Oh yes, I’ve been busy remodeling my house, but I try to make time for some fun too! June in Wallowa County isn’t too hot yet, and the roads aren’t always open to the “back country” so fishing is often the go-to activity for a cheap family outing.
Birdy & kids joined us up at Kinney Lake. A fresh rain had come through, laying down the heavy grass, and subsequently soaking any travelers like us. I broke trail around to the north side, where strangers were sure to leave us alone.
We spread out, with TBear and his friend venturing off on his own. (It’s a wonderful feeling when your kid is finally independent after so many years.) The new members of our “clan” fanned out by each adult, as they still have those years ahead of them. Birdy brought worms, and I used the shelf-stable eggs, powerbait, and marshmallows I had in stock. The fish like the marshmallows, but not the noise and other options presented.
A wonderful thing about fishing is that it’s boring. As an adult, the serenity has great appeal. For kids, they end up being forced to engage their imaginations, and nature for entertainment. Growing up, I had much more fun while we were ‘fishing’ but not employing the poles. I collected stuff, investigated, explored, and learned to enjoy the outdoors. This was no different for our kids. They found a toad, and all sorts of things to occupy them!
Later, the kids got to attend vacation bible school. We attended a BBQ and performance at the end of the week, giving us more insight than the crafts they brought home each day. They had a Noah’s Ark theme this year, complete with songs, T-shirts, and mascots. It’s awesome that they have things like this for little kids. TBear was just within the age range, so he’ll be entering those awkward tween years where you’re too big for kid stuff, and to young for much else. Unfortunately, our community is too small to sustain other options for long…
I guess we’ll have to make our own, right?! Birdy had mentioned kayaking once, and I replied that I liked that idea. Well, one day (while I was occupied with renovation) she decided to take her kids out, renting an hour at the Wallowa Lake Marina. They got over their fears and loved it! I had TBear for the 4th of July weekend, so we decided to have a go at it as well.
It was a gorgeous day, and it had cooled off from a run of 90+ degree days. (That’s hot for us.) I had been working on the house, thrown a BBQ for some colleagues, and was ready to relax. At the marina, $15 buys you an hour of bliss. They have kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddle, row & motor boats, and quite a packed little store too. I’ve been in the County for about 12 years now, and never visited. Don’t let that happen to you!
We paddled out a ways, investigating a stick, and having a race. We each had our own, with LilPill riding with Birdy. At one point we saw two different bald eagles fly overhead. LilPill must not have thought it very exciting, as the water and motion put her to sleep for most of the trip. We all had such a great time, and I immediately starting scoping out the kayaks for features I liked or not. After all, getting our own may pay off rather quickly!
We were missing a few ingredients for our planned lunch, so we had to resort to Sammy’s BBQ trailer. Here’s where I’d sarcastically remark about the ordeal, but to be honest I LOVE their food. I had the tri-tip sandwich, Birdy the pulled pork, and TBear a pile of ribs. All served with beans and slaw for under $10. I’ll take that over a McMeal any day.
Later, we worked more on the house (another installment) and earned ourselves a trip to the fireworks show dubbed, “Shake the Lake.” They mean it too! The mountains and moraines cradle Wallowa Lake, making the fireworks echo around you, and focusing the concussive force. You don’t watch the fireworks here, you “feel” them.
Birdy had been in the County for years, and always watched from afar, or did something else. (Rumor has it that the traffic is awful, and it can be.) After the first time waiting to get out, you learn to come prepared. I was determined to brave the throngs of people to make sure she got to experience it. This year the show was wonderful, lasting over 20 whole minutes! We got out of there in no time at all, and had a great time.
That is where the fun and photos end, my friends!