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Some Sweet Pleasures of Summer

Since I promised to stop apologizing for writing about the sweet pleasures of camping:

Maybe a North American boondocker should come up with a blog/vlog aimed at the European audience, since living in a normal house or 'flat' for them is becoming similar to boondocking.

The trouble is: how do you monetize it?  Isn't making money off of Europeans a bit like getting blood out of the proverbial turnip?

Too bad.  North American boondockers could certainly give them great advice on taking fewer showers and using less water, too.  On the other hand, my navy-style showers are always taken with hot water, which a good European is supposed to abandon.

During a recent late-summer heat wave, I warmed the shower water only a little higher than body temperature.  I couldn't believe how pleasurable that was!  It felt like I was honoring the occasion.

Was it reminding me of the pleasure a child gets in the summer from a lawn's water sprinklers, a lake, or swimming pool?  That was especially true for people my age who experienced childhood in a pre-air-conditioner age. 


We did all kinds of things that presumably are not allowed today, such as 'free range' bicycling without a helmet, all over town, to any place you wished.  A child might be quite interested in learning a new route or finding a hole in a fence that becomes his new secret shortcut. (Normally, in a mood like this, I advertise a chapter on summer in the Adams' home in Quincy MA in "The Education of Henry Adams.")

The other wild-summer-child, besides myself.

I am glad that topo and landscape maps leave a bit of mystery to my routes when I ride forest roads or two-tracks in the backcountry.  You see, I haven't grown up at all!  Perhaps the childlike exploration of backroads is one reason I hardly ever ride on real single-track trails with their signage and explicit maps that 'spill the beans.'

On the last ride, Q.t.π and I were on a long climb.  How nice it is to suffer a little bit, as you look for flat campsites, a good cell-signal-viewscape, and a cool breeze.  Those tend to occur on ridges.

There is a perfect moment when suffering, hope, and keen observation balance out: you notice fingers of blue sky between the gloomy dark trees almost reaching the 'horizon' of the land ahead of you.  What bliss -- you have almost crested!