I am at Stanislaus State Park on Pinecrest lake listening to rap from a neighboring camp. It is Memorial day weekend and the natives are restless.
The half dozen tents that mushroomed up overnight on Friday night are gone now, along with the colorful garb and chatter of the Punjab speakers and the beautiful crying little two year old that wanted to but couldn’t quite get himself to pet Moxy.
Now that that settlement has gone, the filtered sunlight plays on the long needles and the sweet sap rising scent of the Lodgepole pines with their red puzzlepiece bark are all that remain, the warm wind smoothing through the camp.
R is riding his motorbike around exploring. Moxy and I just came back from a very cold dip in the three o’clock lake which was was encompassed by more people speaking more languages than in any of our previous stopovers to date. LOTS of dogs, but the park was well organized with lots of signage and mostly people seemed to be behaving considerately. Even the family reunion on one side of us, though laughing hard as their reward ceremony progressed last night, did quiet down completely at ten o’clock as the signs indicated should happen. They had a yellow lab pup on a line, who behaved remarkably well, and played with Moxy a few times. Lots of young people. I remarked to R that I thought we were the oldest ones here…certainly the first ones to bed, but he did remind me that that was a lot because there were no “services, ie: no sewer or power to hook up to, and also one of the strictest water rationing I’ve yet to see at a Park. Tonight will be our third night here and we are staying four, trying to see if we can make our water supply last by using the clean flush toilets with cold water sinks and no paper towels that are about 50 yards in either direction. There is a drinking only water spout right in front of our truck.
We have taken a walk around the lake in both directions, about 4 miles, including crossing over a dam and going up and down a steel ladder/stairway, and lots of rocky steps up and down, narrow pathways lined with yet to be identified (by us) wild flowers, light granite boulders forming shoulders sloping into the water and islands covered with trees and interesting low bushes that look like feathery ferns with strawberry like blossoms.
We aren’t bothered by bugs, the temperature is perfect. R, the trailboss, did a good job getting us out of the valley where it was going to hit over 100 degrees on Sunday, and near that Saturday and Monday. We shift from sun to shade every fifteen minutes or so to stay just right. The sun can be a little intense, and the breezy shade can be a little cool, but all in all it is WAY better than dealing with more formidable heat. Moxy harrumphs as she moves again and again her napping spot from light to dark and back again. So much trouble out west.