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Ramblin’ Road: Coyote and Camp Jennings memorable

It’s Sunday afternoon and King and I are alone in the trailer after a weekend of camping with our grandsons.  They’ve been gone about 15 minutes. The silence is deafening.

Petra seems to be looking for them, but I’m not certain if it’s a “where are those little boys” look, or a “please stay hidden” look.  She sits by the door, heaves a huge sigh, flops down and sighs again.

This weekend we had campfires, roasted marshmallows (I was informed they don’t really like marshmallows – neither do King or I – but they like watching them burn), went for many, many hikes, played on the playground and lit sparklers in the evening.

As an aside, our daughter has looked in vain for sparklers in California for years. I’m guessing they are not sold in the state. We had some left over from Fourth of July in Michigan. I buy sparklers in the same manner as I buy Halloween candy – every time I go grocery shopping, if they are available, I purchase some and store them for the holiday.  It’s an obsession.

Lake Jennings Campground, where we are staying until the end of February, has some easy trails to hike. Since the lake itself is actually a reservoir for drinking water there is no swimming, but the lake is stocked regularly and the fishing (so we’ve been told) is remarkable.  The water is clear and the wildlife is abundant.

King, who walks Petra every morning, regularly crosses paths with an old coyote. Last winter when we were here and the campground was closed to everyone but the “long-term” campers because of COVID, it was fairly quiet here. The coyote would often cut across campsites while making his daily rounds. More than once he would trot through our campsite while we were sitting outside. It was always a surprise and we’d ask one another, “Did we really just see that?”

The boys are not too keen on meeting a coyote, but they enjoy watching the birds in the area. This weekend we saw eagles, osprey and a red-tail hawk while we were on one of our many hikes. The boys walk down the trails with their eyes on the sky, guessing what type of bird they are watching until it flies close enough to be identified.

Their bickering was pretty typical for siblings.

“See! I told you it was a hawk.”

 “You did not. You said it was an eagle.”

“No. I said it wasn’t big enough to be an eagle.”

“Grandma, he did not. Tell him what he said.”

It was a busy, busy weekend. King and I are tired. Our daughter said the boys are tired too. I don’t doubt it. They were up by 6:30 each morning and didn’t stop until I finally made them lie down at 8 p.m. and read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to them. I would generally get about three pages in when they would fall asleep.

I think this weekend was the thing that memories are made of; I hope they will hold them dear for many, many years. I know I will.

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