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Well, another July has come and gone.  Mike and I have our 12th trip to Eagle Lake under our belts.  There are so many memories; the first year, Old Blue broke down and we had to sleep in the cab in Susanville; there was the year of the frogs; the year of the cow muck; the year of the pit when Amanda, Pat and Lexi rode their bikes there till dark; Elsa the Basenji; Autumn the nanny; the other nanny who burnt her flip flop on the fire ring and then got canned cause she got the family car stolen; my nephew Lexi; Amanda's friends Stacia and that other girl; Amanda's friend from Lafayette and the ski bob; Dan; Brian; James; Kim; Andrew; the year we transported the canoe upright on top of the Blazer we thought it was going to cave in with the weight of the rain and worse -- Mike trying to take that shiny, metal object down during the thunderstorm; the countless times we ate hamburgers on thunderstorm days; the year Nat threw up in the brand new suburban, was diagnosed with an ear infection at Emergency in Susanville and we went home early; the year of the bees -- that would be the same year Lisa squished one on her plate, pushed it aside with her fork and kept eating; the year Maggie, Emily and Nicolas were puppies; the countless bike rides to the Marina for ice cream; the countless treks to the Lookout either in the truck or the motorbikes; the ice caves; the day trip to Lassen in the VW Bus; the year Mike almost got New Blue stuck in the sand; the year Amanda wiped out on her bike and Grandpa Ray fixed her up; the year Doug and Phyllis joined us; the year of the Camper Van (the tent trailer); the year of Motory (the motor home); the year we got Boatumus P. (P is for Pleasure) Straka I  a.k.a. Boaty Boat.  'I' because knowing Mike, it won't be the last -- there could be a II, III or even IV; the year of the behemoth new trailers (Sharkey and Streamer) and having to go around the loop several times before they could be parked; and now this year... 

2004 just might have the distinction of going down in history as the Year of the Disasters!

As you know, we make the trip in two days so that we arrive rested and early.  We spend the first night at the Red Bluff RV Park which is about the half way point.  We should have taken it as a bad omen when we arrive at Red Bluff and lo and behold, Marv and Jan are there!  Marv and Jan have been the reservation hosts at Merrill Campground at Eagle Lake for forever!  They are wonderful hosts who get to know the campers and enforce the rules.  Well, Marv finally quit to see more of the world.  He and Jan are full time RVers.  

Anyway, we're off to Eagle Lake and a whole string of bad luck ensues.  There did, however, appear to be a bright side to each disaster.

What happened...   On the bright side...
George loses his keys to his trailer.  He thinks he may have lost them in Red Bluff.

George and Lisa could still get into the compartments from under the bed.  Mike has an extra key which happens to fit and...we found George's keys at the Red Bluff RV Park office on our way home. 
George could not get his Direct TV Satellite  to work.


Mike's truck gets broken into at the Marina.  The front passenger window is shattered. 

Nothing gets stolen.  The guy got scared off.  Even though Mike spent the better part of two days in Susanville to get it fixed, it turns out the guy got caught and Mike was able to help finger him by finding the metal pellet he used to break the window!!  It was still in the truck even after the shop vacuumed up the glass. 
We drive up to the Look Out.  On the way back, Mike and Kristin get flat tires!

Well, at least the flats both happened at the campground where others could lend a hand.  Once again, Mike was back in Susanville to get the tire repaired and it was as good an excuse as any to go ahead and buy the bigger wheels and new rims he's always wanted!
Not Ray or Mike or Mickey get bitten by Chivie.  Unfortunately, Mark does...twice.

Uh...well...Chivie doesn't have rabies!
The Zodiac finally bites the dust.  It got a hole when Pat, Doug and Sean tried to take it out on the lake.

No one wanted to go fishing anyway. 
Lizzie and Henry each took a turn throwing up in the rental van.

Well, I'd throw up, too, if I had to drive in a mini van. 
The Political Debate.  Nuff said.


And of course, Marv and Jan were no longer the hosts.  There is no bright side.  The new hosts, Grant and Cora, just weren't the same.  They didn't patrol the campground and get to know the campers.  People were running their generators after 10:00 p.m.; people were playing music way too loud; young boys were running amuck and trashing the bathrooms; and I've never seen so many off leash dogs!


The year of the Shockley's, the guitar, the team and family shirts, team logos, the polls, and the year Amanda didn't come!

There were MANY good things about camp this year.  This was the first year Lori and Mark and their five children were able to join us.  They took the train from Iowa to Reno, rented a motor home and joined us at Eagle Lake for the first time ever!  The cousins were all so delighted to be with one another.  Nic and Alex developed a new game to send off to Nintendo.  This year, Pat's friends Sean and Doug joined us.  The Pre-trip polls on eaglelake2004 yahoo groups were amusing.  Team and family shirts were made (thanks Kris and Mom!).  Mike brought his guitar and his song books.  Lisa brought crafts and a piņata.  And as always, we ate REALLY well and Grandma's deserts were the best 1) Worms and Dirt and 2) Sand and Maggots.  This was the first year Amanda had a summer job and couldn't join us.  WE SURE MISSED YOU!  This was the year of Nic's first motorbike ride.  It was also the year of the sleepovers. 

And so here are some photos from this year... 

