It is Beautiful here.  The ground is covered with moss.  The pine trees are short, thin and skinny and the ground is squishy.  We loved this place so much we stayed a whole week, even though we had to pay to stay.  3 out of the 6 nights we had the whole campground to ourselves, except for the neighbors way off in the distance, the camphosts.  The best kinda camping…in my mind, is when you have no neighbors.  They were great, friendly and we got in a few daily chats when we ran into them around the park.

Mushrooms were growing everywhere.  We have seen many different types and the campground information board says that you can harvest them around here.  If you are a mushroom lover this is a good place to visit.  Signs also say you can gather wood in and  around the campground that is already down for firewood.  It is everywhere.  In the first parking lot of the boat launch there were piles of it just beyond the gravel.

We went on a few bike rides and checked out some dirt roads only to find plots of land that had been cleared.  By cleared I mean lots of trees uprooted laying in piles.  We threw a few sticks for the dogs and let Ryder splash in some puddles.  It was early in the morning when we went so he still had his Batman PJ’s on and while running through a huge puddle he slipped and fell.  uHe filled his boots up and manage to drench is pants, diaper, socks and the bottom half of his top.  After stripping him down his dad though he would show him that he can put his bear feet in the puddles too.  So, he went running, slipped and landed right on his butt with a splash.  Therefore what he had on that was dry was now wet and his diaper went from wet to muddy.  By then it was time to go home.

Another eventful night Matt, Ryder and Blue went for a ride on the main street.  On their way home a huge black dog, which Matt thought was a black bear came running out of the woods and started chasing them.  Blue took off running which caused the leash to get tangled in the bike handlebars causing Matt and Ryder to fall:(  I realized that something was wrong when I saw Blue come barreling around the corner of the campground road up to the RV door and there was no site of Matt and Ryder.  I waited for a few seconds and knew something had to of happened if Blue wasn’t with them, so I hopped in the car and found them walking the bike at the entrance of the campground.  Ryder had road rash on his face with some swelling and Matt was frantic about Ryders face.  I guess they had walked the entire length of the road which meant Blue can home from a mile and a half away.  Such a good dog sometimes!  When inspecting Ryders face more closely back in the RV,he at one point acted like he was going to pass out.  Off the ER we went, 40 miles away in Fairbanks.  Like newer parents and this being his first traumatic accident we wanted to make sure he was ok.   Like a champ he was good to go with some road rash on his forehead, nose and chin.  The doctor said he might get a couple black eyes in the near future so not to worry.  Within a week he looks like normal and the poor guy will tell you the whole story too.  In his words, ” Bike…Blue…DOG…Ouchy” and points to his head.

There are squirrels everywhere.  It was fun to watch them squeal and chase each other over the squishy ground and up around in the trees.  Even saw a flying squirrel.  I had no idea that we had them up in Alaska, but they are apparently abundant in Interior Alaska.

The lake does have a boat launch for $5.  The information board says there are fish in there, Rainbow Trout, Graeling, Salmon and Northern Pike.  You are not allowed to fish from the bank because Northern Pike like the shallow water and their off limits.  You can’t take them out of the water and you are very likely to catch them off the bank.  Something about the reproduction of the species is falling so their just off limits.  We don’t have a boat and can’t get to where the fish are, so I guess no fishing for me:(

The campground was great.  We HIGHLY recommend it if your in the area. 20160801_203106 It was very clean.  Campsites gave you more room between sites then you normally find.  There are 2 loops, the 1st one I suggest for big rigs only because there are a few trees with low branches when entering the 2nd loop.  There are spaces with 2 spots next to each other for groups in both loops.  The 2nd loop is really nice – you just see lime green everywhere with spots of color from the mushrooms.  The sites aren’t as spaced out but the atmosphere is out of this world, which is where you’ll think you are.  There is a dump there, picnic areas near the lake, a volleyball court, a big group fire pit, a large grassy area good for pets and a field for group camping.

Harding Lake we had fun and tears but these curioustires are moving on down the road, South towards Anchorage.  Janet here we come.