Conconully adventure refreshing

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Dennis Clay

This is the first of a two-part series about camping at Lower Conconully Reservoir.

The thunder clouds were developing over the Okanogan National Forest, to the west. It was later in the afternoon and my plan was to be on the water for an evening fishing session. The ever-increasing thunder changed my mind. On the water holding a fishing rod was no place to be during a thunderstorm.

Garnet and I were staying in a cabin at Shady Pines Resort on the lower Conconully Reservoir. My friends are going to wonder at the last statement, because we own a 26-foot Hideout travel trailer. Why not take the trailer instead of renting a cabin?

The thought process involving the decision was interesting. Conconully is a new destination. We first stayed in the trailer at nearby Conconully State Park in 2016. Last year we stayed in the same spot: 59D. We even had reservations for the same spot this year for 10 days.

The state park is beautiful with several deer walking through the area every evening. Our camping spot is in a newer area of the park. Although 59D is just 100 feet from the lake’s edge, we were not bothered by mosquitoes. Friends staying in the older part and near a swampy area did experience the buzz of the pesky insects.

Last year my morning trip was to Shady Pines Resort, where a boat was rented for four hours at $6 an hour. Daily limits were experienced on several days and on others two or three trout or kokanee were brought to the net. The fishing experience was great fun and they were great eating.

This year our lives were busier than normal. We were settling an estate, which involved several legal matters. As the departure date became closer and closer, we both wondered how we were going to be able to go camping? Garnet arrived at the solution.

“Let’s rent a cabin at Shady Pines and stay just four nights instead of 10,” she said.

We could have pulled the trailer, but heading up without it just seemed simpler. This notion proved not to be as true as we expected.

Planning a camping trip provides much excitement in our house. This enthusiasm reminds me of the night before Christmas as a youngster. Garnet enjoys this process, planning the food and such. My job is to organize the fishing gear and other necessary items.

Preparations were complete on the morning of departure. The drive time is just over three hours from Moses Lake to Shady Pines, at a distance of 140 miles.

Next week: The conclusion of cabin-camping at Shady Pines Resort.

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