Being Beyond Hope Is A Beautiful Thing

Seeing that it is a long weekend we decided to partake in the tradition of camping. We packed up our gear which was a mishmash of items we deemed necessary in our rather inexperienced minds and hit the road.

Never thought to get you to check reservations, I guess worst case scenario we play and go home.

This seemed reasonable to me so we headed to Ross Lake.

The gravel road was a washboard and we kicked up dust in a plume at every curve. The mountains towered above us and waterways gurgled and played hide and seek in the clearings to the left and to the right. We drove past thin trees and dry forests. There is a burn ban in effect for good reason.

50 some kilometers off the asphalt and we abruptly stop and back up to make our turn off into the campground for the national park. We drive a slow lap to get our bearings and decide where to stake out our home away from home. The place seems so empty for arriving late afternoon on a Friday. We decide on a site that “looks good” only to find it has a secret treasure of waterfront views and private boat launch. This spot was beyond our wildest imaginings.

I literally “pop” my tent and we unload a few items and both look pleased with our new abode. 18 bucks a night seems like a steal.

We manage to feed ourselves all weekend without getting food poisoning or starving. I feel like a modern day cave man cooking on your propane stove. The water boils so rapidly I am in awe; a heron flies over us and we are feel closer to what we have come to see.

You scope out the boat launch and call me to come see the frogs. You announce giddily that there are hundreds and I watch the earth move around your flip-flops. We are grinning.

We wander to the beach and assess every other camp set up. The tarped camp site and the mini mall make us shake our heads the most. You could not stop being horrified by the trailer being held together with a tiedown. I was rather impressed by the Trillium. The Trillium owner gave me a tour of his super high end chemical toilet with self contained holding tank. I was gushing about it the whole walk back. You could not believe I was so excited over a toilet, then we both started rambling about alternative toilet concepts comparing our favorites from the simple to complex and what their appropriate applications would be. We agree if you live on grid you should just work with what you have.

Do you think the tarped camp site dwellers take photos and everything has a blue or green backdrop?

We both laugh.

The mini mall set up over night. From the gravel pad emerged numerous buildings and lean tos. We start taking bets on when they will erect a carport.

I could live there all year round.

They do have a generator.

We both look and point and talk story while melting at our own picnic table. The wind died down and the mercury rose.

I woke to a loon’s haunting call and am amused it was probably on the American side of the lake. I admit I should have brought a sleeping mat. You long for a deck of cards. We make mental lists. You suggest building a kitchen box, I swoon at the thought. We don’t want to fuss with anything, we just want to be outside.

This first morning we ritualize coffee.  You go as far as heating the metal mugs. You want your joe steaming hot and you are jonesing for espresso as we watch the liquid seep slowly through the ultra fine ground beans. I bastardize my coffee with 2%. You cringe as I pour milk into the now beige swirl of liquid.

We haul the kayaks to the launch and transition to the water easier than I thought we would but with more difficulty than you expected. Little Fat Dog is unsure about this adventure but with some finagling we convince her to settle down. We head up river and down effortlessly. I try to paddle with even strokes but my bow leans to the right. Cool droplets of water soak into my shorts with every other stroke. I glide over the stumps of a former forest and it is a haunting and distorted view through the rippling water. I feel like a bird flying over the devastation. I want to go see the dam that caused this.

We miss our turn off in the reeds and by the beach a man greets us from a large waterlogged stump far from the shore. We continue on into a mild traffic jam with other little watercraft and it is sublime.

Did you see that fish?

A Garter snake just swam past me!

REALLY!?

Wow this is too cool.

We went along humbly at the feet of ancient mountains.

Do you see that line shaved into the mountains edge?

Is it for a powerline?

I… don’t… know.

Wouldn’t it be funny if it was the International border?

Seriously? You think they would cut a swath out of the mountain to define an imaginary line off a map?

(They totally cut a swath out of the mountains in a straight line to define the border. We found the markers on a hike.)

We should totally get backcountry passes to kayak down the lake to camp.

I think this is a brilliant idea.

We will need to downsize the stuff we take but this is totally doable.

I keep imagining carrying everything I need in the kayak and landing on some shore that we will claim as our own for a moment in time.

There were moments we got eaten by mosquitos, I had a couple questionable incidents at the outhouse and seriously I should have remembered a sleeping mat. I did manage to change my shirt on the last day we were there, I slept in socks because they were cleaner than my feet and everything was perfect.

I adored the techno outhouse lightshow you gave me right after we found that toad that startled us in the dark.

We both kept tokens of our escape from reality. Maybe we were just coming home where we are more comfortable being nothing but ourselves. You kept the paper marked 1 and I got 2; you know, ’cause I chronically walked around with a recycled poo bag.

By the way Home Restaurant makes darn good pie. I fulfilled my sugar fantasy in the front seat of your vehicle. I need a coffee. Here is to the next adventure, *Cheers*.

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