OBN Photo Prompt: Spring Has Sprung in SNP

My first spring in Shenandoah did not slake a thirst.
It delivered a desire for more.
Just as the spider descended upon its prey,
I sped into the park looking to feed an appetite.
I nibbled on lichens stretching across rocks,

Searched with the bees for season’s first pollen on Hawksbill summit,

Admired the delicate violets,

And twiddled the pig-tailed ferns.
They’re still unraveling, I presume.

In springtime, water falls.
It falls in torrents.
It falls in trickles.

It burrows pools
Which are safe havens for rising trout.
How did you get up here, little fish?
How in God, and Evolution, and Everyone Else’s name did you get up here?

No matter, I may as well ask the same of the trillium.
From ditches in Wisconsin,
To mother’s backyard,
To the mountains of Virginia,
The Trillium lives on,

And I’m hungry for more.
More growth,
More spring, summer, learning,
More sun, rain, laughing,
Just more.

A great day in SNP.  Here’s to a spring and summer full of them.

OBN Photo Prompt: Goodbye Summer

A few words and pictures of this summer. A huge success. 
My first mountain brookie.  
Spectacular coastal sunsets.  
Crazy weather.
Green to gold
And summer is gone.
The tan line at my waist 
Remains, but fades, all the same.
Calluses from barefoot mornings
Will soften. 
So much hard work absorbing,
Steeping in the bay,
Arms, casually hanging out car windows,
Sunglasses, and coconut scented sunscreen
Will all exchange for wetted, sweet, rotten leaves,
Dirty jeans from selecting the perfect pumpkin,
Frosted car windows
And visible breath,
Whisping away in a cool breeze,
Replaced by winter. 
Replaced by spring.
Replaced by summer.
Always you. 
Always me.
An outdoor concert.

They tickle your hands.

New (crazy) friends.

OBN Photo Prompt. I don’t need an excuse to post, but it is nice to have one.

Dreaming of the BWCA… or am I?

OBN’s at it again with another photo prompt, this time looking at dream destinations. Just like everybody, I have so many places I want to go, making this particularly difficult. I would love to see Alaska, ride the Siberian Railway, travel Chile north to south, dine in Cambodia, hike in New Zealand, etc etc etc.

Okay, as I write this, right now in fact, I’m changing the direction of the post. I was going to tell you, whenever I dream of a place to go, I long after the quiet, summer shores of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA). I have been a few times and I absolutely love it. The smell of warm, musty pines, picking blueberries, moose, bear, great fishing, northern lights, no motorized vehicles allowed.

I’ve dreamed and dreamed of having a small cabin up there, or at least making a yearly trip for the rest of my life. But then I realized, as I was typing the list of places above, there is another dream. One more exciting and adventurous. One that, admittedly, will be difficult to pull off, because of real world commitments. But as long as we are dreaming, maybe I should shoot a little higher, eh?
I’ve already mentioned it. Chile. For some reason, I’ve been fascinated with the diversity of landscapes within the country. With national parks like Torres del Paine (pictured below, thanks national geographic), el pacha, Easter Island, Santiago, fishing galore, what is not to desire?

Photograph by Jerry Alexander/Getty Images
So there it is. It has been set. I choose Chile. The BWCA almost had it for a second, but then, like Ohio, or Kansas, or Duke, or whoever else you didn’t expect to lose during March Madness, a twist out of nowhere.

I would travel the cities and the parks. Fishing when I can and eating all the street food my bowels would allow.

Outdoor Photo Prompt: tribute post

I’m trying to post this in record time for me, as I’ve got to head out the door and I’m trying to finish the coffee. I’m just honing my skills as a multi-tasker.

OBN had another photo prompt asking about your favorite outdoor gear, and to be honest, I’ve racked my brain thinking of backpacks, water bottles, hiking boots, knives, fishing gear, and I can’t think of anything. Then I thought of my best childhood/adulthood friend. I would just slap a picture of his face on here, but I had a better idea. As a tribute to him, I would post my favorite piece of his outdoor “equipment” because it rocks.
Every trip we’ve ever gone on since we were young: boundary waters, wyoming, YMCA camp, etc, he always brought a sturdy supply of Caramello candy bars. He said, It is his favorite candy, and he said, “Food is always best when camping, so why not have my favorite?” And he has a point, Caramello smores are amazing.
So, here’s to you, buddy.