Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What Would I Do If....

I have a dream of spending a summer living in Sutton, Quebec.  It is a little town I have fallen in love with.  Many of my ancestors settled there around 1800.  While I probably have a few cousins still hanging around Sutton, and while I sure like to meet them, that is just part of the draw.  I'd like to stroll down country lanes and hike wooded paths.  I'd like eat baguettes in little bistros and chat with the locals on a sidewalk bench.  I'd like to converse with a favorite author, who happens to live there.  I'd like to study French.  I'd like to haunt local book stores and join a book club.  I'd like to find fellowship in the local Ward.  I'd like to smell the timothy hay being cut in the gorgeous fields.

I am on my way to that goal.  Still, it may be some time before it is actually arrive in Sutton.

This morning, feeling a bit unsettled, and having a bit of free time on my hands, I found myself wondering, "What would I do if I were living in Sutton right now?"  I decided I'd probably go for a morning hike in the woods followed by a quiet lunch in a little bistro in town.  Then, I thought, ought I not to be doing the same thing right here where I am?  Of course I should!

I jumped in the car and drove up Hwy 191 to the place Brush Creek crosses the road.  Just south of that junction is a trail into a canyon I've long wanted to explore.  It had rained over night and the air was cool and moist.  The sandy bottom of the wash was firm and damp.  Perfect for hiking.  It looked as if a pretty good stream had run down the wash during the night, but now, not even a trickle.

My friend Tom had designed this trail for the BLM a few years ago, but I have never taken the time to hike it.  Oh, what I have missed!  It was a great three hour excursion that really lifted my spirits!  What a joy to see  slick rock arches, massive junipers, even a surprise clump of Quakies, or as Tom would surely say, Populus tremuloides, everything so fresh and washed clean.  The scudding clouds still lay low on these fringes of the mountain and provided shade and freshness even as late as eleven.  Tom had designed the trail very well.  I had thought the trail continued on for miles, but if it did, I lost it somewhere.  It ended, for me, in a box canyon full of squawberry bushes and teeming with birds.  I saw Rufous-sided Towhees, Albert's Towhees, Blue Gray Gnat Catchers and Vireos, as well as Ravens, Canyon Wrens and Doves.

Climbing out of the canyon I got a great view of the mountain and of Simplot's phosphate operations.  It was a splendid hike on a magnificent morning.

Driving home, wishing Vernal had a quaint little place to eat, it occurred to me that Bitter Creek Bookstore has put in a little bistro in the back called the Backdoor Grille.  I decided it was the perfect time to give it a try.  I had a marvelous Tuscan chicken panini with a nice raspberry smoothie.  The atmosphere was charming.  Cookies were baking in the oven and the gals were busy making the soup du jour.  (See even a little French!) Kathy asked friendly questions and Alan sold me a used Dean Koontz novel; one that had slipped by me some years ago.

I'm still headed for Sutton someday, but should I die, before my journey's through, happy day, I'm having a great time right where I am.


Cindi said...

Good for you! Bittercreek Books was the first little book store I fell in love with. I have great memories of looking over the shelves and taking my time before chosing the next perfect book.

Mindy said...

I LOVE this post! What a great way to live your dream the best way you can, and enjoy what you have in the now. I need to find out where that trail is. I love hiking.

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