02-13 to 02-18-2014 Five Days in Fort De Soto

Current Location: Fort De Soto Campground 67 degrees F and sunny

Fort Desoto.NEF-006The front door is wide open to the dappled sun coming through the trees here in our campground.  It feels very much like some kind of tropical jungle, with lots of palms and thick vegetation surrounding the campsites.  The temperatures are cool but the sun is absolutely brilliant. 

My muscles feel like jelly in that good way that happens when they are getting properly used.  Mo is reading and napping in the back of the rig while I process photos and try to condense our days into something readable.  Mark Johnson, over at the Box Canyon Blog, is lately one of my favorite writers.  Last night he wrote about how so many of us, RV bloggers specifically, talk about all the wonders of this lifestyle and none of the downside.  Problem is, I can’t at the moment find a downside.  I think it might be like labor…when it is over, you forget.  Especially when the sun is shining.

Fort Desoto-010Because of the mix-up in our original reservation, we had to move after our first night here, and tomorrow will have to move again to another campsite.  It isn’t a big problem, though, and we like the new spot we are moving to as much as the first one.  This site, 147, is huge and is one of the few pull through’s in this part of the park.  Even though it is also private, it is so big that it feels a bit like a road and we are just plopped down in the middle of it.  Still, the shade on this warmish sunny afternoon is lovely.

Fort De Soto is actually a Pinellas County Park, south of St Petersburg.  It consists of five offshore keys, or islands, lying to the city’s south-southwest: Madelaine Key, St. Jean Key, St. Christopher Key, Bonne Fortune Key and the main island, Mullet Key. All are connected by either bridge or causeway to each other. The island group is accessible by a toll road from the mainland. Water everywhere!  Many of the campsites are waterfront, and half the park is dog friendly.  Campsites become available six months before your intended booking date, and when I attempted to book our sites, I had a bit of difficulty getting one, much less a waterfront site.  I keep forgetting about little things like holiday weekends. 

Fort Desoto-004It is a truly beautiful park, with gorgeous white sand beaches, calm bayous for kayaking, mangrove swamps and sea oats on sugar sand.  The campground is thick with palms and life oaks that hang over the roadways, with warning signs saying to watch for low hanging branches, yet I have seen many very large rigs parked in the private,  spacious campsites.  It is a bit spendy.  I keep forgetting what we paid for this park, maybe on purpose…maybe because it was prepaid six months ago.  With taxes and such, I think it was a bit over $40 per night, probably will qualify as our spendiest camp for the entire three months.

Fort Desoto-020It is worth every single penny.  As I said, water everywhere, even a large off leash dog beach and a huge doggie park with a cooling wash station for hot summer days or getting out the salt water after doggie swims. 

A paved bicycle trail runs the entire length of the key from end to end and past the campground with workout stations placed here and there and an occasional sign naming trees or plants in the area. 

The park is named for Fort De Soto, located at the point where Mullet Key intercepts the channel into Tampa Bay. It was first surveyed in 1849 and Union troops were stationed here during the Civil War to aid in the blockade of Tampa Bay.  It wasn’t until the Spanish-American war however, that the fort was built.  It operated as a strategic defense from 1898 to 1910 and was decommissioned after that time.There are a few cannon and some ramparts to view at the site of the fort, but the most interesting exhibit are one bunker with old photos of the history of the fort and old maps of the surrounding keys. 

on the bike trail at Fort DeSotoI don’t think many people come here to see the fort, however.  This place is all about the water, with a large boat launch area to the north, and countless spots where a kayak can launch.  On one of the blustery days when we explored North Beach, we saw kite surfers doing their thing on the wild water.  The winds were over 10 mph and watching those guys fly across the water was almost as impressive as watching them fall.  Neither of us could figure out how someone would go about learning this crazy sport.

Wildlife is everywhere, the small variety, especially raccoons.  They are so dang cute, and of course they raid the garbage cans and campsites.  Signs everywhere proclaim, don’t feed the wildlife!.  And the birds!  There are birds everywhere, especially shore and water birds.  Mo keeps saying…oh another egret?  How many photos of egrets and herons can you take? Egrets here seem a bit like robins in the north country in springtime.

into the slough north of North Beach on Mullet KeyWe have so enjoyed our time here.  With good weather most of the time and several days to enjoy it, we have biked the trail, walked the beaches, kayaked the bayous and taken Abby to the dog beach.  I do not remember when we did what at all, everything is running together.  I think that is how it is supposed to be when relaxing at a great camp, right?

