Smokey Hot Colorado For Us Girls

It’s hot, dry and the air is full of cottonwood fluff. The warm light breeze moves gently through the leaves and kicks up fine dust to coat everything in sight. The sky is mostly clear of clouds after yesterday’s almost perpetual thunder storms. Last night the crystal clear sky with twinkling jewels was lit up at the south end by flashes of lightning while the moon in the east glowed orange through a smoky haze.

Marin’s scalp is caked brown with sweat and dirt and she hates it when I try to scrub it clean while giving her a bath in a tote bin on “the cabin’s” small porch.

“What?” you say. “Where are you? That doesn’t sound like Portland!”

Nope. We are in Colorado visiting my parents and siblings.

Marin checking out all the aunts and uncles
Marin checking out all the aunts and uncles

We flew down last week and were greeted by big smiles, hugs and the hottest weather Marin has ever experienced. Temperatures in the van were over 100 degrees as we drove from Albuquerque, NM to Cortez, CO. The heat remained for the next few days, easily hitting 103. One day the smoke from the West Fork Complex Fire drifted through, obscuring our gorgeous view and making some people’s throat scratchy and sore. But don’t worry, we are not near any fires.

My folks met a couple while camping in Los Frailes, Mexico who invited them to stay on their 10 acres when they came back to the United States. My parents took them up on the offer and have made a nice little camp here while my dad and brother Mitch help work on a garage and house that are under construction. These people are so nice they even got materials for Mitch to build a sailboat while they are here! So…. Marin and I are permanent temporary camping with them, as in, one camp for a long but temporary time instead of finding a new place to camp every couple of days.

We have made a couple forays into the town of Cortez which is only 12-15 minutes away. Groceries, playground, internet and showers. Oh my, last night we were in for showers and I’ve never felt so clean in over a year!

When morning comes, I wake up a minute or two before Marin who tosses, sits up bleary eyed and gives me a cute smile then flops over and rests her head on the mattress for a couple seconds again before rolling over and sitting up ready for the day. Usually her grandma and grandpa are the first people to greet her, which she responds to with a great big smile and a happy flap of her arms.

The rest of the day for her seems to mostly consist of camouflaging her diaper with dry leaves and twigs, walking around with help from her young aunts and uncles, sleeping and getting into as much noisy trouble as she can! I thinks she enjoys it here. She tells me all about the cows on the far field whenever she sees them, or the deer that walks through camp in the evenings. The birds catch her attention, but are unable to contain it for long periods, unlike the donkey, mule and ponies in the neighbour’s pen which she was at first nervous about. I don’t blame her. They are a heck of a lot bigger than Lorax! But she seemed to warm up to them fairly quickly and then wouldn’t stop trying to touch their noses.

Me and my siblings having popsicles
Me and my siblings having popsicles

Just to give a little view of what camp is like right now, I am sitting on a camp chair typing (obviously) while Marin chews on a Tonka tractor and her muddy sippy cup in the dirt. Mom is reading a novel in Mitch’s new hammock, Maret is cutting up strawberries to put on cheesecake to celebrate Canada Day, Mitch is working on his boat with Dad, and everybody else is watching “How To Train Your Dragon” in the shade of the borrowed tent trailer. A welcome cloud has drifted across the sun, bringing a welcoming drop in temperature. Birds are twittering, doves are cooing and a hummingbird just flew through the branches above my head. Image

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