Saturday, August 29, 2009

Living in a Bigger World

Have you ever been back to a place, that somewhere in your lifetime you spent a LOT of time. Somewhere you have a lot of memories, like you could go back to that place with just a blink of an eye?

Priest Lake, Indian Creek Campground - that's my place. We spent a week to 10days there every year growing up for as long as I can remember. If we were friends growing up, you probably spent some time there with me as well. Even in College I brought a few of my roommates there for a weekend in the summer.

My parents would be first in line on the phone (post holidays) to reserve our week, the second week in August. Yes, you had to make reservations in JANUARY for August to go CAMPING?! Usually, we had 1-4 campsites between all of my parent's friends, and, if we were lucky we got the sites along the creek, no campers behind us... just skunks, and bears and well - pretty much all the critters that hang out in the woods.

So many memories. Night swimming and volleyball on the beach. Frogs in my tent (ok, I would like to forget THAT one). Singing "Achy Breaky Heart" at the top of our lungs. My first Kiss... (I would actually like to forget that one too). My first (maybe?) drunk - ugh, wine coolers and Bud Light....Parasailing, horseshoes, smores..

So, I just couldn't fathom NOT returning up to the lake, if even for just a day to bring back some of these memories. We figured we could be gone about 10hours and the dogs would be ok - not fun for them, but also a lot of work if we had brought them.

I researched a few day hikes that I thought might give Shane the opportunity for some photographs, but the descriptions on line were without maps so we were left to wing it on the road.

The drive up to the lake was as beautiful as I remembered, but the brand new road made it much more pleasant. Even before we got to the turnoff to the East Side of the lake, I started noticing how much had changed. New homes along the lake. A new gas station, cafe in Coolin...

I guess that is what 10years will do for you.....

Some things were the same though. Like rounding the corner on the road and suddenly you are just a few feet from the gorgeous, crystal clear lake. Nearing the turnoff to the campground and seeing the nice beach from the road.... It brought back so many memories.

Unfortunately, our hikes didn't so much happen. We couldn't figure out the directions that read something like "turn on this road, follow the well packed road, park here, blah blah"... After about an hour or so of driving around, we were losing time so we decided to head to the campground where, I knew I could at least find a short little hike up to view the lake.

Even the campground is so different. A brand new state park facility, new campsites, new CABINS?, new boat launch..... It was the same, but also soooo very different. So much 'smaller'..

One thing remained the same - the gorgeous view up the "view point trail" - a short moderate hike through gorgeous woods....


to a point overlooking the lake...



After the quick trip down we went over to the creekside of the park. I have to admit this was pretty disappointing. I remember spending hours on end running through the trails on the creek - crossing fallen trees to get to the other side. I remember this one tree - it was shaped like a camel - I looked for it, but it wasn't there. In fact, so much seemed worn down, like the storms just came through, took out half the trees and the trails.
As we were walking back, heading down to the water, I wondered if it was just me? Just my perception of the place I spent so much time at as a kid? Did I make it seem bigger or more grand than I was seeing this time? Or, has all this time and new amenities and the popularity of the place changed it?
We were walking along the water on our way back to the car and this is what really seemed different. The swimming area seemed HALF the size. The Dock only reaching half the distance? Even the log poles along the dock, that I remembered people climbing up and jumping off seemed half the size.... Was it real or was it me again?
As I was explaining how different everything looked, I told Shane I thought it must just be perception.. His response?
Your world has just gotten bigger....

As I thought more about it it's so true. While I'm probably the same size I was when I was growing up (give or take a few curves, ha!) - The world that I am part of is BIGGER. I travel, I explore. Instead of swimming out to the buoy in the swimming area, I swim 2.4miles.... Instead of hiking through some short trails, I run 26.2 miles. Yes, I think he has it right - my world is bigger.... And, as much as I was so looking forward to my vivid memories looking the same... I'm pretty happy with how I see it all today....
After several hours of driving and walking around, we headed to the other side of the lake to Hills resort for a fantastic dinner...
I think we might be back here someday, this time with the dogs & for a couple of nights in one of their cabins.
If you ever get the chance and you haven't been - this lake IS a Jewel, and if you don't get to see it, and dip your toes in the clear water, you are missing out.

2 comments:

jessithompson said...

It IS wonderful, and I'm so glad you got to go back for the memories and the perspective on life in general.

May you continue to live a life that gets bigger and bigger...

So glad our paths crossed when you were here!

al said...

hey just came across your blog + enjoying the read :)