Saturday, October 6, 2012

Father-Daughter Weekend Getaway at Coyote

It's been a long time since my dad and I had a weekend to just the two of us. One beautiful weekend this summer, Dad was headed up to one of our favorite Sierra lakes. His passenger seat would be open.  Mr. B was slated to be home. Dad was coming home well in time for me to settle in before Mr. B headed back to work again.

I asked if I could join Dad in the trip.

It was so spontaneous, I think we were both surprised!

In keeping with Jeeping tradition, we left home  later than expected, perhaps spent longer than expected at dinner, and arrived at the trailhead somewhere around 1 a.m. We could have stopped there. We could have slept there and rolled into camp the following morning. But we were already packed up, already on the trail, and the fun part of the drive, the part that keeps off-highway drivers awake, was just beginning.

As we bumped and thumped and rolled on along the trail through the darkened forest, I suddenly realized that my compulsion to stay up late and wrap things up, to work obsessively at a task, to drive on to the end isn't entirely my compulsion, but a genetic one. Why stop now when we're so close? Who needs caffeine?

We arrived at camp somewhere around 4 a.m., not an entirely unusual bedtime for me. We threw down the tarp, our pads and our sleeping bags. I looked up through the boughs of those Sierra pines, smiled at the stars and, for perhaps the first time in my adult life, fell asleep before my dad did.

The benefit of working through the night was that we were in camp all day Saturday. No packing. No traveling. No muss. We made Queen Snake biscuits over the fire for a brunch-like breakfast. I took a walk around the lake. We took an evening paddle. We sat around the fire and told jokes with other campers we met there. And of course we had s'mores.

Sunday, we didn't exactly rush away from camp. I don't think either one of us was really ready to leave the lake. I looked forward to being home where our sky is open and clear, where my husband and kids were. But I'll miss that lake, those mountains, and that special time with my dad.

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