Do you hear the sound of cow bells ringing? Theyre pushing you toward the end of summer like its a marathon race, and dont let these final precious weekends slip away.
I know, youre busy. Were all busy. But when was the last time you woke up Monday morning and said boy was that yardwork and shopping fun?
Wouldnt you rather wake up a little sore and sunburned with dust behind your ears?
Of course you would.
Time to turn over some rocks and find a few more adventures hiding there.
You probably dont need my help, but here are some suggestions to round out your summer.
HIT THE LOWER SALMON RIVER
Ive always thought this is the best time of year to be there.
The river is warm and there are huge sandy beaches to relax on.
The whitewater is fun, but not too intense. Its a great family trip, and if you choose to go with an outfitter, you have numerous options from half-day trips to multiday trips, and you can run the river on rafts or in jetboats.
I think the Lower Salmon is an underrated, multiday river trip simply because its a fun float and you dont need a permit. Just load your raft and go.
If you need any more enticement, theres usually great smallmouth bass fishing during late summer. Bring a lightweight spinning rod or fly rod and with a little effort you can probably catch them by the dozen.
Finally, Riggins is a fun place to hang out. The town revolves around the river, so youre welcome to stay in your shorts and river sandals when you head out to dinner.
GO DEER SCOUTING
Hunting season is creeping up like a hungry coyote on a fat jack rabbit.
If youre a bow hunter, youre probably making your preseason preparations now. But if youre a rifle hunter, fall may seem a long way away.
Its not, and the cool thing about scouting is you can do it along with other activities.
Hike into your favorite hunting spots. Bring the binos and see if you can spot some heads. The bachelor herds of bucks are probably still roaming out there.
Nothing gets the excitement building better than spotting a herd of deer and seeing a forest of antlers between their ears.
Heres another hint: Bucks stay in the open more during late summer because their antlers are in the velvet and growing daily. The antlers are susceptible to abrasion, so bucks spend less time holed up in the thick stuff, which means theyre easier to spot.
Its a great time to figure out where theyre hanging out.
HIT THE LAKES
Mountain lakes are a favorite campout, but it seems like interest in them starts to wane when the roads get real washboarded and dusty.
Its still a pretty minor inconvenience in exchange for waking up to sparkling waters, or beating the heat by taking a dip into the cool, emerald water and immediately being warmed and dried by the afternoon sun.
Bring your kayak, canoe or float tube and take a cruise around the lake.
Its nearly impossible to be stressed out when youre just floating along.
The shoreline camping also tends to be cool because that body of water acts like a giant air conditioner, so you will sleep like a baby at night.
Yep, thats right. Youve probably earned it. That doesnt mean turn into a couch potato.
Pack a picnic, or load up the tent or RV, fill the cooler, and leave all the toys behind.
Throw in a comfy chair and a good book, or heck, just sit and stare at the beautiful outdoors.
Dont even think about bringing the laptop or cellphone.
Make meals your entertainment. Spend the day fussing over some elaborate meal that will be like a campground Thanksgiving.
When someone on Monday asks What did you do over the weekend?
Crack a big grin, and say Nothing, and it was awesome.
They will think youre hiding something, and just let them.
Keep your poker face and let their imagination run wild.
Roger Phillips: 377-6215, Twitter: @rogeroutdoors
Statesman outdoor writers Pete Zimowsky and Roger Phillips alternate columns on Thursday. Look for Zimo next week.