We had trekked around to the other side of a huge lake. Our gear was on our backs and our SUV was locked and parked far away.
“Are you sure this side of the lake is the best?” I panted to my boyfriend of two years, who is an avid outdoorsman, as well as commitment-phobic.
“Yes, Kelly, I’ve always found the most fish on this side of the lake, plus, the hike is amazing! Look at that reflection, the changing leaves, breathe that crisp air! It will be a perfect night for a fire and hot cocoa.” He smiled broadly and paused with one foot on a downed branch, looking exactly like the cover model of a magazine.
“Well, I hope you’re right, Dan.” The pause wasn’t long enough. We trekked for who knows how much longer before he declared that “this was the spot!” and began pitching the tent, while sending me for firewood.
As tedious as gathering branches when you’re already tired is, the fire that night was worth it. I curled up beside Dan under a shared wool blanket, mugged cocoa in hand, and sighed in bliss.