Thursday, August 31, 2017

Packwood Lake

   I have been on vacation again. I had signal but lacked motivation. Vacation equates relaxation. Relax we did. Once again writing was not on the list of priorities. Sometimes it is difficult to find balance. Now that I am back and August is drawing to a close, maybe writing will be more consistent. Time will tell!
   We still have one more weekend left of guaranteed camping and boating. Labor Day Weekend is the unofficial end of summer. Temps are suppose to be in the mid-upper 90's. I wish the heat would go away. My webbed feet are cracking. We didn't have a place to camp over Labor Day until last weekend. There was a cancellation at Riffe Lake just a few minutes before we checked at the registration office. It was an ADA campsite! I told them I do not possess a placard  or ADA designation. They said they didn't care as they know I qualify. I kind of feel weird about it. "Hey, who has the disability in the campsite?" "The guy out there on the lake waterskiing!!"


   Most of you know that Mandy and I live in the Pacific Northwest and spend a great deal of our time in the wilderness enjoying all that our region has to offer. During the summer months most of our time is spent boating and skiing on the many lakes and rivers but occasionally we need a break. Last Thursday that is exactly what we did. 
   65 miles due east of interstate five lies the town of Packwood Washington. Five miles south of town is the trailhead to Packwood Lake. Packwood lake is in the heart of the Goat Rocks Wilderness area and only 7 miles west of the Pacific Crest Trail.
   Several thousand years ago the lake was formed when volcanic activity caused a mountain to slide into a valley damming the creek at the bottom. Mother Nature has done a phenomenal job. It is truly a beautiful place.


The Lake trail is a 9-1/2 mile out and back (4.7 miles each way) beginning at 2800 ft. and has a 600ft elevation rise throughout the first couple miles of the trail. It is rated easy to moderate and is a wonderful day hike. Camping is allowed along the lake shore for those who wish and the lake serves as a terrific stopping off place for those who will continue on to lost lakes or the P.C.T.








We had a really good day. The air was fresh and cool. I sure couldn't complain about the company. You may ask, "what does this have to do with Prostate Cancer?" 
Nothing!!! It has to do with living. Cancer sucks! It may shorten my life. It won't steal my joy. I cannot preach this enough.... "Don't stop living just because you think you might die. Live your life! Find the beautiful places and hang out there. Love with your whole heart. Be an amazing friend. Cancer is a gift. The guy who dies in a car wreck or drops dead from a heart attack never knows what hit him. He never gets the chance to do things differently if needed. The movie "The Bucket List" is a perfect example of what I am trying to say. 

 Somewhere some lucky guy is having a heart attack

It wasn't true in the movie. It is not true for you and I. Maybe there are guys out there who never did anything they regret or wish they could do over. I am not talking to you perfect people. Y'all are too cool for school. For the rest of us though, treasure the gift!