Well, we are home from our final summer vacation. For 8 years now my husband has been trying to get me to go camping with him up at Edison Lake. It's a long time family tradition that has died down over the last 10 years. He has really been wanting to start it up again with our family. His mom's dad and mom camped all the time and all the kids would camp with them even after they grew up and started their own families. Obviously the memories that were created for my husband were strong ones because he really wants to share the experience with us. I finally gave in to the daunting thought of all this camping trip entailed. I went for my husband. We decided we were going for 1 week. His mom and dad decided to join us because they had been wanting to go back up there for a long time too. We packed the boat and the trucks Tuesday night in preperation for leaving Wednesday morning. We got up and headed out around 8:30 Wednesday morning. We stopped in Fresno to borrow a rifle from his dad, we needed to be prepared! Then we continued on our journey. About an hour after leaving Fresno is when the drive really began to get beautiful. Lots of green pine trees! I love the smell of pine. I started to think to myself "This might not be so bad". We drove through Shaver, stopping only to grab a snack for the kids and some water for me. Then we drove through Huntington and continued to head for Edison. Outside of Huntington the road narrows to one lane for two way traffic. Narrow mountain roads lined with trees. It really wasn't so bad. We finally arrived at Edison around 3:00 or so. A few of us got in the boat with the 1st load and boated across the lake to the spot that my husband had been dreaming of for a long time. The spot he camped with his family for years. As we get closer we see that there are already people there. This didn't set too well with my husband, he was disappointed. So we boated along the shoreline looking for another spot. We came across a spot that looked pretty good. It had an entire little kitchen area built out of wood between some trees and a shelf between two other trees. Obviously a popular spot for the hikers. My husband was not yet impressed. He dropped us off and went back for another load. After 3 trips we had everyone and all of our stuff at the camp. It was dusk now so it was mosquito city and I was FREAKING out!! Nothing was set up so there was not place to hide. I started to second guess why I had agreed to this. TAKE ME HOME is all I wanted to say, but I didn't. I sucked it up and started to help set up camp. Day 2: Skyler, Ryan, Pete, Zayna and I went out on our morning fishing trip. I caught a small rainbow trout. We would have let him go except I kind of hooked him through the eye and head and he just wasn't right after that so we kept hime for food. After that the kids enjoyed an afternoon of gathering wood, swimming and running through the forest chasing chipmunks. That night around the fire we heard 6 gun shots. They sounded like shots from a hand gun and then a few minutes later we heard a rifle shot. We assumed someone shot a bear. Day 3: Pete, Ryan, Skyler and I went on the morning fishing trip. We were on our way back to camp when our of NOWHERE our dog Duke decides to jump out of the boat. Now we were going about 10 miles an hour and he jumped over the front of the boat, went under the boat and was spit out by the boat propeller out the back end of the boat. Before we realized he had jumped he was out the back end. We turned the boat around and I grabbed him and pulled him in the boat. He was cut up pretty good from the propeller. We were all so horrified by what had just happened. All I could do was hold him until we got back to shore. We radioed to camp what had happened so they could be ready with a towel. When we got to camp Duke got out of the boat on his own and walked up to lay down so we could look at him. His outter cuts weren't too bad, but we were concerned about internal bleeding. After assessing him for a few minutes we decided that we needed to try to get him some help. My husband and my father-in-law took him to the pack station where they vet their own animals and had them look at him. They said nothing was broken and as far as internal bleeding we just ahve to keep an eye on him and watch his bowel movements for blood. While at the pack station Pete also confirmed that the gun shots we heard the night before took out a bear they had been having problems with. We were all shaken up pretty good for the rest of the day, but the kids had another afternoon of swimming and playing. That evenings fish I caught a 16 inch German Brown. Day 4: More fishing, more fish, caught by Pete and I, now we were in a competition to out fish each other LOL! Had a storm this day. Thunder, lightening and rain. Another gun shot around the fire that night. Day 5: Confirmed that the gun shot was another bear. Fished, played, swam, gathered more wood and had another storm. More rain and thunder. Storms are quite different when you are over 9,000 feet up! By today Duke was doing really well. He was chasing chipmunks again and jumping up and down out of chairs and off of logs. Our miracle dog bounced back and survived an insane accident. He gave us quite the scare! I am also thinking by this point that as much as I can't wait to get home I really like it here. It's peaceful and beautiful and there was no one, but us. Day 6: Fished, swam, played and enjoyed our last day at Edison Lake. Hung around the fire a little longer this night. I think we were all a little sad that we were going home the next day. Day 6: Pete, Ryan and I went out for one last fish. Pete and I didn't catch anything, but Ryan caught two rainbow trouts within 10 minutes of each other. Then we went back to camp, packed up and headed home. My kids learned how to find and chop wood for the fire, create a wind break with some rope and blankets (thank you Grammy), how to gut a fish (thank you daddy) and some other survival skills that will stay with them for a lifetime. We can't wait to go back next year and every year after that!!