Ah, is it really the end of August? Summer moves so fast. But there’s still plenty more summer to come.
Yes, I know the conventional thinking (at least here in the States and also Canada) is that summer ends on Labo(u)r Day Weekend, which is around the first Monday of September.* Which is this coming weekend. Kids go back to, or are back in school. Tourist facilities start shutting down. The nights grow longer.
But while I can be a pessimistic grouch about a lot of things, I take a more optimistic view of summer’s end. I consider the entirety of September to still be summer. (And since Autumnal Equinox in the northern hemisphere happens on September 22, most of September is technically summer anyways.) Besides that, I don’t have kids or a conventional job, so I can still do things. And the weather tends to be pretty awesome here in September: warm and not usually too hot, maybe a little rain but not much.
So I still have a bunch of stuff to look forward to. For instance, the day you read this I will be heading up to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest with my friend Steve for a backpacking trip into the Indian Heaven Wilderness. Yes, my first ever backpacking trip! I’m a bit anxious, but hopefully nothing bad will happen. I did test out my new bag and walked five miles with it loaded, and man, that was tiring!
And there’s the big week-plus tour I want to do in the later part of September. The current plan is something in southern Oregon. And by “southern” I mean the SW corner of the state, as anything east of the Cascades would be “eastern” or “SE” Oregon. I haven’t seen the southern coast (anything south of Newport) since my big coast tour in 2006, and I’d like to check out more of the lands of Umpqua and Rogue. And hopefully get up to Crater Lake again too!
Looking back, this summer is shaping up to be one of the best ones I’ve had in a long time. I’ve done something on average every other weekend. (In fact, I skipped doing something one weekend because I needed a break.) I’ve camped a couple times a month since May. I’ve gone to the Coast twice! And now I have some romance, too. That definitely brings my mood up.
Still, there’s part of me that wanted to do more. I get bummed about trips that didn’t happen, like the Grand Tour Bikeway tour I was supposed to do in early August. Or look at all the stuff going on that I can’t participate. And there is that itch that needs to be scratched, the itch of a really long bike tour.
Then there’s a part of me that longs a little for the quieter summers of the past couple years, when I could just take a leisurely bike ride instead of doing some camping trip all the time. And the time to get all the other things done in my life. Then again, winter will be here before I know it. I can do that stuff then, and also not look back on a summer and regret it.
*Yeah, it’s usually the first full weekend of September, but if Labor Day happens to be on September 1st or 2nd (which it can), some of that weekend falls in August.