There’s no place like home, eh? While I’ve always appreciated the beauty of Rock Creek, we were truly thrilled to be back home, out of the craziness of Los Angeles. As we drove up from the high desert valley, the temperatures dropped from over 100 to the 70s, and the air got clearer and clearer as we gained elevation. I almost cried when I saw the mountains of our canyon, so happy to be back to where I feel I belong.
It’s not even the end of July, but the summer is starting to end as some of the crew returns to school. Casey, the best damn grill cook in the world, is the first to go. JJ and I will miss the gluten-free versions of Quesadillas that she would make for us, a variant encased in corn rather than flour tortillas. “Casey-dillas,” we called them. Casey’s husband eats gluten-free, like us, and she also made lots of tasty baked goods like pizza crust and pastries. We’re sad to lose her big smile and amazing competency of cooking 20 items all at once, but we know that she’s looking forward to the change. Her husband has been at an internship in Indiana for the summer, and they are finally reuniting.
To celebrate Casey’s last day this week, Michelle and I joined her for a plunge into the lake. Because of the toasty temperatures lately, it didn’t even have ice cubes floating in it! The water was fairly pleasant, and someone had the bright idea to try to swim across the lake. Casey wisely hugged the shore, and took breaks as needed. Michelle and I took the most direct route, straight across. Considering I never, ever swim, I did pretty good, but about 80% of the way across, I could feel my arms starting to seriously fail. I decided fleeting glory was not worth the risk of drowning, so I steered to shore. Michelle alone made it all the way across and we were so impressed!
That far, far away shore? Yep, that’s where Michelle swam!
All the snow and rain that we got in the spring has fueled a huge explosion of Tiger Lilies on the path that runs along Rock Creek. I’ve enjoyed the walks through them, but they are such ethereal things. My camera refuses to focus on their delicate beauty when I try to take a close up, and only a few shots turned out. Their fragrance is delightful, even if you do end up with an orange nose if you get too close!
Peach season has arrived, and the pastry ladies used the first of the season to make a Peach Cobbler this week. For us, the best part was the bruised ones, which we got to enjoy out of hand. They were luscious and juicy and summery and just fantastic!
Although we never get really warm at our elevation, the past couple weeks are way hotter than last year. We normally get down into the 40s at night, and we’ve instead had to run our fan at night to stay cool. While the daytime is just fine in the shade and with a breeze, the kitchen has been a brutal place to work. The ovens run for the whole morning and most of the afternoon to crank out the homemade baked goods we are known for, and the only AC is our open windows. JJ is having an even harder time than me, because he’s training to be a grill cook. (Someone has to fill in for Casey!) We have an outside barbeque for burgers and dogs, but many other sandwiches are cooked on the inside grill, which is right next to those aforementioned ovens. When JJ works inside, he literally roasts all day long, and he can’t drink enough water.
We are having a blast living and working with our friend, Mary. The best word I have for her is “whimsical”, and she brings so much fun to our lives. She has taken up a new hobby of fishing, with the goal of catching enough to can for the winter. One night this week, she got off work mid-afternoon, went fishing, caught a couple trout, and then cooked them up for crew dinner! She’s still trying to hook “the big one”, but in the meantime, she posed with a monster zucchini that a friend gifted to the Resort. If it were a fish instead, it would be in the Rock Creek Lake top 5 catches of the year!
Til next week! (The dogs will still be on the golf cart, waiting for a ride!)