A couple weekends ago, we went camping in Vermont to watch Brett compete in a triathlon. He's pretty good. As in finished 1.5 minutes ahead of second place. I suppose that's what happens when you're a professional (officially).
On the eve of the race, we ate dinner at a local pub before heading back to the campground for dessert. We experimented with s'mores filling as Ian taught Emily and I how to achieve the perfect balance of melting chocolate and browned marshmallow (Brett demonstrated extraordinary self control and abstained in the name of his Olympic dream). We watched the grill handle glow white as forgotten residue burned away, it's wire coil sagging in the heat as we soaked in the quiet. It's been too long since we've inhaled the earthy smell of leaves and fallen trees collapsing into the ground, seen the night sky splattered with more stars than you can count.
Vermont is nothing like Kansas, yet everything like Kansas. Earlier that afternoon as we wended along the highway through the mountains, we saw naked and weathered tree trunks, remnants of last year's flooding, presiding over breathtaking views of the lush river valley. Back home this summer, wheat fields shriveled as temperatures soared and farmers scrambled to harvest before the sun claimed the crop. Both are tranquil and resolute, tied to the whims of nature in all it's beauty and cruelty.
The next morning before the race, we dropped Brett off to warm up then went in search of breakfast, which came with some local color in the form of a gigantic bathing suit clad she squirrel. Which naturally calls for a fist-bump photo. We headed back to the state park with plenty of time to see the start of the race. Brett was the bathing cap 2.5 minutes head of the rest.
While Ian and I are not likely to make appearances in future triathlons, we're happy to show up and cheer Brett as he aims his sights on Rio. Thanks to Brett and Emily for letting us tag along!