All the spacious restrooms are an open design with round buildings and open drains around the inside edge.  Interesting and functional.  At each restroom there is a washer and dryer for a buck each outside on the breezeway.  There are also a great number of garbage cans, almost a pair for every few sites, and it seems they are emptied quite often. There is a boat launch, and a small camp store.  Getting back to town for any kind of shopping requires a bit of driving and two bridge tolls of less than a dollar each, so it is better to come here with all that is needed for your stay.

Pass a Grille-006What I do remember is early yesterday morning, rising before sunrise to get over to Pass a Grille Beach south of St Pete Beach for my little ceremony for Bel.  I had promised her I would take her to the beach, so after almost a year since her passing, I finally was able to keep that promise.  Bel was honored with a setting full moon over the gulf as the sun rose in the east over the bay. 

Pass a Grille is a tiny treasure, a peninsula less than a mile wide south along the gulf with a long lovely beach.  Unlike much of the Florida coastline, here the houses are less than two stories and are on the other side of the road from the beach walk and access to the beach is completely public.  Much of the town is on the National Historic Register. No dogs again, but that wasn’t a problem for us on this early morning since we left Abby back at the MoHo to keep Jeremy company.

Pass a Grille-010Afterward, Mo and I decided that a good breakfast was in order and driving north past the gorgeous Don Cesar Hotel toward St Pete Beach, we found a funky little place called the Toasted Monkey.  With friendly down home waitresses in shorts, mimosa’s on the breakfast menu, and several menu items with gravy, we had a great breakfast. One shared plate was plenty for the two of us. We even got a touch of TV.  I think there were at least a dozen in the restaurant and we could see 4 or so from our table.  Maybe it was a sports bar.  We did get to see the US hocky team playing Russia and were glad to hear that they won.

We then tried to find somewhere to buy our traditional Sees chocolates, with the official Sees website stating that a kiosk was available in St Petersburg.  Suddenly we were in Florida hell, the Florida that all the westerners cite when they say they would never come to Florida because it is too full of people and traffic.  It was nasty.  I kept thinking about how awful it would be to actually live here. 

Pass a Grille.NEF-003I found the Sees at Dillards, my favorite department store, but I wasn’t in the least bit of a mood for shopping and got out of there fast…in time to get back on a busy road and try to find our way across a busy town back to our idyllic little island campground.  Whew!

More excitement came on Saturday as we waited for the month’s mail to arrive USPS Express.  With a guaranteed Saturday delivery, we were a bit anxious when nothing had arrived at the campground by 4 pm.  Finally the desk help, and old southern boy, said, “Well, I don’t think anyone went to get the mail today.”   Seems as though the mail is delivered in a box on the other side of the bridge and the post office refuses to come out to the island.  (Sure wish they had told us that when they insisted we should have our mail sent directly to the campground!)

Pass a GrilleThe help decided they could make the 15 minute run to the Post Office to pick up mail after all, and after another half an hour I returned to the office to find that the expected packet of mail did NOT come with the Saturday delivery.  UhOh.  There is a lot of stuff in that packet, including a big refund check for our Michelin tires and all our income tax papers.  Sheesh.  With the holiday I was in a panic thinking we would have to figure out a way to wait around until Tuesday afternoon for the mail to be delivered.

Home to the rig to check the tracking number which said the packet was out for delivery on Saturday at 10 AM.  ???  I went back up to the office, where the old southern boy sheepishly held up our packet saying, “I guess someone delivered it this morning and it was on the desk.  No one thought to look on the desk”.  Ok Then.  All is well that ends well and we got our mail.  I am glad we only have to do this one more time on this trip and hopefully the mid March mail delivery will be without incident.

Mo on the beach at Fort DeSotoI used the crock pot again to make some carnitas beef and as it was cooking, instead of those wonderful smells wafting through the MoHo we kept thinking, “What IS that smell?!”  I had purchased a carnitas spicy sauce slow cooking packet at Whole Foods, one of my few luxury purchases. After several hours it was so bad that I had to put the crock pot outside and turn on the fan.  I can’t even give the meat to the animals because it is too spicy.  I have no idea what the weird flavor in that sauce was, but I hope I never encounter it again.

