Rain Happened

It’s late summer in Estes Park, Colorado. Smoky haze from surrounding forest fires has begun to subside. Afternoon rain showers precede lower temperatures day and night. A bugling elk was heard from the open window last night. Change of season is near. 

Sunday afternoon. We spontaneously headed into Rocky Mountain National Park. A picnic supper was packed, and we set out to an undetermined location for sunset watching and contemplative time. 

This wasn’t our first venture in improvising an outing at the last minute. But it turned out to be a memorable one.

Moraine Park is a vast landscape with 360-degree wide-angle views. Elk herds typically congregate here during the rut, covering wide swaths of the meadow. It is still early for this so we looked for a scenic place to set up temporary camp.

The Big Thompson River flows east through Moraine Park, gurgling and sparkling and encouraging fishermen to cast lines in late afternoon sun. We spied an empty sandbar and a trail leading there. Pulling over, we walked to the water’s edge. 

The sandbar was wide and pebbled with small and medium sized rocks. Clear, shallow water curled around with soothing sounds. There were tall green reeds on the far side, shining in the sun, waving in the breeze. The river is narrow here but cold, as expected of mountain run-off streams.

Green folding camp chairs, a small oak table, a cooler and a basket of food completed the set up. We settled in and began with a toast to the sunset, to the high peaks, to living in such an incredibly beautiful natural environment, and to each other.

Up river from us, backlit by sunlight, a fly fisherman cast again and again. His wet line glistened and lashed out like horizontal lightening. It was perhaps too breezy for trout to bite, but the silhouette of his attempt was lovely.

Husband indulged with homemade pizza taken from the oven just before leaving home. There was farmer’s market arugula as salad on top. And, there was champagne because bubbles create an optimal accompaniment with pizza. [Champagne: “Tasting the Stars”] [Wait Twenty Minutes Then Add Salt] A square of dark bittersweet chocolate accompanied last sips.

Clouds formed between the sinking sun and western mountains. Breezes blew them south and then new ones took their place. We settled in to see what would happen. 

Rain happened. A misty, silky, spotty rain destined to subside quickly. Reluctantly we began to pack up. 

Then, the almost certain finale to showers in the mountains lit up the sky behind us–a full rainbow that touched the meadow on both ends.

There it was–nature’s beautiful end to a serendipitous outing. It gave us more than we expected on a late August evening. 

day is done

31 thoughts on “Rain Happened

  1. I felt a huge blast of nostalgia reading your latest entry. I have spent so many summers in RMNP that it always feels like home when I return. Your lovely photos remind me of the infinite beauty that surrounds all of us when we just step outside. Thank you. And then the picnic…..those were some of the best events during our time in Paris! Thank you for the moment of peace and reflection.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In the time of COVID-19, we need to know there are a few constants to hold close with gratitude. Wide-open spaces, a late afternoon mountain shower, a rainbow trout that breaks the surface and love for another all remind of things natural. Your observations and writing, elegantly uncomplicated, are helpful as we seek the familiar and the confidence to keep our head up and to keep going. One of your best.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved reading this, Wendy. And your gorgeous photos brought back wonderful memories of our visits to Estes Park! Hope we’ll be able get our next gathering scheduled soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It was a lovely evening! We saw the rainbows at Rainbow Curve! That was after we were in a snowstorm at Alpine Visitor Center . We experienced all four seasons in less than an hour. Bet that pizza tasted even better in Moraine Park!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How perfectly wonderful.
    A spontaneous moment with no expectation can lead to something spectacular. The picnic lunch looks scrumptious and those photographs are breathtaking. Thank you for sharing this moment. Wow! Thanks to Mother Nature…. the ultimate star of that show! The final scene is really a showstopper!! Love it. Miss you ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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