Midsummer heat has arrived on the Colorado Plateau. A bit more than needed down in the desert, just about right up in the hills. Give that heat a few weeks to build momentum and you eventually arrive at monsoons.
Not quite there, now, but each afternoon the cumulonimbus get bigger and the thrumbles start earlier. Any day now they'll let loose. A typical summer will see them last several weeks before the cycle breaks and the wheels come off.
You can plan around them to a point. If you hope to recreate at or above timberline, and you value your corporeal self in it's current (upright, breathing) state, you do everything in your power to get up early and get down before they've started.
As we often do, we spent the past weekend 'getting high' as early as we could, savoring it for as long as we could, then beating feet below treeline and even to the valley floor to safely savor life down there. Only to repeat the whole thing the next morning.
The scenery down low is nothing to sneeze at. Given that we spend so much of our time in the valleys and deserts, we simply ache for the rarity and immensity of the thin air above the trees.
I'll take a stab and guess, based on 47 years of experience with all sorts of humanity, that Jeny feels this ache more acutely than most.
Thus as the week winds down I endeavor to get us within striking distance, to a place that we can camp safely and contentedly, with nearby access to trails that aren't too steep, or crowded, or distant. A very delicate balance, that.
If I've done my job well there will also be a navigable, engaging stream running through a nearby valley. This gets harder and harder as the season advances -- the water just runs out.
Last weekend all of these things came together, coalesced to form experiences and memories that by any definition can only be thought of as good. In our lexicon you might even say perfect.
May it ever be so.
Thanks for checkin' in.