See, Mark Johnson?  All isn’t perfect in the RV world.

fort desoto imageryTomorrow the forecast is for even warmer temperatures, clear skies and no wind.  That calls for another kayak, another walk on the dog beach, another bike ride and hopefully something tasty for supper.  Tonight it will be tasty cheese quesadillas, with lots of jalapenos and no meat.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

yellow crowned night herons are not the least bit skittish

August 31 Devils Lake ND to Bemidji MN

The rest of the photos for this day of travels are linked here.

DevilsLake (14) When I woke this morning, I knew I loved North Dakota even more than yesterday.  The skies had partially cleared and the sun was illuminating the park in a sea of iridescent green like a vision from a long forgotten fairy tale.  The park was still very nearly empty, with only four campers stretched out over the more than 100 sites on the east side campground.  After morning tea we unhooked the bikes for a very windy but exhilarating ride through the park, along the whitecapped lake, and around the west campground.

Have I mentioned the battery problems with the Tracker?  Sometimes, completely unexpectedly, the battery will be dead.  Totally silent kind of dead.  Since that first time back in Spokane, it has only happened when it is still hooked up, but is more of an annoyance than a really serious problem.  This morning it DevilsLake (1)was dead again, and Mo decided that maybe she wasn’t doing something wrong and she just needed a new battery.  We were in luck.  Checking the Road Atlas for a Wal-Mart showed one right in Devils Lake, just a block away from our already planned stop at the Exxon for propane.  Details.  However those details did slow down our travels a bit and after buying propane and a battery, we didn’t get out of Devils Lake until after 11am. 

It was to be an easy day, though, with only 200 miles to Bemidji, our planned destination.  The roads were clear and straight, with huge wide medians filled with green.  Have I mentioned green? And blue?  There is so much sky in this part of the world, and even when it is half covered by clouds there is so much blue.  In fact, seeing sky that goes brilliant blue all the way to the horizon in all directions is a treat that I was looking forward to and could only imagine.  I know the west is beautiful.  Westerners always have to make comments about this part of the country, “but it’s so FLAT”.  “I couldn’t live without the mountains.”  Well, I do love the mountains, and I love the west, but with mountains in the west come fires and haze and murky skies during much of the summer when it should be blue. Today was blue.  And green.  And white. It was an amazing day of brilliant color and sky. Yesterday I fell in love with North Dakota, and today I fell in love with Minnesota.

DevilsLake_to_Bemidji (6) Now my daughter will accuse me of being a soil nerd, but I also had a blast using the iPhone SoilWeb application developed by Toby O’Geen at UCDavis.  You just hit the screen, and in a minute your gps location finds the soil that is mapped there and a screen pops up with the soil profile, the description, and the classification.  The application is essentially using web soil survey, but it’s great fun to get it on the fly.  So when the phone tells me I am crossing a fine smectitic frigid Aquertic Argiudoll, I know by this name that the climate is fairly cold but not in summer, that the soil has wetness issues, that is has cracks in it from the fine clays, that the surface is deep and dark, and that it gets summer rain.  I am not sure if any other scientific classifications explain so much about the thing they are classifying. 

 DevilsLake_to_Bemidji (11) We stopped in at a visitor center just inside the state of Minnesota and while I continued to drive, Mo reviewed some of the possibilities for the next few days.  She started reading about the Itasca State Park, where you can walk across the Mississippi, and we couldn’t figure out just where it was, but she thought we needed to go there.  A conversation ensued about timing, and how we were going to make it to Niagara Falls if we kept wandering off to do other things than what was originally planned.  About that moment, a sign appeared, Itasca State Park, 21 miles south, and within a moment we made the decision to go there.  For me this is the best part of a road trip, that spontaneous moment when you just take the turn down the road, unplanned.

DevilsLake_to_Bemidji (26)Itasca State Park is where the headwaters of the Mississippi River emerge from the lake on their journey to the Gulf of Mexico.  The river is the third largest in the world, and it drains more than a third of the entire United States.  Here in the park, the river is just a riffle without a thought of what she will become.  The interpretive center had excellent maps and posters describing the area, the river, the history, and so much more.  There were campgrounds there, and initially we thought we might camp, but then decided that we could still get to the park in Bemidji by six or so and it would be a bit further down the road so we headed back north.

Garmin Girl has been silenced, but she still is giving directions that are usually very good.  Yesterday she tried to take us across some very wet dirt roads on the way to Devils Lake, but today she navigated the way to Bemidji State Park without a hitch.  This park is much more closed and shaded than Devils  Lake, but still isn’t crowded at all at the moment.   We were offered a pull through electric site and took it happily.  After a simple setup and pizza for supper in the convection oven we took off walking the Homestead Trail to the Rocky Point Overlook on Bemidji Lake.  The trails are extremely well maintained, wide and well planned, surrounded by deep, moist hardwood forest.  I do love the hardwood forests, and I am sure that before this trip is over I will have many more photos of sunlight backlighting the leaves through the shadows. 

