The Second Trip
Copyright - 1998 - Les Doll - All rights
We are into mid June
and the camping season is well upon us. In these Northern latitudes, the seasons
leap into existance. There is no real transition between too cold to go, and just
right to go. It goes from day to day. Yesterday was warm, almost hot, today is
undecided as of yet, but the bright morning sun promises another beautiful
We will take our
Although we are totally
enchanted by the sunshine and the warm breeze, we are aware of the harshness of
this environment. Winter coats, rain gear, long undies, and a little dry firewood
are stowed in the hidden recesses of the van. We have been lulled, by the
enticements of June, only to be stung by the varying moods of May. This is the high
country, and all comers beware!
Our camp is situated to
take advantage of the morning sun, the chill mountain air is dissipated by the
arrival of Ol' Sol. The aspen and poplar groves will shade us at noon, almost as if
it was somehow planned that way.
We are alone in this
Miles of rutted trail
and overgrowth have left their marks on the dusty sides of our van, but the
solitude of this place is well worth the blemishes on the paint job. Our memories
are etched into the fading paint of this old van. That dent happened on the trip to
Lost Horse Lake, while this scrape tells of our brush with a low hanging branch on
the trip to Badger Lake. The rust spots and the scratched bumpers are fond
reminders of good times well spent.
We are blessed this
year with a new addition to our private campfire circle - her name is Lucy, and she
is 30 pounds of sheer "get up and go", "get down and get dirty", and "let's go and
do SOMETHING", energy. It is now four in the morning, and Lucy NEEDS to go out
- she's a six month old border collie, and if she was equipped with wings, she
would be halfway to Mexico and back, while I struggle with my shoe laces in the
darkness of a pre dawn June morning.
Of course, our van is
equipped with modern conveniences, such as 12 volt electric lamps, but I hesitate
to blast this exquisite moment with artificial light. The sun is just barely
hinting at the arrival of another perfect morning, and my lady is still
It takes the ultimate
in dog training skills, to keep a young border collie under control, while groping
around in the duffel bags for a fresh pair of socks.
After several minuets
of fruitless searching, I realize that since I already have my shoes on, finding a
pair of socks would necessitate the removal of said shoes. Therefor, I proceed with
my original plan of walking the dog, without making unnecessary noise in the
Now, our van is
equipped with a large sliding door that weighs about 4 tons. Due to lack of time,
the sliding mechanism on this door did not receive the scheduled lubrication that
it is entitled to. Knowing that the unearthly screech of this mechanism would
disturb the slumber of my sleeping beauty, I devise another means of
Fortunately, our van
has an aisle between the front seats, so that if one was so inclined, they could
come up from the rear of the van, through the aisle between the seats and exit out
one of the passenger doors. Since the dog is now in a semi-agitated state, I decide
that this would be the best course of action.
storage space in our van is quite limited. Most of the excess gear, consisting of
cooking pots and pans, lawn chairs, badminton rackets and fishing rods, are
temporarily stored in the drivers area, while we are retired for the night.
Undaunted by this pile and risking a fish hook in the belly, I strive to transport
both myself and my faithful dog, to the great outdoors that yonder
After some minor
clattering and banging, a small avenue of escape appears amid the gear. I glance
back at my beloved, noting how peaceful she is in her sleep, although one eye seems
to be open and glaring at me. It's probably the dim light, so I ignore the daggers
that are flying my way.
Finally, and now with a
near frantic dog at my heels, I escape to the frisky air of a June morning in the
high plateaus of this amazing country. Lucy does not pause to admire the scenery,
she does her business in a matter of fact way, sniffs at the van door and waits to
be let in.
Giving up, I grind open
the door, let the dog in, and settle back into my now chilly sleeping
My coffee is piping
hot, just the way I like it. Both my girls are up and around, one stirring the
coals of a smoky campfire, the other wagging her tail. Each one is smiling at my
disheveled appearance and a glance in the rearview mirror tells me why !
Love abounds in this little Eden.
The saga continues ... to follow along this trail, click here!