A Ford Explorer packed to the max with food, layers, camping gear, firewood, and four friends. We drove an hour over rutted, washboard dirt roads and arrived at our destination with no one else present. We set up camp and started fishing before the sun disappeared below the western hills. Shorts and t-shirts transformed to pants, sweaters, socks, hats, and jackets via some numb toes. We enjoyed fish tacos for dinner with a fresh cutthroat trout and some vegetables and string cheese scrounged from the dining hall after a meaningful thank-you circle and some quotes read from the one and only Henry David Thoreau … We collected pitch to help start a campfire, which hardly warmed the dry, cold air. The full moon rose over the eastern hills eliminating the need for headlamps. Two great horned owls called reflectively across the lake and the clarity and dryness of the atmosphere sucked any remnant of a warm day into space. I wore long johns, wool socks, a wool shirt, wool sweater, insulated vest, down jacket, and hat inside my 25 degree sleeping bag with fleece liner and still shivered until the wee hours of the morning. As soon as the sun rose, the warmth of the day returned as did our passion for the lake and the fish within. We ate a breakfast of eggs, baked beans, and homemade sourdough bread while shedding the layers of the night until we all sat again in our base layers of long pants and long sleeve shirts. A butterfly visited our gathering and paid homage to the warming sun and the grateful atmosphere.

Butterfly

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