DevilsLake_to_Bemidji (41) Once back at camp, I discovered to my amazement that here, in the middle of the forest, in Bemidji Minnesota, I have free internet access compliments of the Minnesota State Park System.  So while Mo built an evening campfire, I uploaded the last couple of days photos, and finished writing blog entries as well. 

Who knows when I will have access again, but for now, this is great.  The humidity is high, but not unbearable because it is cool.  The mosquitoes aren’t as big or prolific as I thought they might be, although we did put on some DEET for the first time since we left on this trip.  The night is quiet and still, with no rain in sight, no thunder to wake us.  Maybe a really good night of sleep awaits!

August 24 LePage to Spokane

LePage_to_Spokane (2)Wonderful to have such a great night’s sleep and to wake up to fresh breezes and a view of the water.  LePage Campground is a delightful little treasure tucked away on I-84 and a good overnight stop.

LePage_to_Spokane (4) The trip along the Columbia River is the best part of the route, and once across the river into Washington the landscape becomes barren and boring unless you look deeper into the rest of the story.

LePage_to_Spokane (10)

We settled into Riverside State Park close to Spokane early in the afternoon, just in time for the arrival of Mo’s brother Don, who lives in Spokane.  The Centennial Trail winds along the river through the park and we unloaded the bikes for a nice little  afternoon ride. It’s great to see the Bowl and Pitcher area again with it’s wild waters, basalt columns, and to walk across the swinging bridge over the Spokane River

LePage_to_Spokane (8)

Photos from the rest of our day are linked here

Be forewarned, the following is my own personal journaling, much too wordy for a blog, but the more important reason for this blog, keeping track of my feelings and memories while we travel.  I  write here mostly for me and for Mo, and for my kids, and of course, anyone else who wants to know more.


What a difference a day makes, AND! a good night’s sleep. AND a computer that works properly. AND! the allergy medications worn off.  Whew!  The sun is gorgeous this morning, coming over the brown hills to the east, framed in green locust trees and accented by the blue waters of the John Day River, fat and lazy due to the John Day Dam just west of us here at the mouth of the river.  This little campground is a treasure, and we enjoyed this mornings cool breezes, and a good night’s sleep.  We didn’t even have to unhook last night, and our site is right on the water.  The campground is unassuming, but we look out over the water from our awning side and are on level pavement pull through.  In the distance we can see the freeway, the railroad, and the hills around us are punctuated by the brilliant white and graceful windmills.  Power and transportation, all right here, and yet so rural and very peaceful.

The drive from this park to Spokane is pleasantly uneventful, without much to see except the river itself, huge and wide.  I have traveling it far too many times, however, to pay much attention any more to the charms of Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington, especially the area around the Tri-Cities.  The most entertaining part of the trip was watching what the NUVI was telling us, and seeing her calculate the same routes I have used since I first started traveling these roads in 1972. We knew company would be coming for dinner so stopped at the huge and fabulous Kennewick Fred Meyer for supplies before continuing on into Spokane. 

I looked at the very brown, very dry fields all around us and tried without much success to see them with new eyes.  I know the story of wheat in Eastern Washington, the levels of precipitation and the depth of the soils increasing exponentially with the bushels per acre harvested as you approach Pullman/Moscow on the Washington-Idaho border.  I know the amazing story of the Great Missoula Floods that 13,000 years ago emptied a lake that covered a large part of Montana in what some say may have been as little as two days.  These brown scabby hills to the west of Highway 395 between Richland and Spokane are actually part of what is called the Channeled Scabland.  However, as a tourist passing through on the highway, none of this story is visible unless you know the tiny details and what to look for.  Today, it  just looked incredibly brown and boring.  The only good thing to be said is that the 100 miles or so from Tri-Cities to the Interstate 90 is now all four lanes, a good highway.  I traveled it for years as a 2 lane pain in the neck road full off slow truckers and furious people who couldn’t pass them.

