Saturday, January 25, 2014

A birthday canoeing and camping trip to Saguaro Lake

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When Graham told me he wanted to celebrate his birthday by camping at Saguaro Lake, I was nervous. We had an incident with some raccoons and skunks on our last camping trip there, though I admit it was because we were lazy about putting our food away in a timely manner.

Our first step to prepare was to buy a used canoe, his birthday gift. We found one in San Tan Valley and made the long trek to get it.

Next, we (and by "we" I mean mostly Graham) packed up our clothes and gear. We loaded the canoe atop the Jeep and set off for an adventure. This time we remembered to park our car in the correct spot (with a parking pass).

It was a lovely day, at a perfect 75 degrees.

Elephant Rock

We paddled at a leisurely pace and everything went smoothly until a large boat's wake approached. I had set one of my gloves on my lap, and when I leaned forward to keep the canoe balanced it must have fallen out, because I never saw it again. I was initially sad that I lost it in the lake, but I reminded myself that it's just a possession, and I shouldn't be so attached to such things.

We savored our time on the lake, stopping to munch on goodies like blueberry muffins and apples, and taking little breaks. After about a couple of hours we made it to the campsites. The dock was occupied by a few boats, but no one else was camping. We love it when that happens. We made sure to pick a spot with an unobstructed view of Four Peaks.

One of the first things Graham likes to do after we unpack is set up his hammock. He did that while I heated up some vegetable chili. Then we moved on to setting up the tent.

Later on we got back in the water, this time without lots of gear in our canoe, to paddle farther down the lake. We watched the sunset in awe at the gold, red, violet and blue hues painted across the sky. We were surrounded by water, marshy grass and desert flora. Behind us were towering rock cliffs. The temperature started to drop as the sun descended, so we paddled back to the campsite for dinner and to build our fire.

We savored our dinner over the light over the fire and talked, sipped our drinks and stared at the stars. These are the blissful moments I cherish on our camping trips.

The next morning we had breakfast and hung out before packing up and setting out onto the lake. Again we took our time, making sure to enjoy the journey over the destination. I'm glad we celebrated Graham's birthday exactly how he wanted.

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