The first weekend in August is also Lughnasa, halfway between the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox. I’m not really a Neo-Pagan but we did our own version of “visiting holy wells” to celebrate–i.e., we went back to hang around Millcreek for a couple hours, where it was hot enough even at altitude that the river felt really good (and kept the beer cold).
As is tradition now (at least since 2017), we went up to the Uinta mountains for the Fourth of July. This time, we didn’t do the full Lofty Lakes Loop trail; we haven’t been on real hikes at all this year because of the rona so we didn’t want to attempt a thousand feet of elevation gain per mile, at altitude.
Instead, we hiked to the lowest lake and played around in it. This is Scout Lake, but it should really be called Bob Ross Lake:
We didn’t go up into the mountains for the three months of the first wave, both because the Forest Service had asked people to stay away and because there was no way to stay six feet apart on a narrow trail.
The canyon is mostly bare of leaves but not yet snow-covered; we went up for a walk yesterday and I thought of this passage I found in The Wind in the Willows (at the start of the chapter when Mole ventures into the Wild Wood):
Copses, dells, quarries, and all hidden places, which had been mysterious mines for exploration in leafy summer, now exposed themselves and their secrets pathetically, and seemed to ask him to overlook their shabby poverty for a while, till they could riot in rich masquerade as before, and trick and entice him with the old deceptions. It was pitiful in a way, and yet cheering—even exhilarating. He was glad that he liked the country undecorated, hard, and stripped of its finery. He had got down to the bare bones of it, and they were fine and strong and simple.
We went for another hike by another mountain stream over the weekend. (I couldn’t get in this one, since it’s a watershed; very hard for Moley.)
I don’t know where this fascination with running water has come from but I’m about ready to see if I can go make a life on a river, just like Mole:
This day was only the first of many similar ones for the emancipated Mole, each of them longer and full of interest as the ripening summer moved onward. He learnt to swim and to row, and entered into the joy of running water; and with his ear to the reed-stems he caught, at intervals, something of what the wind went whispering so constantly among them.
(The entirety of The Wind in the Willows is online, btw.)