Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Where's My Tent?

Night before last, we had an unseasonal cold snap -- I awoke yesterday morning to frost on the car. By noon it was back up in the 60's. It wasn't that cold this morning.

The weird thing was, that minor little weather phenomenon evokes some very specific, very vivd memories for me. Here's why:

I'm out the door before 6 AM. At that time in the morning, especially in a small city like Springfield, it's still very quiet. This time of year, thanks to the approach of summer, the days are long, and it's already light out by that time. But it's almost never that cold. In winter, it's cold out when I leave, but it's still dark. There's one set of circumstances where I'm used to it being that cold, AND quiet, with the sun up: camping in the mountains.

Last summer The Lad was too small to camp, and the summer before that, TFR's hyperemesis got in the way. But three or four years ago, we had a chance to camp at Diamond Lake, just across the lake from Mt. Bailey. I remember the morning I awoke at dawn (not unusual even for a morning hater like me. When I camp, I wake up early, stay up late, and nap midday. It's a natural rhythm I fall into). There was a light mist hovering just above the surface of the lake, through which a flight of mallards was making its way for a landing. The sinrise was painting the glaciers and eastern slopes of Bailey a fiery, vivid pink. There was no sound except my own breath and the occasional bird.

Dang, I need to air out the camping gear.

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