Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Elk Lake Revisited

After compiling the list of things we should have brought, and the things we needed to get to make the experience all the more enjoyable, we returned to Elk Lake for another two day/two night excursion. This time we were armed with a 9'2" Sevlyor 4-person raft. Which turns out to be damn comfortable for two, and a floating bed for one. We also brought with us a set of fishing poles and some tackle that was donated to us from one of Maree's clients. This time round we decided to head out on a Sunday morning, figuring that the Weekend Warriors would have departed. We were right, and scored what was probably the best site on the entire lake. Secluded, direct access to the lake, a great fire pit, a nice, level spot for the tent, and for the first night, no neighbors!

My fondest memory of the trip was getting in the boat with Maree, paddling several hundered yards out into the lake, and then letting the wind slowly blow us back to the shore as we laid on our backs and listened to the birds, the wind, and the water. The next best would be swimming in the lake, which was so, so clear. I felt comfortable opening my eyes while underwater, and was treated to a quite a show of light and color. The bottom was a deep tan color, mostly devoid of any rocks or branches, a smooth endless surface with tendrils of light dancing upon it. The water was a gradient of dark to light green, slowly transitioning into a sky blue color nearing the surface. It felt like I was flying through the atmosphere of some gas giant planet! I wish I had an underwater housing for my camera, but they are very expensive...

Hope you enjoy the pics! : )

Perfecting gourmet camping...gonna have to do some backcountry stuff soon.

There were tons of these fellas hanging out at our beach.


I love layers.

Just after breakfast on Day 2.

No one caught anything, but I reckon we had fun tryin'.

Some big sky over the lake.

Gone fishin', as it were.

The obligatory panorama : )

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Holy crap

Testimony by a computer programmer about defrauding electronic voting machines.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

I keep getting hypnotized by this. I think it's the pattern, similar to the golden ratio and the fibonacci spiral..

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Start with a pinch of Google Earth, a little print screen here, a little Paint Shop there, and voila!

Elk Lake Camping Trip

Long overdue for a vacation, Maree and I decided to go camping for the weekend. I feel ashamed to say that this is the first time I've been camping for nearly three years out here. I've hiked a lot, driven around a lot, but not so much camping. We decided to try for Elk Lake, a campground recommended in a book I got as a gift, thanks Celeste! As a first come, first served campground, we were worried that it might be full when we arrived, seeing that we were coming in on a Saturday afternoon. Luckily, there were several spots left, and we got one towards the back of the campground, away from the lake. This turned out to be a blessing, as the inhabitants closer to the lake were loud, and there was more vehicle traffic as well. Plus, we found a cool trail that led from our camp to a secluded beach on the far side of the lake. Aces!

I had it in mind to go on a hike on Sunday, but we partied a little too much the night before and were awoken several times by what sounded like a herd of angry owl/turkey monsters in heat. Needless to say, neither of us had the energy for a hike, so we just kicked it around the campsite, listening to music, taking short walks, eating, and hydrating.

On Monday we packed up our things and headed out. We stopped at Dunlap Lake on the way out to see what it was about. There had been a large camping party there when we arrived on Saturday, preventing exploration, but they were gone now. Dunlap Lake is sweet, a smaller, circular lake only a mile or so before Elk Lake and a great spot for a group camp.

We had plans to go to Breitenbush Hot Springs, but their day-use limit had been reached, so we were directed to some Russian tubs that were just up the road. We parked and hiked in a half mile or so to find what looked to bethe ruins of a bath house. There were two large pools next to the structure's foundation, and a number of smaller, defunct pools that were part of the original structure. The hot spring was still active, and the pools were nice and hot. We had to cut off the supply from the pools and divert it down to the river for a while so they would cool down. By the river there was an old iron bathtub catching the overflow from the upper pools which fed a small rock lined pool next to the river. While the upper pools were cooling, we set out to do some repairs/remodeling to the riverside pool. We never got the pool quite hot or deep enough for our liking, and the work was literally cut short when I sliced my foot on a piece of glass. Damn you ignorant littering types! Not to worry though, Maree hiked up to the car to get first aid, and I hung out and listened to the river and took some pictures. When she got back the upper pools were perfect, and she got to have a nice soak in them before we headed back home.

We were psyched to have found a spot. Cheers!

A room, albeit small, with a view.

There were a number of folks on the lake in canoes, kayaks, and rafts.

We found a trail from camp that went around the far side of the lake. We found a little beach there too.

Lunchtime! We cooked some salmon and chicken, and maued on some Kettle chips. Mmm lightly salted...

Maree found this on the shore. It's weird that they turn blue after they die.

Loving it!

We set up on the far side of the lake on a secluded beach for part of the afternoon.

Battle Ax Mountain, shot right above the surface of the water. DC chutzpah!

Looking north over Elk Lake to Battle Ax mountain.


Another Talkdemonic-esque photo.

w00t! 4-Wheelin' with the Tracker

Dunlap Lake. Water was warm too. Next time, we're bringing a raft!

Dunlap Lake looks like a sweet camping spot too.

On the way back down to Breitenbush Rd.

This cute little moth kept landing on Maree's top.

I cut my foot on some glass whilst digging out the pool by the river. I covered the wound with a towel and then built a cairn on top of it to keep the pressure on. Now I just sit and wait for Maree to come back with first aid. : )

Friday, August 4, 2006

The glory of YouTube

Now that I've gotten YouTube figured out, I'll be able to easily post videos that I've taken on my blog. If you are not familiar with YouTube, you should check it out. People have uploaded tons of cool and crappy videos that are easily searchable by keyword or category.

Falls Creek Falls

Testing my YouTube skillz