Overall the camping trip went well. There were some days that the smoke from the nearby fires blew in so heavily that it was difficult to see across the lake and you could feel a grit coating your teeth. The day we arrived was one of those days. The moment I stepped out of the car and started walking around I felt dizzy like I was on an amusement park ride. Thank the gods for Sudafed!
The lake upon arrival. Smoke, not fog.
The drive there was nice, unlike the drive home. I read aloud from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows so that my mom and sister could finally catch up with the rest of the world. CDF were everywhere, fighting the fires.
Teyla the toot, still healing from her torn ligament, was grumpy and barking at everyone she saw. Imagine how fun it was for us.
We stopped at Carl’s Jr. and I got my yearly quota of fast food. Seriously all I could take!
Jessica finally got her French fries!
And I’m a really good dancer in the car. (No, you don't want to know who I'm imitating.)
We had lots of fun swimming and using the boat. One morning Alex and I woke up early and paddled up the river as the sun rose. The water was so cold our bones hurt!
Bathe me in dawnlight
Clear Sierra snowmelt
Leaving the canoe behind... and keeping an eye out for bears!
Rowing back to the lake and camp
Here are some of the other photographic highlights of the trip:
I got in touch with my inner Rasta
And sometimes the smoke was pretty
And made for pretty sunsets (ignore the foreground )
The adorable little princess sleeping in a tent
Every year camping I seem to channel an old singer. 2005 was the year of Willie Nelson with two braids and a bandanna. I even started answering to Willie. 2006 was the year of the braids that were in for 2 weeks and became wannabe dreads. I was called Bob Marley. Last year was more of the same since the braids are great when you're always going in and out of the water, but this year was more of a mix, ending with braids like above, but started out like this:
I have no idea what I was looking at
This picture is like one of those blurry ones of UFOs or Bigfoot. This is not Comanche. This is Bernard. You can never tell when Bernard will take over and Chee Chee will leave. It's frightening, really.
Isn't she adorable? I've always wanted a duck
And we didn't get the campsite we've gotten ever since I was 4 or so... and the woman who had it this year didn't even use it for the time she paid for, so we had to look at it empty for ages. In return, we decided to leave her a little "gift" for when she did show up.
The best highlight was probably during the few days that our friend Tony came up. He ripped off his swimming trunks to reveal his black speedo on his gloriously untanned, marshmallow-white body, and posed beside my brother as he drove the boat, waving at everyone we passed. Beautiful. I'd post pictures but am not sure he wants them floating about on the net!
The ride home was a frightening adventure, however. The smoke had been in for two or three days so we were all running low on brain cells after breathing it 24/7. We travel with a truck and fifth wheel trailer and a suburban and boat. The fifth wheel popped a tire about an hour out of camp and had to pull over. We doubled back and kept my brother company while my dad and other brother went to get a tire that fit (the spare had the wrong sized rim). Every car that whizzed by created such a vacuum that the suburban and boat were rocked. The wait turned out to be an hour, and Teyla decided she'd had enough and barked at all the cows outside the window, just to torture us.Once back on the road again we had little trouble in our vehicle other than getting Teyla to stay in her seat. I once more read from Harry Potter, however on the side of the freeway I noticed something rather disturbing. A small tornado on the side of the road where there had been a fire, stirring up the ashes:
We don't get those in California. Creepy! Once we were all home, we learned that the truck had been in an accident during a lane change (in which the other guy who got hit had tried to speed up to avoid getting stuck behind a trailer and now the jerk is lying to the insurance company). As if that weren't bad enough, my diabetic brother, who had been following us home in his car, pulled up with a dazed expression, having no idea what he was doing. It turned out that his blood sugar was so low that he should've been in a coma (he was at the same level my dad was at last year camping when he did fall into a coma). Thankfully, he and everyone else are all right now, and we're home safely!
Chee Chee gets to run free for the first time in almost 2 weeks since he was always on a leash while camping
There was some smoke when we returned but it's been pretty clear lately, and even when it does come in, it's much less than it was a few weeks ago. The fires are finally getting contained, and we've had international help, which has been awesome.
mackensie's momma - Hell yes it's his loss. Maybe he's just a scardey cat and needs a few months to gather up the courage to call? And while we were gone, several neighbors fed and looked after the animals. :) Though since the dogs were gone, a young coyote took up residence and picked off most of our chickens. :(
elluca - TARA! Gwathel-nin! Yay! *clomps* I miss and love you so! I'm off to check out your blog right now! :D