Here's the brief run-down. Again, if there's something in this thing that I've omitted and you want the world to know about it, put it in the guestbook or e:mail me at the address on the front page and I'll jam it on in here.
Thursday 07/03/2003: A bunch of us got to Baker or to the campground thursday July 3rd. Most gathered at the campground to chat but I was tired of driving and was too lazy to go up there. So I just hung out at the deluxe accommodations (Border Inn), chatted with my next-door neighbor and watched the tube.
Friday 07/04/2003: Keith and Donna had extra tickets for the Lehman Caves tour at 8:30, so I tagged along since I hadn't already purchased mine. It was most cool. Click here for the pictures, or on the link on the side.
The three of us joined up with the others at the campground after the 1 hour tour. The campground was nice. A lot of trees but no running water save for the creeks that were running through it. But we had it all to ourselves. There were about 10 pull-ins and a rather largish common area which was already decorated 4th of July style. The 'Snack Shack' was well stocked with chips, cookies, candy bars, soda, water, and so on. It was around 85 degrees in the heat of the day so cool drinks and shade went over quite well.
Time for the western round-up. Stations were set up for all the kids to go through and get stuff and awards. All who participated received a badge and a flag pin. Some fun prizes! Marshmallow guns were manufactured and a marshmallow war broke out. Quite a deal.
The horseshoe pit was set up and the games began (My team lost. Both times.), while preparations were being made for the chili cook-off. Later in the day, Nylin and I (Unca Dave) gave some fishing mini-courses. Nylin gave a great class about casting on the big waters as well as the smaller waters we would be using this weekend. I gave a short class on different type of baits, lures and their usage, after a bit of prodding and a suggestion from Nylin on what to teach. Hey, we both won awards for best fishing teachers. Can't complain about that.
After the fishing classes, it's well, time to fish. The creek is about 100 yards away, so it's a short walk and you're there. The boys were all excited to use some of the new information they were armed with, so off they (and I) went. There were a few brook trout caught, but most were in the 6" to 8" range, so a lot got put back.
So now the chili cook-off. There were a truckload of categories: Meatiest, chunkiest, spiciest, prettiest, you name it. So sorry for all you loyal readers, I can't remember who all won, and I don't want to just name a few of the winners. So if you won and want proper credit, sign the guestbook and there it will be!
They clean-up crew swarmed in and had the place slicked up in no time, and we settled in for the evening. S'mores had to be made, and stories had to be told.
After most folks turned in for the night, a few of us sat up and start gazed. James, Tyler, Deb and Patricia got a lecture on what stars and planets were where, and with the aid of my Astronomy magazine as a roadmap, we also found a couple constellations.
Saturday 07/05/2003: Time for more tours and fishing. Some folks made the hike up to the bristlecone (oldest living thing known), some went to the caves, some went fishing. We again, caught a lot of fish. Three different creeks, same kind of fish - small, yet upset. They put up a good fight, so it was a lot of fun. While walking the creek though, we saw some more caves. One cave is accessible with a permit. It's called something like 'Lower Petrogliph Cave'. I'm guessing there may be some petroglyphs in there. B' yuk. But I didn't want to go to jail so I didn't go in. The other cave was closed except for a smal window of opportunity during the middle of september through the middle of october. Evidently there is a large population of bats that needs their privacy for summer hibernation and reproduction. Interesting.
The younger folk were entertained at camp with activities as well. There was a 'fish pond' and pictures that needed to be decorated, as well as cookies. Saturday evening is the judging of the fishing derby. A total of three fish were judged. It's a good thing we weren't relying totally on a fish fry for supper. Luella cooked them up anyway so whoever wanted a sample could have one. Luckily there was enough other food to keep everyone satisfied. Me and the folks who were going to come up with me were assigned clean up duty that night. But I was the only one that ended coming up in my group. It was looking pretty grim there for a while. Looking like I would be the entire clean up crew. Luckily, a whole bunch of kind folk chimed in and helped me. We had the place tidied up in no time. Let take this opportunity to THANK YOU ALL!!! YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!! :) Except for a small diversion. A weird diversion. A whole army of ants came marching up the hill. Well, it isn't much of a hill, more a slope, but here they came. An entire column - colony of ants. Literally, a strip of shoulder to shoulder ants, about 6 inches wide and about 20 feet long, coming up for supper. It looked like someone was dragging a strip of tannish ribbon along the ground. It was something I had never seen before, and if I wouldn't have been so intent on ruining their march, it would have been neat to take a picture of. Well, I poured some charcola lighter fluid on the ground around them to try and corral them so I could figure out how to get rid of them. While I was looking around for something to spray on them, the fuel must have confused them enought that they decided to turn around and march back down the hill. Same formation, little ant shoulder to little ant shoulder, off they went. Within another five minutes, there wasn't a trace of them around. Wild.
Saturday evening came the chinese auction. There was a lot of excitement and apprehension in the air as the items were laid out on the table. (Michelle was the quilt winner this year.) There were plenty of items to go around, some hand made and some not. The good thing is we raised about $400 for next years' fund.
A few of stayed up and looked at the stars and the campfire again that night, but it seemed like the day was a little rougher, so we didn't stay up and chat too long that night.
Sunday, 07/06/2003: Time to pack up. Everyone loaded their stuff, cleaed up the camp, and got ready to go. A few folks still had a tour they wanted to take but most were on their way fairly early. I stopped at Delamar ghost town on the way home and took some spiffy pictures. If you want to see them, click on Delamar Ghost Town, here or in the links.
It was nice to see everyone, and it was a great reunion. I would like to thank the Watkins', especially Michelle, for all the hard work. She put a lot of thought, planning and time into the whole production and I know everyone appreciated it. No one there could say they were bored unless they just flat made themselves that way.
For you folks that couldn't make it, be sure and plan on it next year. Some people we only see once a year, and we feel a void when you're not there. We know what you're missing out on and wish you could be there.
But, until neext year, Later.
My deluxe room.
A close up of the western round up flag pin.
The campground all decorated.
Relaxing in the shade.
Who's that with the beer gut?
Dirty faces all around.
More dirty faces.
Hi grams. (Ma)
And you thought the last one was bad.
"Now what you do is, you buy her some flowers."
"Who bought flowers?"
Here's the picture Charlie e:mailed us.