Anyone remember the cartoon with the abominable snow monster who searched and searched but could not find his bunny rabbit? Well, it was really hot this weekend, and had we remained at home, we likely would have melted like he did. Instead, we returned to Shaver Lake, this time at the Dorabelle campground. I’d made these reservations probably six months prior and, just by pure luck, seem to have gotten the nicest site. In fact, when we checked in at the kiosk, the woman asked if we’d been there before, and when we said no, she remarked that any time someone has reserved sites 29-35, it’s because they are return visitors and are in the know. All I knew was that site 34 on the map seemed to be near the blue area on the map. Anyway, she was right, it was nice.
Down in the valley, temperatures were in the high 90s or low 100s for most of the weekend, but up at 5k feet, it never got too bad and mostly stayed in the upper 80s. This was a good thing, because we did not have hookups to run the AC. We left midday Friday and Richard was able to work in the car. It really does take about five hours for us to get there, even without traffic. We were rewarded after the long drive with a lovely sunset over a much fuller Shaver Lake. Dorabelle is just across a little bay from Camp Edison and has many nice beaches to launch boats or just hang out. There were lots of campers this weekend and lots of boats on the water.
Saturday Richard wanted to do a bike ride down into the valley and back up, but the road into Shaver Lake, at least the last six miles of it, is quite narrow, with no shoulder. He also wasn’t too keen on the idea of all that descending because the gradient is pretty steep. For some reason, he was into the idea of climbing, even in the heat, so we came up with a compromise. I drove him down to Tollhouse and returned to the lake to do some paddling. Then, once he’d climbed most of the way, he could stop at a little market and wait for me to pick him up with the car. That worked perfectly and timed well with the amount of paddling I felt like doing in one stretch. I got some impressive before and after shots to show just how much the level of the water had risen since we were there a couple of weeks before. Apparently they had intentionally let a lot of water out in order to make ready for the snow melt. This time, the lake looked good and full. Sadly, all around you can see the decimation of the pine trees after the long drought. I’m not sure how many of them succumbed, but there is a lot of deforestation going on to remove the dead ones.
After his hot bike ride, Richard was up for spending time in the water. What he didn’t like the last time he tried boating was the feeling he was going to tip over. So I went and got him a floaty in town and towed him around the lake like an aquatic trailer. He got cheers from some of the guys on the beach, who said they wanted to throw him a beer and take pictures. It was Father’s Day weekend, so I guess you could justify the image.
Saturday night we grilled for the first time in quite a while. I also put up the awning for the first time since probably last summer. I’ve been doing a lot of contemplating over the awning. What I think is this: if there is a gorgeous view out the windows, I will never want to put it up. Also, if it is too hot or too cold to sit outside comfortably, I wouldn’t want to put it up. Also, for stays of one night, no way. But this application was a good one, the only problem being the fact that without bug netting, the awning sort of acts like a bug attractor and trapper. I’m scheming some ideas about how netting could possibly be added to it, but I still note that there are limited circumstances in which the effort it takes to put up and take down would make it worthwhile.
For example, Sunday morning we had a lot of outside packing up to do and it was hot. Neither of us was a happy camper while we were shoving everything back into their various carrying cases. We say we will pack up the night before in the future, but I also know that the night before we will probably be just as tired as we were this weekend, and I bet we won’t actually follow our own advice next time.
We made a quick stop at the same vista point we lunched at before and I noted, through not very scientific methods, that Dory is cooler inside than outside if you run the fan at full speed. Long drive home and we waited until eight to unpack and move Dory into the garage. Summer has arrived in all its glory.
Total miles: 199.2, 16.4 mpg, 4 hours 48 min. Site: 34, probably my favorite with a little bit of solar and walking distance to the lake. Nice meadow, privacy, and a little babbling brook right next to it. Sites 33, and the double site 36 would have good solar. 35 was also nice. We didn’t see 29-32 but they would be a farther walk to the water I think. LTE or 4G for both ATT and Verizon.