Above Photo: Got 'im! Patience hovering the lens above the creek. A native Lower Columbia Steelhead. I sure hope he makes it to the sea someday.
It was an amazing thing -- to go for a drive only an hour from home and happen upon a beautiful, healthy, perfect stream in the forest filled with beautiful steelhead fry. There were hummingbirds buzzing our heads and caddisfly larvae crawling on the rocks. Joy! Inspiration for a story......
When I awoke, curled against the nautilus shell of my lover’s body, puffy clouds glowed in the bright blue sky and there was already a warm breeze coming in through the window. Summer. I closed my eyes and imagined licking those words off his hard cock. Summertime. All honey, lavender, moonlight, wet skin, damp grass, and rose-scented nights. I inhaled deeply and enjoyed the smell of his warm skin pressed into the soft, white twisted sheets, the thick trope of my hair over my shoulder, and the soft sound of leaves fluttering in the yard. Today would be a perfect day to head for the hills.
On Saturday mornings I do not set the coffee pot on its timer, like on wickedly rushed weekdays. It feels better when there is the luxury of time to lie there, drifting between skin and cotton, contemplating the ritual. Like many things, I like the anticipation of the way the cool metal canister lid feels on my fingertips, twisting it against the glass, and the whiff of good, strong grounds as I dip the metal scoop deep inside.
“I love you,” I whispered, stroking my lover’s face. “I’ll make some coffee.” I slipped into his flannel pajama pants and an old t-shirt and went to the kitchen. Soon the brew dripped into the pot, layer after layer of dark liquid filling the carafe and infusing the warm, bright kitchen with the delicious aroma of wakefulness.
After a filling breakfast of bacon and eggs, we packed up the truck and headed out just before noon. The air was already thick.
“Do you have the map?” Michael said.
After weeks of low, grey clouds and cool mornings with strange weather patterns that brought cool, damp air from the sea deep inland, we at last got a good, hot taste of the real thing. I’d been wanting to take Michael to the old stomping grounds for some time – drive deep in the forested hills where I misspent my youth, working on a fire crew. At every bend in the road, a memory. Oh, the miles of open spaces. Some well-traveled, some yet to be explored. I pictured driving wide around a corner, the warm, sweet, pine-scented air flowing in through the open windows. I imagined the old fish hatchery and the smell of woodsmoke hanging in the air near the campgrounds. I thought about how the sun would angle onto our bare laps and twist and spin against my tan breasts and rose-colored nipples.
“Yes!” I shouted, holding up the map to the waterfall. “Hardly anyone goes there!” I was pleased with myself for knowing this backcountry well enough to find the hidden places. We’d have it all to ourselves – a pristine wonderland of fern and forest, with no other humans for miles and miles.
Michael squeezed my leg and slipped off his shorts while driving in a way only he can possibly do. “Naked miles!” he exclaimed. “Woo-hoo!” After we got onto the open highway I joined him, flinging my shirt and shorts to the back seat.
How wonderful and amazing to be heading back into the green summertime hills naked. More free than the day I was born.