Scenes From A Weekend

As has become our Fall tradition - the start of this new season was greeted yet again at one of our favorite camp spots, with friends and 10 children hunkered by the river for two nights under the dappled light of those great old oak trees in Lake Arrowhead where we try to come at some point every October.

This time, the crisp mountain air - given the extended state of summer we in California are still bearing, proved especially refreshing giving us a break from the hot, humid summer we're still trying to shake off. Aside from the change in weather though I am always most amused by how quickly we tend to forget about the various perils these kinds of trips usually include. Like, for instance, the incessant bickering that naturally happens between kids with a group this size, or the food we seem always to forget, utensils misplaced, socks gone missing. Shoes soaked, and toys lost. Even the fires we look forward to most at night were forbidden this time around due to the regretful state of the vegetation surrounding us suffering hard from lack of rain so late in the season. They say if they have a couple rain falls the ban will be lifted but until then, if you've ever camped without a fire at night, when the sun drops and the temps chill your bones, you know how harsh the hours sitting around a fireless pit in the stark cold of night without that warm heat to hold you while you finish the last of your wine, or beer, or song or joke, can be.

We did our best. And the afternoon hikes and the riverside naps and the cowboy lullabies, the tree hung hammocks and the pumpkin pancakes + roasted potatoes & bacon in the morning more than made up for it considering what a rare treat it is to set aside three full days to spend in the slow company of friends with schedules typically impossible to match up. But we did. And it was just as amazing as it always is. The start of Fall, etched in memories of that shady riverbed running filthy with a flock of friends around the expanse of the seven oaks lot another year for the keeping.