Today I welcome my local friend, Jenny, to the blog. She adventures with me often, and I love that we also share a passion for writing. I’m honored to have her on the blog today! As always, please leave her some love in the comments!
Summer in Yellowstone is short. Winter sleeps late in the spring and arrives early in fall, making the warm season outside with kids all the more precious. Now, as the days are shortening, snow begins to rim the mountains, and school is starting, we are wishing summer a fond farewell.
There is a sweet spot in Yellowstone, usually in August, when the air is warm, the bugs are few, and the rivers are low. We spend the long, glorious days seeking out adventure – which often means playing at the “beach” – any one of numerous sandy spits and gravel bars speckled along the Yellowstone river. Sand, rock, water – is there a better playground on earth? Rolling full bodied in the tawny sand, faces caked in mud, digging, crawling, rolling, toes wiggling, feet running in the glorious, warm, shifting brown sugar. We jump into the river squealing, feet in the air, grins wide, floating down, down, down the riffle to the eddie and crawl back on the beach.
This August, we spent almost every night on the front porch. We laid a futon mattress out on the boards and piled it with sleeping bags and pillows, and enjoyed the myriad blessings from sleeping outside: watching the stars come out, talking in the late dusk, listening to the last of the crickets chirping, feeling our lungs and our hearts expand in the cooling air, and finally falling asleep beneath the Milky Way stretching its pearly arms across the sky.
Even in August, we can feel undertones of autumn whispering softly in the cool mornings. Now there’s frost on the grass, and sign of bears wandering the woods gathering food before hibernation. Crazy, the turn of seasons in this place. Summer barely gets going before the icy fingers grab hold again.
And so we say goodbye; to the glorious, golden-brown-grass days of summer. To the spend-all-day-at-the-river-playing-in-the-sand days of summer. To the get-out-and-camp-now-that-the-bugs-are-gone-and-before-the-cold-weather days of summer.
We will have winter adventures to fill our hearts and minds with nature in the months to come, to be sure. But parting with summer is such sweet, sweet, sorrow.
Jenny Golding lives with her husband, son, and two black labs in Montana on the border of Yellowstone National Park
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