Wednesday, May 29
“Holy moly! Eight campgrounds?” I survey my map of Fish Lake and the Johnson Valley Reservoir. The two bodies of water are close together, connected by Lake Creek. Eight campgrounds cling to their western shore.
The crew and I jump into the PTV to investigate.
We leave Sunglow Campground and motor on down the road.
We pass through the towns of Bicknell and Lyman, and then arrive at the turn that takes us to Highway 72.
Beyond Fremont we turn onto Highway 25 and soon pass Meadow Mill Reservoir. Highway 25 is also known as the Gooseberry Fremont Scenic Backway. It’s mostly up, up, up to the land of aspens and cold, mountain streams.
Although it’s less than twenty-five miles to our destination, much of it is in second gear so it takes a while. Bridget and Spike become restless. I notice a place where I can pull off the highway and park.
I open the side door of the PTV and put their wiggling bodies into their black suits. Bridget yips with excitement (right in my ear) as I snap on her harness. The two of them haul me down the bank to a lawn of dandelions.
“Sorry, Spikey. That current is way too strong for you.”
We loll in dandelions and walk a short distance upstream.
“Time to go! At this rate we’ll never make it to Fish Lake, playing around here all day.”
A few more miles and overlooks later, water comes into view!
At a look-out point, I leave the crew in the PTV and walk a short path to take some more photos. The rough boulders give contrast in texture and color against the water.
The campgrounds around Johnson Reservoir and Fish Lake range from parking-lot-with-picnic-tables style to carefully designed terraces where every site holds an unobstructed view of the water.
Fishing from boats is the big draw here. Uh, thus the name Fish Lake?
Bridget and Spike are asleep. I don’t stop. Instead I mosey the PTV along the shoreline road.
I drive into each of the campgrounds which are mostly empty this early in the season. Mackinaw and Doctor Creek Campgrounds have the most scenic and well designed sites. This site is at Mackinaw.
Whoever designed these campgrounds knew how to use terracing to advantage. Here’s another Mackinaw site.
As lovely as it is here, I know I won’t move our camp to Fish Lake. First of all, there’s no internet.
Secondly, the lake is too isolated for us right now. It’s a wonderful place to visit for cooler weather during summer, but there is absolutely nothing around here. Isolation is a good thing if you want to “get away from it all” and need to relieve stress. Right now I like being camped a few miles from a grocery store.
Thirdly, there’s not much for us to do. I don’t fish and it’s not the kind of water for an interesting float in the inflatable kayak. I don’t know for sure, but this looks like bear country. Not smart to hike with two bear-baits-on-a-leash.
A drive to Fish Lake and around her shoreline makes a great day trip for us. If you drive up to Fish Lake, whether to spend the day or to camp, it’s easier to come from the south, rather than up mountains on the scenic backway.
I continue on Route 25 to Route 24 which goes through Loa and completes the loop back through Lyman and Bicknell to our camp at Sunglow.
On the way the snow-capped mountains attract my attention. It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced snow and I’m happy to see it so far away!
I really enjoyed that drive today!
A beautiful, sunny day at Fish Lake floats into memory like a cloud drifting across a pure blue sky.
Canine Corner: “There’s more than one way to have fun” by Spike and Bridget
“Boy, this is my kinda’ camp. I can come down here and soak in the water whenever I want. Isn’t it great, Bridge?”
“Yes, it’s very nice, Spike. But do you have to get yourself so muddy? I always try to stay clean so I don’t make tracks inside for RVSue to clean up.”
“Oh, cryminny. You can suck the fun out of anything, Bridge. Loosen up, babe. Let yourself go. Get a little mud on ya’, for cryin’ out loud.”
“Spike, it is possible to have fun without making a mess of yourself. I like to step in the water where there isn’t any mud.”
“Gee, Bridge, you gave me a great idea! We should have a blog post all about us in the stream!”
“It’s not your blog, Spike.”
“Errrr. Like I was sayin’, you can suck the fun out of anything.”