Hot Lake Camping Area – The Valleys
Jaak, Tag and Dieter had finally arrived at the top of the Hot Lake trail where they planned to camp together for a few nights. It was a warm day and their packs were loaded with the tent, sleeping bags, food and other camping equipment. By the time they got to the camping area they were hot, sweaty and tired. It had taken a lot longer to get there than what Jaak had originally expected. Tempers were starting to fray.
Jaak: Every. Effing. Tree. Where the fudgenuts do you get all that pee from anyway?
Dieter: Aww – that’s Hundel classified information that is! If I told you I’d have to kieeell yewu!
Jaak glared at Dieter wondering who might end up killing who by the time the day was over. Friend or not, sometimes he could be bloody annoying.
Tag: I’m tired. My feet hurt. I’m hot. I’m hungry.
Jaak: C’mon guys – let’s get the tent up, and then we can eat.
Tag: Mryeowwww! Mryeowwww! Mryeoooooowwww! I wanna eat naaaaow!
Jaak knew that once Tag started he would not shut up till he had something to eat.
Jaak: Ok, ok, ok… let’s have a rest first in the shade here – I don’t think this tree been pee’d on.
So finally the boys shrugged off their heavy packs, flopped themselves down under one of the many trees and rummaged in their packs for snack bars and their drink bottles. It was getting on towards late afternoon and the last of the day hikers were starting to leave, returning down the trail so that they’d make it back to the trail head before dark. It looked like the boys would have the camping area to themselves for the night.
Food, drink and shade revived their tempers and mood considerably. They soon had the tent up without too much bickering over which pole went through which sleeve, and whether you pegged down the base first or put the poles up first.
Tag: Let’s swim – lake or hot pool?
Hot Lake was so named as it had several hot thermal springs feeding it, however due to its size and surface area the lake maintained a pleasant tepid temperature quite suitable for swimming. There was also a smaller and hotter sitting pool a little down from the camping level, that was a popular way for hikers to soak away the stiff muscles from the climb up the trail.
Dieter: Let’s do the lake!
So without further discussion the boys headed down to the now deserted lake. Tag who never wore more clothes than he absolutely had to, and was not at all bashful in the slightest, wasted no time in losing his shorts and underpants and climbed stark nekkid right up onto one of the large rocks next to the edge of the lake. He turned and grinned back mischievously at the other two boys who were still standing together on the bank looking at him a little gormlessly.
Tag launched himself spread eagled from one of the rocks right out into the deep blue water. His head broke the surface and he swam around and called back to his friends.
Tag: C’mon youse two – last one in’s a rotten egg!
Dieter looked at Jaak for some kind of reassurance that swimming shorts weren’t required, however Jaak simply shrugged and grinned back. Wasting no more time they peeled off their sweaty t-shirts, pushed down their shorts and with another whoop and leap, they soon joined Tag in the lake. The water was pleasantly warm, however they were careful not to swim too near the far corner where the water steamed the most.
A boisterous game of water tag then ensued and there was much swimming, tagging, clambering over rocks, tagging, leaping, tagging, yelling, tagging and soon all grumpiness from earlier was forgotten.
Eventually they all clambered back up onto the warm rocks and let the sun dry their wet fur. However, not before Dieter had given them all a shower by vigorously shaking himself dry.
Tag: Hey – you’re getting us all wet again ya great big booger brain!
Laughing, joking and poking each other, they picked up their clothes and headed back up to the campsite. Along the way they also collected some firewood and pinecones for the firepit with dinner firmly on their minds. The warm evening sun slowly gave way and started to sink below the level of the tree tops – the campfire casting an inviting glow around which the three friends sat, eating sausages directly from the pan on the fire – wrapped in a slice of bread.
Jaak made campfire tea – strong, sweet and milky and they all sat contentedly sipping at the tea and continuing to share stories – some of which may or may not have been filled with alternative facts.
Suddenly Tag turned to the others and made a profound announcement.
Tag: I think I am getting extra fur! Are you guys getting extra fur too?
Jaak: Huh? Whaddaya mean? We are neko-humans and Diets is a hunde! Of course we have fur!
Tag: Na-ah – that’s not what I mean… I mean EXTRA fur… you know…
Tag who had not bothered to put his shorts back on following their swim then stood up in the flickering firelight and with his legs spread wide apart pointed with his paw between his legs.
Jaak and Dieter who were just a year or so older than Tag looked at each other with slightly derpish looks and then stifled laughs behind their paws.
Dieter: Um… well… yeah… I guess.
Jaak: Yeah Tag. We both got extra fur. You get it when you get older.
Tag: Cool! I’ma gettin’ older too!
Eventually the chill of the late evening, the pleasant weariness that comes from a full day of activity and the call of their warm sleeping bags drew them into the tent.
However it was not long before…
Jaak: Dieter! For crying out loud! Quit already with the turning around and around! Just lie down ya great big booger brain!
Previous – Episode 18 – Trail Tales
Next – Episode 20 – Lava Tube
Do cats shake themselves dry? I don’t even know. I do know that most don’t care for getting wet, but some of them seem to love it.
“Last one in’s a rotten egg” eh? He may be getting “extra fur,” but he hasn’t quite crossed that threshold into self-absorbed teenagerdom yet, where uttering such a phrase would result in instant embarrassment. 😛
While not expressly stated we can think of Tag as being 12 going on 13, with the other two boys 13 going on 14. No Tag has not quite crossed over that invisible line where such discussions might cause embarrassment. Having said that – Tag really doesn’t care about being undressed in front of his friends – for him the less clothes the better.