September the Eleventh is, perhaps, a better day than most for reflection. Falling on a Saturday, yesterday, it also offered one of the last fine summer days of the year. For both reasons I took MBW and the HA out into the hinterlands, into the foothills of Mt. Hood.
The HA is spending a few days with her grandparents on the coast. Thus MBW and I have a childless weekend, unless you count the new kittens (which, soulless barbarian that I am, I don’t.) We planned to drive to Lost Lake, rent some kayaks, and paddle about with Mt. Hood in the background, casting its reflection upon the placid, mirror surface of the lake. The weather, however, had other plans.
Perhaps Idaho doesn’t spring immediately to mind as a summer vacation destination. But I had been getting a touch of cabin fever, I’d heard good things about Coeur d’alene, and it is only about a six hour drive from home. So I packed up, got MBW and the HA in the car, and we headed northeast for a mini-vacation.
I usually take a vacation around late March. This year was no exception. MBW, the HA, and I jetted off to Florida. At the recommendation of a fraternity brother, we booked a week in Destin, located on the coast in the Florida panhandle.
Another birthday approaches. That can often mean the sort of deep navel dive that requires oxygen tanks, acetylene torches, and a rescue party on stand by. What have I accomplished? What is left to accomplish? Have I reached my potential? Where did all the years go?
Not gonna do it. (Those readers of a certain age should read that sentence in the voice of Dana Carvey imitating George Bush.)
The tide of Yule is ebbing this annus horribilis. (Has the near match between annus and anus ever been more appropriate?) Good riddance, I suppose. Still, I’ve made the best of it. I hope you have as well, dear reader.
Last Monday, I packed up MBW and the HA for a road trip. I pointed the vehicle east and we headed for Yellowstone. We decided to take the journey in two stages. I’ve done eighteen and twenty hour stretches, and we could have made the trip in, perhaps, fourteen hours. But I doubted the HA would tolerate it well. So we stopped Monday night at a hotel on the Oregon/Idaho border. The HA played in the pool. Next day, bright and early, we trekked on, reaching West Yellowstone in the afternoon.
I took MBW and the HA for an excursion yesterday. We needed to shake the rust off and see new horizons. So, skirting south of Mt. Hood, then along its eastern flanks for a while, until we cut due east through a national forest, winding along a narrow road, then north to the Columbia River at The Dalles.
I understand there is some sort of kerfuffle going on in the world. People panicking, going into lockdown mode. I’ve been sitting on the beach, sipping cold beer, and listening to the waves come in. We all react to existential threats in our own way, I suppose.