By the time that we found the perfect spot to camp, it was very late, and we ate a quick meal of hot dogs roasted over the fire, and went to bed.
In the morning, as we got up, we enjoyed our coffee around the camp fire, and some time in the Word! It is such a precious time to enjoy with the Lord while camping! I always look forward to quiet mornings with a hot cup of coffee, and a crackling fire spending time in my devotions while the rest of the camp is sleeping.
After breakfast was cooked, we began to explore our camp site. This was the first time we had camped here, and we were so excited to find this spot! We call this "bush camping" where you camp basically out in the woods with no amenities at all, although we were close to this amazing creek.
The sound of the creek waters rushing over the rocks was so loud that it would put a large generator to shame! As we explored around the water and rocks closer to the creek, we had to speak very loudly or even yell at each other over the roar of the water falling on the rocks!
The dogs thought they had just arrived in heaven. They roamed around the campsite exploring the nooks and crannies of the rocks, and getting occasional drinks out of the creek.
This was not a campground, but simply state land with little camp sites snuggled into beautiful places.
To be able to enjoy all this beauty for free... without paying $$ to stay in a campground with hundreds of other people... oh it was so nice!
Of course, we were deep in the heart of grizzly and black bear country, as well as moose, mountain lion, coyotes and wolves. But... we were prepared, with bear spray, our trusty rifle.. but most importantly, our dogs! With their ears and noses constantly at work, we could count on them!
After we had explored around our campsite, and ate lunch, we went out to tour the state land with the dogs in our son's 4x4 truck. There wasn't room for all of us inside his truck, so we "rednecked" it! We put lawn chairs in the back of the truck so we could sit comfortably back there, as we rode around on the state land looking at the views.
The wildflowers were out in abundance! Such delicate winsome beauties these daisies were, as they graced the hills and valleys around us.
It was the middle of a very hot, bright sunny day, and not the best of times to get nice pictures... but you can see the beautiful purple-hued mountains to the north and west of us, and the amazing mountain lake stretched out for miles.
The butterflies were out in abundance, grazing on the multitude of wildflowers growing on the hillsides.
Such beautiful creatures these little butterflies are!
Off in the distance we spotted smoke. It was at least 20-30 miles from where we were, and did not appear to have black smoke, so we weren't concerned. However, any kind of wildfire in this area is scary because we have had such a dry spring and summer, coupled with the extreme heatwave we have been experiencing. We found out later that this fire is not of serious consequence, for which we are very thankful!
Roger enjoyed riding in the back of the pickup - his joy was contagious!
After our ride in the mountains, we drove down to the mountain lake and went for a swim. I was wary of the water here, because I know it is usually very cold. However, because we were all so hot after being out in the sun for several hours riding around, it felt wonderful to cool off in the amazingly warm waters of the lake!
The lake was full of boats, jet skis, and the beaches were lined with people enjoying the beautiful weekend. It was impossible to get a picture without boats coming and going!
As we relaxed in the wonderful warm water, I couldn't help but keep looking at the beauty around me, and giving praise to the Lord in my heart for this beautiful world He created for us to live in. It makes my heart sing with joy and thankfulness for His many, many blessings to us!
Back at the camp we enjoyed grilled steaks that had marinated all day and were just the perfect ending to a beautiful day!
Annie had gotten her share of quite a few pieces of steak, and while we were cleaning up... this is where we found her!
The next morning, I was able to get up early enough to take these gorgeous pictures of the creek we were camping next to.
Oh the joy of watching and listening to the water as it sang and danced its way downstream...
Such beauty to enjoy on this beautiful morning!
Annie enjoyed her view perched on the banks just watching the water with me!
However, it was time for me to cook up breakfast for all the hungry stomachs... there is nothing like a hearty breakfast around a campfire!
Soon it was time to pack up and head home. As we were leaving, we visited another part of the beautiful lake and enjoyed the beautiful white sandy shores, and turquoise waters.
It was such a beautiful day to be here, and although we didn't have time to go swimming, I did take my shoes off to go wading in the cool waters.
A huge uprooted tree worn smooth by the lapping waves through the years...
Glimpses of beautiful wildflowers growing along the lake...
Their bright beautiful purple colors a gentle contrast to the greens and blues surrounding it...
Finally it was time to go home, and we all were ready to enjoy a hot shower after unloading the camper, putting away the food, and all the general clean up that comes after a weekend of camping! Because we were out in the back woods, this year we did not celebrate with fireworks due to safety concerns, yet our hearts were very grateful and thankful to be living in this beautiful country which the Lord has blessed so abundantly. I pray that people begin to appreciate the many blessings that we enjoy here, instead of taking them for granted.
I hope that each one of you had a blessed and safe 4th of July weekend.
God Bless America!