It was well past noon, and for some reason, we didn't eat but for a couple of sodas and junk food. Who knows why, perhaps because things were getting pretty as the monsoon clouds darkened up and began to rain here and there.
We stopped at the Escalante river trailhead for a few minutes and thought about future adventures, dreaming up hikes to the Colorado and such, then headed up the mountain toward Boulder. Though the light was changing and the temperature mediating from the relative heat of the late morning, we still didn't really stop to think.
Up the road further on, Ryan abruptly turned onto a road that lead to a fork; left for Deep Creek and that country, and right toward a place called Scout Lake. "I haven't been there since I was seventeen, but it was great then. We can fish it for an hour or so and head down into Torrey for refreshment" he said. That was fine with me.
The road was obviously not a place many trucks came on anymore, so that buoyed our spirits. For some reason, we like places where nobody else bothers to go.
After some maneuvering and low gear crawling, we go to Scout Lake. A crazy beautiful place, the trees came right down to the shore in most places, and we again realized that we hadn't brought float tubes that might have made things easier.
I rigged up and casted from the edge of some boulders at the west end of the lake, and Ryan decided to go in.
Yeah, go right in.
Realizing that he couldn't cast to the places that most likely held the fish we hoped were still there, he waded into the water past his knees, past his hips and indeed, a little past his waist. Gasps and groans were heard, but he was shakily perched at the edge of what he hoped would be successful fishing.
I casted a few more times, and after catching on a tree once or twice, I retired to a rock to slap mosquitoes and examine the copious mayflies buzzing about.
Something began to click; Ryan, as he giddily froze his gonads off and casted for bites but no landings, and me, as I just enjoyed the sit and scenery.
This was beautiful, and the day had been just what we had made it.
Our decisions had shaped the day, and whether or not the fish were landed, reeled or snagged, this was just where we wanted to be. We hadn't brought the tubes or even our many pairs of waders reposing safely at home, but the day was still coaxing us onward to beauty, and hopefully, its perception on our stubborn parts.
The ride down the mountain to the main highway included spotty reception of a program called The World, a program carried by public radio stations. The stories we heard spoke of human trafficking in Mexico followed by an account of free weddings at car shows by Elvis-impersonating clerics in Sweden. None of this made sense in a world as beautiful as this, in a place where we are all soft and full of blood and bones and the occasional curse word or love ballad. None of it made sense, but things were beginning to come to a head as the Henries came into sunlight while we were swathed in shadows from approaching rain.
We took awed photos and spoke of going into Capitol reef for a few minutes, after we had a drink and a bite...