This weekend I was supposed to help celebrate my friend Molly's birthday with an overnight float trip/camping trip, but storms due to leftover hurricane Issac hitting us in the Midwest killed those plans pretty quickly (not to mention a previous fireban because of the drought made a campfire a no-no). But we still managed to have a pretty good time. We went down to Pickle Springs for a quick 2-mile hike despite the rain that went between drizzle, a light downpour, and non-existant, and the very sticky humidity. This all made the trail feel a bit longer than it actually was, but didn't hinder the beauty of Pickle Springs, always one of my favorites despite not being very close or long. It was especially alive in the rain, with all the springs rushing and full of water and the leaves dripping and turtles crawling over logs at every turn. Absolutely gorgeous, as usual.
The rest of the day was spent at the Cave Winery in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. Which is, as it sounds, a place to drink lots of wine in a cave. You buy the wine at the top of a hill, along with biscotti from their biscotti bar (oh yes, this is a fact. The goat cheese and herb one is delicious), fresh baked bread, cheese, and grapes. You are also allowed to bring your own picnic basket of food, so we had quite an amazing spread to share amongst the group! I got the Then you walk or get a ride down the hill to Saltpeter Cave, where there are picnic benches galore, live music, and cool air. I got a pitcher of Sangria instead of wine, and it was fruity and delicious. Definitely worthwhile way to spend a long summer afternoon... even if we didn't get to camp or hike as much as we wanted.
Also, been reading The Cactus Eaters by Dan White.