June 8, 2011

Summer Time!

Okay, so technically the season doesn’t begin until June 21st, but surely the first camping trip of the year must’ve signalled the start of summer.

To that end, the Chases and friends trekked south of the border for some Roughing It.

And by Roughing It I mean full-tilt car camping.

Laden down with queen sized air mattress, six man tent tall enough for me to stand in or lie in (with headroom to spare either way), chairs, Coleman double burner stove, clothes enough to last us through Summer (and Winter) and a cooler full of food enough for an army, we set up camp on Orcas Island in the San Juans.

Suggesting this is South of the Border is somewhat of a misnomer, as by the time you’ve driven down to the States, gotten on a ferry and made port, you’re actually further North than Victoria, B.C. if only by a hair.

I'm going to let the pictures do most of the talking. Long story short, we had a campsite next to a mountain lake, where the sun filtered down through old growth cedars. Picture perfect.
The kids—six of them in our party, aged ‘almost’ three and less--had a grand time as did the parents. There was hiking, the kids did biking, the parents threw themselves in various bodies of still-frigid water (including me, thank you very much… I may or may not have developed a rep as somewhat of a chicken of the sea), deer sightings,
fun with the camera in the dark (see below images for results!)lunches on the beach, and an outing to the top of Mt. Constitution, the island's highest point and in fact the highest point in all the San Juan islands, which provided spectacular views of the Sound and surroundings. Of note at the summit, A stone observation tower patterned after a medieval watch tower stands watch over all, an architectural anomaly for these here parts, to be sure!

To end off the text before more pictures, some highlights/lowlights!

Highlight: sunshine and warm temps for all three days, calm evenings listening to frogs croak in the shallows of the lake edge.

Highlight: CAMPFIRES!

Highlight: watching Heidi crawl around freely discovering a bit of nature, eating as much dirt as possible.

Lowlight: convincing Heidi that dirt is not for eating

Highlight: Kayaking around Mountain Lake on a sunny afternoon, watching the two-year olds bomb around on their run-bikes without fear…way less fear than their parents had at times, anyway!

Highlight: Doe! A Deer! A female deer!

Lowlight: Sacha tripping on multiple objects: grated docks, rocks, tree stumps, tree roots, tree branches, etc. Multiple new bruises and a few cuts to show for it, and plenty of screaming/howling to accompany said falls.

Highlight: jumping off the dock into frigid waters

Lowlight: Jumping off the dock into frigid waters

Highlight: time spent in nature with good friends and family! ahhhhhh. SUMMARY: Highlights way more impressive and plentiful than lowlights.