31 May, 2008

Byer's Lake Camping

On the second day after our return from Florida, we headed out for the first camping trip of the season. Byer's Lake is approximately 150 miles north of Anchorage. Thursday evening was lovely - blue skies, warm (tho not like FL, so we didn't use the air conditioner in the car), and the start of our next adventure.
The Mountain
(Denali, aka Mt McKinley)

Trip went smooth, and we stopped short of the campground at a pull off to get some pictures of the mountains. It's not very often that you can get a clear shot of Denali (aka Mount McKinley), so we figured we should take the chance that was offered. Somewhere in these shots is the Mooses Tooth - my favorite restaurant is named after it. I'm especially glad we stopped, because this was the nicest weather all weekend. These mountains are the results of magma upthrust, then being cut over time by glaciers. Very interesting - and amazing.
Mountain Views

When we got to the campground, we were in for a bit of a surprise. SNOW. Not what I wanted to see at the end of May, when I'm going to be sleeping outside... and we *are* going to be investing in a tent heater before the next trip! We drove through the sites, looking for three together that were dry and easy to get to. Some of the road had enough snow that I switched into 4-wheel just so we could get around. Trees & bushes had buds, but no real leaves or green things growing yet. Not a good sign.
Snow Infested Campground

We eventually found what we were looking for, set up tents, settled in and (the best part) started a fire. I spent most of the rest of the weekend around the fire - yay! - reading, visiting, enjoying the heat...
Setup Crew

More people showed up on Friday. There was hiking and kayaking and visiting and relaxing around the fire. Thankfully, people brought extra tarps, as we had to string one up Saturday night to keep out of the rain. Nights were cold, but I warmed up enough during the day that I wasn't a popsicle the whole time. I'm looking forward to the trip in July - it'll be warmer, plus we're going back to Squirrell Creek (which means a visit to Sara in Valdez - Wahoo!).

We headed home on Sunday - so we could have Monday to recuperate from all the traveling and to prep for going back to work (*lots* of laundry!). As part of our recuperation efforts, we went to see the new Indiana Jones movie - very funny & enjoyable! And now I've been back to work for a week (a short week) and I'm wishing I were still on vacation. Oh well. Isn't that always the case?!?

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