We planned a hike. Not a long one. Just a day hike along the river. We arose on Sunday morning, the sky was perfect, not a cloud in it. But by 9 a.m. it looked like the above photo. But do you see that look on Molly’s face? That’s how disappointed she and Poe both would have been if we hadn’t kept our promise to hike something.
So Sheryle, Tim and I headed off to Wallowa Lake, figuring we could at least take the dogs for a “walk-about.” That’s what Tim called it anyway.
This is the first lake my kids swam in and it is also the lake where Tim had his Come-to-Jesus moment. He’d nearly wrecked a motorcycle after hitting a rock in the road as he cruised around Wallowa Lake. Sheryle likes to bring her kayack up here at night and watch the moon come up over the moraine. She and Chuck used to kayack together up here but Chuck died a year ago of lung cancer. In September he and Sheryle had hiked up to the high lakes and a few short months later he was diagnosed with lung cancer. A few short weeks later, he was dead. We are all in shock over it still.
How does that happen to a perfectly healthy man? A man who never smoked? When our children were little I think we spent nearly every weekend with Chuck and Sheryle and their kids. We played Bunco. We watched movies. The kids played He-Man and Barbies, never together, though. You couldn’t cross genders in those days.
On Memorial Day weekends we would head off to the hot springs for a weekend of camping. The last time we did that we got snowed on, which explains why it was the last time we did that.
I think what I miss most about Chuck is his laughter. He laughed like one of those Saturday morning toon characters. A deep-throttle laughter. Chuck was laughing all the time.
Don’t tell anyone but Sheryle did find a new fella up at the lake, on our walk-about.
He’s not quite as good-looking as Chuck was, and he doesn’t dress nearly as well, but he has an ability to make a person laugh and that can be an endearing quality in most anybody.
Fortunately for us the clouds parted and we did not get rained on during our walkabout. It had rained buckets for two nights prior. But we managed to walk from the lake up to the powerhouse and back down to the lake again. It wasn’t as pretty a hike as it would have been along the river, but it was enjoyable.
And the best part of all is we didn’t get our shoes muddy.
Even Poe kept his paws clean.
Rain or shine. It’s always a good day for a walk-about.