“I’m stoked”

Though Merriam-Webster defines “stoke” as “to stir or add fuel to (something that is burning)” this expression has absolutely nothing to do with building a fire, at least in a literal sense. Californians are stoked when they’re totally, completely exhilarated about something, whether it’s a trip to the mountains or a huge swell coming just in time for the weekend.

Or even a good cup of coffee…welcome to California:) Sort of, the laid back beach vibe doesn’t inhabit all the state, at least nowhere on the freeways, but we’re sticking with our pay it forward, be nice to people merging and to those who seem not able to drive at all and take a deep breath;) ha! Easier said than done! Occasionally someone throws a thank you wave your way, a small gesture, just meaning you have acknowledged each others humanity:) Isn’t that nice!

We’ve stayed on the coast before, down in Pacific Beach there are two RV “resorts”, having a pool classifies you as such I think;) but at $90 a night and lined up cheek to jowl with your neighbour is not my idea of a good time, also, concrete as far as the eye can see, I need dirt to walk on. That is why we come back to Santee Lakes, we do have to shuffle about every week or so to a new spot but if we plan we get good separation and trees for cats to climb, and birds to perch in:)

The sites near the pool in the center of the campground are in groves of sycamore and pine trees, the Willow Loop, yup, go figure;) Here the small songbirds and finches flock to the fruiting bushes. The Red Tailed and Red Shouldered Hawks use the upper branches as cover as they hunt their meals. A family of crows will tell you when they are there. I first thought they were barking at the cats on their leashes but then I looked up, and a hawk was looking down at me:)

Other than the incessant helicopter and military aircraft noise it can be quiet surprisingly enough, they do rest occasionally the military:) The wildlife isn’t just humans walking their dogs, the coyotes yip and snarl at night after they have caught a rabbit or a bird too close to shore, Coot control one might think. Mike pointed out the coyote yips to a woman one day while he was taking the trash to the dumpster…”Is that what that is! How incredibly creepy!” she exclaimed…what??? Are we that far removed from nature that the glorious yips from a coyote sound creepy? Very sad…Mike said he was left without words and walked away.

At least one small tied up dog has been snatched by the coyotes but then they do say, don’t tie your dog outside the trailer…sad way to learn a lesson. We must share these areas. As further construction above the lakes increases, 450 new homes I was told, it squeezes these creatures out of their natural environment and into the campgrounds and neighbourhoods. It is very sadly called “Weston”….”one road in, one road out” a woman walking her dog exclaimed, “450 houses, not exactly good fire planning”.

Depending on where you are in the campground defines what is around you. The first spots, oldest in the park from the 1960’s, are the lakeshore loop, my favourite. Spot #44 backs onto the lake where the Wood Ducks spend the night, any of the spots in here are quite lovely, though you can be very close-side by side in some spots, it pays to pick and choose. You can drink your coffee in the morning looking at the ducks and various other water birds, a nice way to start the day:) This is a large campground with many choices.

During the week the shorter lakeside sites are generally empty, they fill up for the weekend but so nice and quiet the rest of the time. The cats can wander along the lakes/reservoir and watch the coots:) Groot got very excited watching a man fishing, no doubt thinking of Otty Lake and what those fishing rods catch! The fisherman declared they don’t eat anything out of the lake, it all tastes like pond bottom green moss he said. Not a surprise as they are farm raised and released here to eat, pond bottom green moss;)

The Egrets and Herons fly from bank to bank looking for small fish. They are quite used to humans and let you walk right on by. The Black Crowned Night Heron either looks like a Mafia henchman sitting on the edge of the water to an occasional perch in a tree. I missed catching the Green Heron down at lake one but will endeavour to get his photograph, he is a beauty. The American White Pelicans often follow the Double Crested Cormorants about as they heard schools of fish too and fro, waiting for an opportunity to take advantage of their work. They are impressive when they fly right over your head. Even get to visit with some Canadians, geese that is, and even a few fellow human Northerners in the campground as well;)

When the water is flat calm, the reflections are astounding. Mother Nature’s artwork at is’t best:) Sometimes it is simply the reflections of the surrounding shrubbery that amaze me, the birds are gravy:) I sometimes wonder why all my birds seem to swim left to right…hmmmmm…..;)

So here we are, about to embark on a new month in a New Year. We are having some repairs taken care of, the shore power went out, turned out to be the surge protector and electric reel, those are now replaced we have our lights back, no more extension cords leading out the trailer door, thank you so much Offshore Outfitters and Good Sam Extended Warranty! We found some road debris as well had done some damage to the driver quarter panel so Myrtle is at the body shop now, getting that replaced, the rear cap bracket must have come loose when something hit us, the bottom of the cap swayed from side to side at the bottom way more than it should as we went over a bit of pavement at the campground backing in…0_0…. tithery things these trailers. Great body shop in Santee said it will be ready by the morning, we will be happy to get back on board tomorrow hopefully, to home. It really is home:) and the only DRV I’ve seen with bumper stickers…hahahahaha!

…and not the only adventure this week, but we’ll explain that soon:)

Saludos amigos and stay tuned! We’ll let the duck have the last quack;)

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