Thursday, October 04, 2012

Rainbow Lakes Camping

Ellie, Ms. Adventure Girl, had a strong hankering for at least one more camping trip before our light fall weather gave way to the hard grip of winter that is surely headed this way. Saturday was beautiful so we headed out to go camping after the Color Me Rad run.
We took Kohlton and his mother, Britt, with us. We had hoped to get out of town in the mid-afternoon, but did not get on the road until well after 4:00 p.m.

I had hoped to be able to camp at the Pawnee Campground near Brainard Lake (in Ward, just north of Nederland) but it was not to be as it was closed for the season. The quick peak at the snow dusted mountain caps and blue purple tips of the pine trees in the sunset. That colorful vision quickly turned to a silhouette of mountain peaks illuminated by the pink and orange dusted powder puff clouds that were lazy in the sky.

Back down the road we went to seek out another place to stay. In the end we gave Rainbow Lakes a try. The sun had set and the roads were washboards. We bumped our way up the dark road, thankful for a full or nearly full moon. The campground was full, but the friendly camp host pointed out that we could do primitive camping anywhere that we could pull of the road. He said that people had been doing it for years and that there were many great spots. Kohlton helped us locate a good one and we were quickly set up. The original spot by the road would have been okay, but Kohlton scouted out a better place with ground that was soft. We set up camp, started a camp fire and set up making s'mores. It was late, but we were determined to have a relaxing time. The fire crackled, the kids giggled from time to time and an owl hooted off in the distance.

The night was cold and crisp, as was the morning. I woke earlier than the rest. It gave me an opportunity to watch the sun light up the trees and listen to the morning sounds on the mountain side. I pulled out some wool that I purchased, balled it up and began a scarf for my girl. It was cold so I tucked a blanket around my legs. A bit later I made myself a spot of hot chocolate (Starbucks dark chocolate with salted caramel) and a small fire. It was immensely satisfying to have that time alone to listen, think and knit. The various scavenger birds, especially the camp robber birds, decided to keep me company in hopes that I might spill some food or offer them a meal. This cute little bird and his cousins were curious and brazen.

Later on everyone else ambled out of bed and began a slow motion morning. After breakfast the kids headed out to play and explore in the woods. Britt and I hung around the fire, content to simply visit. I would have liked the day to wind down in the same manner, but we had to be off the mountain and back home in the city by early evening. The drive home was speckled the the blazing glory of the aspen trees in their quaking gold, the finest I've seen in years. It was a fitting way to say good-bye to the camping season.

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