Today was a beautiful day. Autumn seems to be getting comfortable, blessing us with its presence and promising to stick around this time. It was a perfect day for a picnic and a delightful day out for the doggies.
Though we had a nice, long weekend with an extra day to laze about and get ourselves out, I spent most of it close to home. The hubby took it solo on an exciting moto-adventure, leaving me behind to man the fort and stay alert in the event of any unforeseen emergencies. He enjoyed a great ride (see his adventure here) and while he was away, I enjoyed a rare burst of productive organizational energy. I was feeling quite satisfied until the doggies began their display. You know, the woe is me, look how sad I am, I can’t believe you didn’t take me out for a walk, kind of performance that tugs at your heartstrings and makes you feel completely inadequate in your human-canine relationship. So, I vowed to take them out the following day for a much overdue doggie adventure.
Of course, there was a picnic in it for me, as well. I prepared and packed some healthy eats the night before, allowing for a speedy morning departure, as I was secretly hoping to chance upon an especially spectacular sunrise. When we left the house, the stars were still dancing in the dark sky of the early hour, but as we drove north on highway 395, dawn came stealthily into being. Alas, there was no exceptionally photogenic sunrise. Our little corner of the earth just slowly, gracefully turned it’s face toward the sun, which gradually and subtly illuminated the features of this all too familiar landscape.
The pups were beyond restless, beside themselves with the anticipation of this unexpected adventure and not about to tolerate a lengthy car ride. I stopped near Fossil Falls to let them run in the open space of a dry lake bed. And run they did, with such joy and glee and bounding energy! They were so happy to be out and about in this rosy hour…I must say, it was quite contagious. In the midst of their frantic fun frenzies, those dogs of mine never fail to pause and take it in with a seemingly peaceful, grateful heart. I adore it.
After a little runnin’ around, we hopped back in the car and continued on about 5 miles along a very bumpy dirt road to the Little Lake overlook. There we enjoyed a lovely view of the lake whose waters are now crowded with all sorts of migratory birds.
After we bumped our way back down that dirt road, we continued north on the 395 toward the little town of Lone Pine. Alabama Hills is always a great place to roam when you just feel like gettin’ out. I took the scenic route up Lubken Canyon Road, hoping for a tiny glimpse of some fall color, but I encountered sunflowers instead.
Alabama Hills was alive with activity this holiday weekend. Campers around every corner. Trailers in every turn-out. Climbers in every nook and cranny. Seeking a little solitude, I headed back into the hills a bit to one of our favorite viewpoints. We usually drive up to a saddle where the view of this rocky wonderland is all-encompassing. Not to mention the layer of grand granite peaks in the background: Mt. Williamson, Mt. Whitney, Lone Pine Peak. Needless to say, it is definitely a “take it in” kind of view.
The mutts and I parked near the main road and walked up to the saddle, thoroughly enjoying the movement and the moment. At the saddle, we settled in, unpacked the picnic and puttered about. I had planned on building a sandwich of grilled veggies and hummus on gluten-free bread. But since I, unintentionally, left the bread in the car, I fixed myself a plate of grilled veggies with hummus, sans bread. Throwing in some heirloom tomatoes and avacado with a side of vegan kale and red cabbage coleslaw…it was beautiful, simple, pure and delicious. Oh. And don’t forget the honeycrisp apples and pomegranate for dessert. And the homemade pomegranate-camu lemonade. What can I say? It was a perfect picnic.
And what’s a picnic without the ants?
I let the pups take care of the clean-up, then we simply relaxed, scrambled about and took in that amazing view together. Sometimes it is the simplest things that fill my heart with joy: a perfect picnic, happy hounds, scenery that fills the soul. It was a beautiful day.
Go pack yourself a picnic, find a lovely lookout and savor the simple things.