Topaz a nice place to camp |

Topaz a nice place to camp

A happy camper at Topaz Lake.
John Flaherty

Hello Johnson Laners,

Hello summer! It is so nice to have you in the neighborhood. Everyone is out walking, hiking and doing wonderful things to take advantage of our beautiful weather. I need to get out of the house more often myself and just take Chevy for a walk or let him go run around the Pine Nuts. He loves it when we go for ride and he gets so excited. He is by far my best buddy.

I recently came off a 12-day fire assignment that held me over on Fathers’s Day. So in the best of spirits my family went ahead with Father’s Day without me because I am not the only father in this family. My son has two wonderful children and my son-in-law has a wonderful daughter that recently turned 1. I was sad that I had missed the event and my daughter-in-law reminded me about the Cat’s in the Cradle song. It tears me up sometimes hearing that song but you know fire does care about holidays or sentimental songs. My duty with the Forest Service compels me to be there to support the firefighters. I have promised to be more mindful and not be out on every fire for the season as my family needs me just as much if not more that the Forest Service.

On the first we made up for that lost time. We spent the day boating on Lake Topaz. It is such a jewel in our area. The lake is 45 minutes from Johnson Lane. If you get there in the morning before the winds can kick up you get a mirror surface and cool weather. This trip the wind didn’t kick up and we were able to spend the entire day on the lake. It was a wonderful day and the first time the grandkids were on a boat. Judging by their smiles I think we will be getting a lot of hours in on the boat this year. They had a blast and everyone was exhausted at the end of the day.

You can go to the lake for day use but frankly due to the height of the lake the day use area is a bit small. You are not supposed to pull your RV into the day use area but the ranger was nice enough to let us park on the very back side. I would rather have gotten a camping site the night before but all sites were reserved. That is the same story for the Topaz RV resort on the other side. So, if you are going to camp at Topaz try to get your reservations in early. As far as I know the primitive area on the southeast side is still closed off due to the height of the lake.

In order to make a reservation you must call the parks department at 775-782-9835. You can also go to their office which is directly across from Lampe Park in the white trailers. The staff is extremely helpful. Here is a tip for the disabled veterans. If you take your VA card or some other proof of your disability then you receive a year pass to the lake for free. This allows you to park for free and launch your boat at no charge for the entire year. Douglas County Parks and Recreation department is very generous to disabled vets. Your entrance to the gym at the community center is also free. Take them up on their offer it is a great benefit and I would like to tell Scott and the gang thank you for all you do for the community.

That reminds me, I spoke with Mr. Morgan last week. He tells me that due to all the additional building in the north valley the Johnson Lane Dog Park will be moving ahead this coming year. I know this has been a long time promise but it all is linked to funding. The fund that builds the dog park is now becoming large enough that the parks department can begin scoping the work and developing the proposal. Look for some community meetings in the fall/winter time frame. The parks department will be coming to us for ideas on what we want the dog park to look and feel like. So do your research and come informed so we can get the best for our dog pals. I will put the dates on the Facebook Johnson Lane Park Coalition page, share it with the other social pages and try and get it out here as well. We will need you there so please plan on attending when the dates are announced.

Have a great summer everyone, I am hoping to keep up on the Journal but if I don’t get to it monthly, my apologies.

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