Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Frogs! August 18

Our campsite is blessedly quiet.  The only noise is the laughter of children from across the lake, where there appears to be a summer camp.  The toys they have in the lake look like fun!  Our riding day starts off with a long downhill into Houston.  It's a small town with a large industrial park on the left and a shopping mall on the right.  There's not much else.  A friendly guy I meet outside the grocery store asks about our trip and tells me he moved here 20 years ago for the fishing: "The salmon are always running."  Houston's claim to fame is that it has the world's largest fly fishing rod, and so it does: a large statue in the middle of town.  We do some errands and it's already 11:30 before we leave.  The road is mostly flat, and we have a bit of a tailwind, so it's good riding conditions.  After 20 miles or so, we hit a huge hill.  At the bottom we see signs that say "Chains On, 6 Mile Hill."  Dreading six miles of uphill, we are pleasantly surprised when it's only about one.  We pass through the small towns of Perow (just little houses and farms by the road), and Topley (houses and a few small businesses that seem to be shut down).  We stop for lunch about 43 miles in when I see a small picnic area with swings by a lake.  This turns out to be Rose Lake Memorial Park, 1911.  The picnic tables are old style with thick logs.  There is a shed full of dry firewood and a pavilion that says, "Tent shelter. Campers welcome."  It's adorable!

We start lunch at a table but move under the shelter as it starts to rain.  As the rain clears and we finish lunch, we notice tons of little frogs hopping all around us.  They're all less than an inch in size, patterned with all shades of green and brown.  We catch some and have tons of fun watching them all hopping around.
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I was filming this and Danny started narrating

At some point, we have entered what is known as the 'lakes district."  Our afternoon ride brings us through more flats, some hills, farms, and lots of lakes.  Late afternoon, we reach Burns Lake, where we fill up water and drink a lot of chocolate milk.  Looking for a campsite, we bike 13 miles or so to the recreation site out of town.  Right before the turnoff, I see the biggest logging mill I've ever seen. Piles and piles of logs!  The logging industry is huge here.  The rec site is 2 km off the road but we soon realize that it's 2 km on gravel and steep uphill.  We decide to find a different place.  There's nothing on this road, so this soon becomes a challenging task.  It's starting to get dark when we finally see a turnoff for another rec site, where we find a perfect little campground.  We are incredibly grateful for this quiet spot.

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