I’m not exactly sure what the moral of this story is……..except that it was one of those “character building” times your parents always tell you about when you’re a kid. Usually that meant you were about to embark on something you’d rather not.
Here is our story.
On Thursday, the Shoe packed up to go camping in the great outdoors. Our plans were to leave Friday morning early, drive an hour and a half south to grab a premium camping site on Lake Pend O’Reille.
We left Thursday evening because we heard that campsites fill up fast. Unbeknownst to us, God had other plans for our little vacation.
About thirty minutes from our destination, we get the hotline about the death of Janna. In shock, we pull over at a gas station to decide what we should do next. After calling our camping partners (Marcus and Darlene Byler), we decide to go ahead and go. But our hearts are heavy now and the excitement of camping has really declined.
We get to our premium camping sites and drive around. And around. And around. No luck — they are all taken. On Thursday night!! So we call numerous other camping spots around the lake only to find they are full also.
In desperation, we even consider parking our little borrowed trailer on National Forest for the night. Mind you, by this time it was almost 9pm and the sun was fast sinking into the lake…..or so it seemed.
Finally, we give up and drive our hour and a half back home to our Little House in the Big Woods. I know some of you are probably thinking “why do you need to go camping when you . . . uh, live in the mountains?”
Good question. I was asking myself the same thing.
After sleeping soundly in our comfy beds, we decide to head the other direction on Friday morning in hopes to find a camping spot somewhere along the route to Canada. We stop first at Brush Lake. Well . . . almost stop anyway.
We start heading up the mountain and realize this one does not even have toilets. So we back down the mountain and almost end up in the gully. Terrel was looking out his window as Lowell was backing up and he sees how very near we are to dropping off the edge. To which he starts exclaiming “We’re gonna live…..we’re gonna die….” (If you don’t get this….you need to watch Ice Age).
Next stop is Robinson Lake. It was a cute campground until we got to the end of the units and realized those were all full too. Time to move on.
Finally we arrive at Copper Creek campground which sits almost on the border of Canada and find that only one campsite out of 16 has been taken. By this time we’re ready to shout “Hallelujah”!
I had told Lowell “Watch, we’ll get all the way up here and have to go back to the campground 3 miles from our house on Meadow Creek.” That would have been about 150 miles we would have put on only to end up 3 miles from our home. I think I would have cried.
Soon after arriving, our camphost comes through to calmly inform us that we must lock away all food, except when we’re preparing and eating it due to two black bears and a grizzly roaming the campground. Oh joy.
Also, we would have to boil all our drinking water because of some “chloro-something-or-other” that is in the water this year. And it can cause diarrhea…which one of my children did end up getting. Great.
However, we set up camp and had a wonderful time. The children didn’t get their lake to swim in, but they did get a river to splash in and float down. They even talked us adults to jumping in a time or two. Mind you….this is a cold mountain river.
I considered myself pretty brave.
And now since I have become so long-winded, I will have to post pictures later. Time to go pick blueberries….See ya!