We liked the campsite we found in the pouring rain (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=12425
) so much that we thought we'd head back when it was just sprinkling.
Since the first trip, I had researched the area and route a little better and it turns out we had camped a few hundred yards from Spider Lake, our original destination! Spider "Lake" is really more of a narrow mudhole so we didn't really miss much. We'd heard reports of folks camping right on the banks of the lake but I'm not sure how- the banks are pretty steep and very wooded. Anyway...
During the research, I also found High Steel Bridge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Steel_Bridge
)! I'm a sucker for old bridges especially cool ones in the mountains, and this one is on the way.
Since I knew where we were going this time, we got there with plenty of time to hike around before dinner. This is the creek that rose a foot in a couple hours last time we were here:
The campsite from last time is pretty cool, but we drove a couple hundred yards farther up the spur and found a superior site.
It was still wet, so we had to make sure the boy's boots were still water-tight.
I cooked some dinner and enjoyed some beer from the fridge in my awesome stainless vacuum-insulated pint glass.
It was good and cold at night so we fired up the Espar. With some driveway tests I had figured out that if we left the fwd closet door open and opened the hatch above the heater, the temp sensor could feel the temp in the van much better and would cycle itself on and off to maintain our temp. Previously, it would run on high for about 5 minutes, heat up the van, then go on standby until we power-cycled it again. Our new method worked great.
The next morning, it was clear(ish) so we hiked up the creek bed. Sticks are essential equipment for camping.
The sun started to hit the hillside and made the campsite look pretty awesome.
We headed back home. No van issues. The whole trip, we only saw one other guy out camping and no other SMBs.