Monday, September 02, 2013

Anything Green (or Got To The Party Too Early).

We are aiming for a full blown All American weekend around here.
I'm posting the Friday, Saturday and Sunday adventures.
Monday's adventures are still to come!
Friday night we took in a baseball game, and I was nearly killed.
(How's that for an attention getting line?)
Bernie got game tickets a few hours before game time, and we headed over to our beautiful ballpark that is surrounded by soaring mountains.
We got the traditional ball park hot dogs and settled in to watch.
Bernie warned me that as we were seated just seven rows above the away team's dug out, I should be watchful for pop fly balls when left handed batters were at the plate..
I nodded, munched my hot dog and wondered which way the batter faced if he was a lefty.
(You can tell I really know a lot about baseball, huh?)
We were quite settled and slouching in our chairs when suddenly I heard a crack and slack jawed watched as the foul ball rocketed towards me.
It was like watching a movie in slo-mo.
My brain was saying "that ball is heading our way".
(It was, at about 60 mile per hour.)
When my brain registered that the ball was about 12 inches from my FACE...I saw Bernie's arm extend and his hand slid smoothly in front of my face.
The ball smacked his hand as he swatted it away.
The guy in front of us was hit by the bounce and another guy actually caught the ball.
The whole thing happened so fast I hardly had time to register it all.
The next day Bernie's hand was showing black and blue bruising.
When I consider what would of happened if the ball had hit me square in the face, or on my glasses...
I imagine an ambulance ride would have been part of the evening, and hospitalization and surgery might also have come into play.
Bernie played a lot of baseball all the way through school.
I am SO thankful his hand-eye coordination is still at championship level.
And I am not so sure I want to sit so close to home plate ever again.

We had dithered about whether we wanted to go to the ball game or go camping.
As often happens when we are faced with two equally appealing choices, we figure out a way to do both.
Saturday morning we loafed around until ten when we finally decided that yeah, we did want to go camp.
We backed out of the driveway at 12 noon, sharp.
We headed to Wyoming, passing by Fort Bridger on the way.
The roadway was packed with people on their way to  Ft. Bridger yearly Rendezvous.
Tee Pees and cover wagons could be seen side by side.

It was awfully hot, and there were an awful lot of people so we just peered at the goings on as we drove by.

It was fun seeing folks dressed like mountain men, Indians, settlers and so forth.
Maybe some year we will go and take a cheerful kid along for a look-see.

We arrived at Hoop Lake around 3ish.
Bernie went fishing, I stayed in camp reading a book of short stories about women anglers.
Short stories are so much fun to read...

Bernie launching his Fish CatII.
(Notice all the sad pine beetle damaged forests on the hills.)
Saturday night we dined on three huge rainbow trout.
Cooked some s'mores over the camp fire.
Perfect All American holiday weekend fare, don't you think?

After Sunday breakfast, where we realized that our fast exit meant a few items had been left behind, we were back at the lake.
He fished, I explored.
A flash of yellow in the trees called my name.
It was, after all, September 1st.
Which is STILL summer of course.
But the forests were definitely planning a party soon.

A tentative bit of color here...

Would the green hold out much longer?

A few leaves had donned their fancy clothes and were ready to get the party started.

The browning fields seemed resigned to relinquishing any last summer wild flowers.

The aspen...they surrounded me in white with green leaf jewels scattered about.
(It is almost impossible to take anything but a great picture of aspen in any season. They are like the cover girls of the forests.)

Bits and pieces of tentative color change.

One flower left in bloom, like a guest from a previous party that hadn't quite left, who didn't want her party to be over.

It was still summer warm; no crisp in the air at all.
A humid haze was hanging on the mountainsides.

Ever gotten to a wedding early?
Like before the flowers and trimmings arrive to make the ordinary space look special?
That's how it felt to be surrounded by aspens just flashing a bit of fall color.

The decorations go up, little by little.
Still it is hard to picture just how it will all look once every thing is up and the guests in their finery arrive.

(I still don't understand why sometimes aspen turns red instead of yellow...)

Or why just one branch will turn color while the rest of the tree stays stubbornly green.

Or why one leaf will sport all the possible colors, and be finished before the other leaves have even begun to turn.

As I looked across the yellowing shore grasses and to the deep green aspen groves, I felt like the guest who had come to the party before it was all set up.
This same scene in two, three weeks will be astonishing.

I can see the trees that are ready to be gold standing in drifts among those reluctant to give up on summer.

A few butterflies still flitted about slowly.
Their summertime party is also drawing to an end.

The night before Bernie had asked another fisherman what kind of flies were the fish biting.
"Green" the man replied.
"Anything green."

Bernie took his advice and caught fish on nearly every cast.
He switched to a red fly just for fun.
Not a single fish even gave it a nibble.
Even the fish are in on the "hang on to summer" thinking.

(I love how the water has dashes when a breezes ripples the glass like surface.)

So as usual, he fished...

I watched, read, walked and took pictures.

We called back and forth from time to time.
We had the place to ourselves for quite awhile.

Then up pulled a few vans and trucks and a passel of men, kids and dogs erupted onto the shoreline.

I got good giggle as the big brown dog marked a shoreline rock.
"Seriously?"  I wanted to say to the dog.
You are going to OWN this whole lake?

