Try as I might, it was an impossibility to change my work schedule to accommodate a quick trip to Bozeman for some sought after socialization and celebration with a posse of current and former Oregonians that I have been yearning to see. If anything good came out of my inability to make my schedule work it is the knowledge of how one needs to go about "officially" requesting days of. You see, the federal government must keep record of everything, including leave requests from the grunts in the trenches like me. Some other grunts knew this and asked Uncle Sam for their days off before I did. With that disappointment, and the inherent drama that stems from a bunch of strangers thrown into close proximity for a few months and expected to be fast friends, I needed a break from the tower. Spearfish, SD to the rescue.
I met my mom and sis in Spearfish yesterday. We hiked to a place called Devils Bathtub (I can only go places now that have the name "devil" in them) in Spearfish Canyon. A little creek forms a series of pools at the base of small falls. The pools lend themselves perfectly to relaxing in the water and splashing around. My dad then met us for some fly fishing. I redeemed myself from our last outing - I was skunked. I caught quite a few fish this time, ranging from a whopping four inches to a respectable 13. Not exactly Moby Dick, but at least I smelled like a fish when I was done.
Today finds me back in Spearfish eagerly awaiting a haircut at a place that purportedly breaks out a cold beer for you when you sit down in the big chair. This sounds almost as good as an ice cold PBR in a hot shower.
I also had a weird realization while hanging out with my mom and dad: they are old. It hit me all at once. Last I remember, they were relatively spry. They ran around, seemed limber, jumped over things and generally seemed physically fit. To be fair, my dad is over sixty and my mom is getting close, but all of a sudden they seem more like paper clips - breakable if bent to far- rather than silly putty. Wow, with that great analogy I better be off for my haircut.