Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Summer Camping!

We love camping! Especially when there are views like this all around. Each summer we try to set aside at least 3 weekends for camping and mark them on the calendar. They get moved around as the wedding, BBQ invitations and notices of visitors arrive. But we are still getting our 3 camping trips in this year!

This is gorgeous Lake Diablo, a result of Diablo Dam which was once the world's tallest dam. It is in the North Cascades and is surrounded by amazing glaciers and forest.


We left on a Friday afternoon and with traffic it took us about 4 hours to get up to our campground. But we found a great spot and set up camp before it got dark. Once that was done it was cocktail time!

The next day we drove around the area to check out Skagit dam, the town of Diablo (which you drive across the dam to get to), and hike around a bit. It is just gorgeous up in this area! As our campground was right on the lake there was the quick dip- but it was VERY quick as the lake is all glacier fed water....brrrrrr! As we left the area on Sunday we made a quick stop into a local winery- it's amazing how no matter where we camp we can always find a winery to taste in on Sunday coming home!

A few weeks ago we met friends from Vancouver Canada up at Mt. Baker and camped in the Silver Fir campground. Great area, right on the river but unfortunately it rained the whole time! Our friends had arrived to the grounds first and had brilliantly got us a site that even though it was pouring rain there was so much tree cover that we could all sit out around the fire. But it was chilly and there would be no hiking. That just gave us all a chance to relax and catch up, chat, have camping cocktails & make nice meals together!

And our final camp trip of the summer was last weekend. We headed out to Lopez Island which is part of the San Juan Islands. Unfortunately the trip started out a bit rocky as on of the ferries that service the islands was down so they had been running a full load behind all day. That meant that even though we were there for the 6:50pm ferry we couldn't get on until the 9pm. Yikes, that is a bit of a wait. Lucky for us we were one of the first to make it to Charlies restaurant and grab a seat in the bar for a few beers and some chowder- others who came in behind us were not so lucky.

We got to the camp site well past dark but had a reservation so no worries. And it was so quiet when we came in that we drove right past a doe grazing on some bushes and she just looked at us and didn't move.

The next day we drove around the island, stopping at Agate Beach but not finding any agates, then on to Shark Reef Park. We did a very short hike up to the bluff and had a picnic lunch overlooking the channel where the Victoria Clipper comes through and a large rock of seal lions were hanging out! One even was swimming around in the water below and it was clear enough to see him twisting and gliding.



We also stopped in the only real town on the island for much needed camping provisions- Us Magazine, a lemon and a bundle of firewood :)

Last stop of the day was at the cute little Lopez Winery for some tasting and a walk through the gardens and vineyards.
All day long we could see 2 large eagles flying around- quite gorgeous. And at night with no city lights anywhere around the stars were amazing. We even both saw the same shooting star!
The next day after we thought we were so early getting to the ferry dock (an hour early!) we found out that we might not make the 12:30pm and could have to wait until 3:30pm. Luckily we were in the last 6 cars they let on board- phew! now that would have been a LONG wait.
Pictures from Lake Diablo are here and pictures from Lopez Island are here