|Nope, not me in there|
We decided to send Dylan to camp good and tired, so we spent the day before hiking into a lake into the Trinity Wilderness. It was a lake we'd never been to, and had heard little about, but it fit into our "hiking with kids" parameters (day hike, under 4 miles in, trailhead within 90 minutes). It did not disappoint. It's a huge lake without a lot of traffic, and the water was so clear it looked man-made. I even brought my brand-spankin-new hammock in the high hopes of getting in a nap. I set it up as soon as we arrived and it was promptly commandeered by my kids. I drank a beer and napped in the dirt.
And so, with Dylan gone, we decided to try another lake. Regina and I packed in to the Sky High Lakes when we were first married. It rained on us the whole time and we spent a soggy night hunkered down in the fir trees. We thought we'd give it another shot, so we continued our 4th of July lake tradition and I led Grady on Romeo and we hiked in. Again, I packed my new hammock with visions of a peaceful lakeside nap. It wasn't small children or rain than squashed those dreams; it was flies. Deer flies and horse flies, to be specific. One bites and sucks blood, the other bites and hurts like hell. They went after Romeo with a fury, and when they filled up with horse blood, the vicious little pricks turned to Regina, Grady, and me. But, the hike in is a beautiful one, and the wildflowers were in full bloom, so, despite the fly bites and 14 miles of trail, the day was a success.
Dylan's camp culminated in a "showdeo" where she demonstrated her horsemanship skills. She and Sally, her flea-bitten grey mare, were a good team and her confidence horseback improves every time she rides. Of course, we celebrated her return with, yep, a hike into a lake. Regina and I even admitted that we missed our little fartknocker. She's already talking about going back to camp next summer. Maybe a Friday the 13th marathon will cure her of that.