We arrived in Spokane by 2 in the afternoon, and this time used the NUVI to negotiate the river and the bridges that make getting around sometimes a bit difficult in this town.  Of course, we found out again why everyone thinks that Spokane has the worst roads of any large city in the west.  Huge potholes and construction was going on everywhere, and we negotiated red flags and orange barriers all across town.  Another issue is the fact that Riverside State Park is sometimes hard to find, with the headquarters actually several miles north of the campground.  The Garmin Girl kept trying to make us go very far north.  If I hadn’t known the city, we could still be wandering around out there.  Once in the campground, however, all quieted down.  No one was in the kiosk, and we had no clue what our site number was supposed to be, but thankfully the telephone worked and after a call to headquarters, we settled into space 12 right next to the river.

We unhooked the Geo, only to discover that the battery was completely dead.  Somehow we had managed to park in a way that worked well, and we backed the MoHo into the site, and pushed the Geo off the road facing the front of the MoHo, thinking a jump would do the trick.  We were not so lucky, however, since it only clicked a bit before we gave up and called AAA.  Funny part about all this is that Triple A in Oregon had to route us to Triple A in Washington, and no matter how hard I tried to explain to the operator that we were NOT in Nine Mile Falls, she still sent the assistance to Nine Mile Falls, insisting that was the address of Riverside State Park.  We were especially lucky that the cell phone still worked down in the river canyon, because when the mechanic called me, he knew exactly where I was and drove back from Nine Mile to find us.  His charger had enough power to start the little car up, and after letting it run a bit, we were just fine.

:By this time, Mo’s brother Don had found our campsite to join us for the rest of the afternoon.  I also called an old friend in Coeur D’Alene who agreed to make the long drive to the west side of Spokane to visit.  While we waited for Laura to arrive, Don and Mo and I went off for a bike ride on a small portion of the Centennial Trail that is in Riverside State Park.  This trail extends from Nine Mile Falls through Spokane east into Idaho ending on the east side of Coeur D’ Alene Lake.  I remember when the trail was just a gleam and a plan, and before I left the area almost ten years ago it was fairly well developed.  It is a great place to ride.  In fact, there are several trails in this part of Washington and Idaho that have been developed for biking, many from old railroad right-of-ways.

When we arrived back to camp from the bike ride, Laura arrived with a huge bowl of fabulous veggies from her garden to add to our supper.  We cooked the pork chops and corn on the cob outside, while I did some rice and a salad in the MoHo.  It was wonderful having some time to visit and catch up on our children, families, and doings over the last couple of years.  Laura and I haven’t seen each other since she visited me in Klamath a few years ago, so this was an extra special treat.  It was nice having Don there as well, and he and Sharon took Abby down to the river for a swim.

The moon was full and clearly visible through the trees and the park was dark and quiet except for the faint sound of the river below us.  It’s really dry this time of year, so even if we could have found some firewood, there were no fires allowed. By the time everyone left it was close to ten after a hot shower when we got to bed.  I love how well I sleep in the MoHo, with fresh air, all close and cozy, and wonderful dream time.

Day 6 Biking Diamond Lake

The John Dellenback trail around Diamond Lake is about 12 miles of paved, easy trail that circles the lake with no more than an 8 percent grade. We tried biking this trail over Memorial Day, but it was still snowed in too deeply to complete the ride. This time we left from the southern end of the lake, near the south boat launch and rode west to the Theilsen View campground, where we were stopped by snow in the spring.

It was a great ride, with Abby enjoying the small lakes for a cooling swim. We had her on the leash at the beginning of the ride, but with very few people on the trail, decided that she could run on her own. Abby is the kind of dog that doesn’t want to stray any distance from her mother, Mo, so we don’t have to worry about her running off. Even the tempting squirrel or two will only take her for a moment and she is right back. If we saw people coming, Mo would call her to her side and she would wait patiently for them to pass.

When we left, the skies were clear and it was warm with lots of mosquitos. Bring LOTS of mosquito dope because they are thick here, especially on the southern end of the trail. If you keep moving, most of the time they won’t catch you, but stop for just a moment and they are everywhere.

On the way back we heard thunder and the clouds started forming over Mt Theilsen. To our delight, the great thunderstorm and downpour waited until we were conveniently loading up the bikes and climbing back into the protection of the MoHo, where the kitties were patiently waiting for us again. Abby had a great run, some great swims, and it was a good way to end the week. Home to Rocky Point via HWY 138 down to HWY 97 was much faster than the way we went previously and we were home from Diamond Lake in less than 2 hours.

