Our second camping trip of the season - over 4th of July weekend - was spent in Squirrel Creek. This is an area that we've been to many times over the past couple of years. We try to get in some new areas each year, but at least once we head north to Squirrel Creek. The drive up was gorgeous - as usual.
View from Sheep Mountain pulloff*froze* last time (at Byers Lake), we came prepared this time. Sure, it's July... but that's no guarantee that it's going to be warm. Greg bought new sleeping bags - rated for -25 degrees - and a tent heater, and we brought lots of tarps in case of rain. I also packed some long sleeve shirts, long johns, and plenty of warm fuzzy socks. Good thing I also packed a pair of shorts (one), a couple t-shirts, and a tank top. Also a good thing that when you're camping you're allowed to wear the same thing every day. (Let's just say the tent heater never came out of the box... but that's okay, cuz I'm sure we're going to need it - I'm going to need it - on the Labor Day trip...)
(Note: I normally have to get up 2-3 times - at least! - every night and make the trek to the outhouse. I always hate this because it's cold, I'm sleepy, outhouses are no fun - especially in the dark - and I'm losing sleep. This trip, two nights in a row I was able to sleep the night through, without the trek. I wonder if that has anything to do with being warm while I'm sleeping? Hmmm...)
The warm days ensured we were out & about (tents were too hot & stuffy for napping most of the time), which provided lots of fun. John, Sam, Jennifer, & Tony brought 4-wheelers - so people doubled up, and headed up into the hills. Apparently it was pretty dusty out there, since everyone that went headed over to the lodge down the road (we lovingly refer to it as the Adult Day Care Center) for showers.
*had* to have fireworks!! They're not allowed in the campground, so we trek out to the road (just outside the boundaries) to enjoy our fun. We had pretty sparklers, mortars, screamers, and - the best - roman candles. It was great!! The property across the road also had fireworks, so we got a double treat. There were lots of roman candles - so we could have duels. =) Some of our crew are just down right crazy... We had these wars last year too - see here - but we had one casualty this year. Greg hit John in the nose. He's okay now - a little skittish around loud noises and bright lights, but that should pass with time... =)
Greg and I took a detour on the drive home - for some caching, of course! But it also gave me the opportunity to see some areas that I haven't been to before. We stopped at Liberty Falls, just outside of Chitina (pronounced Chitna) and then proceeded to the Copper River. In previous trips, some of our party have made this trek, but this was the first time I've been. Liberty Falls was fantastic. And now I have an image (of a wide meandering brown river lined with fish wheels) to go with "Copper River Reds" - these are practically the most famous salmon around (at least the best marketed).