It was wonderful having Erik visit this weekend, and seeing the loons and having such summery weather. We have known Erik for a long time; we all worked together in Duluth more than 15 years ago and have been good friends ever since.
Erik now comes out to Minnesota once or twice a year, and we've been to California many times to see him, and last April we were lucky enough to be able to meet up with him for a long weekend in Paris.
This weekend wasn't quite as glamorous as Paris or even San Francisco, but it was tons of fun. We walked the dogs about 16 or 18 times, and went out to dinner on Saturday night at Caffe Biaggio, where we ate ourselves into a stupor. We sat on the front porch for a while and had coffee, and then, for variety, we went and sat on the back porch.
On Sunday the weather slowly turned glorious, and we went for a bike ride.
We fussed before we left: Do we need jackets? Long sleeves or short? Should we bring water? Camera? Money?
The morning had been overcast and chilly, and as I debated jackets and footwear, it never occurred to me to think about sunscreen. It's April, not July, and it couldn't have been above 60 degrees.
I settled on a light fleece pullover jacket and sandals, and off we pedaled, up Victoria Street, past the lake, toward Roseville. The first ride of the season!
As we glided down the long hill past McCarron's Lake, it started to get warm, and I pushed up my sleeves. Later, along the Gateway Trail, I stopped and pulled the jacket off completely and tied it around my waist.
Two hours later, as we pumped up Rice Street toward home, I noticed that the backs of my hands were a pale pink.
By Monday, that pale pink had turned vivid. From my knuckles to my elbow, I am burned a deep, glowing red. My skin is hot to the touch. Warm water is painful; showering is agony. I can bend my fingers, but I can't make a fist. I can't push doors open because it hurts too much to put stress on my wrist.
Lest you feel sorry for me, you need to keep in mind that I am well old enough to know better, and that I do this to myself every year. I wait and wait and wait for spring, and then the first day the sun is warm and strong, I dash outside, pay homage to it for too many hours, and sear myself but good.
On Tuesday morning the temperature had fallen back down to 40, and as Doug and I set off with the dogs, I stopped to pull on gloves. Ouch! Ouch!
Wool over sunburn. Not only does it hurt like hell, but it's just plain wrong.
Hayden Valley, Yellowstone National Park
32 minutes ago