The last time I had been to the Redfish Lake and the Stanley area, was when I was working for the Forest Service fighting fires for the summer. I remember as we pulled into the town of Stanley thinking how magnificent the mountains were. My opinion changed when we had to build fire lines on those mountains.
Justin and Ryan had reserved a campground at Redfish Lake for the week, and I was able to go over and spend some time with them. I was really looking forward to going back to that area. Mainly to spend time with our sons, but also to enjoy the view without having to dig a fire line all day.
I arrived on Tuesday and surprisingly I was able to find their campsite quite easily. I would like to say it was because of my excellent navigational skills, but in reality it was the multiple explanations from Justin and Ryan. Let’s just say they know how easily I get lost, and they could make a lot of money with a pamphlet called “Redfish Lake Directions for Dummies.”
We went down to the Lodge to check out the gift shop. There was a sign asking for customers to wear a mask, but it wasn’t required. Which was good because Justin and I had left ours at the campsite. After the gift shop, we went into the restaurant where masks were encouraged but not required as well. After we had lunch, we wanted to check out the Visitors’ Center. We were not allowed in without a mask. That’s right, the place with absolutely the fewest people in the whole area, decided their establishment is the hot spot for the Corona virus. Rest in Peace, Common Sense, Rest in Peace.
We decided to go for a hike along a Nature Path that took us along a stream where we were able to watch salmon swimming upstream to spawn. It was amazing to watch as they tried to navigate their way through the rocks and debris. The air was crisp and clean, and I found myself reminiscing about all the times we used to go camping when they were younger.
We headed back to the campsite, to get ready for dinner. They told me they were going to make tinfoil dinners, because that’s what we always used to have when we first started camping. A feeling of love and warmth came over me. I have to admit, that brought some actual tears to my eyes. I sat in my camp chair as Justin and Ryan got the coals ready and put the tin foil dinners on to start cooking. I know you’re thinking I should be helping, but trust me, they are much better cooks than me and don’t forget, I’m in management, remember?
As I was sitting there, I remember thinking there is nothing that could ruin this moment. That was when the clouds got a little darker and I could feel a few rain drops. The wind started to pick up a little, and we were hoping it would help move the storm away from us. Everything seemed to be fine until we started to eat our tinfoil dinners. It started raining and eventually it was raining hard enough to move us in to Justin’s camper. We finished our dinner in the camper and went back outside after the storm past. We all decided the times we remember the most about camping were when something went wrong.
I had a fantastic time with Justin and Ryan. I am so grateful for this trip and the strong family bond we have. I know this put a big smile on Shannon’s face and we want both of them to know how proud we are of them and we Love them with all our heart. Thanks for reading.
Next week: Happy Labor Day
P.S. We didn’t wear our masks at the campsite. Please don’t tell anyone.