It is our third hike this month. The four wheel drive road to the trail head has worsened. We scrape bottom a couple times, inspecting for damage, but it appears there is none. The dryness shows in the flowers, many of which have the wilt of August, yet the vibrant magenta of the Parry’s Primrose remains. The wind is intense. When we reach the lake, we are almost blown over twice, so decide to descend a bit for our picnic lunch. We retreat to the protection of the krumholtz. Later, as we hike down, I notice the urgency of the white water in the creek as it tumbles over the black rock. The saturated blue sky looks like it was painted and tucked behind the ridge by a stagecraft designer. Even with the wind, we enjoy our time outside, that special fragrance I associate with the woods of Colorado. How blessed we are to have empty space to wander.
These are the ones who listen, the ones who bring food when you are injured. Today, they are the ones who have planned a celebratory lunch at The Kitchen, a mecca of exquisitely fresh food, delightfully prepared and presented. They are marking my transition to a new job. They bring me honor I don’t truly feel I deserve, yet they insist that I do. The bread is served on a board with a triangle of butter and a bowl of chunky sea salt. The asparagus quiche is light and fluffy; the bolognese on the penne has a unique twist to its flavor. We make the indulgence complete by ordering dessert. I get the pot of chocolate with cream, sighing with pleasure as I eat each warm, creamy spoonful. There is nothing better than true friends and chocolate at the same time!