Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Huntington Lake June 30 - July 5, 2008

The burgeoning Walker family ventured south to Huntington Lake, CA where we met up with ma and pa Walker and sister Jennie and husband Chad toting their 5 month old daughter Rylie. Cindy and Chad had never been to the Huntington cabin before so it was pretty fun to share this little piece of the family history with them as Brian & Jennie grew up going there every summer.

A quick history: With Rylie's visit the cabin now has been enjoyed by 5 generations of Gibbons (Ma Walker's side of the family). The tract it is on is surrounded by other family cabins (owned by People we are actually distantly related to). The cabin is very rustic and the experience falls somewhere between camping and vacation home, leaning toward the camping. We consider it our little corner of paradise in a dirty, backed up toilets, 50 year old matresses, cold showers sort of way.

So as we thankfully avoided the profuse presence of forest fires in the area we had sunshine and clear skies to enjoy what the lake has to offer.

Most afternoons were spent lounging on the deck reading, snacking, and throwing peanuts at the chipmunks and golden mantels. Poor Cindy and Chad had to sit through many a Walker joke or inside story as we shared our many memories of the cabin over the years. "Hey Jennie remember that time: we fed the deer Myrtle, slept in the meadow accross the street, saw the bear by the water tower, the blue jay ate the pollywog we captured in a jar, we put a sucker fish out for the bear to take, the bear attacked the cabin and ate our cookies, our cousin fell off the porch, we got to eat sugar cereal, the tanager drank out of the hummingbird feeder, you almost stepped on that scorpion?", etc...you get the idea. A lot of them seemed a more interesting when we were 10 than they do now. Go figure.

We ventured out several times to float on Huntington at the Dowville Beach...

...we also entertained Rylie...

...and hiked to Rancheria Falls (or as Cindy calls it Rancherito falls)... :)

Brian and Chad spent several mornings fly fishing the creeks in the area and caught copious amounts of native trout (brown, brookie, rainbow) trekking miles enjoying the pristine high mountain trout water.

Bear Creek, Big Creek, Mono Creek and Tamarack Creek all gave us some incredible fishing. Most of the fish we got into were on fly creations we tied the night before.

Good times on the water and at the vice.

At one point we had a little get-together with our extended family who were up for the holiday weekend. We had 20 people (and 3 dogs) out on the porch and we were related to each and every person there. (These were mostly grandchildren and great grandchildren of Brian's Grandpa Gibbons' cousin. That makes them basically 3rd cousins some once, twice removed from Brian). Good thing dad brought that case of wine and we had overflowing snack food from Trader Joes stops on the way up the mountain. It was fun to catch up with people we usually see at a more formal family reunioun in San Francisco every other year or so. It was nice to see that everybody gets dirty.

It is great to be home with our dog Oliver who of course was so excited to see us but it is always hard to leave a place full of so many memories and stories for this family. It is crazy to think that this time next year (God willing) Baby Dub will be in the picture and will actually be older than Rylie is right now. Wild stuff. It is not likely that we will return for a few years at least so it meant a lot for this family time together for a week unplugged from the world.

There are some more more pictures of the week here.

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