On holidays

If May showers bring June flowers, what do June showers bring?
If May showers bring June flowers, what do June showers bring?

What a glorious coincidence that National Trails Day is directly preceded by National Do(ugh)nut Day! The idea of burning all those calories on a Saturday hike seemed a perfect excuse to indulge in a doughnut or two on Friday.

The petroglyph-like scars of a fallen tree.
The petroglyph-like scars of a fallen tree.

OK, so I had four. Donut Day comes but once a year. I love doughnuts like I’m a fat, 10-year-old, burgeoning bully and future cop discovering them for the first time.
It was the poet May Swenson who observed in “How to Be Old”:

Youth is given. One must put it away

like a doll in a closet,

take it out and play with it only

on holidays. …

This is why I get excited for manufactured holidays like Donut Day and Trails Day. They present an opportunity to indulge in things like eating fried carbohydrates and getting dirty without fear of judgment.

Leash check...
Leash check…

There would be filth aplenty on pretty much any Trails Day 2015 outing in Colorado. Mother Nature, likely suffering from a man-made form of environmental Alzheimer’s, has seemingly mistaken us for Portland or London or Seattle for the past month and shows no signs of recognizing Colorado as home to 300 days of sunshine per year.

...ready!
…ready!

But the dogs don’t care about rain or that I have to apologize for the car’s dank odor for the two months following the presence of clammy canines. Besides, outdoor wanderings have been few amid the stress and long hours that often accompany a new job. So we embraced the damp day and set off for the Gore Range Trail in the curiously un-apostrophed Eagles Nest Wilderness Area of the White River National Forest.

Wyatt searches for the trail, or more likely a bit of dropped doughnut.
Wyatt searches for the trail, or more likely a bit of dropped doughnut.

We’ve encountered intersections with the Gore Range Trail on previous hikes, including on an adventure to Eccles Pass, but never hiked a segment of the trail itself. The Gore Range is one of Colorado’s underappreciated gems (it lacks 14ers and thus, to many, credibility). The ridgelines above the rich forests and wildflower-filled meadows offer some of the best—if not the most altitudinous—views in the state.

Despite its proximity to Copper Mountain and Interstate 70, the Gore Range Trail receives relatively light use. It was vacant on this soggy Trails Day. We wound upward along a muddy trail, through stands of budding aspen, along a boisterous creek fueled by runoff and nonstop rain. Eventually, deep, lingering snowpack forced us back. We paused in a creekside clearing for a snack; I saved a doughnut for the occasion.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

The holiest of all holidays are those

Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;

The secret anniversaries of the heart.

Miles enjoyed Trails Day. Even if he mistook this log for the trail.
Miles enjoyed Trails Day. Even if he mistook this log for the trail.
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5 thoughts on “On holidays

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  1. Hi Steve, somehow I dropped the trail of blog reading back in the early days of this year – or maybe the late ones last year. But I’m picking it up again – skimming through the year-to-date with your Hounds. This day looked like a lot of fun!

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    1. Thanks so much for catching up! I, too, have been remiss in staying up-to-date lately with many of the blogs I enjoy. My job increasingly robs me of the will to turn on a computer (or stare at a screen in general) when I’m not actually working. Hoping to recharge and do some reading this weekend!

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  2. We don’t have doughnut day here, and as we are constantly told we are the fatties of Europe, I doubt if it would get official sanction now. June here seems to think it’s April. Maybe March. Wimbledon is due to start soon, so we should get the rain that hasn’t fallen this year. Dull days and dry grass, a weird combination.
    What are 14ers?
    And my, doesn’t Miles look svelte! Give the boy a congratulatory pat or three from me. But no doughnuts.

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    1. Doughnut Day is certainly not the healthiest holiday, and most Americans could stand to skip it (or at least limit the volume). The line about Wimbledon made me laugh; that seems to be the way it goes.

      14ers are mountains that reach 14,000 feet and higher. Colorado has, I believe, 53. Many hikers and climbers set a goal of reaching each peak, but some get a little snobby about it and view anything less as pedestrian.

      (And Miles would probably thank you for noticing his weight loss. Then promptly ask for a treat. He lost more than 30 pounds–2.14 stones, an online converter tells me–and his back to his ideal weight range. His energy and activity have returned as well. Though he is not happy about the dietary charges.)

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