Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Family Night

Last night felt a little like a scene from my favorite vacation. I wore long pants and my mountain hardware long sleeve shirt for protection from mosquitos that weren't really there. The air was warm but not hot. You could go swimming if you were from the mountains or perhaps need a sweatshirt if you were coming from down the hill. The sky was deep June blue. That is the only way I can describe the sky that seems to extend forever and then disappear into a brown haze that those who live below have to endure in June.

We put the dog and the backpack in the car and roll the windows down. Annika sticks her hand out the window and grins. She enjoys the air blowing in her face and smiles. The drive up Keller Peak is beautiful. Wildflowers adorn the mountains at each turn. Orange, Yellow, red, and an occasional bright purple iris fills my eyes while the story of Academy Princess fills my ears. I especially like the orange flowers that are everywhere.

We stop near the gate and head down the road past the gate. We want to look at some rocks for possible rock climbing later. We hike through the weeds and over small streams that never usually exist this time of the year. I enjoy the smell of fresh running water and wish it was always there. We hike up to a large rock formation and the girls looked for an easy way to the top. We crawl under and over boulders that lean against the big rock but find an easy way to the top.

We head off to another rock formation finding wild onions along our way by their smell. This time we pick our way up the tall rock formation. It reminds us of the Sierras. My girls are so big they don't need help anymore. Ali reaches her long legs and easily climbs over the cracks. Ashling is more mountain goat than human (like her Dad) and she leaps and jumps between rocks. She looks like a professional rock climber instead of a girl who is barely 5. Cameron's eyes dance in delight and I can see his imagination working as he imagines her with a rope and harness.

We finally top out at the top of the rock! The girls are happy. On top we can see forever. We can see Mount Baldy and the way the Los Angeles Mountains crest and then fall towards the ocean. We can see the brown haze making its way up the mountains but a long way down from our location. We can see Butler Peak and enjoy looking at Slide Peak where we ski in the winter. Running Springs is calm and still below us. The girls hop around the flat rock on top and jump the cracks.

Soon we realize that although the sun is still high in the Northern Sky we need to get home because it is already past bedtime and we still have school. We find our way down the rocks cross a marsh land and get on a dirt road. The girls wonder where it leads and I say, "All roads lead to Rome." So they think we are headed to Rome but really we find our car. The drive down is beautiful and relaxing.

I love where we live! I love summer with never ending sunlight and beautiful lasting twilight. I love the sound of frogs, the smell of growing plants and the sight of wildflowers. I love Family nights where we go out in it.