This July (1996) I spent a week at Pinecrest Lake in the Sierra Nevadas of California. I was there with Noli's family, a very interesting, loving group of people. I will definitely write more about this soon, as well as post some more photos. See a paddle pic! Meanwhile, here's a pic of the "kids" in the family:

Laurie, me, Noli, Joshie, Jesse and Matt

I just found a journal entry from the last time I went to Pinecrest two years ago. As schmaltzy as it is, I still have a lot of the same feelings, so I think it's worth sharing:

early July, 1994

Aah, I just woke up in the most beautiful surroundings! I'm up at Pinecrest Lake with Noli's family, and I slept outside on the porch on a mattress under the stars. The fresh air made me have such a deep, wonderful sleep. I have my feather comforter and fish pillow and was so comfortable. I woke up and opened my eyes to a blue sky and towering pine trees glistening in the morning sunlight. The birds are singing, and I can glimpse the lake from where I am. We are right next to the kitchen window, and the family is busy preparing breakfast. I'm very happy. (The only weird thing is that I had a strange dream about Troy, who I hadn't thought about for a long time. I was at his house, and it was kind of scary because his parents were totally wigging out. Troy was caught in the middle of it. I went to Mom, begging her to help. That's basically all I can remember.)
So I LOVE being here at Pinecrest. I feel like I fit right in the family; they do very well including me, and I truly feel like I belong. I can be myself and feel comfortable and have fun with all these incredible people. A fun activity is canoeing out on the lake, which I've done 3 or 4 times so far. Swimming feels so good in the lake because it's usually the perfect temperature. Noli and I have so much fun rowing around and drifting with the current and singing and laughing and tanning (and burning).
Last night Julie took us out on the lake in the motor boat to star-gaze. The lake was beautiful -- almost totally still, like a mirror. Everything was dark except for the millions of sparkling stars and the crescent moon. Noli, Laurie, Joshie, Matt, Julie and I sat in the still boat and watched the stars. Julie pointed out various phenomenons (Orion, Saturn, etc.), and we talked about the foreseen effects of the crash of a meteor into Jupiter.
Every night, Noli, Laurie, Matt and I have been staying up late in the cabin living room playing Dajhemie and laughing our socks off, gettin' giddy! It's a blast. I have a buncha new mosquito bites all over me, despite my generous use of repellent. I'm also getting a little tanner; my back is burnt with funny white hand-marks where I slapped on sunscreen over my shoulder -- there are even finger marks! I feel healthy, especially compared to my strep throat I had just days ago at home.
I almost didn't make it here. I was at Noli's house on Thursday when she happened to mention an invitation, assuming I couldn't go because of work. I assumed I couldn't go either, but asked Crissy and she was quick to consent, happily. I'm SO glad she let me and that Noli asked me, b/c this trip is really what I needed. A break from Ashland and a true summer vacation where I can relax and have fun and have adventures. I LOVE PINECREST! There are many more events I want to write about, but I want to get up now to eat breakfast and get my day going.

This photo shows the cove, where we swam almost every day. A quick walk from the cabin, it's the perfect place to cool off and take a dip.

Matt, me & Noli on the deck, showing off the necklaces we made (thanks to Big Laurie and Josh, who brought a bunch o' cool beads and other materials).

Laurie & Noli sittin' on the rock next to the cabin.

Dancin' round the cabin to Julie's music one night!

Margaret: Noli's aunt, Matt's mom, my dear friend and almost-mother.

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