Camping out at June Lakes

When I was a kid, we went camping 51 weekends one year, and no, we didn't have a motor home. We would camp out in our van which had a canvas awning and enclosed room. The next year we only camped 49 weekends and felt deprived. Back then, even if we only brought peanut butter and jelly sandwich supplies, it was still a great adventure every time.

These days it seems to be all about the aroma that comes from your barbecue that makes the camping trip the best and last weekend's was no exception. It was time for the Nevada Wandering Wheels motorcycle club to have their summer picnic and the president, my dad Norbert Monohan, suggested June Lake. Wow, what a pristine place to camp.

Jenee and I went down to join my folks on Friday and brought all the perishable foods, they already had the nonperishables. We spent a leisurely Friday afternoon under the shade of a big beautiful pine tree watching the little antelope squirrels searching for food.

Saturday morning the campground was abuzz. It was time for an annual triathlon. I have never seen one before so we walked down to June Lake to watch the start of the swim competition which then lead to a bike race and a running competition. It was great to watch the huge crowd that participated, especially in the swim event in the icy cold waters of the lake. The first man to emerge from the race did so in 18 minutes and 55 seconds and said when he got on his bike he wasn't even cold.

We got back to our campsite as our motorcycle club was soon to arrive for the barbecue. On the menu was beef tri-tip, corn on the cob, baked beans and a green salad with lots of extras. It turned out to be a huge success with everyone full, but still with room for an assortment of cookies.

Here's what I learned: for corn on the cob, I had a 16 quart stock pot three-quarters full of water at a rolling boil. We were at about 6,500 foot elevation and it took over an hour to cook the 18 ears of corn we had split in half. They were sooo good. Next, we had filled the whole lower rack of the propane barbecue with beef tri-tip that had one side with fat. My father the barbecue chef seared the fat layer and sealed in the moisture. It was the best ever and also took about an hour. A great time was had by all.

Thank you to our camp hosts Ray and Suzie Garner who were very accommodating to our group for the barbecue.

Directions in case you'd like to go, and most sites are first come, first served and we didn't have any problem getting in. Take Highway 395 south to Lee Vining, continue south 16 miles to the South June Lake Loop. Turn right, or west, go two miles to the top of the hill and you'll see the sign for Oh Ridge Campground. Turn right and follow that down a little bit till you see a sign to turn left into the campground. Owl loop is where we were, but they have lots more loops to choose from. Clean flush toilets and sinks with showers across from the campground at Pine Cliff Resort for $1.

Have fun and be safe.

Lisa Welch is a Johnson Lane resident and can be reached at 267-9350.


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