Last Friday I was hiking the Skyline Wilderness trail before work, when I rounded a bend and came across this guy.
What a funny looking raccoon! I thought, before quickly realizing that:
A) It was not a raccoon, and
B) There was nothing funny about the situation.
In retrospect, sure. But we both stopped dead in our tracks when we spotted each other at the same time. And then the lil’ stinker actually took a step toward me, erasing any illusions I had about man’s dominance over nature. Naturally, this caused me to take a step back.
I swear I saw a grin on his face once I began my retreat.
Fortunately, he decided not to toy with me any longer and took off into the grass. But I was still super wary and kind of nervous about continuing along the trail, fearing I’d be sprayed at any moment. The path is narrow, located on a hill, and surrounded by tall grass, so I didn’t have very many options other than turning around, retracing my steps, and finding an alternate trail, but that would have taken too much time. In the end, I made it home without further incident. First time I’ve ever seen a skunk around here. Normally they’re nocturnal anyway, so spotting one after sunrise was an even bigger surprise.
Never a dull moment around here.
I don’t know if y’all are dealing with smoke from all the wildfires out west, but it’s been real bad around here lately. Started a few days ago and hasn’t let up since. At least it makes for some interesting skies.
Adding insult to injury, our heatwave continues. It was 99.7º this afternoon, so I decided to…
Yeah. I don’t know what I was thinking. I was back up at Skyline again; fortunately, there were no skunks this time—or any other sign of life the entire two hours I was there. Apparently every other living creature has more sense than I do.
But it wasn’t so bad. I explored some new trails and worked off brunch. Earlier, Tara and I went to Belle Joli Winery—the place we stopped by when my parents were visiting a few weeks ago. We were so impressed then, we signed up for their wine club. One of the perks of membership is $5 off brunch, which happens every Sunday. For the low, low price of $20, you get two Mimosas each; your choice of Eggs Benedict or a rotating option (today’s was cinnamon French toast); hash browns; fresh fruit; and a little dessert pastry. Even without a wine club membership, that’s a pretty good deal! Everything was delicious. I have a feeling we’ll be regulars. Not every weekend regulars, but definitely once every couple of months.
After my hike, I downed a gallon of water and took a cool shower. Then, much to our surprise, it started raining. A line of thunderstorms developed and brought some much-needed precipitation (and, this being South Dakota, a little hail, too). It’s supposed to be near 100º again early this week, but will finally start cooling off toward the weekend, with chances for more thunderstorms.
Just in time for our camping trip. I already have reservations because it’s a group outing (not my thing) and our last camping trip left much to be desired. But we bought a new air mattress, so at least this experience shouldn’t be too deflating.