The biggest crew news of the last couple of weeks was the much anticipated progressive dinner, scheduled annually around the midseason point--held on July 17. At the progressive dinner, every crew member prepares a dish and we all visit the crew cabins as we partake. I think it's one of the best three meals the crew shares on the mountain together.
Our dishes included tomato basil asiago topping on a garlic baguette, avocado chicken salad with dressing, homemade blue cheese biscuits with homemade Cajun butter, citrus vinaigrette salad, watermelon soup with feta cheese, meatball pastry pockets and brownies with homemade vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce. It was all wonderful, and we were plenty glad we didn't have to hike out on a hard rescue after that fine meal.
I just hiked up late last night and will tell you that the temperature down in the valley is too hot for decent people (and me). Please keep yourself well hydrated on your hike up to see us and make sure you refill your water up at the lodge (the blue-handled spigot outside the office offers treated, potable water). Our llamas don't like the hot weather either. They're ready for the crisp, clear days of autumn, and I'll vote with them on that item.
I noticed on my hike up the Alum Cave Bluff Trail that the blackberries are on their way. There are a few ripe ones between Arch Rock and the bluff, but most of them are still green. The crop looks like it might be a solid improvement over last year. The ripe blackberries I saw weren't quite ready for the county fair, but they weren't dry buckshot either. I'm sure the bruins will enjoy them. Speaking of bears eating, you should always give them plenty of space. Treat them like if you saw a petulant celebrity in a restaurant--just stay away.
I was in an outdoor store down below and heard a couple of interesting things from folks doing some boot shopping. I heard one person say that "these kind of hurt my feet, but aren't they adorable?" I hope she didn't buy them because I know how that movie ends. The best thing I heard was another woman trying on boots when she said, "These boots are so stiff that I could kick a rhino in the head and kill it."
Have a good day. Happy trails.