Saturday, August 22, 2009


I keep forgetting it’s there—just a few miles north of my house. I’ve even got a state park sticker in the lower right-hand corner of my windshield, so you’d think it would be a constant reminder. Sometimes it’s just easier to put on my walking shoes and trek a few miles around the neighborhood or trot three blocks over to the Central Lakes Trail. But yesterday, Tom and I had an empty calendar for a change, so we drove to Carlos State Park, about ten miles north of Alexandria.

It was a cool day—never got over 70 degrees. And it was a Friday afternoon, so it was still pretty quiet since all the weekend campers hadn’t shown up in full force yet. But Carlos State Park was as beautiful as ever. We decided to stick to walking in the open areas next to the lake because at this time of the year, on the trails through the woods, the bugs outnumber humans about 87 billion to 1.

I brought my camera, and here’s what we saw:

One of the many docks at the park.

The trail between the campground and the swimming beach.

Hidden Lake Group Camp (unoccupied at the moment so we window-peeped).

Campers already congregating for the weekend.

Beach next to the public landing.

Boats rigged out for a weekend of boating on Lake Carlos.

Swimming beach and volleyball court (a little cool for swimming today).

Tom all tuckered out after an hour-long hike.

By today, Saturday, the park will be buzzing with people; but on Monday, it will have quieted down again. And now that I’m retired, on those weekdays after Labor Day, I can practically have the park to myself. I may have not taken full advantage of living so close to Carlos State Park all summer; but this fall, I can spend some of the golden days of autumn hiking its winding trails and reading a book on a bench by the beach.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tom looks a little dead lying on top of that picnic table. Maybe put a little mirror up to his nose to see if he was still breathing?