February 20! Who woulda thought! The Northwestern skies were as clear and intoxicating as good vodka. In the distance, Mt. Hood etched its way like a shard of glass into the soft belly of the morning sky. The sun was low but brilliant in the damp spring haze.
“Let’s take a drive!” she said, excitedly. She nearly trembled as she said the words, as if each word had a string on it that pulled her toward the door.
I was way ahead of her on that one. “Of course, but we need to find something in the sun that is sheltered. Let’s try the Wind Mountain Trail. We’ll just go off-trail and find a nice grassy spot. Wanna fuck?”
Her eyes sparkled.
We piled into the truck. Both of us donned shorts, an optimistic gesture seeing as how the temperature was still in the 40’s. The weather reports were predicting near-60 degree temperatures, however, so we felt confident in our attire. We each took a celebratory swig of Makers Mark and headed out for Starbucks. After all, what’s a day without a mocha?
After scoring the coffee drinks, we turned on the iPod and listened to Michael Franks, Allison Krauss, Boz Skaggs, Doobie Brothers, Sade, and other sensual music as we wound along Highway 14, up the Columbia River. We talked about everything; we thought about sex. I ran my fingers along her inner thighs; she massaged my right shoulder.
We made our way to the Wind Mountain trailhead, got out of the truck and started chattering and shivering in the icy wind that tore down the Gorge. In shorts and t-shirts, we were no match for the elements, no matter the power of optimism.
“I saw a turnoff, back a ways,” I said. “Let’s give it a try. It’s lower, down by the river. Might be a little warmer down lower.”
She approved. We headed back. A few miles to the west, we turned off the highway and rolled into a nearly vacant park. One other car, three people, three dogs. The park was a large grassy expanse, surrounded by cottonwoods and alders, that led down to the Columbia River.
We traipsed across the grassy field, toward the river. The wind was still blowing, but it was warmer. The sun was still and silent and reliably warm. We held each others’ hand as if we were exploring new territory and needed the support. Mostly, though, we were thumping along with our heartbeats.
We walked to the water’s edge, a place nearly as cold as the Wind River trailhead. Whitecaps blew off of the water, sending icy spray into our faces. Clearly, not a place of nearly-naked comfort. We looked, then retreated.
On our way down to the water, I noticed a thin trail that wove through the ubiquitous blackberry vines and into a thick grove of alders. I decided to explore the trail, and followed it into the rattling branches. Deep into the grove was a mossy carpet that rolled under a bleached log. It was there that I settled, my back against the log, facing into the sun. She sat between my legs and leaned against my chest. This is where we wanted to be, like this.
How does one explain the heat between us? The camp fire, once lit, was carried for over a year. The ember never went out. Every night, it lit a new fire. New food was cooked, new stories told, new life was born. We touch and the flames explode into the sky, sending energy in every direction. My hand dove into her pants and touched her clit. He legs parted and she invited me to play. And play, we did.
We became a blur. Pants came off, shirts came off, winter white skin radiated the sun’s heat back into space. We fucked in the alders, on the moss, against the log, beneath the steady warmth of the magic orb, with the whitecaps lapping against the rocks that have washed toward the ocean from the center of the continent. Her orgasms flooded my balls and nourished the moss, my cock flooded her throat. Finally, we lay in the sun, our chests heaving our breath into each others’ lungs. The alders rattled above us, as they will in the months to come.