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Friday, June 5, 2015

Things you don't plan for on vacation.

While staying in the Black Hills, renting a cabin, and finding your way to a slower, relaxed pace, it is vital to remember that grilling on a gas grill is nothing like using a charcoal grill.  Charcoal is friendly, controllable, warming pile of gray companions, little red smiles blinking through, gently caressing your cheeseburgers with tender warmth, motherly love.

Gas declares war on your dinner.  Lighting with an intimidating  whoosh of vaporized petroleum, it singes meat with deadly efficiency, and terrible purpose.  Whatever you do, don't turn your back on a gas grill, or run inside to grab one more beer.  It is a decision you will regret when you serve your cabin mates little blackened bricks, with a golden coat of perfectly melted cheese.

Saying the whole time, "I just turned my back for a second, and the grill went nuclear. I swear! Would you like some ketchup with your tiny, black rocks?  Boy, that cheese sure makes a nice contrast to the blackened, slightly grey exterior, doesn't it?  Almost too pretty to eat."

But, there was still some food value in the clumps of what was almost ash.  And if people are hungry enough, polite and don't know you very well you can come out with your grilling reputation intact, more or less.

One thing that eases the pain a little is a good breakfast with lots of hot, tasty coffee, bacon, eggs, toast, and real butter. But, don't tell your doctor.

Vacation can be murder to a diet, and an exercise routine. Riding in a car for endless hours, trying to drink water instead of delicious, carbonated soda, and not snack too much. Fast food for lunch, and restaurant, or diner breakfasts add up to a several small losses in the war on aging.  Returning to work, and the gym will be a chore.

But, when the view from your cabin looks like this it is worth it.  The Black Hills are a dark, wonderful, magical place, covered in pine, and ancient spirits. It is a paradise for the sense, the pine,  and the decay, the birds singing in trees that are dancing in a gentle breeze. The sights and smells of heaven.  This is not our first trip, and with any luck it won't be our last.