We found a nice campground by Eagle Lake near Susanville. It was a bit of drive getting there from Mount Shasta especially the last 14 miles. The winding mountain road has a lot of continuous turns. The road climbed up the mountains and then descended to Eagle Lake. It took us 30 minutes for the 14 miles in the mountain. Merrill Campground is on the south of the lake at an elevation of over 5000 feet. The campground is under lush pines and firs.
We stayed on a full hookup site for two nights first. There were giant tall ponderosa pines on the site. The floor was covered with fallen brown pine needles and huge pine cones. It was by the road luckily the traffic was light. The Jetpack had very weak signals and we could hardly get online. Mosquitos were bad here.
The eager to see the sunrise took me down to the lake in the cold morning. I heard the sounds of birds on the water first. The calm lake is surrounded by mountains. A couple of boats parked by the shore and a boat was on the lake. Several groups of birds took off from the water and some flew in the sky. The northern sky above the distant mountains was painted with a stroke of light pink blush. Hundreds of clouds in the sky appeared grey but soon glowed with brilliant yellow and golden colors. A couple of pelicans were floating comfortably on the lake in the distance. Another boat drove into the lake and the gentle waves rippled the reflections of the bright clouds. Walking towards our camp site, I saw the giant ponderosa pine was gleaming in the morning sun with its warm orange colored trunk. Standing beneath the pine and looking up, it seemed like the pine was reaching to the sky.
In the afternoon, a short hike along the paved bike road by the lake took me to a view point of the lake. I brought back a souvenir – a pine cone as big as my palm. Stephen said it looked like a small pineapple.
We moved to a no hook up camp site by the lake for the view and for the better Internet connection. It was a lazy summer afternoon with cool breeze. We sat in the chair under the shade enjoying the beautiful view. I felt like doing nothing but to let the day go by. People were swimming by the shore, kayaking, boating, and rafting. A brownish big bird with a white rump flew across the field and landed on the marsh several times. We identified it as a Northern Harrier. Cool!
The 2 ¼ -mile paved bike trail along the shore to the marina is in the woods. So it was not hot even in the late afternoon. Looking across the fields, I saw a dozen pelicans cruising on the lake. There is a store, a grill stand, showers, laundry, propane, and gas at the marina. A fishing access also locates there. Huge rocks covered with bright orange algae stacked on the shore. A fisherman was casting a line to the lake. A group of western grebes were swimming on the water. From the binoculars, I saw a couple of baby grebes, too.
In the evening, we cooked out on the outdoor stove. Watched sunset and sunrise from inside the trailer. Shining stars painted the night sky. The days went by as slowly as the gentle ripples on the lake.