Finding Upper Kent Lake . . .
“C’mon, Spike. Get in. Time to find our new home.”
We’ve had our lunch while waiting for the PTV to cool down. Spike doesn’t want to ride any more. I pick him up and place him next to Bridget on the bench seat. “It won’t be much longer. I promise.” I certainly hope not. I’m tired of this road. I’d stay here if it weren’t for the No Trespassing signs on that fence over there.
About a mile up the road (and I do mean up!), we approach another clearing.
This one is large enough for three, well-spaced campsites. A camper is parked in one of them, but no one is around. I pull in and find a level spot next to a pine tree and a fire ring. I check the bubble levels and look around. Hmm . .. lots of horse poop and flies. Not so good. And in plain view of the road. Should I stay here or keep going?
I get the crew out and we walk down a very narrow, dirt lane next to where we parked.
It ends at a pleasant lawn under pine trees that’s obviously seen much use. It has a huge fire ring and, of course, litter. The lane is deeply rutted. No good. Too much shade.
We walk back to the BLT. A pickup truck is parked in the clearing. The hood is up and a man is looking into the engine area. I walk over with the crew. “What seems to be the trouble?”
“Oh, I think I have a busted heater hose.”
“Is there anything you need? I’ve got electrical tape and jugs of water.”
“No, thank you. There’s a stream over there.” He’s a big guy with a pleasant face, not yet retirement age.
I take the crew back to the BLT and loop their leashes over the hitch.
I grab a jug of water and take it back to the man. A few minutes later he comes over to return the jug and to thank me again. His wife is with him. I hadn’t noticed her in the truck. “The water poured right through it. We’ve called a tow truck.” The wife asks if there’s anything they can do for me.
“No, thank you. I’m fine, just a little disappointed.” I point to my new BAL leveler on the ground by the BLT’s tire. “I just ordered this by mail and now I find out it doesn’t fit my tire. So I’m back to fooling with this wood.”
We introduce ourselves to each other.
Bonnie and Tom live in Beaver and have a cabin on this mountain. Bonnie and I discover something in common. She teaches first grade.
“I really don’t want to camp here, but I’m a bit tired of this road. How much farther is it to the lakes?” Tom and Bonnie encourage me to keep going. “It’s only a mile or so and you’ll come to the first lake. The three lakes are close together. The third lake is Upper Kent. You can camp there free. We saw deer there yesterday. “ I ask about the road and they assure me it doesn’t get any worse. “You should go there. You really should. It’s nice,” they advise.
Later that afternoon, while the crew and I are inside the BLT, happily camped next to Upper Kent Lake, Bridget and Spike start barking excitedly.
“Now who could that be?”
I look out the window and see Tom and Bonnie looking back at me with big smiles.
“Hi, Sue! We thought we’d stop by and make sure you’re okay.” What nice people I meet on the road!
The next day . . .
The crew and I walk up the road, but not too far. This is bear country and I don’t have any bear spray. Mostly we wander around the lake. I want to give Bridget and Spike time to run around off-leash. Spike is in and out of the water.
I find a huge boulder that makes a comfortable seat from which to watch them. Bridget scampers over and to my surprise leaps up on top of the boulder to sit with me. “Wow! What a big girl you are! You’re a little mountain goat.” She’s very proud of herself. I get off the boulder to record the moment. Spike has come over to join us.
As usual, when I lift the camera, Bridget puts on her dour, camera face.
After lunch I don’t feel like doing much. I take the camp chair, camera, monocular and a book over to the lake’s edge. No one is around. The two campers next to us have left (leaving a load of trash), and the men camped in a tent down the slope from us are gone for the day. We have the lake to ourselves. I feel lazy and dreamy. The afternoon drifts away as I read my book and the crew, tired from exploring, nap nearby.
At sunset I look out the window of the BLT and see two deer grazing. This time last year I was dreaming about a place such as this, and my dream has come true. [slideshow]