Summer Swelter

As much of the Pacific Northwest sweltered in a dangerous and historic heatwave, we headed back to Cedar Hill State Park amid triple-digit “feels like” temperatures. We arrived around 4:30 on Friday afternoon and stayed with the dogs in the air-conditioned cab of our tow vehicle for about 45 minutes while we waited for the Airstream’s air-conditioner to bring down Cloud 9’s internal temperature from an unbearable 98 degrees to a more tolerable 80. An early evening walk brought us to the campsite of our friend and podcaster Talie, who was setting up her outdoor space with the helpful guidance of her little dog, Aggie Lena.

Although a southerly breeze made it possible to dine al fresco, we opted to take our Date Night dinner indoors, where we could enjoy a Vienna Philharmonic concert on PBS. The performance, recorded in 2020 at the gorgeous Schönbrunn Palace, included works by Strauss, Wagner, Offenbach, and Puccini, and featured Metropolitan Opera tenor Jonas Kaufmann. It left us longing to return to the symphony!

On Saturday, Talie invited us to join her at a distant camping loop to meet Greg and Len and their dog, Peaches. We mistakenly thought the reason for the invite was because the couple had an Airstream, so we were surprised to find them waiting for us in an SOB (some other brand). We enjoyed getting to know them and helping them set up their Roku TV. Our advice: Don’t get a Roku TV. We prefer Apple TV, but we also have an Amazon Fire TV Stick, and both have served us well on the road. We ended our evening with grilled chicken, cob corn, and green beans, while enjoying tribute to the legendary Connie Smith at the Grand Ole Opry.

Sunday found us engaged in our typical pursuits, including an excellent dinner of grilled pork chops, brussels sprouts, and treviso (a delicate type of chicory that is often referred to as radicchio). We ended the evening by watching the fifth season premiere of “The Good Fight,” a somewhat unsatisfying episode that attempted to clean up the mess of the COVID-shortened fourth season that also presented the abrupt departure of Adrian and Lucca, two major characters whose stories we’ve been following over the years. The show was unsatisfying in that it tried to comment on the major events of 2020, from the earliest days of the pandemic to the Black Lives Matter protests, and from Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death to Joe Biden’s election and the insurrection that followed. It was all too much crammed into an hour of TV drama. But at least it got us talking about and reflecting on these events, which may have been the point.

Next weekend, we’ll be back at Cedar Hill State Park, but at a site near the lake. We typically don’t go camping on holiday weekends because there are so many “amateurs” throughout the park, but our site is somewhat secluded, and offers clear views across the lake for Independence Day fireworks displays.