blog: Pigs in slop
Vail, CO Colorado
It was my last day of this trip and I intended to flounder in it like a pig in slop. Although I suppose that may have a negative connotation to it, I suspect pigs are probably quite happy.
I pull myself lazily from my tent. I wish it were as easy for me to wake up to the wee morning hours as it is for me to stay up through the star filled nights.
My ankles are quite unsteady and stiff for the first few steps of the day as they have been each morning throughout the entire trip. I almost fall over as I balance my way out of the tent but catch myself on the frame. With kindness and understanding of the healing process, I sit in my camp chair to tend to them with the usual morning stretch and massage.
Birds chirp in the trees above and people ride by on their bicycles – obviously far ahead of my pace, but I don’t care. I have already resolved to a day of “slow.”
Since I’m on vacation, I don’t mind reaching into the cooler for some ice, grapefruit juice, and vodka. “Why yes bartender, I believe I’ll have a greyhound.”
I slump back into my camp chair and fold my hands behind my head as I gaze attentively at my surroundings. I am sure I have the best campsite. The river gently churns behind me and three weeping green trees hang over to provide shade from the intense sun. Everywhere else, rock rises above to meet a perfect June blue sky.
I realize my position; it’s the last day of my trip, and I don’t have many pictures of myself because I have been flying solo for two weeks. So, I ask my neighbor to capture (my noticeably soft demeanor) on camera.
I sit back in my chair. With greasy camp hair in place, a pair of men’s boxer briefs and a dirty t-shirt, a chew in the upper lip and a natural, content smile, I feel absolutely beautiful. I still have that photo.
After a leisurely breakfast of eggs, toast, and parts of those I wish to emulate on this day, I slip into my bikini and grab a towel and some PBRs.
The river behind my camp is gorgeous, like a little paradise. Large pool after pool of crystal waters cascade to I don’t even know where.
There is this pretty little sandy “beach” on the other side that I have been eyeing for several days now. On this day, it is mine.
I float my towel down onto the sand and plop on top of it like a tired whale that had just swam across the Atlantic. Despite my deep tan, my skin feels like it’s on fire from the sun. I also notice that once I crack a beer, I must drink quickly even though it is tightly wrapped in my favorite coozie sporting the buns of four unknown men. I was really counting on their support.
The water looks more tasty with each passing minute, and I quickly realized that if I am to survive this day of leisure, I just might have to spend the better half of it floating like a fat happy duck in the river. After all, it is about 105 degrees.
I plunge into a large sparkling pool with a shallow dive. “Wwooo!” are my first words in a few hours. It is a chilly river but I adapt to it quickly in the heat of the day.
My ego feels guilty for taking it easy, so to compromise, I decide to swim the length of the pool upstream and then float down and swim back up again and repeat. This goes on for several hours. I suppose this is my way of easing the guilt associated with being on the “no-plan plan.”
I find a rhythm of gentle swimming which I think resembles a river otter; swimming slowly yet powerfully upstream, my body twists and turns, dips underwater and back up again. Floating downstream, I pretend to be a mermaid; on my back, I make these large sort of side-to-side fish like movements involving my entire body. I am confident that I’m the only one that views me in such a light.
I haven’t swam that continuously since I was 12 years old. I feel that young again. After all, I am on vacation, I am by myself and I have resolved to a day of “slow” much like I remember inadvertently doing as a youngster.
The rest of my afternoon was spent frolicking in the cool river waters until the sun dropped behind the mountains and it was time to think about dinner. I swam and floated and chatted with youngsters, moms and pops, grandmas and grandpas. Dogs found a playful friend in me. I looked at weird spiders and unfamiliar leaves, picked up rocks and played in the soft sands on the “beach.” I swear, there’s no wrinkle cream that can compare to this carefree therapy.
That night as I sat silent in my dark camp under millions of stars enjoying the easy company of Mr. Clapton, I reflected on the day. I was astounded by all the details I could recall. It had gone by so slowly and simply. I had gently floundered through my day like a happy pig in slop.
Brandy Persson can be reached at email@example.com.