The best Canada Day long weekend in recent memory.
Looks like we have found our favourite [local] camping spot. Chehalis Lake is beautiful and pristine with only a few access points that involve a decent drive on a gravel road. Most cars can make the drive but there are patches of steep grades with lose gravel and large rocks that could scrape the bottom of a car or puncture a tire. We took the CRV up and had no issues at all.
Art, Mia and I went up Friday night after work. As usual, by the time we got there, it was dark. Luckily for us, we know how to set up our equipment well enough that we could do it quickly, even in the dark. Twenty minutes later, we had a fire going and were relaxing looking at the many stars that were above us. Our site was right on the lake – I stayed up until midnight 30 days prior to book it so I was ecstatic that it turned out so perfectly. We had our own access to the lake/beach area, and our spot had a good mixture of sun exposure and shade.
Our friends were joining us some time on Saturday so the morning was spent making food, setting up our canopy tent (for extra shade) and lounging with my crossword. The sunrise coming up over the mountains and the lake were simply stunning. The water was irresistibly calm and clear – it was also quite cold. But that didn’t bother Mia. We couldn’t keep that water-loving pup out of the lake! It was a perfect Saturday morning. This lake is interesting. Everyday, around 11 AM, the wind picks up and turns the once-calm lake into quite a turbulent one. We brought some floaties hoping that we could just float and relax on the lake, but once the wind picked up, that was out of the question. The wind and waves would’ve taken us all the way down the lake! But I was determined to find a way.
Just as I was getting ready to go in the water, our friends showed up. Once they got set up, we all lounged around the beach area. I figured out a way to float on the lake without getting swept away: I tied myself to a large rock swam out from shore, and dropped my “anchor” so that I would only float down the length of my rope. It worked! And soon every one on the lake borrowed my idea and did the same. The water was quite cold, but the sun was warm enough to make it worthwhile. The rest of the day was spent relaxing, drinking and eating. We went all out for dinner: we had some nice steaks, roasted potatoes and grilled vegetables – all cooked on the fire.
Sunday was spent doing pretty much the same thing – a lot of ‘swimming’ and floating. In hindsight, I should’ve put on sunscreen but I didn’t think the sun was that strong…my nose and my lips disagree. It was so great to spend a day just lounging and [almost] napping. Our lives are always so busy that we forget how great it is to just do nothing for a few days – the luxury of napping is just that: a luxury. But that’s why we love these getaways. We get to explore more of our beautiful province, be outdoors with fresh air and stunning scenery, and just let ourselves reset, which could mean anything from going to bed when the sun goes down, or laying out in the lake for hours on end.
Sunday was definitely the do-nothing-all-day-except-eat-and-drink sort of day. For dinner, I made a fresh batch of pesto (from the basil out of my garden), grilled some chicken and veggies over the fire, and boiled up some pasta. It was delicious – our meals were the envy of the campground.
We got some bad news that evening, however. A fire on east Harrison had broken out and was nowhere under control. The fire was far from us (the fire would have to burn up and over Harrison Lake, cross the mountain between Chehalis Lake and Harrison Lake, and burn up and over and under Chehalis Lake to reach us) but that didn’t stop the concerned texts from the parents. From the sounds of it, a campfire ban was imminent. Lucky for us, the ban didn’t come into affect until today (Thursday, July 6) so we got to enjoy our fires at night. That’s not to say that they weren’t strict when it came to monitoring campfires at the campground. The great thing about this campsite is that it is quite well taken care of, and therefore (or on the flip side), monitored. There’s a campground host stationed at the campground all-summer long so the bathrooms are kept tidy and equipped with hand sanitizer, plenty of toilet paper, and air fresheners. The hosts even had satellite-provided wifi in case you needed to contact someone since there is no cell reception.
We woke up Monday morning to some serious wind blowing so we ate breakfast fairly quickly, packed up and got moving. We were well on our way home by noon, which is great as it gave us time to stop for groceries and cook for the week once we got home.
We couldn’t have asked for a more relaxing long weekend. We will be back without a doubt. We’re taking a bit of a break from camping for the next few weeks – need to catch up on house chores/spring cleaning and such. Also, we need to get a few hikes in now that the snow should be clearing from higher elevations.
Until next time!