Monday, September 18, 2006

Colder Weekends Approach

Took the camper up to Priest Lake last weekend and stayed at the Beckwiths' cabin. Morning temps reached 34 degrees and we had broken clouds all weekend.

Good food and company. Friday night it was Mike, Carolyn, Linda and I and then Saturday night we were joined by Pat DiSmet. We took a long boat ride on Saturday and enjoyed the fall colors.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Another Great Weekend

Went up to the trail of the Cd'A's this weekend and rode about 24 miles. Here is a few pictures from the ride.

The gang poses for a pict.

Linda ready to ride.

Gorp stop on the river.

On the ride back.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day Weekend

The week prior to our trip was spent trying to figure out where to camp, which areas might be available and if we should even camp at all. Labor Day weekend, like Memorial Day weekend, is usually mayhem when it comes to camping. We definitely did not want to have another incident like the “Animal House” at Jordan Creek over the Fourth of July, but we didn’t want to waist our last long weekend prior to Linda’s school beginning either. Since Sunday night, when we had a wonderful dinner with Daren and Marcy, we had been in communication trying to decide where to go. The answer came Tuesday morning when Marcy called saying that they were going to go up to Beaver Creek Campground on Priest Lake and see if they could secure one large site or two regular sites for the weekend.

Our packing needs were minimal, food, books and a box of wine. We were ready Wednesday night and all we had to do while waiting for the call from Upchurch’s was hope that we could leave early. The call came on Thursday. Darren and Marcy had secured a campsite for both of us and had gotten in their kayaks paddling out onto the lake where they could get phone reception. The message was short and sweet, “Come on up! We have a site.” So our plans were set and our bags were packed, as soon as we could get off work on Friday we headed out. Just before we hit the road I checked the front porch and found that my new Canon digital camera had arrived. It was my birthday present from Linda and all I wanted to do was sit down and play with it. But Linda herded me and Baka into the truck to start the weekend.

We were on the road by 2:00 PM and into Beaver Creek Campground by 4:15 PM. Once again Daren and Marcy had come through with some great campsites! Twenty minutes after we arrived we were set up and sitting around a nice fire. Dinner was our usual cobb salad, we sat around the fire and watched the happenings of the camp as the skies changed from dark blue to black. Of course I played with my camera, it is real cool, but I left some of the instructions home and struggled a bit trying to get shots around the campfire.

In the morning Linda and Baka went running while I puttered around the camper. Ok, I slept in, but what can you say it was quiet and warm and I love our camper bed. The athletes returned and I fixed a ham and cheese scramble, which was very good I might add. We ate and got ready for the day. Linda had spotted a big bull moose across the thoroughfare that leads up to the upper lake. She said it was huge and that it looked her way before it ambled up the bank and into the woods.

We got our bike tires filled, and our plan was to do a little trail ride on the shoreline trail south of Beaver Creek. Daren and Marcy decided to hike the trail and so we all started out together. The trail was very well maintained but Linda was not used to the mountain bike and she had a bit of a struggle getting over the roots that were abundant. We road for about a quarter of a mile and I rounded a corner and there was a yearling bear standing in the trail. My experience with bears was that they usually turn and run as soon as they encounter humans. This one looked at me, stopped and the slowly walked off the trail and up onto a small ridge that over looked Linda and I. Linda had stopped and was watching all this and we both agreed that the bear had no fear of us and was not the least bit nervous around humans. Later in the day Linda saw him run up a tree and the people she talked to said he was and orphan and that his mother and brother had been killed because they came into camps and caused trouble. This little guy will probably see the same fate.

About a quarter of a mile past the bear spotting, Linda and I split up. She went back to hike with Daren and Marcy, I went on to ride the trail down the lake a ways. Now as I rode I kept thinking that I would run into a good trail that would lead up to the road, but I must have been concentrating and missed all three trails. Ouch, that put me eight miles or more south of Beaver Creek by the time I found an exit trail. So I rode back via the highway, all eight miles. So the way I figured it I rode seventeen miles on a trip that I thought I would ride for about an hour. I was beat!

While I rode the rest of the group hiked down to an area where the trail hit mud bogs and then turned back. They figured they walked about seven miles all together. I arrived back at camp before them and was able to get cleaned up, by swimming, before they returned. I was very tired but really glad that I made the ride.

Daren and Marcy made dinner in the Dutch oven. Daren cooked a pork loin with potatoes, onions and baby carrots. It was wonderful and so tender, I probably ate too much but I could not help myself. We sat around the fire until I was about to fall asleep, so Linda lead me to bed reminding me that we were getting up early to go look for moose.

Morning came fast and Lind got Baka and I up for our morning hunt. We walked the portage trail to the spot where she had seen the bull, but there was nothing there. We hiked back to the upper lake trail and continued on. I think we went about two miles along the trail and then turned back. We didn’t spot any game but we had a great walk.

Back at camp we carried the kayaks down to the lake and Linda and Marcy loaded up for a paddle. They headed south along the shore while Daren, Baka and I walked along the trail south. Daren had his GPS so we were combining a hike, a paddle and geocaching all in one trip. We hiked to Teacher Bay and found the cache there. I got lucky and spotted it under a rock. We continued on south and met up with the ladies at Bottle Bay. The cache tips sheet said to look for the woodpecker feeding tree and turn right. So that is what we did. Daren found the cache under a root ball and we logged in and headed back to Beaver Creek.

We ate lunch and sat around talking for a bit. Linda and I took a swim and then we started dinner. The night’s meal was enchilada casserole, one of Linda’s moms’ recipes. We created the meal in the Dutch oven and it came out tasting very good. We once again feasted, cleaned up and gathered around the fire for the evening.

The morning air was full of forest fire haze. We went down to the beach and drank our coffee and tea. It was hard, but we decided to head back home. Work starts tomorrow for Linda, she has to get the cloths ready and I have to get the camper put away. Hopefully we will be back out next weekend.