Nicols Cove, Lake Superior – September 4, 2013
A cold wind blew from the north. It swept over the rocky coast, through the boughs of the boreal forest, across the waves, and chased away the last warmth of summer.
Spray stung my skin. The noon sun felt cool. I didn’t dare push near darkness for fear of shaking wet and cold in the night. It feels like the first touch of winter, like any day now I will wake up with frost on my sleeping bag.
As the sun set, beautiful against the high, thin clouds of the north, I rolled out my sleeping pad on a low flat rock and sat wrapped in my bag, watching the colors change and fade over the shadowed silhouettes of the forest. The first stars glowed out of the dark blue and I lay down to to stare up at them, to watch the constellations flicker into existence.
I didn’t think to set up my tarp, to hide behind mosquito nets. Not a single mosquito rose. Not one. Not with my face open to the sky and blood flushed into my skin against the cold. I just lay and looked up at the sparkling sky, knowing summer has ended.