Summer nights tend to get a little bit boring. Especially when we just go through the motions; Cal comes home from work and cleans up (he's a welder, so it takes at least half an hour before he's presentable), we make dinner or realize we forgot to pull something out and have to improvise (usually ends up with us getting fast food), and then we decide whether or not we need to take Link out for another run before bed.
When we take Link out, we usually head to one of five places; the old Rodeo Grounds to throw a ball, behind Rolling Hills Reservoir to walk along the dirt road, behind Lake Newell to walk a different dirt road, to the EID walking area, or to the canals (more specifically near the Aqueducts). Usually we come home afterwards and sit downstairs, either watching an anime series or playing Xbox games together. Due to the surplus of multiplayer online games, and the downturn of local co-op games, our selection of what to play is constantly minimizing. We completely overplay all the two-player games we own, and this results in an evening full of boredom.
This brings me to last night. Cal came home, showered, and I ate leftovers for dinner. When he came out we sat in the living room, both pulling out our phones. He browsed through facebook and news articles, while I played one of my many games. We sat like that for probably half an hour at least, not looking at each other or talking. To be honest, I almost fell asleep.
Link started getting antsy, so Cal suggested we take him out. First thing I said was, "Where do you wanna go??"
Cal responded as usual. "Not sure..."
The familiar feeling of not wanting to go because I didn't want to do the same routine, yet again, overwhelmed me and I felt so sluggish as I changed clothes. Once I felt I was ready, I headed to the stairs and told Cal I was ready to go, and asked again where he wanted to go. He took a moment to think about it, looked at me, and said, "Dinosaur Park??"
We loaded Link into Ruby (my Ford Escape) and took a quick pit stop at Red Basket for drinks and snacks before heading out. When we got to the Park, we pulled into the main parking lot, taking the small trail up towards the Visitor Centre, and then behind to do the Coulee Viewpoint Trail. I hadn't walked that trail since probably Fall last year, so I was SUPER excited to do it with Cal and Link.
It was SUCH a beautiful evening too. It was windy but not too windy, which kept the bugs down. The sun was hitting its Golden Hour point so the light all across the coulees was just amazing, and it was cooler too, so that made it so much more enjoyable. And we saw a couple deer, too!! They were grazing in the valley, hidden at first by the lush bushes along the small creek, but then their cinnamon brown pelts poked through. There were three of them in that particular spot, and Cal noticed another one laying down on the side of a coulee, across the valley.
Cal and I took turns (by my request) at taking photos and I am so happy to have pictures of myself enjoying the hike too!! Last time we hiked, he took photos with his phone, but there's something so much more amazing about having photos taken with a higher quality camera. I felt like a model, and with him behind the camera for me, it was so relaxed. You forget, as a photographer, how it feels to be photographed when you spend so much time behind the camera, yourself.
The final moments of our walk/hike were so stellar with how the sunset shone on the landscape. I think Cal got fed up with how slow I was, because he had to keep waiting for me further up the trail.
We got home around 9:30 PM (which is past our usual bedtime - I know, we're old 😆) and I felt so entirely refreshed it was crazy. I'm definitely a homebody when I'm on my own, but get me out adventuring with people I love and I never want to leave.
And the whole time, all I kept thinking about was this song I wrote last week (which I'm still debating about posting somewhere...), about just wanting to live in the prairies and everything it offers. People take the grasslands for granted, but I find they're incredibly stunning in their own way.