We only had three days instead of our usual four for this weekend getaway, but that was really all we needed this time. The weather started out great, sunny and hot, and was predicted to stay that way for at least the next day. We took our time driving over the mountains, with one fuel and coffee stop along the way.
The Big Guy says this is the right place.
Arvie nestled in her spot. This was a dry camp for us because there were no hook-up spots available when we made the reservation. Our rig was perfectly capable of handling that, but it was a little annoying to watch several folks pitch their tents in hook-up spots, leaving plenty of tent spaces unoccupied, especially since all the spots were pretty comparable in every other way. Oh well! If we spent our time being annoyed by what other people are doing or not doing, we'd have no time left for anything else. Oddly, there was no radio reception, and I panicked a bit because I really like to listen to the radio when we camp, especially since we usually get something different to tune in.
Our afternoon was spent walking along the north park's trail, which was very well-maintained with fresh wood chips. It lead to the lake, of course, and this nice little beach area. We wished we already had the folding kayaks we're planning to get because we would've had a nice paddle. I will miss our two-person kayak when that day comes since, as it is now, when my arms get tired, I can slack a little while TBG paddles. Is that wrong?
Scoping out the scenery.
Preparing to wade in the cool lake water. The morning we left for the trip, I woke up with a bruised heel that I have no idea how I got. As with almost every injury I ever get, it hurts more not to do something than to do something, but it felt good to pause and soak my feet. Also, do you like my new hiking hat? It even has a secret compartment. Well, it did.
The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent just relaxing, watching other campers arrive and set up, reading, an evening stroll to check out other rigs, and finally finishing the puzzle Mom sent me for Christmas. I also checked the radio again, and a classic rock station was coming in. Not the best, but something for a little background while I puzzled. By morning, we were getting NPR, too, and that was even better.
As seems to be the norm for our state parks here, this one is split into two, and the longer hiking trails are only accessible from the southern campground, which, naturally, is not the one we were in. And, as usual, there isn't a proper connecting trail between the two.
At least there was a sidewalk on the bridge. The rest of the walk between the two consisted of roadway shoulder-walking, but it wasn't too harrowing as has been the case in the past. It was, however, at least a mile before arriving at the trail head we wanted.
The other sign.
The day was cool and gray for our trek on the Nason Ridge Trail. The whole thing is something like 29 miles, but we certainly weren't doing that much, especially with a bum heel. The signs warned of too-friendly mountain goats in the area, but we didn't see any. Likewise bears. Or really anything of much interest.
The trail was easy to follow but not well-maintained, very rutted from dirt bikes. The grayness made for some dreary views, and the low-lying smoke from controlled underbrush clearing in the area was good for some burning nostrils.
TBG hugs TBT. He's such a nature-lover. He also stopped twice on the way down to do a little trail maintenance by digging a few trenches with sticks and rocks to guide the water off the path. You're welcome other hikers!
We made the best of it as we always do, and our goal was to go for an hour before turning back. Although it's called a ridge trail, we're not sure when the ridge part actually starts. It was a steady climb the whole way, and TBG made it a goal to get to 3000' before we stopped and had our snack.
This is not a goldfinch. I always get these (Western Tanagers) mixed up with goldfinches. Except for the rosy face, they look a lot alike.
This is also not a goldfinch. Or a tanager. I think it is an osprey. This nest was on a man-made pole by the bridge, and this little one was awfully noisy. I was glad we could not hear it from camp.
The wildflowers were still pretty. I think they're even prettier on a gray day. Grayness seems to make the colors more brilliant, and this time of year, the green here is so, so green.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may have noticed something missing in these photos. If you know us in person, you already know our sad news.
A week ago, we had to say goodbye to our much-beloved Zuli, our companion for almost 13 years, our last dog. So much of our lives revolved around her, that the starkness of her absence was nearly unbearable. We thought taking an RV trip so soon might be a bad idea since we have never gone without her. It was difficult a few times, like finding the random poo-bag in a jacket pocket or the baggie of biscuits in the backpack or looking over at the couch where she wasn't anymore.
What more can I say, really? She's not here, and we're going to have to keep tripping over that fact for awhile until we can enjoy the memories of our time with her without the sharp knife of her loss.
You were smart, beautiful, funny, frustrating.
You were my heart.