The first time she told me she had been camping and rather enjoyed hiking must have been in a juke joint. At the time she was in full vampire drag; corset, big black boots, and shocking make up. We had most likely been drinking, which is what you do at places like that. I've heard.
"My entire sexy and grabbable ass!" I said. "You're too fucking prissy for something like that."
"My x and I used to go hiking and camping all the time," Sabina said calmly sipping her martini. "And even your closest friends say you have no ass."
"Your mother was grasping it quite tightly last night when I was fucking her, well, and she was screaming; 'give it up you anorexic stallion!'" I shot back, and Sabina, curiously enough, drained the rest of her martini rather quickly.
It would be sometime later, after the musician and us starting to consider getting involved, that, whilst helping her move into the flat she lived into before we bought the House of Owls and Bats, I would see her mountain bike and camping gear. She had been working to put the visages of the Vampire Queen behind her.
"I stand corrected," I said.
"I told you," she said. "I was the Vampire Queen."
We made some demon deals and left in the late afternoon for Grizzly Gulch. A mile and half up, in the shadows of Gray's and Torrey's, we pitched our tent. Funny that so many of my recent outback adventures have involved direct views of Torrey's Peak. When I mentioned this to Sabina asked if I was going to climb that mountain.
"I don't know that it's talking to me like that," I said, never mind the dubious proposition of a mountain talking, no matter how imposing.
We roasted hot dogs on a big fire under a big sky. The sound of rushing water off the gulch and the occasional high above jet engine were the only sounds we heard. Late at night, early in the morning, it was cool enough to see our breath.
It was only an overnight. Obligations with the town's one-hundred thirty-third birthday brought us back sooner. We smelled of campfire and were filled with the sense of accomplishment at having gone backpacking for the first time since the summer after my mother died.
"We got to go camping, dear," I said as we toasted for supper.
"Fucking finally," Sabina said with a relieved smile as we turned back to the fire.