One good thing about a heat wave--it is predictable. Mornings are cooler than afternoons, so we seized the morning and walked around the Lake Coeur d'Alene at 7AM. We realized that our only opportunity to have a real meal in a restaurant today would be breakfast (since Nick couldn't be in the car during the heat of the day), so we asked a local for a recommendation--always a good idea. The Blue Plate Cafe did not disappoint. Truly delicious breakfast. So then we tooled up the road to Sandpoint and found a lovely state park, Round Lake, to set up camp in for the day in the shade.
Used the time and space to read and make some phone calls. Favorite odd moment of the day was calling Susan Andrews (former HR director of Hampton-Brown). Talked with her for a good five minutes before she said, "I never worked at Hampton-Brown" in response to something I said. Turns out she is Susan Andrews, but is a retiree from Phoenix, not Carmel, CA. Such a weird conversation. I never did find HB Susan, unfortunately.
But sitting in the woods on a hot day, watching great blue herons circle over the deep blue lake, allows for a certain amount of contemplation. Today's riff was on the importance of limits, of restrictions, in creating satisfaction and, possibly, happiness. Many people recommended that we leave the dog at home on this extended journey. And we would really have preferred to leave him at home, but we couldn't. So, we have a trip with a lot of limits and challenges. And the realization is: that's not a bad thing. It actually creates coherence and focus in the kind of trip we create each day. And creating what we do, where we go every day takes a lot of energy. It's actually a bit of a relief to have a certain pool of choices, rather than unlimited choice. We made the analogy to our recent house remodel project. If everything was possible, then any kind of coherence would be very difficult. That is, we like Craftsman architecture, rustic style, modern style, lots of different colors and textures, but wanted a low-maintenance, relaxing home. Choices had to be made from within one style, rather than all styles, or we wouldn't achieve our primary goal of low-maintenance and relaxation. (Nothing like a mix of styles to create interest, but not relaxation, usually.)
It's like that with our trip. We could do something different every day and end up with a hodge-podge of a trip that might be notable for its eclecticism, but wouldn't be a satisfying road trip with the dog, our primary goal. What is satisfying is finding all kinds of interesting places to walk and just being out in such beautiful places. Just being. If we didn't have the dog with us, we'd be doing this, trying that, and missing out on the opportunity we have now. Something to ponder.
Off to Montana tomorrow!