I’ve died and gone to heaven!
That’s the thought going through my mind as I drive into Coyote Creek State Park. I park out of the way and hurry to open the side door of the PTV. The crew wants out! Bridget and Spike scramble to the ground to stand amazed at this new world.
We are in a small valley of green.
Against a mountain backdrop, in the foreground to the left, black cows graze behind a stand of aspens. To the right a soft meadow awaits. I want to see Coyote Creek. We walk past the campsite area (only one other camper is here!) to find the creek flowing unapologetically across the gravel and stone road that leads to the group shelter on the other side. We follow the creek downstream to stand over it on a small bridge.
Spike, of course, has to go down the bank and stand in the flowing water.
All at once I’m aware . . . the scent of the woodland, the freshness of the air, the wildflowers all around, the evergreens on the steep hill, the round stones of the creek bed, the sound of the creek . . . everything vividly reminds me of happy explorations of the woods and streams around my childhood home which I haven’t seen in over 45 years.
I briefly think back to my recent five-days-a-week-at-a-job-I-despise life. I remember the many times I looked wistfully at photos of places like the one I’m now standing in, and promised myself: someday, someday!
What an exquisite and peaceful place this is!
Suddenly I’m overtaken with emotion. I rest my forehead in my arms on the railing, look down at the stream through the supports, and break into sobs.
I’m not talking only about the seven years of planning that I’ve written about in previous entries on this blog. I mean my entire life.
“We finally made it! We’re here!”
Tears streaming down my face I let the crew pull me along the creek bank.
Spike is energized, quickly moving from one new scent to another. Bridget is fascinated by the moving water.
I forget my emotions and marvel at the beaver dam that slows the creek into a deep pool.
Reeds grow along the opposite bank, and tree branches dip low, as if bending down for a drink.
We cross the meadow on our way back to the PTV and the Casita.
I heave the crew into the PTV, pick out a campsite on the end, and back in. I check the bubble levels . . . perfectly level! I move the crew to the Casita, chock the wheels, and complete the hook-ups.
It’s about 12:30 and I’m getting hungry. I cook up a batch of beans with tomatoes and green chilies to pour over rice (my mainstay recipe these days!). I get the exercise pen out of the PTV and set it up around the picnic table. I eat my lunch with Bridget and Spike at my feet under the table, while enjoying the beautiful view of the field and mountain before me.
The crew is excited to take another walk. We investigate the black cows and follow a short trail in the woods. The creek lures us back for more discoveries.
Spike dives into the reeds.
In the meadow he frantically digs toward an underground creature, until I give a strong pull on his leash. Bridget does some cute, scampering moves across the soft grass. We get back to the Casita and I look at the crew.
Bridget’s paws are perfectly white and pristine clean. Spike, on the other hand, is covered in black mud halfway up his legs.
He looks up at me. His snout is smudged with black dirt. I laugh out loud.
“Spikey! You’re a mess!”
I grab a towel out of the PTV and pull Spike over to the outside shower. Oh dear, I haven’t turned on the hot water heater. Oh well, Spike is a tough guy. He struggles at first, then realizes it’s only water, and lets me clean him up. Inside I make a futile attempt to contact the outside world.
A thunderstorm rolls in over the mountain around 8 o’clock.
It settles down to a steady rain all night long. The crew is deep in sleep. It’s like lying next to two sacks of flour. No movement at all. Don’t need to turn on the heat with these two alongside.
The rain taps the roof as I ponder our good fortune.
Here we are . . . no phone, no internet, no television, no contact with the outside world.
We’ll be fine. Tomorrow I’ll look up some of the names of those flowers and maybe we’ll take a hike.