Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh darn... she's awake!!"

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Makin' More Memories!

Wow! What a weekend!

Finally, FINALLY, we were able to go camping. It was sam-fran-tastic! I love that we live so close to such beautiful mountains and wonderful things to do and see. We chose to go to Beaver Creek Campground, which is next to Quake Lake. I've been coming to this area my entire life and count it as my second home. We had a blast stomping through all the old haunts of my childhood. There was a fairly large (7.5) earthquake in this area forty-nine years ago that I have have been hearing about since I was knee high to a landslide causing ground squirrel and I wanted to share these same spots with my kids.

But first we needed to take a drive to Mom & Dad's cabin and say "hey!"

It was good to see them and to use their facilities. Plus they were nice enough to feed the kids hotdogs (Adam was mad that I didn't bring hotdogs for us.) Then we headed off in the heat, wind and waves of horse-flies to visit all the earthquake sites I could think of.

First was the actual visitor's center (which costs $3/car now!!) The hikes were hot, but great. Adam ate up all the info we could give him on this natural disaster. If people and animals died; if great masses of land moved; if animals died; if a new lake was made and if people died because of this, then it was one of the coolest things EVAH!

Then we drove up the road to the Hegben Lake Dam. Dad took us fishing here all the time when we were kids. I still remember hiking down to the spillway, sitting in the jagged rocks and imagining how horrific it would be if I lost my balance and fell into the swirling water!
While we were hanging out at the spillway, we noticed a nice family of mountain goats hanging out (in the bright sunshine).

Of course we had to go to the "Building Destruction" site:

When I was young, hearing the story about the resort owner and her dog that jumped over huge fissures in their escape to safety was the thing that a drama queen like me loved to imagine. Adam (Mr. WasSomeoneHurt?) was totally enthralled by the whole thing. He thought it was totally cool that the outhouse was still there. Aly (Ms. Non-nature) did amazingly well. No complaining, even though the walks were long and steep and the flies were swarming and biting like crazy.

(I took a lot of pictures of the outhouse, didn't I?)
By now, we were sweaty, tired, thirsty and pooped out. We did a lot of walking!! (and none of it was flat.) We turned back toward Cabin Creek to teach the kids what an earthquake scarp is. We quickly read the marker, and made a bee-line to the creek where we took off our shoes and soaked our weary feet in the ice cold water.

Poor Lola wouldn't go near the water, but she used this time to rest as well.

Our last night in the campground brought us a couple surprises. The first was shocking, because it was so sudden: I was preparing the fire and getting supplies ready to make s'mores (have you ever had them with Reese's PB Cups? HELLO!!!) All of a sudden there was a loud flutter and a rather large bird flew from the grass by the picnic table up into the tree just above it. HOLY COW!! Lola started barking, and I settled my heart down enough to grab my "Birds of North America" book. It was a Sage Grouse!! Who knew they could fly like that? And who knew they could perch in a tree? Of course, what I know of grouse is from the movie, Bambi -- when the birds are hiding from the hunters... "Don't fly!! Don't fly!!" BOOM!!

(Can you see it in this picture?)

Later that evening, the kids were in bed and Calvin was helping me pick things up. I was up by the picnic table, closing up the chairs and Calvin was down by the trailer. All of a sudden, I heard noises in the trees just beyond me. Keep in mind, we were in the heart of grizzly bear country and they are known to frequent this camp ground. Also, keep in mind that while I love camping, I am perennially terrified at night that we are all going to be eaten by a bear. I thought that my worst nightmare was finally coming true. I called to Calvin, who like a hero, came running up and stood in front of me. We listened for a minute and sure enough!!! the bushes and trees were rustling!! It's completely dark and I only have a small flashlight, but I was shining it in hopes that we would see what was going to eat us before it got to us.

It was a huge relief when a brown eyed doe mildly came out of the trees, looked at us and ambled through our camp site. With a nervous titter, we went to bed and slept as if there were no bears anywhere.

Today, there was one item left on my list: I had to find the old crooked cabin -- the old cabin that slid down the hillside in the earthquake. I remembered how fun it was to walk across the slanted floors and how hard it was to stand straight up while in it. Unfortunately, the road that led to the cabin was closed and we had to walk to find it. It has been over 20 years since I was there and I wasn't exactly sure if I could find it, or if it was still there!

Guess what! It's still there! It's slightly over grown, but we were able to get inside! The kids had a blast!

And now we're home. We're tired, sunburned and covered with bug bites. But it seems that everyone is happy....


Yvonne said...

Looks like you had a great time. Making more memories is what it's all about. Cute pictures.

LOL at your comment about Adam--Mr WasSomeoneHurt.

Yes, that was a few pictures of the outhouse.

No, I have never had smores with reese's peanut butter cups, but they sound delicious. Sure glad it wasn't a bear.

Wees said...

Thanks, Chelli, for a wonderful trip down memory lane!!