Friday, July 29, 2005

Wallowa Lake

Today is Friday and we are nearly at the end of our Wallowa Lake camping trip. What fun to have hi-tech equipment to journal our week here as I sit under our dining fly with our laptop. We were able to get internet access at Embers Brew House in Joseph last night. We were their first internet customers. It was fun to check our email and look at some of our favorite blogs. It was hard to use the computer the entire hour because they brought us a delicious dinner while we were typing! We highly recommend the Veggie Calzone & Salad for two. It’s an annual tradition to eat there before the rodeo but with the internet access we will be spending more time there during our annual trip here.
We started camping here in 1980 as a family. Walt camped here in the late 60’s – early 70’s. Over the last 25 years we have had many different groups join us – friends, family, church family. We only missed a few years when Matt was born or we had soccer tournaments & family vacations to other destinations. But all in all – Wallowa is still on the top of our vacation list. We have had many disasters, car troubles, sickness etc but amidst all this – Wallowa is like coming home. I love rounding the bend to the lake and seeing the mountains, inhaling the smell of trees and campfire….. we have had so many wonderful memories & family bonding time here!
As last year, Tim and Matt were not able to join us. We miss having them here but our newest addition was having 8-month old Colin join us. He is a 4th generation camper in our family. He has been such a trooper! He has adapted well while not having his schedule or the conveniences of home. I believe I’ve even heard him say “Gma”…. but then Walt is convinced he can say “hot dog” hahaha!
The weather has been unbelievably hot. Tuesday was the only cool day that we did not go down to the lake. But it is always nice to have a day of rest! We did have a windblast hit our site at 6am Thursday. Walt ran out half dressed to save our dining fly from “lift off.” It was an extremely warm wind but caused some damage to our equipment. I don’t think we have ever escaped some kind of extreme weather situation during the week we are here. Last year we had a near “flash flood” during a thundershower. I have never seen it rain so hard. We couldn’t even see our neighbors through our dining fly. Well, it’s always good to have some good stories to hand down to the next generation.
Our newest campers to join us this year – the Fox family and Melissa. It has been fun to have them here. Bryce and Macy have filled the void of the past few years w/o kids here. We have had fun playing games and cards, go-cart rides etc. It has been a good trip for all of us to get better acquainted. It was very nice to have a hiking buddy. Lynn joined Walt & I on a short hike up to the waterfall on the Mt. Joseph trail. Maybe next time we’ll cross the “homemade” log bridge and continue on the trail. The bridge was washed out several years ago when a flash flood ripped through the Boy Scout camp and knocked the bridge out making it impossible to get across the trail. Someone put pieces of wood across to access the other side.
Our week has also included a “girls” shopping trip to Joseph, the rodeo, “guys” dam building, and floating on the lake on our “floaties.” So many great memories! It’s always fun to shop at Mad Mary’s” and “Simply Sandy’s.” I found the alarm clock I have been looking for in the last year for our guest bedroom. Yeah! I love the shopping up here. Good thing I can only shop once a year. Good thing I don’t work there – I would be broke!
I have had some great times of spiritual renewal. I can sit on my “floatie” and pray while looking at the beautiful scenery. So many things to pray about, especially for Bob as he faces many appts. for a lung tumor. Our biggest request right now is that it has not spread to the chest wall. I have also had some good devotional times. I read Psalm 103 and felt like I read it for the first time…even tho’ I have read it many times over the years.
“Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all his benefits –
Who forgives all your sins
And heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from the pit
And crowns you with love and compassion,
Who satisfies your desires with good things
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

That was the theme for my week – to be reminded of how he has provided during unemployment, that he is continually working on areas of sin in my life, how he has healed me after surgery and during Lupus flares & anemia. Having spent time up here I feel renewed and even tho’ I celebrated a birthday here … I still feel young at heart – even physically, as I have kept up with the activities of this camping trip!
I am taking mental pictures of all that I love here. I have come to realize that I never know when my last trip here will be. I am thankful for another year to experience this!

A Praise!!!!! Walt found our AWOL digital camera....couldn't find it before we left for vacation. It was under the truck seat. Whew....we have been lost without it.

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