By Ashley Lodato
Anyone who is familiar with Robert Service’s poem “Cremation of Sam McGee” knows that there are strange things done in the midnight sun, and although we don’t exactly have the midnight sun around here, summer solstice is the closest thing we have to it and this year’s solstice did not disappoint in terms of delivering a queer sight. The location was the Cutthroat Trail (very near the site of last year’s Lucy family encounter with a hiker completely nude except for a hat — coincidence?).
As we sat on a rock enjoying the sunshine, we heard a sound that at first we mistook for rockfall. But when the sound continued longer than one would expect from a slide, I inexplicably thought, “That’s weird, it sounds like someone is dragging a rolling suitcase down the trail.” Weirder still, it turned out to be not a rolling suitcase, but instead two young women towing between them a duvet piled up with a bedroll.
You read that correctly. Two women each held the corner of a duvet while the rest of it dragged behind them along the dusty, rocky trail, with a rolled-up mattress perched in the middle. I guess some people can’t go camping without all the comforts of home, but it’s hard to imagine that duvet ever being serviceable indoors again after that transport.
Of course, we were all so focused on the bizarreness of the bedroll incident that we hardly had time to contemplate the really queer sight, which was the fact that the Cutthroat Trail is pretty much entirely snow-free up to the top of the pass in June. I guess June is the new July, which is not something any of us should be comfortable with.
Former Community School teacher Havilah Rand led a songwriting camp for about a dozen elementary school-aged kids last week and boy was it impressive. She taught the kids to gain inspiration for lyrics from the world around them, to shape these lyrics into verses, choruses and bridges, and to set them to music. Havilah taught this same camp last year and one of the alumni students even learned to create entire songs using the Garage Band app. The week culminated in a CD release concert and celebration at Confluence Gallery, where many of the young participants were brave enough to stand up and sing their original songs in front of an audience of family and friends.
Finally, kudos to Methow Valley Ciderhouse, whose Howling Wolf cider just won double gold in the prestigious Seattle Wine Awards.