Tag Archives: canyon lake

Life at the Lake

We’re in the middle of a little “staycation” right now and it seemed like the perfect time to post to our pathetically out-of-date blog. As the role of Facebook has expanded in the time since we sold the house and set out on our short-circuited journey, we’ve found even less motivation to post here, but there is a place for communication beyond the sound bite character limits of status updates and comments.

site 45

In less than a month, we’ll be trading in life at our comfortable, incredibly cute, perpetually improving “big house” for the next adventure in our “little house” (the one that has wheels): a couple of weeks of sightseeing as we travel west, then three incredibly full months on the beach, enjoying our role as grandparents and camp hosts, visiting friends and family, and occasionally indulging in burritos carnitas from Taqueria Vallarta. After our time is up at Seacliff, we’re hoping to set out farther north, catching up with Bob and Helen in Cottage Grove, Oregon, stopping for a bit at Flathead Lake, Montana, continuing on to explore a route across the northern tier of states to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a bit of fall color and to visit family before the weather shifts and drives us south again.

Hi Mom!Being retired and having a house within walking distance to the campground, it might seem a little ridiculous to invest the effort and expense to move the trailer down to the lake shore. It is a change of head space, as well as a different habitat. While we’re in the “big house” life takes on the focus of “normal” life: paying bills, household maintenance and projects, cooking and cleaning (okay, not so much cleaning), counting birds at the feeders, etc, etc, etc. No complaints, just acknowledgment. Visiting the campground for a few days instead of walking through it (as we do most mornings) is about shifting gears. While Laura’s calendar was clear, we hoped to have a chance to come down for three or four nights before the holiday weekend crowds descended. As fate would have it, we happened to be hanging out watching a pair of Cooper’s hawk building a nest when the folks who were in our favorite site packed up and pulled out, so we were able to walk up to the gatehouse and snag it on Monday. Woo Hoo!

Dottie floating on Canyon LakeWe’ve been blessed this week with an opportunity to revisit the Canyon Lake that we fell in love with three years ago. The first time it was late May so we’re about a month earlier this time, but with temperatures reaching into the 90’s each day and water temperatures in the 70’s, and constant winds between 10 and 20 mph, it’s close enough. Perfect for afternoons spent on a floaty thing in the water.

For the first couple of days, the campground seemed pretty empty. Folks here will come in and rent the non-reservation sites as far ahead as they can in order to have them for prime weekends, even though in many cases they don’t use them except for a few days. We paid for two days at first, leaving the option open to extend or bail out, depending on conditions.

We’ve met new friends; Forest and Jan, who know Laura’s dad because he performed their daughter’s wedding in Michigan, Bill and Vickie who live in the U.P. of Michigan (we’re hoping to visit them next fall!), Captain Steveand reconnected with Amy and Richard who we met in the campground last year while we were out walking dogs. They joined us for Thanksgiving dinner and now we’re looking forward to Easter dinner with them. Interestingly, I’ve found that I am more social in campgrounds than I am at home.

The weekend has come, the campground is as full as it gets, and we haven’t found motivation to leave. The first time we were here, we fantasized about having a pontoon boat to get out on the lake. This time, our humble pontoon is moored a few campsites away.

The day we arrived in this spot in 2008, Laura made a proclamation that is as true today as it was then: “I LOVE it here, I feel like I’m on vacation!”

Full Circle

May 29, 2008, we first laid eyes on Canyon Lake. From that day forward, the lake level dropped daily, reaching record lows last summer. The two year drought ended in September with a huge rain that dropped a beautiful Spanish Oak in our back yard and, obsessed, we monitored rainfall, river flow and lake levels, as the lake came back up, inch by inch. Sometimes it seemed as if it would never be full again. At other times, it rose a foot overnight.

Yesterday was a momentous day. We came full circle and the lake is as we first saw it. And still rising. One more foot to reach full “conservation pool”. Rain is good.