When Bernie came ashore a young lad raced over to talk to him.
He had come up to me earlier to ask if my husband had caught anything yet.
I told him yes.
He asked how big was the fish.
I yelled the question to Bernie; he replied about 14".
The lad asked what he was fishing with.
"Anything green" Bernie said.
"They are biting anything green."

It made me smile when the lad ran to talk with Bernie as soon as he got back to shore.
I think the kid is going to be an avid fisherman too someday.

And I smiled at how he raced away to tell the other boys what he had learned from talking with the old guy who had just caught a big 'un.

All together now:
Two weeks from now this scene will be amazing when all the aspen turn gold.
Everything that is now green in the picture will soon be turning solid gold.
Hoop Lake didn't impress me much while we were there scenery wise.
It was like coming to a party before it got started and leaving just as the music started to play.

We left the campground after lunch on Sunday.
See the cute little hole in the side of the mountain?
(Some facts: Hoop Lake is at 9,000 ft in elevation, and let me do a bit of TMI about that fact:
 Being that high up makes one feel like one needs to pee constantly. 
Which means getting up several times during the night. 
If one doesn't drink a lot of water, one gets an altitude headache. 
If one drinks the proper amount of water, one will spend most of one's time walking back and forth from the toilet. 
This trip I didn't drink a lot because it was a dry camp ground (no tap water) and we forgot to pack Gatorade.

We stopped at the stream, which I think was Beaver Creek.

The summer roses were quickly shifting their wardrobe style to autumn shades.
Hard to imagine that was a scene of pink flowers and soft green leaves just a month ago.

The reason we stop at this stream...

was because...

on the way to the lake we had noticed the stream came from directly beneath a mountain!

How cool is that?

It was the mountain one over  and across the road from the mountain with the hole in its side.

(Looks like a smiling mouse being cheek kissed by a long nosed rat to me.)

So tempting to wade into the cavern to see what could be seen.
The adult in me says "no way!"
Oh to be a curious adventurous kid again.

So I took the best photo of inside the cavern that I could.
Then we drove on.

Just a bit down the road we could see another mountain top with a hole in it.

Then it was on to the flatlands.
The red mountains gave way to white mountains.

The goldenrod fluffed along the dirt road edges...were they leading away from summer or into autumn?

Fields had been mowed and the hay piled into huge mounts.

Our question:
Why was the hay being piled instead of baled in some manner?
We agreed we wanted to ask our Canadian Dairy Farmer/Expert Elmer as to why this was.
Judy...will you please go get Elmer and ask him for us?
Thank you!

Then the meadows and white mountains gave way to more stark visas.
The blue mountains that we had seen on our way to the Green River last spring still fascinated me.

I shot from the car window as we drove through the winding roadway.

Don't they look like paintings?

And isn't it amazing how many colors dirt can come in?

The turquoise color...against the red soil.

Add yellow flowers to the base.
Can it get any better than that?


I can not decide which view I like best!

Driving three hours for a one night camping trip may seem like a crazy idea.
But camping was just part of the whole adventure.
Seeing the beauty of Wyoming and Utah was as much of the adventure as the time around the campfire.
We hadn't seen this area at exactly this time of year before.
Reason enough for taking a three hour drive there and back.

Oh, and having one of the Hoop lake trout for lunch at home today...that was just an extra bit of treat.
(Next up...our traditional Labor Day float on the Great Salt Lake! Heading there right after I post this post!)


Vee said...

Reading here is an adventure in Googling. First, I had to know where you were. Then I had to check the differences between aspens and white birches. Then I was looking at photos in their larger sizes to scroll around and see what I could see. I did see the smiling mouse and the long nose rat and I also saw the right eye and a canoe blown to a mountaintop. I think the young man was a smart young fellow and I think it was cool of Bernie to share his knowledge. Oh, and Bernie was definitely your hero! So glad that you didn't get clobbered by that baseball.

Pondside said...

That was a narrow escape! I'm glad that your Bernie still has what it takes in the eye-hand coordination area!
Beautiful photos of a beautiful time of year. Makes me wish to go camping and fishing - almost....

ellen b. said...

They really do look like paintings! The two of you really do get around. Love seeing the photos of all your adventures...

Lovella ♥ said...

By now you are surely done your float! What an amazing and action packed weekend. Thank B for me for saving your life! I've only talked to him once and I'd hate to have him call me again under those circumstances.
What a lot of territory you have covered on this long weekend.
We are busy farming here. Chickens take no heed about the calendar and the barn needs to be cleaned out and readied for the coming week's move.
've purged closets today.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I'm glad Bernie saved you from getting a baseball in the face! My husband and I went to a Rockies game today and afterward we vowed never to sit on the right field side as we had the bright sun in our eyes fro half the game.

The aspens haven't begun to turn color here as yet --maybe we'll see some in a week when we go up t Estese Park and Rocky Mountain NP.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Whew. Glad Bernie caught the ball! I think he'll take his old baseball glove along to any future ballgames.

Farmer Elmer was out and about all Labour Day (hiking, actually) he is a little late in responding to your query. He says he has never seen hay stored in that manner around here. That must be in a very dry area...since it would just rot if piled up like that over here.

I'm thinking you packed a lot into your long weekend! Sounds like a most memorable one.

Armando y Montez said...

You know how to live..