(Painting by Patty Baker)
I haven't been too much in the mood to post this week. A favorite uncle died last Sunday and I've been grieving. Both my uncles kindly took the place of my own father who died when I was just two years old. So, Uncle Jim's passing represents a lot to me. I had to think about things.
A younger coworker and I had been making plans all week for an overnight hike at the top of Adobe Peak. The idea was mentioned in a previous post and involved merely driving to the upper trailhead, camping the night, and then hiking down the Lewis Creek trail. We'd drive back to get the other car this morning after an easy 6 mile hike downhill, could enjoy the aspens and each other's company without killing ourselves on any uphill climbs. (Neither of us is in that great of shape - the Lewis Creek trail gains 1100 ft in the first 2 miles, then 1000 ft in the next mile).
Well what really happened is that when we arrived around 4 pm at the top it was raining, sleeting, and hailing. National Weather Service was wrong, wrong, wrong. The wind was blowing and lightening was striking all around us. The lightening strikes were giving off a strange glow which I'd never seen before. We sat in the car figuring to just wait out the worst of it, dug out Traci's Nalprene flask of Capt. Morgan's spiced rum, and talked about all sorts of things. At one point the sleet let up enough to venture out and gather firewood but as soon as we'd found some dry stuff it started to pour again. And from the looks of how the clouds were honkering in it didn't seem to be quite the night of camping out that we had envisioned.
We thought to drive down into Westcliffe and maybe set up the tent around Lake DeWeese instead. I drove down the mountain in 4 wheel, the lightening striking all around, the hail gathered in banks, the jeep slipping and sliding. We'd put the flask away and had maybe sipped about 1/2 cup of it all in all between the two of us. Drove into Westcliffe where Traci astutely pointed out the "DUI Checkpoint" sign that was set up on Main Street. So, thinking that I'd rather not find out what my BAL was at that point and under those circumstances I turned left down a side road and just drove back to Wetmore.
And that was that. This morning I've been working on a bushel of beautiful sweet red peppers.
Half a bushel were frozen and half are being dried...
Now, Jerry has just offered to do a Sunday afternoon hike up the Middle Hardscrabble Creek with me. He's doing it just for me because I really wanted to do something other than sit in the car last night with Capt. Morgan.