Sunday, July 5, 2015

A lake, an outhouse, and a birthday

One of my favourite ways to spend my birthday is camping. Since my birthday is on July 1, this is usually pretty do-able. This year, we camped at one of the most peaceful campgrounds I’ve been to: Pinnacles Forestry Campground in Wyoming.

The campsite was high up in the mountains, about four miles down a gravel road, which probably helped deter some people from finding it. We go there early in the day and managed to snag a prime spot, super private, overlooking the lake, with an unbeatable view of mountains across the water.

It was also right near the bathroom, which is always a plus when camping. Being a forestry campground, at $10 a night, Pinnacles has outhouses, but these were no ordinary outhouses. There’s a sign on the door saying “Welcome to our home” and a little mat right outside the door. This seemed quaint enough by itself, but when I stepped inside, I was shocked by what I saw.

There was a small square table with a cloth thrown over it. On top of the table were some brochures about bears, a vase with fake flowers, a few knick knacks, and, oddly, an old rotary phone. In the corner on the floor was a real, living plant and the walls had posters and signs. All of this managed to transform an outhouse, normally a place to run into and out of as quickly as possible to avoid the stench, into a pleasant, non-smelly, welcoming surprise.

We swam in the cool lake, had hot dogs and s’mores over the fire, I went for a bike ride, and we played some cards. After the boys were in bed, Gerry and I sat around the fire gazing out at the lake. It was a full, bright moon and all felt just right.

Not a bad way to spend a birthday.

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