07 July, 2009

4th of July Campout - Part I

Wasn't sure we were going camping over the weekend of the 4th this year. Normally we head up to Squirrel Creek and take a side-trip to Valdez to see Sara. But I didn't have the 3rd off (Greg did), and Greg was on call - meaning he had to stay within 30 minutes of town and have cell phone service. Had just about given it up, when our friends mentioned going out to Eagle River campground (within 30 minutes of town, and cell service - perfect!). Since Nita & Greg had Friday off, they went out and got us a site Thursday night, and then we all hooked up Friday after work. (Greg came back home for the night, but Todd camped out Thursday with Nita, came home Friday morning to shower & go to work, then headed out for the "real" weekend after work.)

Friday night was relaxing. We sat around the fire and visited for a while, then played Ladder Golf. It's a lot like horse shoes, only different. There are two "ladders" at each end, each rung has a different point value. You toss bolas (two golf balls connected by rope) to see if you can wrap a rung (ha! say that fast three times...). According to the official rules (here), game etiquette is that you should "make as many remarks, sounds or movements as possible during play in order to distract the opponents"... hmmmm... I'm going to have to work on that some. =)

We put the game on hold around 11:30pm so we could find a place to watch the fireworks. Sure, it's the night of the 3rd, but by the time they started it was already the 4th anyway. I do miss seeing fireworks in the dark (without freezing my hiney off), but these were still some nice displays. Because of the lack of dark, but not really light - and because fireworks will always be blurry on my little point-and-shoot camera - the only shot the turned out okay is below. Wanted to show what it looks like at 12:30am on July 4th, way up North. =)

On Saturday, after a hearty breakfast of bacon & eggs (around noon or so), we headed out for hiking and some geocaching (of course!). Bob the Squirrel was interested in sharing our food, but we didn't leave him any. Since there's a bear alert, we made sure to put all the food into the vehicles whenever we weren't going to be around camp. Greg even scooped up some dog food that got spilled and took it to the trash so we wouldn't be tempting to the predators.

First hikes/caches were around the camp ground. We were close to the river (Eagle River - who'd've thunkit?) - falling asleep with the sound of the running water was *so* relaxing!! We saw a raft that had lost it's people upriver - Greg first spotted it on his morning run and alerted the camp host. Rescue teams came to see if anyone needed help, but there were no people and just the lonely little boat, bobbing in the water. I'm sure Greg would have snagged it, if he could've figured a way to get up there. (Eventually our camping neighbor got it free, and now they have a new - to them - boat.)

I think we ended up finding two caches right around the campground, then another two or three more when we moved our efforts elsewhere. I'm glad AKHoudini was around to help us find the Spud Cache... it sounded like it'd be easy, and Lord knows I'm a fan of spuds (so I thought I'd spot it right away), but I would've gone away disappointed if he hadn't been there. I'm not the greatest at doing the finding, but I generally enjoy the journey and the company. And with sights like the flowers and the river, what's not to like?? =)

I have so many nice pictures of the weekend that I broke this post in half - OW - just so it didn't get too long. Part II - coming soon (to a theater near you)...

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