Monday, July 9, 2007

Snakes, Stehekin, and Summertime

Hello all,
It has finally become summer here in the Pacific Northwest, as it is wont to do after July 4th. I spent my holiday weekend sweating profusely along the shores of Lake Chelan, where I backpacked for three days, dodging bears and rattlers. Sounds fun, oui? Backpacking always sounds more fun in theory than it is in practice, and is always more idyllic in restrospect than it is at the time.

Still, we swam in Lake Chelan - so clear you can see every pebble, so cold it makes your bones ache - and had the campsites all to ourselves except for one, which we had to share with some boaters, who at least they gave us bourbon and coke, which sure tastes good when you've been hiking in 80-something degree heat and have been forced to leave your own alcohol behind due to lack of corkscrew (how do I manage to forget the corkcrew time and again?).

After two nights in the wild, we parked our sweaty selves at the Stehekin Valley Ranch, a friendly establishment that serves loads of "ranch-style" food (but, alas, no alcohol. BYOB!). We enjoyed our time there all except for the day-long process that is taking the boat back from Stehekin to Chelan - which requires getting up early, many hours of waiting around, three hours of riding the "express" boat, only to arrive back in civilization eight hours later. Ugh.

The scenery is beautiful and all -- the North Cascades thrust themselves upward directly from the blue-green waters of Lake Chelan, but c'mon - eight hours for a fifty-mile boat ride? I was somewhat traumatized by the experience, so much so that I slept 12 hours last night. Thank God I don't have a job so that I could fully recover from my vacation.

This week beginneth the blogging class I will be teaching at Richard Hugo House. Pity my poor students. I do look forward, however, to clarifying my own blogging goals and perhaps once again becoming a prolific, entertaining blogger, not the mere shadow of myself I am now.

Stay tuned.