schussman.com logo

 readership

Heather tells me that I’m losing all my website readers because I haven’t posted anything substantial for a week or so. Indeed, I can report a 100% drop in readership lately, as neither she nor I have read the site in days!

So what is keeping us busy? Summer, for one thing, and all its accoutrements: afternoon naps, swamp cooler maintenance, seeking shade aggressively. This weekend, we celebrated our very first wedding anniversary. t’s hard to believe that a year has gone by. A year ago last week we were wrapping up loose ends, making programs, setting up tents, and reuiniting with friends who came to celebrate with us. A year ago Sunday we said our vows under an arch in a back yard in southern Idaho, then danced with friends and family long after the sun went down.

A year ago we were backpacking in Idaho’s Sawtooth mountains for our honeymoon. The first day of hiking, Heather’s pack didn’t fit so well, but we got it squared away on the second day, when we reached our high-altitude point a little below the crest of Imogene Divide; we had planned to hike to the gem of a lake on the other side, but the late snowpack on the divide changed our mind. It was too steep and too deep to cross, so we rested in a meadow nearby. Besides, every lake in the Sawtooths is a gem, so not getting to Toxaway was fine. When it’s hot and dry in the desert, the cold runoff streams we crossed sure sound nice.

After the trip, Heather became intent on reducing her pack weight: “I’ll cut my toothbrush in half! We won’t bring as much food! I’ll wear thong underwear!” Just last week, we got her her very own backpack, a lovely Kelty fetishistically made primarily from Spectra fabric—lightweight and virtually unrippable, Spectra was first used to make climbing webbing. Now all we need is a few days off and someplace to go.

Not many chances to backpack in Arizona this summer. Between the fire that shut down Coronado National Forest and the fires now burning in the White Mountains, it looks like the places we thought about going will be very inaccessible. Without many free days to get out of town this summer, we don’t have the time to seek the Sierras, the Uintas, or the Sawtooths, and everything else nearby is too hot and dry. It looks like we’ll have to wait. Maybe we can celebrate our second anniversary by a lake someplace.