Friday, October 17, 2008

Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jog!

We are back home from our camping trip to Lake Richard B. Russell State Park! It was a great week in many respects. The weather was gorgeous, and that's always a great start for any vacation. We also spent much time just doing nothing, which was so good! We both read a lot, played dominoes and skip-bo, and just sat beneath the trees and watched the birds and squirrels and the glints of sunlight reflecting off the waves on the lake down below.
The squirrel to the left, well, I nicknamed it Murch because a book I was reading had a character of that name. It and it's buddies were bold little rats! They would come right up to the picnic table and take food off of it - with us sitting there! One time I caught one on top of the cooler where we kept our 'outside' drinks. Don't know what he thought he was going to do, because there was no way it was going to get into that cooler alone!

When we got there on Saturday around lunch time, there were few campsites to choose from, so we took the one we thought was best of what was left, and ended up it was a great site. It wasn't waterfront, but it was surrounded by trees, and fairly private. We put up the canopy on the camper and had a nice big 'yard'.
Saturday afternoon was my time for 'nesting', or making things nice. Getting everything organized, hanging the welcome sign and the windsock, which was strategically placed on one of the tie lines for the canopy so we wouldn't hang ourselves on it! Also putting out the tablecloths, making the bed, just making things nice for our week.

Of course while I was doing that, hubby was in his favorite place, the reclining lawn chair! He spent a lot of time in that chair this week, and I'm GLAD! He works long hard hours, and has a long commute to and from work, and this trip was all about letting him recharge, refuel and relax!

Here's a nicer pic of our camper and our 'home away from home' for the week.
We (all 4 of us!) sleep on the end in the foreground, and I sleep right at the window, with my head in the lefthand corner. I have put a memory foam topper on the hard camper mattress, and we have an old down comforter and a fleece blanket, and carry our pillows from home, so we have a nice cozy bed. I love to lay there at night with the canvas window down and look out at the stars and watch the trees blowing in the breeze and listen to the silence until I fall asleep. What a life!

The "girls", Bailey, seen here, and Bessie, seen here, just love camping. My theory is that they love the fact the four of us are together almost 24/7 and they get a lot of attention. But, they could understand what a vacation is all about, I guess.

We went canoeing a time or two, but didn't really have much heart for it after we saw the lake. As you may know, we in northern Georgia are in the midst of a horrible drought, and it's in it's third year. We live not too far from Lake Lanier, and it's down like 17 to 18 feet below full pool. Our lovely lake looks so sad! But when we were at Lake Russell about 6 months ago, it wasn't down a bit, and we had a wonderful time canoeing up into the cove that went by the campground. There was a stream coming into the lake there, and beavers had built a dam so there was a nice place to paddle and look for wildlife. We could get right up to the dams and even had beavers come up to check us out right beside the canoe.

This trip was a different story. We couldn't get NEAR the beaver dams because they were in dry land! There was just the slightest trickle of a stream, and all the coves we loved to explore were dried up. In the picture below, you can see the trickling stream, and all that sand where water used to be. If you'll look on the horizon, on the lowest point of the treeline, well that's still not as far up as we used to paddle. We would go way up past that point, curving and turning following the stream up into a marshy area where we would pull up to sandy areas and look at raccoon, deer and wild pig prints in the sand. It was so depressing to find it in such a state this trip!
If you'll look in the water here ^^^, you can tell it's very shallow - only a few inches deep, and we got stuck a couple of times and had to push our way out into deeper water. Our canoe only draws a few inches of water, so will take shallow water easily, but not this shallow.

This is one of the coves we used to love to explore. See those trees way in the back that are beginning to turn color? Well, we could paddle right up to those trees just a few months ago!

Another former cove - way back to where the trees are, that was all water, and we paddled up in there and looked for whatever we could find. We often used our paddles to scoop up lost fishing line, hooks and floats so we could get them out of the water where they wouldn't entrap animals.

Another view of how badly the lake levels have dropped. Where that green grass grows now, not so long ago it was all under water.

Ditto - all the way to the tree line and beyond used to be part of the lake where we paddled our little red canoe.

This whole area used to be under water and full of birds and small animals, but was a watering ground for larger animals like deer and wild hogs.
Okay! Enough depressing pictures. Here are a few pics of the canoe - and us!
Hubby >>>Me >>>
So, in twenty five words or less, "what I did on my vacation": eat, sleep, read, play, paddle, walk, bike, trikke, rest, relax, chill . . . . hmmmmm, that's about it! Pretty cool, huh? Everybody have a great weekend! Blessings friends, Becky