During what has been a rather hectic summer for us, our camping plans diminished to almost nothing. Unlike our normal two-three trips per month, we were approaching mid summer with only our anniversary trip to Timothy Lake to talk about. But in spite of selling our house and family concerns, we were booked for a long weekend at the lake for the 4th of July, and we were NOT missing it!
Big Lake was a new destination for us. Dave & Anne had been there before and got us rightfully enthused. Ken & Wendy joined in and we had a party of six. Long weekends are always best spent waterside with good friends, and this would prove to be no different.
Set at around 2000ft elevation, near the picturesque village of Sisters in Central Oregon, Big Lake sits near the spot of many of our favorite camping trips. With a record hot, dry summer splashing across the Pacific Northwest, the opportunity to be near any water was essential. Our three campsites, lined up neatly at the edge of the campground, proved the perfect backdrop for hot days spent lakeside at our own little beach area. Our sun shade provided the necessary shade, and paddle boards and Ken & Wendy’s jet ski provided the entertainment.
Long lazy days drifted one into the next. Toes nestled in the sandy beach, we mostly took turns meandering back to camp for the next round of cocktails. The dogs were in heaven, Aspen off leash nearly all weekend, alternately splashing in the lake and rolling in the sand and reeds along the shore, in true lab style. Porter, ever more fastidious, even spent more than his share of time in the water and, we discovered, loved hopping on the paddle board to take a spin with one of the group.
The black dogs older cousins, Lexi & Jenny, spent much of their time napping, but the lakeside retreat even brought out the puppy in them, just for smaller bursts of time.
Afternoons found us gathering our gear to head back to camp for the evening. The culinary exploits of the weekend ranged from ranch chicken to cedar plank salmon to pork tenderloin with chimichurri sauce although all, curiously enough, included asparagus. Ever asparagus fans, even prepared three different ways, we were more than ready to put aside any thoughts of asparagus in our near future.
Whiskey by the fire, star gazing, and cool nights completed the weekend perfection. We reluctantly packed up camp, knowing much work waited for us at home. As we spent the evening packing, we reminded ourselves to truly relish these times with friends, for soon we will be making new friends on the road, wishing those we’d left behind would be right there with us.