12 August 2011

Camping on the East Side

The beautiful campus of CWU
Last Friday my family headed out for a 5 day camping trip to Eastern Washington.  We were meeting up with some friends that we went to college with in Cle Elum for 2 nights, then heading over towards Grand Coulee Dam for the other 2 nights.  But first on my agenda was taking a side trip to Ellensburg to check out our old stomping grounds. 
Will and I met freshman year at Central Washington University- way back in 1996!!  We have kept in touch with many of the friends we made that first year at college, and have done a few reunions throughout the years.  It is always nice to catch up with old friends and see how their lives are going, so when Scott invited everyone out to his family's property in Cle Elum for the weekend we were happy to attend.
The dorm that started it all!  My room was on the bottom- just to the right of the sign!
We arrived in Ellensburg and it was hot and windy- just like the good old days!  We had some lunch and wandered around the whole campus showing the kids where we spent 4 years of our lives.  I am not sure they fully appreciated it, but it was a fun trip down memory lane for Will and I.
Afterwards we headed to Cle Elum and when we arrived Scott and Jeremy were there waiting.  We set up our tent and soon John K. and Jared arrived as well.  We sat around the campfire and chatted for a while and the kids made s'mores for everyone.  Good times. 
In the morning Will and I each took a turn going out for a run.  On my agenda was 8 miles at a 9:39 pace which seemed completely manageable.  I set out down the dirt road and proceeded to climb up a huge hill within the very first mile!  The entire route was quite hilly, and at a much higher elevation than I am used to- it was pretty though!  My overall pace ended up being 9:57 so not quite my goal pace, but I am ok with that considering the difficulty level of the roads I was on!
Jared and Jeremy battled it out for poker champ.  Jared won!
Throughout the day we played frisbee, threw the football around, walked down to the river, ate some dinner and played some poker.  It was a lot of fun and I hope next time more people can make it to the reunion! 
The crew!  Back row: Jared, John M, Will.  Front row:  John K., me, Scott and Jeremy
Sunday morning we packed up and hit the road to head over to Banks Lake near the Grand Coulee Dam.  We found a great campsite and threw our tent up as quickly as we could- we were hungry, it was 90 degrees and the mosquito's were eating us alive!  It was not the highlight of our trip haha!  After we got that all squared away we headed into "town" and found some dinner and stopped at the store for a few supplies.  There was a burn ban in effect so unfortunately there was no campfire the next 2 nights. 
Our campsite at Jone's Bay on Banks Lake
Steamboat Rock
The next day was spent lounging in the water, reading magazines and RELAXING!  I managed to get my cross training in by doing some swimming in the water for about 20 minutes, then went immediately back to laying on my air mattress.  Such a rough life!  Devan said she felt like she was inside of a postcard, the scenery was really beautiful!

Playing in the mud!
Pretty much what we did all day!  Rough life.
Later that night we headed to the Grand Coulee Dam to explore the area and see the light show. When I was a kid we went there every summer, so it brings back a lot of good memories!  The light show starts at 9:30pm nightly so it was pretty late by the time we got back to our campsite. 

Waiting for the light show to begin
The next morning we packed up our tent one more time and started our long trip back home.  It was a great vacation- but I am always happy to return home to our normal routine- and bathrooms, showers, washing machines and comfy beds!  Oh, and I was more than happy to leave the 5 million mosquitos back at Banks Lake as well!
The kids and Casey- our dog wore himself out!

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