July 14, 2016

Camping with Dogs – July 14, 2016

South St. Vrains River

Lyons, Colorado

Amy Lynn Reifsnyder

The dogs and I are spending some time frolicking in South St. Vrain River. We came away from camp after Waste Management came and sucked out all the Port-a-Pots. This was a good think in oh so many ways, but the result was the Plague of the Flies with scritchy feet.

I don’t mind all insects, but the effect of these flies is a body-wide neurological prickling.

Time to leave.

First, though, I sprayed bandanas with Off! and tied them to the dogs. Poor Mae has been bothered by the flies the most. They land in small swarms and hordes and suck her ears. The Off! helped a little, but I may have to invest in more lethal spray.

We’ll see.

Since coming into the Front Range, I have wanted to stop and at least stick my feet into mountain water.  Well, I have, and now my toes are numb, even while the rest of me basks in gloriously toasty – if not downright hot – sunshine.

I am developing an awesome tan.

I have with me a walking stick I was given by a carver in the Massachusetts Berkshires. I am careful as I walk along the brook, cascades and rivels a body-length away. I don’t want to lose this stick. Lee threw away the beaver-chewn (is that a word?) walking stick from the swamp in Bloomfield. The sticks from John’s Woods stayed in Scotland – by John’s Woods.

Some people collect silver spoons. I gather wood… and leaf, and stone. Shells, too.

If anyone ever breaks into my ‘treasure trove’ they may be disappointed to find bits and pieces of hikes and walks I’ve taken.

There isn’t much silver there, but there was gold – around translucent clouds that lingered to kiss the day good-night.

There was a worm in the water, possibly an escapee from the Boy Scout fishing expedition upstream. I pulled it out. It was stretched out about the length of my shoe. I tossed it gently to higher ground, expecting it to head to even higher, drier, terrain. Despite everything I had ever been taught about earthworms, this one turned toward the riffles, abandoning itself to the current.

I pulled it out one more time.

Same thing.

Tells you what I know about worms.

Apparently this one hadn’t had that chapter in Biology class where we learned that earthworms prefer loam. I think maybe it enjoyed that sense of abandon and alarm that accompany a wild water run.

This is Molly’s first time by a brook. She’s not sure.

Clear water brooks are what I missed most in Arizona.

When I sit by them, I have the most instructive and poetic thoughts, none of which make it onto paper. They simply visit, swirl in eddies in my mind, and then float on downstream, giggling and cavorting on the way.

There is great poetry among these rocks. Breathtaking descriptions, and romantic tales. Rivers tell excellent stories. Mountain streams the best. Snow in the morning makes for bright and laughter-filled afternoons.

All this, and sunshine, too.



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