Sunday, July 24, 2011

Camping at Lake Red Rock

Wednesday: We drove two hours to North Overlook Campground next to the dam for Lake Red Rock.  Temperatures were forecast near 100 F.  Thankfully, the campground was as depicted on the website, and afforded a great deal of trees and shade.  Still there was enough heat and humidity that we had to take early showers in order to enjoy the small campfire while eating a light snack of cheese, crackers, and cold beverages.

Thursday: Today was to be in the low 90s, and we could tell by the cooler morning temperature.  After a breakfast of French Toast we ventured out on the bicycle path which is within 50 feet of our campsite.  We rode one direction and back for about one hour.  Sandi wanted to go down to the lake and lay out, so I drove her there and came back to read.  A side project I finished was to repair the screen on the camper door.  It was an easier job than I had feared.  After about two hours, I was getting hungry and went down to the beach to fetch Sandi to eat our sandwiches.  I had also brought peaches and cottage cheese--a pleasant treat on a hot day.  After eating Sandi recommended I come down to the water in order to cool off.  We both got in the lake, and I admit that it felt good.  A side benefit is that I got to put my arms around Sandi without concern for the feel of perspiration.  After we got back to the campsite and changed, we headed into town for more ice and sundries.  Supper comprised chicken breast cooked on the grill, coleslaw, and Peanut Butter/Oatmeal bars.  Later that evening while sitting in front of the fire, we saw an owl above us in the trees.  I tried getting a shot but the pictures were blurry because the shutter speed was so slow.  For an evening snack we popcorn.  It has been a long time since we had that last.

Friday: We were awakened at 5:00 AM to rain, so we closed up the camper windows to keep out the rain.  Thankfully, the camper was cool enough with the fans we brought that we could go back to sleep for a couple of hours.  When we got up Sandi prepared eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns.  After cleaning up we went on the bicycle path the other direction toward the dam.  We rode out on the top of the dam to the spillway and got a wonderful view of the lake on one side and the river on the other.  After that we rode down the path to the base of the dam.  Both of us were thinking about the steep climb back.  After looking around the base, we headed back up the path to our campsite.  As expected, we were too tired to pedal, so we walked up.  The trek was still a struggle.  There are many buzzards that roost around the dam, I managed to get a photo of some flying overhead.  I do believe they wait to prey on unsuspecting bicyclists trying to climb the hills and wait for the to expire in the attempt.  How we survived, I will never know.

Buzzards circling Waiting patiently for my demise
Temperatures got into the mid-90s, and the rain caused a great deal of mugginess.  Supper was pork chop sandwiches and the remaining cole slaw, followed by another of the bars.  That evening we got rain about 8:00.  At 8:15 the park ranger came through with a severe storm warning.  I used my cell phone to check weather, and the warning was to last until 8:45.  Thankfully, all we had was heavy rain, and we were able to stay inside our dining tent and enjoy our cheese and crackers.  The storm did not stop until almost 10:00.  As is typical, the temperature dropped about ten degrees during the storm, so we were comfortable sleeping that night.

Saturday: We awoke to an overcast day with cooler temperatures forecast.  There seemed to be a constant threat of rain, so we decided to go to the Cordova Tower that we had passed the previous day.  It is an old water tower that was converted to be a lookout point.  The original tower pedestal is used as infrastructure to hold the continuous fiberglass staircase winding around the outside.  About halfway up, I asked Sandi if she would carry me the rest of the way.  She said I could just wait at the bottom.  You give your life to someone for over 30 years, and all you get is put in your place.  We managed to make it to the top together.  We discovered later that the platform is 106 feet high.

After coming down, we stopped at the butterfly garden and looked around.  Across the road was a nature trail that adventurous Sandi wanted to try.  I say adventurous because the trail was long and did not lead back to the beginning in a circle, but let out at the tower.  There was a second trail going back to where the parking lot.  Rather than taking the trail, we decided to just follow the road around to the van.  What seemed like 50 miles later (actually about 50 yards) we were back on the road to our campsite to shower.  That evening we had hobo dinners for supper (hamburger patty, cut-up potato, and green beans wrapped in foil and placed on the fire) and another bar.  Because the previous evening's fire was rained out, we were able to have a large fire with the rest of our wood.

Sunday: At about 6:45 we awoke to thunder.  Fearing the inevitable, we started breaking camp.  We only received light showers for a short time, so the tent and camper were dry by the time we got fully loaded.  The return trip was as expected but early in the day than planned.

No comments: