Saturday, June 13, 2015

First Summer Camping Trip - Part 2

Driving from the camp site we had picked out for our stay, we headed down to the boat ramp.
The plan was to off load the boat, and while I drove the Tahoe back to the camp site LC would bring the boat around to the back of our site.
I loved this place.  
It was beautiful and (although this lake was smaller than expected) we would finally have an opportunity to test out our boat.
It was also really great that we could float from directly behind our camp site.
Ignoring random mosquito bites, I enthusiastically strapped Kory into her new doggie-life-jacket, and I was grateful that she did fight me and did not seem to mind wearing it.
Both LC and I were curious to see how she did in the boat................
Within just a couple of minutes of being on the water my Mountain Boy and I glanced over at each other, both of us instantly gratified that the boat that we had bought pretty cheaply was turning out to be a good investment.
There were no leaks.  The battery worked fine.  The trolling motor worked fine.
Our dog had surprisingly stumbled into the boat before we left, and it took me a few moments to realize that her stomach and chest muscles were now bound and constrained in a way that was entirely new to her.
She couldn't jump the way that she was used to jumping, and it surprised both her and us when she ungracefully fumbled her way up and into our new metal toy.
Neither LC nor I knew how she would react to being out on the water.
She was from Florida.  Had she been in a boat before?
We had no idea.
There was a good possibility that she might try to jump out (hence the life jacket).  If she did we'd just have to figure out how to get her back into the boat or over to shore.
Either way, we would figure out how to make it work.
That was our thinking going in, but it quickly became obvious that our pup had no intention of jumping out.
Instead, she was completely curious about this new kind of adventure.
I smiled as I watched her, and we headed across the lake towards a sandy beach, intending to shore the boat and explore with our orange-clad puppy..................
So used to watching our dog gracefully and effortlessly run and jump, it was startling again to watch her stumble out of the boat.
Hesitating briefly, Kory made an attempt at a jump, cleared the boat and very quickly landed on her head in the sand.
Her long body curled awkwardly and wedged between the boat and the ground, and for a few seconds she could not move.
Reaching down to grab her collar, I helped her uncurl and she quickly found her feet, shook herself off, and looked as stunned as we were.
This life jacket was really messing her up.
Recovering quickly though, we all walked along the edge of the water, enjoying the sight of the trees, the mountains and the water that was all around us.
We were at least alone in this place, and that was a good thing...............
Having a very good time..................
The lake was not as large as I would have liked, but we managed to spend a couple of hours slowly putzing around anyway.
Kory was wonderful, enjoyed the trip, and thankfully we did not have to retrieve her from the water.
A beautiful trip and a very good time was had by all............. 
Pulling back onto the shore behind our camp site I climbed out of the boat and turned to encourage my pup to jump out.
I held my breath for a moment as she made the leap, hoping that she did not land as awkwardly as she had earlier.
C'mon Baby.
Kory gracefully cleared the side of the boat and landed with ease in the sand.
OK..............she was getting the hang on this life-jacket-thing.
Quickly peeling the jacket off her, she and I wandered close to shore while LC secured the boat rope around a large tree stump..........................
It was 7pm and still very sunny and warm, and it was time to begin thinking about making something to eat.
Looking forward to spending the night at this beautiful camp ground, I looked around me again, completely in awe of the beauty of this area.
When Kory and I arrived back at the camp ground I unceremoniously tied her to the concrete picnic table.
Turning towards the Tahoe I looked at LC, and was stunned to see the mosquitoes.
They were everywhere - huge dark groups of blood sucking beasts, that were successfully obscuring the mountains behind us.
Without realizing it at the time I had been slapping my arms and slapping my legs, but this sudden awareness of just how many bugs were hovering menacingly around our camp site instantly made my skin crawl.
I looked down at the low lying swampy areas around our camp site.
I looked at the black swarms of bugs that floated in the air.
I looked over at LC.
We were sleeping in the back of the Tahoe.  We would need to keep the windows partially open over night.
I was too disappointed to verbalize it, but did not have to because LC said it first.
"We can't sleep here tonight."
I reluctantly acknowledged that he was right, and LC suggested that we head up to the larger camping area.
Maybe the bugs were less there.
Again reluctantly (because the upper campground was wall-to-wall people) I agreed, thinking that LC really wanted to stay at this campground.
It turns out that he did not want to stay at the upper campground either, but suggested we stay there because he thought that I wanted to stay.
As we pulled our Tahoe and boat up the gravel and dirt road, we stopped at the entrance to the upper campground.
Peering disgustedly towards the campground, all I could see was wall-to-wall campers (complete - of course - with the prerequisite slide outs).
Looking over at LC I told him "I don't want to stay here".
Neither did he.
We headed away from the lake, and then away from Stanley, knowing that there were endless campgrounds located along the length of the Salmon River.
We would fine one.
A quiet one.
A silent one.

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