A Beloved Family Tradition Resumes!

Summer of 1988 I was starting my life with Mr. Wonderful and pregnant with Dane.  We had our separate children on alternating weekends.  Gary lived in Everett and on the weekends we had him we attempted to have an outing as his mother did nothing with him.  I'd sit down with the Gazetteer and look for lakes or rivers near a forest service road where we could possibly find a place to pull off the road and camp.  We stayed near plenty of rivers but lakes were a lot harder to find.  

One day I found on a map the very arrangement I was looking for, although the lake was not as near the road as we would have liked.  We decided to give it a shot.  So we went and picked Gary up in Everett and then drove clear down to Bumping Lake, about 140 miles and then 6 miles down the dirt road that continues past the road's end.  By flashlight and headlight we set up camp in a little pull-through right next to the road, using our car to block anyone from accidentally driving through our camp.

In the morning we put on all our gear for the hike to the lake.  We were just barely down the trail when we ran into the lake - it was so close we could have hauled our stuff and camped right there!  There was an island in the middle of the lake but we hadn't planned to swim.  As was our custom whenever we ran into a small lake we decided to hike around it and when we got to the opposite side we saw that the water was very shallow and the island was close.  So Mr W decided to try to walk through the shallow water to the island.  The lake bed was very soft there and he sunk up to his chins or knees and ended up getting fairly wet, more so than he'd planned.  We totally enjoyed the pretty little lake we'd found and determined that someday we'd come back and actually camp on its shores.

The next year we headed out to that area but, again, didn't camp at Lily Lake.  Instead we stopped at a river where we'd seen others, even with camping trailers, camping before.  It was a nice camping area but, again, not a lake.  We visited the lake during the day.  

I believe we camped in the same spot the next year as well.  That year a full moon completely lit up our camp when it came out.  I remember Vivian Padilla came with us and spent all her time taking care of Keith who was about 7 months old.  Dane was 2 and camping with babies like that can be exhausting but we still enjoyed ourselves.

Finally, in 1992 we decided to camp at the lake - on the island even!  We came to that conclusion because during our visits we discovered that the camps on the shore of the lake were thick with mosquitoes but not the island!  So we got our rafts and hauled our stuff over.  We immediately fell in love with the camp.

We spent lots of time in those early years with Pete and Laura Eno and their boys and our first camping trip included them and their dog.

In 1993 we had made friends with lots of people in Auburn and a group decided to give our style of camping a shot.  Our group included our family, the 4 Bushnells and Heather Tallent.

1994 our group shrank a bit, it appears to have been only our family and Brian Boston.  Mark Berndt may have been there as well, he became a fixture in our lives for a few years and that included our annual Lily Lake trips.

Then in 1995 we had a mob.  My parents had moved up from California and we ended up helping Hik move  here too, so he camped and they came out for a day visit.  Other campers included 4 Bushnells, 2 Berndts, 2 (or3?) Colemans, Havalah Morgan, Laura Conkler, and another couple strays, I believe.  It seems like there were 21 at the Watchtower study we had Sunday morning around the campfire before we broke camp.

We continued to go annually with a variety of friends and/or family through 2006.  Through a divorce, depression, a couple changes of congregations, children's marriages, etc. we continued the tradition.  Then the winter floods washed away part of the road and our trips ended.  Sadly.  We all mourned our lost tradition until, determined, we decided to break all the rules and just go out on quads in 2009.  It was a good trip but didn't end well.  The rangers found us riding our quads and fined Kevin and Rachyl (the drivers).  Oh well, it was worth it, it cost each family/couple $50 for the 3-4 day trip, not bad...

After that fiasco, though, I started pushing it to the back of my mind as a tradition that was past.  The grandsons had gotten to experience Lily Lake camping but so young they wouldn't remember.  We kept an eye on the condition of the road.  Closed.  We drove out.  Closed.  Signs of protected rivers started springing up.  That's it - they protected the waterways and now the environmentalists won't let it be reopened.  Boo...

Rachyl took the initiative to look into the road more so than the rest of us and found information a week or so ago that sounded like the road was probably open!  What?!?! I'd been aching to take a drive out there just to see and so was Shirley so after hearing THAT news we decided we HAD to go!  

So Wednesday we packed up the kids and made a day of it.  It was the usual beautiful drive and, lo and behold, the road was open!  I drove my toaster which is very close to the ground so had to take some really bad areas very slowly.  There were lots of downed trees.  The horse camp that had been built just before the road was closed still looks like new.  Then, just as we got to the parking area for "our" lake - a tree across the road!  

No sweat.  Remember the little pull-through area we first camped in way back in the late 80's?  It's now the road and the parking area is split in 2 (by a tree) and there's room for more cars.

I planned to break the news of the upcoming camping trip to Rick gently, since he seems hesitant to do things with my mob in totality.  But there was no way to hide my excitement!  


2 cats hacked up hairballs:

Rach July 13, 2012 at 10:10 PM  


Maggie July 13, 2012 at 11:06 PM  

That's what i was gonna say ......Oh well YAYYYYY! Anyhow.

About Me

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After 2 unsuccessful marriages I spent 12 years as a divorcee, only to fall prey to another man's wiles. We had a fun 5 years together and then he decided he wanted more freedom so once again I'm single.

So I'm freshly divorced at 57 and have 5 great kids and now 7 grandkids. My kids are still a major part of my life but I'm busy helping my aging parents on Kauai.

I've lived in California, Hawaii and Oklahoma before finally settling here in Washington. I love Washington and come back to visit family, friends and take care of my garden often but will be temporarily a resident of Kauai.

I've moved 30 times in my life (no, my parents weren't in the service, at least not since I was about 2) and finally planted roots when I got my little house that I've owned since '91.

My family are Jehovah's Witnesses, I've been one since '72.