For my last day of legitimate freedom, I woke early, drove 3.5hrs, hiked to a stream in Shenandoah National Park, and had my first experience hunting mountain brookies.

Or.... was it all just a dream?

Blue Ridges, Cold Water.

The clouds are at a tipping point.
The air is thick and sweet like honey.
Lunch on these softened stones of the
Creek bed much older than its name
Shows me the summer solstice is a gift.
An opportunity to get up earlier,
stay out later,
and catch more trout.
The mountain brookie
Is a shy performer,
Quick to escape at first sign of audience.

I must be calm.
I must be quiet.
Another boulder in the bed.
Another mossy log leaning close by.

I wash my hands, arms, and face
In your coolness.
Refreshed, the hunt begins again.

Sweaty, clouded, and accomplished,
I will return home.

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