Saturday, June 27, 2009

June 19, 2009 - Cooper Lake, Washington

Last week we set out to search for a camping spot that was fairly close to home and that had a place to do some fly fishing.  Our son-in-law, Brett, is an avid sportsman and fly fisherman, and is determined to teach Mike how to use a fly rod.  Brett had talked to us about Cooper Lake, so we thought we would check it out for a future adventure.

We stopped to check out several other campgrounds along the way.  Just in case we needed something a little closer to home.  We drove through Denny Creek Campground and Lake Easton State Park.  We both really liked these campgrounds.  That is a plus.  You must understand that Mike and I (Pam) have very different ideas about camping and campgrounds.

I like to stay fairly close to civilization, as I always imagine the worst, like one of us having some kind of medical emergency.  I also would like our daughter and son-in-law to accompany us.  They have a one-year old daughter, who is just learning to walk and has trouble sleeping at night at home.  I worry that my daughter won’t want to go camping if our campsite is too far from home.  And of course, what if the baby has a medical emergency (You can tell I am lots of fun to take camping!).  I could go on, but you probably get the point: I'm really more of a
"glamper" than a "camper".

Mike, on the other hand, has no such worries.  The farther away from civilization, the more he likes it.  And I would imagine that our son-in-law, being from Montana, has a similar philosophy.  I don’t really know my daughter’s preference, but given the fact that she is my daughter, I am guessing that she is more like me.

Don’t get me wrong, I like to go camping, that is if I can take a shower, wash and curl my hair, and feel safe.  But I know I am a pain to take camping. . . so why doesn’t the man just get me a motorhome!!!

Denny Creek Campground was more rustic, but it was a well-maintained campground.  Lake Easton had camping sites with or without utilities.  Of course, I liked the utility sites (then I don’t have to plug a converter into the Jeep to use my curling iron).  I could be in camping heaven here, even in a tent!  There is a beach and the place is close to home.

I really have no need to continue the journey to Cooper Lake to find a campground, this will do.  But Mike insists we continue the journey.

We had lunch in a city park in Roslyn, Washington, a charming little town with lots of small inns.  The next town on the map was Ronald, Washington. Most of the rest of the trip, our travels take us right alongside the Cle Elum River. It was a gorgeous drive.

There were several more campgrounds along the way to Cooper Lake.  We didn’t stop and check any of them out, until we were on our way back.

If you haven’t been to Cooper Lake, you have to go, if for no other reason than to see the view from the Cooper River Bridge looking back upstream to Cooper Lake.  The view is awesome.  It is like looking at a postcard.  That view alone made the drive worthwhile.

We continue our trek to check out the Owhi Campground and the boat ramp.  The campground is “walk-in” only.  It doesn’t look like a very long walk to the lake, but if you decide to use this campground, keep in mind that you will have to carry your gear to your campsite.  The lake is beautiful.

But our journey is not over.  Mike, who loves to drive, doesn’t feel like he has gone for a ride unless he drives over 400 miles, so we can’t turn around and go home yet.  We journey on to Tuquala Lake (sometimes spelled Tucquala – and this lake is also called “Fish Lake") and find the end of the road at the Trailhead to Deception Pass. There were lots of “no fee” camping areas along the way.

On our way back, we stopped and checked out some of the “fee area” campgrounds.  There was Wish Poosh Campground and Salmon La Sac Campground.  I think the Salmon La Sac campground was our favorite.  It was one of the best maintained campgrounds we have seen so far.  However, we are still undecided about where the next family camping outing will be (I am still leaning towards the one close to home with electricity!).

Besides the picture taken from the Cooper River Bridge, my next favorite photograph taken on the trip is the one of the “water log”.

See all of our pictures from this trip>

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