Anniversary Weekend Camping at Little Payette Lake

It's the middle of the week now, and I'm finally here to share how our camping trip this past weekend went. Mostly, I'm just now sharing because I'm still exhausted. Sort of like a camping hangover. Now that is a sign of a good trip! Another sign is when you have way too many good pictures. It was hard to cut them down for this post, so prepare yourself for the longest post EVER.

We were lucky enough to be able to borrow a canoe to take with us from Will's boss, Tim. Thanks Tim! I guess working for Fish and Game pays off. We planned to leave Friday after Will was done with work, like 5:00 or 6:00 pm, but didn't end up rolling out of Boise until closer to 9:00 pm. Secretly, I think Will just likes finding camping spots in the dark. Because this happens nearly every time we go camping. But we didn't have too far to go; we drove up to the Little Payette Lake, just southeast of the bigger lake in McCall and north of Cruickshank Reservoir.

This was our view of the lake when we woke up the next morning. Pippin was a little confused when we pulled up into the wilderness in the dark, but oh I wish you could have seen his little face when he woke up in the back of the car to the sun rising. He just looked back at us like, "GUYS!" And then starred out the window in awe for a good solid hour while we slept a little more.

Here's a better view of our campsite. What a good find in the dark, right? After we got the canoe off the top of the car and had a bit of breakfast, we explored the area a bit before heading out on the lake.

The entire shore line of the lake was covered in drift wood and fallen trees. I thought it rather beautiful. And the lake was like a pine tree graveyard, with bits of old trunks still holding strong and sticking out above the water. It was actually not too difficult to slide the canoe across the deadwood to get to the water.  

It was such a lovely place to explore. And of course Pippin loved it. The yorkie in him sure makes him unafraid of water; he liked running through the shallow water near the shore, and climbing over all the trees. Sadly, Scout had to sit this trip out. He's not so great at car rides and hates water.

Little Payette Lake is a perfect lake for canoeing. In fact, I don't know if you could do much else out there. The only other people we saw while there were a few fishermen and a kayaker. The water is too shallow and the lake too small to allow much else. We thought it was wonderful. We spent almost the entire first day out on the water. We even headed up the inlet river for a bit and found a nice place on some rocks over looking the river for lunch. Funny story: Pippin really enjoyed hanging over the edge of the boat and watching the water as we paddled. I kept having to tell him not to jump in. When we were heading up river, and had just made it past a hard curve after getting stuck in an eddy, Pippin fell overboard when we hit a bit of a bump. Luckily I have super awesome fast reflexes and grabbed him and put him back in the boat in a matter of seconds before he got sucked away in the current. Also, luckily, the sun was out and he dried off real quick (because that water was cold!).

We headed back to camp late in the afternoon. Pippin was so exhausted from all that adventure that he passed out in the car right away. Will has this awesome tent that fits onto the car. You put the tail gate down and it extends off the back. It adds lots of space in there. We just make up a bed in the back, climb in at the tail gate, and open and close the tent doors as needed. I love it. We took it easy the rest of the night, made dinner and got plenty of sleep to adventure again the next morning.

The next day we decided to go a different direction and headed striaight across the lake. We spied a structure on the map that looked man made, perhaps a dam, and we wanted to check it out. We were right, by the way. Exploring the other side of the lake was fun for a bit and it was cool to look across and see how far we had paddled. We found another cool spot to make lunch along some rocks and tied the boat up for a bit. When we headed back out, the wind had picked up greatly, making the once calm water extremely choppy, so we headed back to camp cautiously and slowly. We then casually got everything ready to leave, but were a bit sad to go.

We had a great, relaxing, fun trip. Every time we go out camping all I can think is how much I wish we could have stayed longer. This trip was no exception. I loved getting away for a bit. And Pippin sure would have been happy living on that lake forever. I'm excited to get out and do more exploring this summer, and we will sure keep this spot in mind for more camping and canoeing adventures.

Hope you all are doing wonderful this week. Let's be friends and go camping, okay? Okay.