Saturday, August 14, 2010

Impromptu Get Away to Anthony Lakes

Wild Onions at Black Lake

Friday - Saturday, August 13-14
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Rick and I decided to take off for the night and run away to Anthony Lakes.  Luke and Jack were tied up with tennis clinic and a tournament on Saturday.  So Rick packed up the tent trailer and some food while I got a few things checked off my list, and we left at 1 pm for Anthony Lakes.  The road construction is closed on Friday through Sunday, so no delays during weekends!  

It is a beautiful day in the 80's and sunshine!  We pull into Anthony campground and find the group overflow site reserved and nearly ALL the sites in the regular campground taken, or unsuitable for the tent trailer!  Wow!  Mud Lake Campground is now a group only site, so we head up the hill to Grande Ronde Lake.  We haven't been in there for ages.  

Sign warns that the road is "not suitable for passenger cars" but we go anyway and other than a few rocks here and there, it is fine!  As we are pulling in, the park host passes us and says "The site at the end is empty and a beautiful spot, but I warn you that a large group of boys will be camped near you.  But there are adults too, so they shouldn't be too loud!"  We decide to take our chances because the site is great.  

Red Columbine
We get all set up.  A huge meadow separates us from the shallow lake.  We are in the trees right at the edge of the meadow.  A gurgling brook flows next to us.  The meadow is filled with blue gentians, Rick's favorite late season flower.  

We drive back down to Anthony Lake, and take a short hour and half hike up to Black Lake.  Wildflowers are still out, although the lupine is nearly past and all the heather has died off.  We hike around the lake.  Enroute back we visit Lilypad Lake and the abundance of water lilies covering the surface.  Finish the lap around Anthony and back to the car.  

Back at camp we both set our chairs up along the edge of the meadow in the sunshine.  A cool breeze is blowing so the sun feels good!  Time to read, work puzzles, and listen to the osprey and the brook!  

Dinner is a random blend of pretzels, peanuts, carrots, a hunk of cheese and a bottle of wine.  Nice!  We have a wonderful fire and after dark I amuse myself taking sparks pictures - they looked like fireworks going off!  

We go to bed early and set the watch to waken just before midnight.  Tonight is still a good time to watch the Perseid Meteor shower with peak activity between midnight and two am.  The meteors should be in the NE sky and that is exactly the direction you look from the meadow toward the lake.  

I get up at 11:45 and set up a chair at the edge of the meadow with my sleeping bag over me.  Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed in the number and size of the meteors I saw - only 12 in the hour I sat out in the dark.  However, the clear skies and the vast array of stars and the Milky Way was awesome in its own right!  I went back to bed at 1am when I realized how wet from the dew the sleeping bag was getting!  (Rick bailed out on the viewing....saying he was so warm and snuggly in his bed!  :)

What a gorgeous spot to fish!
Up in the morning to seek the sun and read a little.  Enjoyed a little coffee and breakfast of bagels and hard boiled eggs!  

We decided to break camp and head down the mountain to Van Patten trailhead and the hike up to the lake for a little fishing.  Took me an hour to get up the steep trail (1.5 miles), but we spent a beautiful 2 1/2 hours at the lake....Rick fishing (caught 5 small ones which he threw back) and I relaxed in the sun reading and finishing the Soduku Monster from Sunday's paper.  Osprey flying and diving.  Beautiful.     (I can't help but mention also that I had to cut a fishing lure from the back of Rick's pants as he snagged himself!)

Home by 3pm refreshed and ready to roll!  

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