When I was growing up, my dad would take me backpacking. He would help me load up my frame pack. I would put on my heavy boots with thick wool socks and we would hike up into the mountains and we would camp.
But even though we'd hike along creeks and through soggy meadows and past lakes, and even though we'd make camp near the water, somehow, the water was something I tried not to get too involved with. I'd go out of my way to cross streams on log bridges or stepping stones. Go the long way around lakes to avoid soggy ground. Even when fishing -- which I only ever did a little of -- the edge of the water was a barrier to me. I was on one side. Water was on the other.
Stay dry. Stay safe.
Something has changed between then and now. The available footwear, for sure. But my attitude has changed as well. I let the water in.
Trina. Her brother Derrell. Me. Zeek and Sprocket. Hottest weather of the summer so far. A good time to be in the mountains. A good time to be near -- and in -- mountain creeks.
We hiked up the trail and then strayed from the path and waded into the cool, crystal water of the rocky canyon. Derrell with his fly rod in hand. We were packed lightly for three days and a couple nights. Which we spent hiking along creeks, tromping up creeks, splashing in creeks, reading and napping beside creeks, dunking in creeks, and fishing in creeks.
Shadowed walls of grey stone. Scent of pine and wet willow. Chime and thrum and shim of water over rocks. Green snake in grass. Prickle and tug of wild pink rosebush on shins. Tumult of fallen boulders. Bright sunshine burning to the bottom of transparent pools. Sweet tang of trail-side raspberries. Cold water creek running into warm water creek, one foot in each.
We walked the water. We did not stay dry. But we did stay safe. And cool.
Derrell seeking supper.
Ready for the fire.
"Mmm! Breakfast! Um, can someone undo my leash? Please?"