We had wanted to set up a couple's weekend for a few years now. To tell the truth, until a few years ago it was just too "woodsy" for a positive experience, and it is a challenge to get schedules aligned with everyone.
Bryan and Dave have been on this journey since almost the beginning and have spent countless hours trying to push our vision into reality. Their help has been invaluable. There have been many others who have also helped, but they have been the continuity on this journey. So I really wanted their wives, Amy and Carla, to be able to come and see where their husbands are going when I drag them up to the property.
In addition, my friend Ron has been incredible help. His wife, Jill, has been to the property. But I was looking forward to getting all of these people together for a weekend of show-and-tell.
Well, the planets aligned for us and we scheduled a weekend. All was well up until close to the trip when Ron and Jill suffered a family tragedy and could not come. Being with family is much more important than a trip like this.
Lorraine and I left early Friday morning so we could get up there and do some work. We arrived around lunchtime and I started doing weed-whacking down near the water so we could easily access the water without wading through thick tick-infested weeds (I over-exaggerate the tick issue). Then I took care of the stair trail, the new trail, and the outhouse trail.
Then it was time to get out the pole chainsaw to cut some of the over-hanging branches and trees leftover from our weather event a few weeks back. We had cleared the driveway and trails a few weeks prior, but there was still more cleanup required. So I had to get some of these over-hanging trees and branches taken care of so I could pull the Bravo trailer back to the campsite. We even pulled the Jayco back there for the first time.
Dave and Carla arrived around 6:00 PM and we had a nice taco dinner. Easy to make and, well, I just love tacos. Bryan and Amy arrived around 8:00 PM. They had pulled up the Coleman pop-up, so we helped them get that set up in the fading light of the day.
A night of campfire and relaxation followed Friday night.
Storms, or more like a steady/heavy rain, entertained us during the nighttime hours. Sure glad we were in the campers and not in tents.
Early rise on Saturday morning.... get fire going, cook up some breakfast, and go on a tour of the property during the daylight hours since it was pretty dark the night before.
A quick snack for lunch, and then we decided to take Amy and Carla to the gorge. The gorge is the section immediately below the Hatfield Dam on the Black River. It is impressive when they are not diverting the water to generate power. There is a separate canal that takes water from Lake Arbutus to the powerhouse two to three miles downstream. When they are making power, the water is diverted down this canal instead of the original river channel just south of the dam.
But when they are not diverting this water to the powerhouse, and when Lake Arbutus water levels are acceptable for summer activities, the water is release into the gorge, showing Class IV-V rapids.
No such luck on this day; they were making power. But even when the water is being diverted, it is still a real cool place to hike back to and see! So we spent some time climbing around the granite rock that lines the gorge.
Back to the property where I started packing things up in the truck. Since most work is done by the time we hit Saturday night, I try to pack as much as I can, as it makes it much easier to pack and get on the road the next morning.
Supper was Dave's potato concoction with burgers, hot dogs, cole slaw and beans. A great supper, and a second night of sitting around the campfire and enjoying each others' company.
In between, we had a few games of Molkky and trying out the hatchet throwing.
A good night of rest led to a chilly morning that needed fire. Breakfast burritos, coffee, and cleanup had us on the road by 9:30 AM.
This was a very successful trip getting to show Amy and Carla what we have been doing. We sure did miss Ron and Jill, but our thoughts were with them while we spent our time there.
I look forward to the next couple's trip, but I am guessing that will need to wait until next year.