And now I'm going to post the pictures of our beautiful camping trip at Bowman Lake. We brought Susan's inflatable raft and rowed out on the lake in it - sometimes both of us together, sometimes Susan with one or the other of her dogs, and sometimes me alone.
Bowman Lake Campground is a free campground, so it's not maintained like the campgrounds that charge fees are. It has no running water and is located at the end of four or five miles of a rocky unpaved road that wound around the edge of a cliff. I was amazed that there were any other people there, considering the quality of the road. It wasn't quite as primitive a campsite as the sign suggests, however: It did have firepits (complete with iron grills on top) and an outhouse.
The reason that people actually bothered braving the terrible road was that the campground was gorgeous. Our campsite was directly on the bank of Jackson Creek, which flowed into Bowman Lake a few hundred yards downstream from us. Here's Taco relaxing in front of our picnic table, with Jackson Creek in the background.
Most of the creek was fast-flowing whitewater that was not safe to wade in, but there was a little inlet of shallow, calmer water below our picnic table. You can see the corners of our picnic table and its accompanying bench in the lower left and lower middle of the photograph.
Taco and Boston had a great time wading in the inlet while Susan watched.
Susan had given me three of my birthday presents early (or possibly they were eleven-month anniversary presents; our eleven-month anniversary fell during the camping trip, the day before my birthday, and we didn't quite decide which presents were which). Anyway, she gave me three presents just before the camping trip - three plant identification books - so that I could use them while we were camping. With their help, I eventually determined that the trees in our campsite were giant sequoias, yellow pines, white firs, quaking aspens, and California hazelnuts.
For dinner one night, Susan fried potatoes and made pork in a cherry/onion/wine reduction sauce on her camp stove. The next night, she barbecued steak and corn over the campfire.
We sat on rocks next to the creek, facing each other. I photographed Susan . . .
. . . And she photographed me.
She also photographed Boston, who was playing with a rock. Boston is just as obsessed with rocks as Susan is. We can never pass by any rock, anywhere, ever, without one or both of them picking it up. We leave paths of strangely rockless land behind us wherever we go.
We threw rocks into the water for Boston to dive after. I photographed Boston while she was looking up at me expectantly, awaiting the next rock.
There were scary-looking bugs on the rock I preferred to sit on, but they turned out to be just dead shells of bugs. I didn't realize they were dead when I took the picture, though.
This is the view upstream from our campsite.
But wait, what's that building with the green door, barely visible in the distance? Here's a better view of it.
There's a bridge just upstream from us! The tiny building is attached to the bridge. Boston and I walked over to the bridge.
When we stood on the bridge, we could see this tunnel a little farther upstream. It proclaimed itself to be the Milton-Bowman Tunnel, installed by the Nevada Irrigation District in 1925.
This is the view downstream from the bridge, toward our campsite.
There was a log on the shore next to the bridge.
There was also moss, and a low-growing plant with huge leaves.
And there were columbines! I was terribly excited by the columbines, because I'd never seen any in person before.
I walked along the opposite side of the creek from our campsite until I saw the mountains surrounding Bowman Lake.
Boston posed on a huge boulder overlooking the spot where Jackson Creek flows into Bowman Lake.
Then I went back to our campsite. I took another photograph of this side of Jackson Creek while on my way back.
On our second day there, Susan and I went down to the lake together with her inflatable raft. It wasn't big enough to hold the dogs along with both of us, so we left the dogs on the shore while Susan rowed me out into the lake. The dogs were rather panicked about being left behind. Behind Susan to the left, you can see Boston swimming out after us.
Both dogs swam out a little way but then started doubting whether they could handle the deep waters we were rowing into, so they swam back tp the shore. Taco (who is 13 years old and has terminal cancer) probably really couldn't handle the deep water. Boston (who is only about 2 years old) later discovered that she could swim all the way across to the other shore, but it took her a while to work up the nerve.
Susan rowed while I took photographs.
She rowed us past the spot where Jackson Creek flows into Bowman Lake.
And she left me on the other shore while she went back to get the dogs, who were being bothered by someone else's dog. Here's the view from the shore of Jackson Creek flowing into Bowman Lake.
She rowed Boston over first, and I tried to hold Boston while she went back to get Taco. But Boston escaped from me and insisted on swimming back and forth across the lake alongside Susan's raft. Wherever Susan went, Boston would swim alongside.
Taco, however, was willing to be ferried.
Eventually all four of us were safely transported to the other shore. Susan and Boston looked at rocks together.
Susan threw them, and Boston chased them.
I explored the shore.
There was a firepit above the lake, so people could have barbecues there. Not a campsite, just a lone firepit.
Here's the east edge of Bowman Lake.
This is where another creek, Canyon Creek, flows into Bowman Lake. Apparently Bowman Lake Falls is on Canyon Creek, but we didn't go looking for the falls.
Instead, we went back to our own gorgeous campsite. Here are some more pictures of Jackson Creek as seen from our campsite.
And here's a native plant I found growing in our campsite. It's checker mallow (Sidalcea malviflora).