet.
It was a great few days. But then, all too soon, they headed for home.
Mom, Dad--thanks so much for making the trip! Hope you had as much fun as I did showing you our little slice of earth.