Natalie is pretending she's a tree so the blue jays will come on her.  Looks more like a scarecrow with that mop.      Nic is waiting patiently in the theatre for the Shockley's to arrive.  "When are the Shockley's going to get here."  Uh, another couple of days, Nic. 
Mike learned some camp songs and even put together a little song book.   We all enjoyed singing.  It's a wonder no one told us to shut up...
This has got to be the funniest sight ever.  George couldn't get the satellite to work.  He decided to take it out to an open area where he might get better reception.  In the wagon, he pulled the generator the TV, receiver and the dish.  He's in an empty campsite.   Tech Support arrives in the form of Mike.  Still no luck. 
"Are the Shockley's here yet?"   Ice cream at the Marina.
The Marina rodents are bolder than ever.  They just come sit on your shoes and beg for food.    Nat, Kristin and George. 
Mickey builds a bonfire at their site.  It's a beautiful site right by the water.    Nat, Em and Nic getting ready to play badminton.  "Are the Shockley's here yet?"
"Are the Shockley's here yet?"  Actually, Chivie isn't waiting for the Shockley's (maybe she is?).  She chased a squirrel up the tree and then sat and waited for it to come down.  Little did she know the squirrel crossed to another tree via the branches and escaped.  She sat there a LONG time.     

The Shockley's Team Logo -- Team Shock

A Shockley sighting!  I think the Shockley's are here!  Here's Henry who had the best quote of the trip.  On the day the Shockley's took a day trip to Lassen, the kids didn't eat dinner with us.  As everyone was heading off to bed and thanking the hosts for the evening, Henry said, "Yeah, thanks for the dinner, even though I didn't even get any."   ...and another Shockley sighting...Alex.
The newest Shockley.  His name is Benjamin though you would never know it.  He was called everything but Ben.  Budge, Budgie, Budgerific, B-Ray, Little Guy and so on...    There are the other two -- Andy and Lizzie (and Henry again). 

Kristin and Mickey --Team Clink

  Mike, Alex and Grandma.
Nice Auntie Lisa helps a bunch of nieces, nephews and Emily roast marshmallows.   Mick and Mark.  Mick, Mark Patty Wack give the dog a leg...
George bought hundreds (literally) of glow sticks so that each of the kids got a new one every night.  Most nights, they got Mickey to play hide and seek with them.  Lizzie, Nat, Em, Nic, Andy, Alex and Hen.   As always, the kids had great fun riding bikes.  Alex was able to borrow mine and even made the trek to the Marina a couple of times. 
Here's Henry, Natalie, Andy, Emily, Nicolas and Alex with their 2004 Eagle Lake Family shirts.  THANKS KRIS AND MOM!    Daddy, this dog is nice.  I don't know why she would bite you!
Some sort of little guy game going on...   A great place for nursing!
Mike and Nic at the Antelope Lookout looking at the Outhouse.   The Shockleys.  Mark, Ben, Alex, Lori, Andy, Henry and Lizzie.
A bunch 'em cousins.    Mike, Rosy, Nicolas and Natalie (Mt. Lassen in the back, left).  We didn't do Team Shirts.  Nat was disappointed.  OK, so I'll make us some.  What would our logo be?  Hmmmm...
Reserved for the photo of everyone at the lookout.   
    George and Lisa's Logo, sort of.  I didn't get a photo of their actual logo. 
Mesmerized by the fire...   Pat, Sean and Doug discover that you can pick up girls with glow sticks so they get into George's stash.  They must have been really blonde. 
"There are leeches in this lake...we can't go in!"   Say "LEECH"!
Daddy and the Bug.   Lisa, the bathing beauty.
Uncle Mike has a word with Ben, B-Ray, Budge, Budgerific...   Emily and Nat on one of the many sleepovers. 
The excursion to the ice caves.   Nat doesn't want to go at first but sees everyone else do it so she does, too.  I, of course, have Ice Cave Phobia. 
Chivie and her new best friend, Penny.  They got to play.  Unfortunately, Maggie was being a recluse.  All she wanted to do was stay in the trailer on her sofa.   Kris and Mick flap some jacks and serve them up.
Bug gets ready (in Mama's gear) for his first motorcycle bike ride ever!   He loved it!  He and Daddy went to the Marina.  He wants to go again and again.  I don't think we can sell my bike to Grandpa now!
Henry enjoying the hammock.    Lisa brings out the piņata and the kids line up.
Even the big kid, with his mommy taking a picture!   Auntie Lisa, Lizard and Uncle Mike having a little discussion. 
Grandma, Grumpa, I mean Grandpa and Mike.  (OK, so Ray and I get the award for being the biggest grumps.)   Penny gets in on the glow stick action. 
Grandma and Lori and a few babies.    Relaxing with crafts.  Beads and lanyards. 
We painted terra cotta pots one day.  Mine depicted Boatumus P. Straka I a.k.a. Boaty Boat and a campfire, the sailboat races, and the Lake Ness Monster. 
    As promised, the boys came over and detailed the boat as payment for Mike dragging them around the lake for days.  Thanks Pat and Doug (Sean was off to LA)!

Mickey and Kristin's T-shirt logo.  How appropriate!

Eagle Lake 2002

Eagle Lake 2003