Wednesday, September 19, 2012

b goes camping, pt. 2

Brrrr!  Coffee!!

It gets chilly overnight at 8,280 feet!  When we woke up at 7 a.m. Saturday, it was 42 F inside the tent and 36 F outdoors; it didn't get much warmer until the sun peeked over the surrounding mountains two hours later.  H had started the campfire, put the water on to boil for coffee and hot chocolate, woken B up and fed her all before I managed to convince myself to get out of my nice, warm sleeping bag.  We'd bought an air mattress to fit inside the tent and boy, did that make a difference - sleeping on the ground would have been awful.  We lingered over our hot beverages by the campfire, then gobbled down scrambled eggs and bagels toasted over the fire (imparting a nice, smoky taste), and by 11 a.m. it was warm enough to shed our layers of fleece.  It was time to go fishing!

The breakfast (and dinner) chef

We drove up the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway, checking out the roadside lakes and stopping at Mirror Lake itself (elev. 10, 200 ft.).  The place was hoppin' with lots of overnight campers and plenty of day picnickers, kayakers and fisherman - we wondered how busy it must be in the height of summer if it was so busy this late in the season.  There's a nice walking path all around the lake so we three walked it, dodging other dogs and noting potential fishing spots.  Back at the truck we loaded up with H's fishing gear, the camera and a couple of PBRs, then went back to the far end of the lake where the wind seemed calmer and there weren't as many people.

Fishin' buddies

Back in Maine, we learned that B hates the water.  Hates it.  Hates getting her feet wet on walks, hates wading, absolutely despises swimming.  We also learned that she loves fishing: at my folks' camp in western Maine, she would stand on the dock with H for hours, trembling with excitement as he cast and reeled in little bluegills and bass.  It had been several years since she'd been fishing and we wondered if she'd remember how much she used to like it.

Nice-looking rainbow

She remembered.  She was absolutely beside herself as H cast into Mirror Lake.  Fish were rising all over the place and she stared at the water, twitching with every splash.  When he reeled in his first rainbow, she waded in without hesitation, trying to grab the fish with her mouth.  The next one he brought in, she actually pounced on it, jumping off a rock into the water and knocking the fish off the hook.  She focused in on the fishing for nearly two hours - unheard of concentration for this dog - while H caught and released six beautiful trout (the ant and bubble rig was the way to go).  By the end, B was so excited that when H cast out a hookless bobber, she swam out and retrieved it, not once, not twice, but four separate times.  We were in hysterics.

Such focus

After all the fishing excitement, we went back to the campsite for afternoon reading and beers.  It was super-pleasant in the sun but as before, the temperatures dropped quickly when the sun went behind the mountains: 59 F at 7 p.m., 52 F at 7:30 p.m.  Our dinner of bratwursts and potato salad was more low-brow than the night before but required less dish-washing, and we settled around the campfire and watched the brilliant stars pop out, the first one appearing in the sky at 7:50 p.m.  Bedtime was about the same as Friday night ... only this time I wore two pairs of socks to ensure warm toes.

Mirror Lake and surrounds

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