Monday, September 20, 2010

Three Ladies, Two Moose & One Lonely Suitcase

We caught these rocks at Lolo Hot Springs, MT, in a
growing contest, kind of the NASCAR of nature.

Questionable guacamole: check. Camera: check. Books that will likely remain untouched in the tote bag: check.
Pink Aloha suitcase? Um.
K, B and I were headed to Lolo Hot Springs, Montana, for a weekend of taking the waters.
We left Spokane later than planned (mea culpa), so we didn’t get to Lolo before the soaking pools closed. I’d made a reservation for a camping cabin (no running water but electricity and groovy bunk beds), but we didn’t have a way to check in once the place was all closed up. I’d called the pool guy before we hit Missoula, though, and after a mild freakout involving a scramble for pocket change and a lonely payphone, we realized that pool guy had left a cabin unlocked for us. Success!
We unpacked quickly. I searched for my Pink Aloha bag, that wonderful rolling duffel unmistakable on luggage carousels far and wide. Warm fleecy tights? Clean socks?
I brought lots of food and work, which I’d arranged in my back seat and then loaded in K’s subaru.
I’d packed a suitcase with swimsuit, towels, Easter crocs, fashion mags, and pajamas, but in my haste I forgot to get it out of the trunk. So now it was waiting for me in K’s parking lot in Spokane.
It was one of those moments to remember that worry doesn’t help. The universe was telling me to lighten up. K and B were telling me that they could patch together a Montana-worthy bathing costume, so it was time for some hummus.
I took this photo near the picnic spot of
 two moose.

The weekend charged by quickly, even though we were only faintly aware of the clock.
We sat outside like suncatchers and read at our picnic table, on the patterned blanket, in a folding chair.
We soaked some crisp autumn smells. And sulphuric, church-camp-shower smells in the indoor hot pool boxed in with a clear corrugated roof. Teen girls in two pieces and earrings tantalized a tweeny boy who wasn’t allowed to go in the deep end of the cold pool outside. A guy downing his single-serving Sutter Home blush in the hot pool looked like his head might explode. I tried to decipher tattoos, to coax my shoulders out of my ears and into the mineral heat.
In the late afternoon we hiked along the creek.
The weekend belonged in the best-things-in-life-aren't-things montage that plays in my head.
Did I miss my toothbrush? I ate an apple, nature’s toothbrush, to counteract the dozen marshmallows roasted over a fire and bubble-crusted around the gooey innards.
Did we miss the two moose grazing? No way.

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