We stand upon the precipice of what is so often called the unofficial start of summer. This moniker has never ceased to amuse me. The abstractness of time, the dubiousness of the start and stop of seasons, and the placement of equinoxes and solstices not withstanding, there have been times when the oncoming holiday weekend has felt rather far from summer. Cool, murky, rainy. Of course, this high up, it's snowed before. It can potentially snow anytime of the year and that's just the way of it. Those snows delight the late-season snowbums, searching for the last Backcountry bowls, but devastate those who hoped to ride the narrow-gauge in shorts and their newly-acquired tourist-trap Colorado! t-shirt.
The scent in the air is that of anticipation. The unofficial start of summer is the official start of tourist season, although I get nervous laughs when I've asked if this means we can shoot them...legally. Once more the museums are open and the narrow-gauge runs. This is the good time around here. The boom time. If luck holds, the coffers can be filled enough to feed one during the leanest months of deep winter. Sempi has been ramping up like general preparing for an offensive, or to defend from one, repelling the hordes of travelers whom he anticipates coming to ask us for directions and history lessons. Sometimes, this has been amusing.
Thoughts drift to outdoor festivals, warm sun, and cool breezes. Hiking, bonfire parties, and barbeque's. The trill of the hummingbirds provide a backbeat when sitting out back. Our gardening starts are effectively hardened, and we look to putting them in our plot in the next few days. At any opportunity, Sabina brings up wanting to go camping, like that's all she ever thinks about. In some ways, it seems absurd; given where we live, we live camping, but I do suppose there's something to be said for heading out into the bush to get your John Muir on. On walkabout, we stood in the borderlands of treeline, seeing the first wildflowers blooming, and I caught a sense of excitement at the thought of once more going wandering in the summer tundra.
Within the borders of our Sahel, these days building up to the upcoming weekend is held breath. Anticipation of the coming tourists. Collectively, we sit like children awaiting Christmas Day.
Sure, some entitled-like treat our townships like fucking Disneyland, they can ask some rather daft questions, and I still would like to shoot at least one, because I'd like to be able to hang a human skull out on the folly, but they're the ones who keep us going. One cannot have the good without the bad and even good deeds have their consequences. It's a matter of balance; all things for a price, that is the nature of the deal. Only the cheap things get paid for with jingling coins and folding paper. If summer is the boom time for us, than the occasional annoyance of the tourist is the price to paid. To my mind, there are worse penances to be exacted.