A few Fridays back, I had knee surgery. The day after, while I could hop about on crutches, my normal Saturday activities, including my beloved pasttime of garage saling, were out of the question. By afternoon, the temperature in our back yard soared to 113 degrees. There were dark clouds to the west, but no sign that any rain would actually come to cool us off. Forbidden from the pool until healing complete, bored with TV, and unable to concentrate on a book (which tells you what state this compulsive reader was in), I wallowed in misery in our living room.
Enter my hero, Steve, who helped me find a great way to beat both the summer heat and convalescent doldrums.
He bundled me into the car, crutches and all. First we stopped at Luv-it Frozen Custard for deliciously cold cones. Steve has mentioned this place. It has become a frequent stop for us, and never fails to deliver.
I sat in the car with the air conditioning running while Steve waited in line. In the ten steps from the store window to the car, the frozen goo was dripping down the sides of the cones. But we valiantly managed to lick up all the drops before they hit the car upholstery.
Then we headed west on Charleston, to drive out to Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area. Storm clouds hovered over the hills, and flashes of lightening streaked up against the jagged rocks. We continued on into the face of the threatening clouds.
Twenty minutes later, we joined a half dozen other souls reveling in the feel of big cold drops of water hitting our skin, and then evaporating in the fierce wind. The air temperature was easily 40 degrees lower than that in the valley below. The lightening flashes continued, but the resulting thunder was so delayed, we had no concerns about stopping at each of the view points for a different perspective. I hobbled out of the car again and again to drink in each new vision.
I grew up in the northernmost parts of the Appalachians, a mountain range covered with streams, trees, and beautiful plant life. Songs have been written about the beauty of the green peaks, and rolling hills and valleys. But I’ve lived in the west my entire adult life. To my eye, the rough and ragged peaks of the Rockies are far more lovely. What is unique about the mountains here is that they never once look the same. Even the slightest of differences in angle of light reveals new reds, new purples, new grays, and new blues, all blending into an indescribably gorgeous sight.
And all that and more when awash in watery light.