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  • WELCOME to our life through the lens!

    Thanks for stopping by our page! Here we will share our adventures and travels. If you were brought here by accident and were looking for my business page, please visit www.bluella.com. If you're here to catch up on the Crazy Clark Clan, you've come to the right place! Thank you for letting us share our life through images with you.

Summer Camping {Ice House Reservoir Campground}

One of our absolute favorite places to camp is Ice House Reservoir. Towering pondersa pine, lake front sites for both trailer and tent camping, and a perfect size lake for fishing, swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, and swimming across like Olympic athletes with a teensey mimosa buzz! Even with the severe drought this year, the lake was at a pleasing level with enough shoreline to play camp bocce and catch some rays while sipping cold brewskis. Some of our favorite people on the planet are in this post so it’s an extra special one for us.

Tech Nerdery: a mix of iPhone 5s and Canon 5dMiii with 35L and 135L

Our humble little site. Camp life rocks.

Some serious camp booce right there.

Signs of kids at camp.

Years and years of friendship and memories with everyone in this photo! We are so lucky to have these guys in our lives!

We are dorks. The end.

Chowing on some smoked trout that we caught here a year ago and froze. Absolutely amazing!

Camping IS for dirt.

And rock painting.

Real men let kids paint their face…

Real men also drink red wine from pink flamingo cups.

Friends who camp together…stay together.

Some random hike we found at the end of a potholed dirt road!

Namaste.

In Love and Adventure,

The Clarks

Backpacking Lake Margaret {Kirkwood Backpacking with Kids}

Ohhhhh Lake Margaret trail…where do I begin with you? Decided to take the kids and the dog backpacking alone and this trip turned out to be quite the experience. Let’s just say when you are the only adult picking up the weight and slack, your pack is ridiculously heavy and oversized for a 5 foot 1 frame (image attached). This hike had mixed reviews, mainly revolving around the “stream” crossings. Depending on when and how much water they release dictates the height and flow of the stream. The day we went, it was DEEP and FAST flowing. Trying to get two kids across deep rivers (yes, I’m calling them rivers) with the hyper dog running back and forth over the fallen log nearly knocking us all over was not my idea of a relaxing hike. Once we reached Lake Margaret and set up camp, the kids used the massive granite rocks to explore. I was bummed that it was freezing and while the kids did dip a little in the lake, it was not swimming temperature so that was one less activity for them to pass the time with. During dinner time as we gathered around the stove and ate, we had a visit from a massive black bear. Approximately 4 feet away…chowing down on all the food we were yet to eat on this trip. Due to the fact that all the reviews and the ranger said they haven’t seen a bear in this area for years, I was not prepared and didn’t have bear spray. Dodger viciously went after the bear who all but turned his nose up at him and kept on plowing through our unlocked bear box. Waving him (or her) off with my hat waving over my head while hurling rocks at it head, bear took one last chew and slowly sauntered off. Minuted later our neighbors on the other side of the rock were crying out that said bear had ripped their tent to shreads and ate all of their food, first aid kit included. I knew in my heart that without cell service or bear spray combined with the fact that bear had gone after anything scent related, including alcohol swabs, that it was not safe to stay the night here. We quickly packed up camp and I hurried the kids back out the 2 1/2 miles to the car before the sun set. I was driving them like snow huskies, passing out energy chews like Skittles. While it took us a relaxing 90 minutes to get to camp, we hustled out of there un 45 minutes. That’s a brisk pace with constant elevation gain and loss with a 4 and 6 year old and a 10 year old dog.

Here’s a link to the trail and some other reviews if you would like to go back and feed the bear:http://alltrails.com/trail/us/california/lake-margaret-trail

Am I upset we went…no way! It’s a story we will tell around campfires for years to come! Chris has mentioned on more than one occasion, “No pictures of the bear means it didn’t happen” but you’ll just have to believe me on this one. And of course, the kids back the story too so there’s that.

 

Tech Nerdery: iPhone 6

My absolute favorite view there is…Hello little slither.This photo does not do justice to how deep and quickly moving this water was! Now imagine both kids crossing with Dodger blazing back and forth over the log millimeters from knocking them into the stream.That’s what a mom backpacking alone with two kids are too little to carry much stuff looks like. Photo credit to 4 year old Blu.Such angry but beautiful sky!Our little camp…The kids LOVE to pump water!

The remnants of bear claws meets food.The bear came down right through that brushy part between the rocks. We were eating by Dodger’s blue pack by the fire ring.In Love and Adventure,

The Clarks

PCT to Seven Lakes Basin {Backpacking with Kids}

This backpacking trip is an absolutely fabulous one for little hikers! Some of the most beautiful scenery on the Pacific Crest Trail with incredible views of Mount Shasta. We met up with some good friends and had quite a big bunch, including a lot of kids which is always nice to have to entertain your own! The route itself is only a little over 6 miles round trip but it has excellent day hike and mountain scramble opportunities which put us at close to 10 miles. Pristine lakes, no other people, and the kind of serenity you dream of when packed into a crowded local campsite. We did have a surprise storm blow through which took all of us by surprise since the forecast and the sky were clear up until a few minutes before the world turned sinister and enormous hail pelted the tent. Adventure my friends…adventure!

 

A few links to the trail: PCT to Seven Lakes Basin and another one.

Tech Nerdery: All iPhone 6

Map of the journey:

Crappiest, blurriest photo ever but at least we are all in it. My self timer can’t focus.

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

Where the hike begins across the street from the parking lot.

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

Breaker breaker! Ne er underestimate the power of fun possible between your kids with walkie talkies.

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

Such a beautiful trail!

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

Our first stop for the night…Upper Seven Lake.

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

I mean come on…where else can you get this view and escape from society?

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

 

 

Breakfast lakeside in the early morning light.

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpackingPacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpackingPacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpackingPacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

The second part of the journey…an overnight at Helen Lake.

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpackingPacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpackingPacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpackingPacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

And the rain starts falling…

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

And then the hail…

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpackingPacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

 

I am obsessed with reading soul searching novels while in the middle of the forest.

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpackingPacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

Mini backpackers!

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

Hiking out.

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpackingPacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

 

Due to the month we hiked this trail in, we saw a lot of thru hikers on the PCT. Gotta leave them some love.

Pacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpackingPacific crest trail seven lakes basin backpacking

In Love and Adventure,

The Clarks