it's such a short distance from my house to the lake, I went to my
usual Friday lunch with former work colleagues. The motor home was
loaded and ready to go, and as soon as I got back from lunch, I got
started, arriving at my camp site around 2:30. After getting
everything set up, I took my first walk, going up the hill behind my
campsite, where there is a good
view of the lake and much of the campground.
predominant tree in this country is the blue oak, a deciduous tree
that can lose its leaves early, or retain them longer than normal,
depending on rainfall. With record precipitation last winter and
spring, many of the trees still had all their leaves, but they had
changed from the bluish green that gives them their name to a brilliant
are two official trails at Hensley, but I didn't hike either one,
since we planned to do the longer one on Saturday with the boys.
After my hike I did a few short walks close to camp, a lot of
reading, some TV watching, and of course, eating - leftovers for
dinner plus popcorn.
time I left home, the weather forecast called for a short rainfall
early the next morning, moving out before dawn. Therefore I was not
concerned when a gentle rain started around midnight, and lasted
until 2 a.m. I was a little less happy about the harder rain that
started about 7 a.m. and continued till about 9. I had put up my
awning to protect chairs and other outside items, but the second
storm was enough to send water running down the slight slope under
arrived about 10:30, and since no further rain was expected, we
decided to walk the shorter trail, known as Shaw'shuck (hawk in the
local native language). This is a half-mile route that goes up to
the top of a hill, down a saddle, across to another hilltop, and
back down to the starting point. After completing the loop we still
had plenty of energy, so we walked all the campground loops, giving
us a total of just under two miles. Along the way we took a side
trip to check out playground equipment on a hill on the opposite
side of the campground. We noted that there were water drops
clinging to all parts of the equipment, with puddles at the bottom
of the two slides. Since we planned to bring the boys here, we knew
we should bring a towel.
at the motor home we did the usual camping activities of reading,
resting and snacking. About 1 p.m. Johnny, Brittany, Colton and Jack
arrived. One of the first things the boys have to do is climb
up into the bed over the cab of the motor home, at least 87
times up and down. Jack had a little trouble getting down at first,
trying to come down face first. I had him turn around, guided his
foot to the top of the driver's chair, after which he was able to
make his way down. He needed no further help. The boys immediately
invented a game in which they climbed up, slept, woke up, watched
TV, and went to work, each phase lasting about five seconds. Repeat,
we set out for the playground. It is a good quarter mile walk from
camp, so of course I forgot the towel. Fortunately I remembered
after we had gone only 100 yards, and went back for it. It was well
worth the effort - although the breeze had dried off the vertical
surfaces of the equipment, the puddles remained in the slides.
Brittany swept most of the water off with her hand and I dried the
spot as well as possible. The boys took care of the rest, sliding
down a dozen or more times each, as well as climbing
up the various ladders.
returning to camp, the adults sat outside visiting, while the kids
busied themselves in the motor home. At one point I realized that it
was very quiet inside - "too quiet," as parents have been
saying since the discovery of the two-room cave. I went in to check
on them. Although they didn't do any serious harm, they had opened
the brief case I use to bring reading material, DVDs, etc. They had
taken three DVDs out of their cases and put all three into a single
sleeve, losing one of the jewel cases in the process. I asked where
it was, but of course, they had no idea. I did not find it until I
got home and took out a notepad that I always keep in the briefcase,
and found the case at the very bottom.
it was time for Johnny and Brittany to leave. This caused some
anxiety on the part of the boys, who decided they didn't want to
stay, although both have spent one or two nights camping with Teri
and/or me. As mom and dad drove off, Teri distracted Colton by
starting up the hill back of camp. He had been part way up several
times while playing, and ran up ahead of her, being rewarded with
the sight of a rabbit as he neared the top.
started slowly walking down the road, following the truck, which by
now was well out of sight. I caught up with him and started leading
him back. We discussed sleeping in the motor home that night, and
when he realized he would be sleeping in the upper deck bed, his
face brightened, and soon we made our way up to the top
of the hill to join Teri and Colton.
the boys climbed around on the small rock formations on the hilltop,
we made or way down to the road north of camp and went to Rabbit
Rock. This is a large outcropping of granite boulders mixed with
small bushes where I often see rabbits, although our loud approach
made any sightings this day impossible. This was no disappointment
for Colton and Jack, as they discovered other activities,
moss off boulders, and pulling clumps of dried grass up by the
to the road, we walked down toward the boat ramp, then off into the
rocks and grass to the east, where more moss scraping took place.
From here it was a short walk back to camp. Although we had no more
rain, it stayed cloudy all day, and was plenty cool for a campfire.
While Teri fixed supper, the boys and I got the fire going. The
picnic table was right next to the fire ring, and we enjoyed outdoor
dining as it grew dark.
got colder and the fire died down, we moved inside for the night.
Then began a fun evening activity. I have a large box of dominoes
in the motor home, and the boys play their own version of the game,
matching numbers but not worrying about the official rules. This led
to setting up rows of dominoes and watching them fall, which led to
looking up "dominoes falling" on You Tube on my iPad. Here
we discovered a number of videos, some featuring as many as a half
million dominoes, and lasting ten minutes. This
one is short but impressive.
it was time for bed the skies had cleared, so we all went outside
for a good but short stargazing session. The boys then climbed into
the deck and played for about five minutes before settling down, and
soon were asleep, having put in several hours of vigorous activity
during the day. Teri and I soon followed them to dreamland, and a
delightful day came to an end.
next morning I fixed hot cocoa, which Jack and Colton have come to
expect when they have breakfast with me. Teri and I had bacon and
muffins, and the boys had their standard
breakfast of Cheerios, with Jack adding raisins to his. Once
everything was cleaned up and put away, Teri and the boys headed
back to town in her car, and I soon followed. We never got around to
hiking the Pohonichi Trail, the one mile loop on the north side of
the area, so we will have to return again soon.
Estel, January 2018