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Ken and I and the dogs were camping last week. It was good to get away from computers and electronic communication and enjoy time spent in nature. We kayaked, Ken fished, the dogs swam and jumped in lakes and we hiked and looked at wildflowers and birds. We enjoyed food cooked in the campfire, drank good wine and had a fine time!

Chopaka Lake is nearly to Canada in Okanogan County and sits at about 3000′ elevation. The landscape around it varies from riparian to shrub-steppe to forest and 7000′ Chopaka Mountain rises steeply behind it. The road to Chopaka is relatively steep and it seems daunting to some folks but we had no trouble pulling our little camping trailer up the grade. There are two small adjacent campgrounds – one run by the state DNR and the other by the federal BLM; both free. We were surprised and dismayed on Sunday afternoon to find every site full and we lucked out when two fellows left a site right on the lake! We laid claim to it immediately.

Chopaka is fly fishing only with a limit of one fish per day and it could easily have been a setting for a Cabela’s catalog photo shoot! Anglers had all the cool gear and clothes for the occasion. We probably stood out in the crowd (such as it was) with our own renditions of outdoor stuff. There was a great selection of boats also – some handmade. The dogs were delighted to have a lake in our front yard. Despite the campgrounds being full, it was a very quiet place. Folks were resptful of others and friendly too.

And that’s just the first two days of our camping trip!

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