Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cooper Lake 8.25.10

With my vacation finally arriving I thought a night out camping with the family was in order. I pondered a long time before settling on Cooper Lake. I wanted something that we didn't have walk too far and with some improvements. The kids are still a little too young to appreciate the true nature of backpacking. After what seemed like a million stops we were finally on our way. Thankfully there wasn't too many campers so we had our pick of sites. As we found out later we weren't even on an improved site. After making what seemed like a million trips to the car and back we finally had set to our liking. The weather was ideal warm, sunny, light breeze and best yet NO bugs. The views from camp of Lemah and Chimney Rock were outstanding and it was fun to point out the peaks to the family who did there best to seem interested. I set up the poles for the kids to try for the numerous fish that were feeding. The grew more interested in playing in the water so I shifted gears to beer tanning as I sat in my chair next to the water and did my best to support local breweries.

Sometimes you hear stories of kids who drown because their parents are paying too little attention. I can now say it would only take an instant. As I sat drinking my beer my youngest ventured out a little further and stumbled and started backpeddaling towards the deeper water. As I coaxed her to come back to me I abruptly realized that she wasn't making any headway. I ran out to her and scooped her, as I reached her her eyes had this resigned look like she knew she was in trouble. I immediately turned her over and gave her a slap on her back and she was able to clear her lungs. It took her a while to regain herself but she soon forgot what had happened and was very eager to return to the water.

After my wife and I were able to recover we went about preparing dinner and getting the kids to bed. I tried to show off my prowess with the one burner stove by making brats with Jambalaya and blueberry cheesecake for dessert. I didn't hear any complaints and there wasn't a scrap left over. My wife and did our best old married couple renditition as she read and renewed my assault on the local breweries. Just after the sun went down the moon came up providing enough light to read by. Lemah mountain bathed in moonlight was something to behold. After a long day we were both eager to hit the hay. While the confines were a bit cozy we managed to sleep off and on through the night. Thankfully the dogs were only mildly annoying as Tanner woke me a up a couple of times barking at something that neared camp. I also realized that the beagle is no match for my handline that I usually pack. He was able to chew through multiple times but thankfully managed to keep his wandering to a minimum.

I made coffee in the morning and I still can't figure out why it tastes so good. I would imagine that if I had that same cup in town I would send it back. After the family got up I made bacon and eggs which was also a hit.

We spent the early morning lazing which was interrupted by the caretaker berating me for setting up in the wrong spot. Truthfully I would bet that I wasn't the first since it looked improved to me. We slowly repacked and I did some fishing as the temperatures started to soar. Overall the OW-HI campgroung earned a return visit for next year. I will be sure to bring some sort of floatation to make catching fish easier. On the way out I decided to see if Cooper Pass would yield some views. The views are starting to be obscured by trees but it was fun to see a little more of area for the family. I noticed a spur that lead to the Kachess Ridge Trail so we headed up. Since I hadn't been on this road I was curious to see how far the road went. At the junction we headed away from the trailhead and continued South. The views from Hi Box to Three Queens was beyond compare. I secretly hoped that the road would somehow connect with the road that I used last month above Kachess Lake. The more we drove the more I started to feel like this might go. Sadly the road finally dead ended and we were forced to retrace our route.

Overall the trip wasn't without out it's scary moments and was a lot of work for one night out. But at the same time I can't wait to do it again.

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