Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bass Lake

I’m spending part of the 4th of July weekend up at Bass Lake with my friend Steve, who owns a cabin up here.  In my nine years of living in the Central Valley, I have never been to Bass Lake before now.  I’ve been very close and driven past it several times, but never actually here.

I drove up Friday afternoon (took a wrong turn, big surprise).  Steve showed me the cabin and gave me a tour of the area.  Fascinating history and background.  As a thank you for sharing his cabin with me for the weekend, I took Steve to dinner at one of his local haunts, Ducey’s.

Steve and his wife Lorraine are about my parents’ age.  Steve and Lorraine have a wonderful marriage, but they don’t spend much time together these days.  Steve loves the idyllic life up at Bass Lake, but Lorraine is a city girl.  She stays mainly at their home in Orange County, while he comes up here nearly every weekend (he only works three/four day-weeks).  I don’t know how he stomachs the 300-mile one-way trips so often.  Neither one expects the other to change to their desired way of life.

As a family, they’ve vacationed up here for 40 years for about a week or so each summer, but only found this cabin to buy a year and a half ago.  It’s a major fixer-upper, but Steve is a former contractor, and our good friend Fred from church is a former electrician and loves to come us here and help him out from time to time.  Steve’s taken a unique approach to this cabin.  He deliberately stopped mentally framing it as a project, but as a hobby.  Some weekends, he’ll get a lot done.  Other weekends, he’ll just relax.  He does it as he wants to.

Bass Lake is an interesting place.  I can’t completely describe the appeal, but this is the first place I can say I have ever really wanted to buy a vacation home.  There’s something to it only being an hour away from home, only at 3,500 feet elevation, not feeling overcrowded (even for a holiday weekend, it’s not too packed with people).  I would actually come up and enjoy it multiple times through the summer and sporadically the rest of the year.  Hume Lake is two hours away, and those cabins are on a 99-year lease, not permanent ownership.  I need it close to be motivated to go often.  Steve even showed me a place near his that’s for sale (a lot of places are for sale in this economy).  Hmmm.

I’m probably going home tonight (Saturday) for church tomorrow, but am toying with coming up for the 4th fireworks with Amy and Stephanie.  Steve says it’s an incredible show, but traffic is a nightmare trying to get out when it’s over.

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