Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Oasis In The Desert

It has been very hot for weeks now, and even though we have had a few rain showers they have been very brief.
I have watched them build over the mountains to the west of us, watched as they begin their march towards us, watched as they violently brought strong rain and very strong winds on top of us, and then watched as only five or ten minutes later they have blown over us and then continued their movement east.
They are easy to follow - violent, very brief, so isolated that I can see blue sky on both sides of a wall of black and grey and ominous clouds as they pass by.
But for all intents and purposes it has not rained - really rained - in many weeks.
As the heat has built I have also noticed that people are staying indoors more.
Hiding from the sun and the blast-furnace dry heat and only coming outside at the end of the day when the temperatures finally begin to cool.
I worked out at the recreation center yesterday.  
Running and biking and kayaking have become more and more difficult with the increasing heat and almost total lack of shade.
And so I ran on a treadmill (feeling as I always do when I run on a treadmill) like a hamster on one of those noisy circular wheels.
And then I swam.  I used to swim daily.  I swam almost daily for years but have not been in a pool since last March.
After 17 months I was not sure how it would feel to swim again but it felt very good.
Late yesterday evening my Mountain Boy and my well-traveled dog drove out to Newton Lakes for a walk.
Venturing outside late in the day as everyone else here is now compelled to do.
These two small lakes are located only 10 miles or so from Cody out on the Belfry Highway, and the last time we were there was early in April.
Everything in early April was still brown and beige and dormant, and even though it was a beautiful place at the time I was ready for everything to turn green.
Yesterday everything was green...............
A link to what these small lakes in the middle of nowhere looked like only a few months ago:
The larger of the two lakes seems to be used mostly for fishing but (unlike the last time we were here when it was filled with a good number of fishermen) yesterday there was only this one man in a small boat...........
The trail around the lake is about a mile, and we took our time walking it.
Letting Jamie set the pace while also talking and laughing and picture taking and enjoying the green-ness and the mountain-ness of this wonderful place.
Everything is now very lush, very green, and with abundant wild flowers and grasses.
To access Newton Lakes you turn off the Belfry Highway and onto BLM land which is still - even in the middle of summer - mostly a dusty green place.
A couple of miles down the road and you find this.
Almost an oasis in the desert.
It is a special, very beautiful and welcome place..............
Unlike the last time we were here yesterday the trail was almost overgrown.
Almost but not quite.
Jamie as usual walked point, leading the way, breaking trail for us when the grass was very high, and loving every minute of her explorations.
I worry about her at this time of year.  She sticks her nose into the middle of every interesting bush but she has had her two rounds of rattle snake shots and hopefully that will protect her................
I had expected many people to be here at this time of year, and was loving the fact that we had the trail to ourselves.
These lakes have grown into areas more lovely than I would have imagined just a few short months ago.
The three of us had a wonderful and quiet walk around the first lake and then wandered off trail.
Up the hill to see what the other, smaller lake, looked like in the middle of Summer.
We found a few lake swimmers, and one young man balancing precariously with his dog on a surfboard in the water ...........
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time...........John Lubbock

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