"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Celebrating The 4th of July with Friends!

Emigrant Gap, CA
Snowflower Resort

Our 4th of July week was spent with friends kayaking, hiking, fishing and relaxing.

The loop we stayed at is a paved loop.  The downside is the sites are fairly close together, parking lot style.  The upside is there is better cell, no dust and the 4 of us could all get spots together.
Our camper backs up to a small greenspace with trees.  Opposite us were our friends against the cliffs.  We were here with John & Tina, Tim & Leslie and Kevin & Judy.  Kevin & Judy had to leave early and for some reason I didn't get a picture of them either.

The pine pollen is exploding up here this week and most of us were affected with allergies of some sort.  It covered the RVs, trucks and lakes.
Tina is our bartender for the night.
We always eat well when we are together.  This is Leslie with one of her famous Flat Salads that she makes on a board.  Besides being very pretty, the goodies stay on top and don't sink to the bottom.  Every scoop gets some.  Very smart!
It was pretty warm so we rotated between a couple of the bigger sites depending on where the shade was.
Poor Tim wasn't feeling very well at the beginning.

Dinner was John's famous pasta and sauce.  Meatballs, pork and sausage.
Always yummy!!  Thanks John!

Unfortunately we could not fit our kayak into the camper no matter how we tried.  I guess when we go to Alaska we'll buy two smaller ones and mount them on the bumper.  John let me use his, so while he and Steve fished, Tina and I paddled around Lake Valley Reservoir.

It's always a great day on the water!

So much pollen in this cove.
There were a lot of water snakes out and about.  Watch the video to see the cool pattern the snake makes in the water while swimming to shore.
Beautiful reflections on this calm side of the lake.

We paddled around some trees that were in the water, weather worn into strange shapes.  We even found a geocache that was hidden in one of the trees in the lake.
John & Steve can be seen fishing off the dam.  Not much luck.
There was a huge tree stump with the roots floating up.  Reminded me of an iceberg with most of it under the water.
Another water snake sunning itself on the warm concrete of the dam.
Back at camp Leslie had her solar oven out and made some delicious brownies!

We started another day off with some Bloody Mary's that Steve made.  Bacon and goodies included.
John's son and girlfriend, Jason & J-Marie, came up for a couple of days.  It was very nice to meet her.
After our desert we tried to get a viewing of the full moon rising up over Snowflower Lake below our campground.
Leslie, Tina, Steve, J-Marie and Me.
We hiked about a little.  Our attempt at the moon-viewing was cut short by so many mosquitoes.
What looks like dust or smoke, is actually a thick swarm of gnats!  We gave up and retreated back to camp.

"What you lookin' at?"
The next day was a hike around nearby Fuller Lake.  We were lucky to get a parking spot.  The geese with their grown goslings shared the shoreline with us.

The waves made an interesting pattern on the water.

We only made it about 2/3's around when we came upon several signs warning us of private property ahead.  Time to turn back.
You could see many smaller trout along the shoreline hiding under the trees and rocks.
Tina, Me, Steve, Tim (who was feeling much better now) and Leslie.

And the next day our private driver (Tim) drove us all to the Emerald Pools.  It's a very popular area along Jordan Creek.  
Here's a deep channel in the river.  You can't tell by the picture, but the cliffs on each side are about 50 feet tall.  We hiked further pack to the pools.  
Steve had some luck with some smaller Browns and John and Tim went a little further to the bigger pool.
Above is Tim and John.  John caught a few here until so many people started arriving and wanting to jump into the river from the rocks.
Ally Oop!

Tina and Leslie.
We hiked further back along the river and the guys fished at a gorgeous area.  The water was so clear and the colors of the rock were beautiful.

Both Steve and John caught a couple more back here.  This was a nice hike without the crowds.

The 4th was all about the Ribs!  We relaxed since this was our last day.  Steve and John BBQ'd up some delicious ribs and some chicken for Leslie.  This was the last batch. Three racks total.
There was a mountain of ribs, pasta salad, mixed veggies and beans.

We all shared some great wines and ports.  Tonight we ended with an Ice Wine Tina had been saving.  It was sooooo good.  It's been a very long time since we've had one.  What a great way to wrap up time with friends.  John and Tina will be heading north to Washington so we won't see them until the end of the year when we're all back in the area for the holidays.
Happy 4th of July!!