There is a nasty secret nobody tells you about summers when you’re working full-time, and it’s this – the weather is warmer, the mountains are beautiful, but guess what? You’re still working full-time. :/ Hahah. First world problems, I know. But I think the reality is, it’s a bittersweet sort of blindside no matter who you are. When you’re a kid, in junior high, then in high school, and even at the beginning of college – summers sort of feel eternal and endless. Which obviously isn’t true at all – they’re only three short months. But the spontaneity of it – the open days and hours of daylight – the idea that you can do all you want with whoever you want because it’s SUMMER, it’s a little intoxicating.
Then you grow up, and have to factor in paying rent, buying books, building resumes, car insurance, tuition, registering for classes, housing, raising CHILDREN, coordinating with your friends and their schedules, etc.
And although all of those are positive, good things – my point is this. Life is not necessarily slowing down to give you the summer you knew summer to be as a child. But I think there’s a hungry, childlike little part of our spirits that needs little moments of those summers, no matter how busy we are.
We’ve been really blessed this summer with so many opportunities to feed that inner child – mostly all on the weekends. This kind of conscious soul-feeding requires planning – creating windows of opportunity for that same summer-ness, if only for an hour and a day while you juggle reality. But the windows are there, is the point.
Do I think everyone has entire weekends or even a full day to devote to traveling and adventuring? Not at all. We really don’t all the time, either. But I think there are little moments of summer, of weekends, every day, any day.
Utah is especially rad because you don’t have to go far to find some summer. Even an evening walk with the mountains watching in summer air can be enough.
This particular hike was an hour drive, and a mile hike. The perfect bit of stolen summer during the work week.
The trail was all wildflowers, sunshine, and majesty. Straight up. Also, because it’s an easy hike, so many sweet families were hiking all over. One of the best moments came at the end, when we were hiking down through the only even remotely strenuous part – the switchbacks to reach the summit and Cecret Lake. One little boy in a family of five was so eager he just started scaling the steep rock instead of the switchback trail. Summer is still just summer for that kid. The dad sort of looked to the mom like, should we go after him? And the mom shrugged her shoulders, a little smile at her lips, eying the unmarked path her son was scrambling. Then she turned her more timid children over to her husband to keep on the trail and said, “For the sake of adventure” in explanation before scrambling excitedly after him. Moments like that are summer, too. Also, ALSO, Lunchables were ten for ten that week in July, so I don’t need to tell you that we made it a classy dinner date. Mountain picnics are the best kind of picnics.
The ONLY drawback to the enchantment was the salamander phenomenon and the fact that you can’t swim in Cecret Lake because it is water supply for the Salt Lake area. (Was not aware of this hiking up and dressed for the waters… But hey. Plans change and Lunchables console you.) But let’s talk about those two facts combined. Why was the water so clear and so beautiful and FULL of hooded salamanders that look like the lizards on Holes, and that was okay… but me, who showers and looks a little LESS like the lizards Holes could not enter? Not that I really wanted to once I saw the sheer volume of salamanders floating around in there. They were chill, lazy little critters. Clearly top of the food chain. CLEARLY the scariest, most fascinating thing ever. Clearly, nature’s no swimming sign. We laid out on our picnic blanket in the sun and lake breeze, and EVERYTIME a fly so much a buzzed my leg, I would grab Cody and say, “HOLY CRAP IT IS A SALAMANDER, I’M DONE FOR.” (It never was a salamander. They stayed solely in the water). So you could say I, like the salamanders, was also pretty chill. :/