Every person has a favorite season. Christine and I like autumn. It's when we met. It's when we wed. Each year, in October, when the nights are cold and the leaves are bright and falling, we get away together. While our lives are perhaps less action-packed than some, our days still can fly by too fast and it is good to reserve some time for slowing down.
This year, we went to Roslyn, a town smaller than Cle Elum and bigger than Ronald. A town where they used to mine coal and make a television show. They still do some things there: they still pour drinks every night at the Brick and they serve meals every day at the Pastime. Some nights of the week the pizza place is open. Every night, if you've called ahead, you can stay at the Huckleberry House. Don and Sibyl will take good care of you, making sure you have a cozy bed to sleep in each night, a good breakfast each morning and home-made cookies for snacks.
We brought our bicycles, twin Dahon D3s. Actually Christine's bike for this trip is borrowed from our friend Dave. Dave had bought his bike in an act of fashion-drafting after he'd seen mine and he's gladly offered it up for the duration of our trip. His rental payment for the days is a lovely blue carrying bag for his bike.
The bus takes us from Issaquah to Seattle and a shuttle van takes us to Cle Elum. The bikes take us the final distance. If we'd chosen to be purely pedestrian, the Coal Mines Trail is a lovely hike but the road is mostly well-shouldered and lightly traveled.
We spend four days in Roslyn and the surrounding area, hiking the trails, seeing bits of lives past and lives still being lived. Squirrels and ravens chatter in the trees. The deer slip between tree trunks silent as shadows. We walk in sun and rain. We read books in the afternoon or the quiet evening and, of course, we watch a few episodes of Northern Exposure.
Every autumn Christine and I get away somewhere to be alone together. Any place I'm with my wife is lovely, for she is the love of my life, but autumn in a small town is special.
Christine and I have been married twenty-five years now, close to half my life. Definitely the best half of my life. We have the gold of the sun on the autumn leaves, the silver of the water as it flows over the stones in the riverbed. More than what we need can be carried in small packs and we walk slowly, hand in hand, like lovers in love with a sweet, slow world.