Back in May, we camped at Camp Edison, Shaver Lake, and noted that it was too long a drive to do for just a weekend. So I booked a “do over” trip and scored the same sweet site we had before. But this time, I put on my calendar that I would take Friday off. I’m not very good about taking days off during the school year, but I figured with a five month lead time, I could plan around it. So, of course, things beyond my control got planned, Friday off was not going to work, and we were seriously considering eating the reservation fee and not going. But then we discovered that the site was available Sunday night and I could take off Monday without too much pain. Regroup! Game on!!
Getting there is still a pretty big trip. We left as early as possible Friday and hit major traffic. It ended up being a six hour drive and we didn’t pull up to the kiosk until 9pm. Happily, they don’t shut the gate on new arrivals until 10 and we got to use our LED night hitching lights. Dinner was wraps on the road. After darkness had set in and we began heading into the foothills, we noticed something weird and huge and orange coming up over the horizon. Richard was pretty sure it could not possibly be the moon (and yes, he did follow that with: “It’s a space station!”). It was, however, definitely the moon. We tried (LOTS) to get a picture of it, but they all turned out so blurry, you can’t even tell what they were supposed to be. Anyway, it was cool. You’ll just have to trust me.
Despite the long drive, we knew we’d have full days Saturday and Sunday and that was excellent. One of the first things we did was reposition in the site. The Caravan Mover made easy work of that and we got enough level space in front of the door that the awning became useful. This is not to say the decision of whether to put it up was not a struggle. With a view like that, it’s a tough call. Shade and yoga room and blue lights won.
The rest of the day Saturday was spent with biking and boating. Our site is nicely close to the water, though the approach is rather steep and slippery. I made it down, but opted to use the beach when it was time to bring the kayak back in. Dinner Saturday was take out pizza from Shaver Lake Pizza and that was perfection. Then I got to live my dream and go for a sunset paddle. It was blissful, although I appear to have missed the sunset. Afterglow was pretty awesome anyway.
Sunday we were pretty lazy. I played with some new school things and then we walked up to the Museum. We recommend a trip there for sure. There are all kinds of artifacts from the old logging days and we were treated to a private tour of the replica hydroelectric building. Plus, we went inside an old caboose and got to check out a very well restored Mack truck. All very fun. We’d like to time any return trips to coincide with when they do live demonstrations of the hydroelectric machinery in action. We also learned a lot about the huge tree die off and that it was largely caused by a stressed ecosystem that was vulnerable to a massive beetle attack. With all the fires raging in California, it is worrisome to see so many standing dead trees on the surrounding ridges. The campground appears to have done a very thorough job removing theirs and has turned many of the remaining stumps into happy campbears.
Sunday evening I got my sunset on the water. I also got a close encounter with ducks and a dragonfly. Did you know dragonflies have teeth? Go ahead, Google it. I dare you. I had recently made that mistake, and fully admit to being alarmed when it landed on me. I came out of the incident unscathed and brought back ten thousand pictures of the sun setting over the lake.
Monday was a vacation day, but we knew we’d be using it for travel. Again, it was a long haul. We didn’t hit much traffic going home, but still clocked about 4 1/2 hours. Now my note to self is to stay at this place for a week next time. They have electric hookups at all of the sites, I think. There is plenty of solar to keep the coffee battery charged. There are water spigots conveniently placed throughout the campground, and they even have a “honey wagon” service, so our waste tanks would not be an issue. Go ahead, if you didn’t Google dragonfly teeth, I dare you to look up honey wagons.
This place remains one of my all time favorite places. I just wish it weren’t so far!
Total miles: 200.4, 16.2 mpg, 5 hours 55 min with traffic. Site 120. Best sites for lake views: 120, 119, 124, 125. Sites 118 and the double sites 107 & 108 would be great for water access. This is a huge campground, with 252 sites. Many have full hookups. Nicely maintained, friendly staff.