Day 2 Memorial Day weekend

Day 2 May 23, 2009

We slept really well last night, and in spite of all the large groups of people filling in this rustic area, it was really quiet. There is one really big security light in the campground, but thank goodness it wasn’t too close to us, although when I woke in the middle of the night, I could see it shining through the front window. With all the trees, and the distance between sites, we still didn’t have to put our big window covers on. That’s always nice.

I’m knitting away, on what I call my “turkey sweater” because I almost finished it while we were traveling through Turkey. It is all sewn together, and I just have to finish the hood. Perfect for a quiet afternoon.

This morning we decided on an indoor breakfast since the fire doesn’t have a particularly good cooking grate, and it was about 35 degrees outside when we got up. Nice to have a cozy home to hang out in on cold mornings. I love bacon when we are camping. Yumm. Indoors or out.

About 9:30 we took off to find the bike trail. We kept Abby on her leash for the initial search through the resort parking lot, but after that the trail was very nearly empty and we let her run with us. She is getting pretty good at going along with the bikes, and seems to keep up well. Stopping a bit let her swim, and enjoyed the views and the water. The trail goes all the way around the lake, and was one of the reasons we thought coming here would be nice. We biked as far as the Theilsen View campground, which was still closed. About a half mile from the camp, we discovered why, the snow was deep across the trail and the road in many places. We walked our bikes across most of it, and Mo rode hers, so of course I thought I could as well. Oops. This time it was my turn to dump, with my front tire catching in a deep snow drift and flipping me right over the handlebars. I found myself in a tangle with wheels and bike on top of me in the hard snow. Glad it was snow, since my bike was fine and I just had some minor cuts and bruises on my legs. After that spill, however, I did walk my bike through the snow banks.

When we got back to the closed campground, we were surprised to find some tent campers who had boated in, comfortably sited among the old hard snow drifts. Not a bad idea if you have a boat and want to tent camp. The ride back home was lovely, and Abby enjoyed herself swimming again. She even figured out how to go ahead of me on the leash without tripping up the bike. Mo rode on one side to “herd” her away from traffic and we were able to ride all the way back to the campground on the road portion without a problem. I even discovered that Abby could help pull me up the hills a bit!

After a bit of an afternoon rest, we went back down to the south end of the lake to see if they had opened up any of the other campgrounds yet. No change, even on this Memorial Day weekend, the Umpqua NF information center was still closed up tight, with no one in sight. Around 2, just as we planned, we unloaded our boats at the north shore, just a short walk from the car to the water, and we managed to portage both boats at once. The breeze was just starting up as we got on the water, and big puffy clouds were obscuring the sun. Funny how as the sun goes behind a cloud the wind on the water picks up. Mo decided to take Abby with us this time and put on her doggie life jacket. Abby isn’t yet quite completely comfortable in the kayak, and keeps trying to turn around to Mo for reassurance. Not a good thing in a small kayak, so Mo spends a bit of time telling her, “no, Abby, quit, stop, no.” Still, we managed some good time on the water, even though it was windy and choppy, and went south along the west shore as far as the campground. Paddling back against the wind wasn’t as hard as it should have been, and we think that maybe there was a current going toward the outlet on the north shore. Abby did fine, and Mo got all the way back without an upset. The water is still very cold, and hypothermia would be a serious problem if you fell in, I am sure. On the way back we at first stayed toward the shore in case of an upset with the dog, but then decided to take the fastest route across the water to the put in spot. I guess afternoon isn’t as good a time for mountain lake kayaking with the afternoon winds that always come up. Funny, we saw a really gorgeous, very large sailboat out there, and remembered from our sailing days how erratic these mountain lake winds can be. The sailboat wasn’t sailing, either, just motoring along. Their American flag was at half mast, blowing strong in the wind, for some fallen soldier, or for Memorial Day, I would imagine.

Tomorrow we plan to kayak earlier in the day, to hopefully miss the winds. Stopped at the Diamond lake resort store for Haagen Daz on the way back to camp, relaxed with a fun movie, Marley and Me, and then had a nice supper from the MoHo cupboard of box spaghetti, garlic bread, and the last of the salad. Mo built another really great campfire and we sat around and watched all the local campers and laughed about silly stuff until bedtime. We especially laughed at Abby, who was exhausted from her day’s adventures and kept trying to get us to go to bed. She would go to the door, look longingly at it and beg to go in. After Mo let her in, she landed in her bed, and didn’t even come out when we went back to the fire. That is a first, I think. Nice to wear out the dog before bedtime for sure.