Matt and I have pretty extraordinary luck when it comes to having enough excitement in our lives. The farther away from civilization we go, the higher our chances of having an "adventure." So when we decided to celebrate our third wedding anniversary with a picnic up on Murphy Dome north of town, the same place where I sunk my mom's suburban above the axles in snow the night Matt proposed, we were just asking for something more exciting than a quiet dinner out.
We dropped Little Bear off at my parents' house around 4:30 and headed north, watching as black clouds steadily accumulated on the eastern horizon and convincing ourselves that "they're way over there; we're going the opposite direction." A couple of miles from the top of the dome, long after the pavement had ended, we came upon two guys trying to load a motorcycle onto a trailer. The bike had died on the way down, so Matt got out to help them lift it on and secure the trailer. As we drove off, we talked about how we liked living here where if you break down on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, people will stop and help you because it's not really dangerous to do so.
Right before the parking lot at the top of Murohy Dome, we turned down a side "road" (our jeep had no problem with it, but a little car probably couldn't have handled some sections) and skirted the ridge line a couple more miles until we found a pull-off my dad had told us about. The clouds were covering most of the sky by that point, and the wind was blowing something fierce, but we hiked around a bit and enjoyed the view of the Chatanika river valley and Minto Flats before the rain started falling.
As dark as the clouds were, we decided not to risk having the steep sections of the road turn to mud before we got out, so we got back in the jeep and drove until we found an empty pull-out along the main road, just a mile or so before the pavement started up again. As we were coming down, we saw something incredible: a triple rainbow, with another normal rainbow arching over it!
I don't think you can see the second and third iterations of the spectrum under the brighter rainbow in this photo... We sure wished we had a camera that could have actually captured it! It was beautiful.
We parked in the pull-out and ate our picnic in the car, watching as fat raindrops spattered the windshield. As we finished eating and talking, the car made an odd dinging noise. We'd left the lights on; the battery was dead. "We dint have a great track record with cars on this road, do we?" Matt laughed, as he went to dig the jumper cables out of the back and I walked out to the edge of the road to flag down the next passing vehicle. I didn't have to wait long at all before a couple came by, and they were happy to pull over and give us a jump.
We made it back to my parents' house to pick up Little Bear sooner than we'd expected, so we finished off the night by taking him with us to the ice cream parlor. Being his parents is certainly one if the great things about being married, so it made sense to include him as we were celebrating our anniversary.
Now for some Answer Me This:
1. What do you still want to do this summer?
Goodness, so many things. I need to pick more berries, to freeze them and make jam; ideally, while it's summer and produce is cheap, I should be processing as much as I can and storing it for the winter. Matt is actually out hunting right now—it's the first day of grouse season—so we're hoping that soon we'll have some meat in the freezer. Before the snow flies we also need to figure out a semipermanent gate for the deck, so I don't have to worry about Little Bear falling down the stairs. Oh, and wood. We talked with a guy selling wood a week ago and he was supposed to bring us three cords, but he hasn't yet and that definitely needs to happen ASAP.
I want to get out as many more times as we can: up high like on Murphy Dome, and alongside rivers or lakes so Little Bear can throw rocks. We still haven't made it to the new artificial lakes south of town. Two of my siblings leave for college next week, and we really need to do something fun with them before they go! I want to take Little Bear on the carousel at the park, and we were talking last night about how long it's been since we played mini golf. And we need to grill as many times as possible before it gets too cold!
2. What's your favorite kind of pie?
Rhubarb custard pie, but mincemeat and pecan are tied for a close second.
3. How much sleep do you need each day? How much do you get?
Need to function? Just a couple of hours. Need to be pleasant and optimistic and get more than the bare minimum done? I'd say six to seven hours, preferably with only one interruption. Most nights twenty I've probably gotten five to six with two interruptions, so that's not bad. Last night, though, I got maaaaaybe four hours with at least as many interruptions. Unhappy mama this morning.
4. Do you prefer to swim in a pool, lake, river or ocean?
Hmm. Lake. I've never swum in the ocean, rivers here are definitely too fast for swimming, and I don't like the chlorine in pools. I loved swimming in lakes when I was younger; it's been a while, but if we lived closer to one and we hadn't been so busy with moving and everything, I'd probably have taken Little Bear to a lake many times this summer. I suppose there's theoretically still time.
5. Do you know any poems by heart?
Lots! Mostly little kid poems, nursery rhymes, that sort of thing. But I used to organize poetry recitals for local homeschoolers when I was in high school, and I still know a fair number of the poems I learned for those, particularly some by Keats, Tennyson, Frost, and sections of Chesterton's epics.
6. Do you use the public library?
Not as much as I should. When I was in junior high and high school, I would come home from the public library every week with a stack of 10-15 novels. The little kids would regularly have two full canvas tote bags of picture books, early reader books like Henry and Mudge, etc. I haven't even gotten Little Bear there once a month! It's hard, because I usually do my errands right after taking Matt to work in the morning and the library doesn't open until 10 am. I'm home by then, and especially now that we've moved, it's too far to make multiple trips to town in one day. I want him to learn to love the library and reading as much as I do, though.
Have a good week!