Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Lucy and Ricky Go On A Picnic

It may be fall, it may be chilly out but it is still a great time to go on a picnic. Since Kevin and I both work with the public, getting out in the hills and enjoying nature is our mental refresher and since the wilderness is practically in our backyard, it doesn't take much to get there.

Unless you take me along.

I had Sunday and Monday off so Kevin and I went into the hills for a ride and a tailgate picnic. Sunday was actually quite beautiful out, the weatherman had predicted a snowstorm for the weekend but he was a bit early on that guess.
Getting to our destination would normally take about a half an hour and as we were heading westward, thoughts of hot chocolate with soft, bobbing marshmallows and roasted hot dogs danced through my head. We hadn't managed to squeeze in a camping trip last summer due to other pressing needs so this was as close to camping as I was going to get, until next year. In my mind I could feel the sunshine on my face, I feel the crunch of that hot, campy-tasting hot dog....HOT DOGS!!!! "Oh my gosh, Kevin, I forgot the HOT
!!". Kevin kept on driving, never changing the expression on his face, not a peep, not a word except for a simple clearing of the throat. I sheepishly pulled my coat up from my knees and tried to cover my face, maybe I could just disappear. This whole adventure centered on my wish to go out and have a tailgate picnic, those hot dogs being the main reason for going.
Finally, Kevin looked over at me after I had squeeked in a teeny-tiny voice, another "ican'tbelieveIdidthat", "Do we have to have hot dogs? We have the marshmallows, you know, and we could probably find some grubs or worms or something..?" Of course I replied with, "Honey, this whole picnic was all about having those hot dogs and all I'm gonna think about is NOT having those hot dogs". Kevin drove on and soon we turned into Twin Lakes Resort. Oh you sweetheart! You're going to stop and get my hot dogs at the little store there. The parking lot was empty, the sport shop was all locked up and dark and the sign at the gate said the store was closed.
My dear and darling knight in shining armor said, "Well, we'll just go back down the road a bit and stop at the little quick mart". You know the kind, the last stop store that charges a house payment for a gallon of milk.
In a twenty minute turnaround, I had my hot dogs. I was a happy camper.
And no grubs.
We enjoyed a leisurely drive up the mountain side, some leftover snow from the last storm blanketed the north and west sides, white fir branches bowed to the ground, loaded with the white powder. Sunlight streaked through stands of an old forest fire and a Stellars' jay whizzed past my window. At the crest of one winding dirt road we could look back over Wickiup Reservoir off to the southeast, there was lots of room to get out and explore while sitting in the sun so we parked the truck there.
We wandered through the manzanita brush, savoring the fresh air full of ponderosa, white fir, noble fir and manzanita. Kevin and I both jumped out, each of us wandering off in a different direction just to enjoy a few moments of peace alone. I was hunting for some manzanita branches
for the house to decorate with, I brought home a dead one. Okay, it's going to be spray painted white for Christmas ornaments or something. A few minutes later we pulled down the tailgate, Kevin pumped up the camp stove and fixed up two steaming cups of hot chocolate, with bobbing marshmallows and my fantasy hot dogs soon followed. Shortly after that we put everything away and ambled back down the mountain.
And then! I spied this rock that looked like the Washington monument. We brought that home, too. But it took Kevin hooking up the winch to yank it out of the ground. Poor Kevin, most men get wives who shop till they drop. Kevin gets one who brings all the outdoors back home, lol!