The autumnal color tones defy the date, December 23, as we arrive via a winding dirt road to a more-or-less partially hidden free campsite by Mittry Lake; a part of the Colorado estuary system just twenty miles from home. We are in one of the last available spots before the road diverges from the lakeshore although we are not exactly sitting on the lake, but above it and separated by a wide expanse of elephant grass and reeds; the view sublime. The reeds rustle and dance in the day’s wind; wind which makes it cool to be outside so we settle in and relax in our comfy camp trailer.
Marc gets up sometime during the night to start our small propane catalytic heater as the forecast was for temps as low as 38 but once the sun is up and with the winds much calmer; it feels fine out in my layered clothing for another hike. Right across the dirt road is a seeming canal which widens to pond stature as we meander along the shoreline road. We spy what we think are carp in the very clear water, and an egret looking to feed. We veer off on a mountainside rocky trail which abruptly dead ends at an area some miner has dug out of the hillside. The view from here is truly spectacular as we can look across Mittry to the habitation of the Yuma Proving Grounds base and far off RVs gathered together at Senator Wash, a BLM long term area.
The day passes languidly into Christmas Eve dinner and a long night, and Christmas dawns clear and serene. It is a joy just to sit outside in the low-rising sun and watch the birdlife and tranquil water under azure skies. We have a big breakfast but leave room for our special lunch—Carne Asada, which has been marinating in the fridge for two days. Marc throws it on the BBQ, where it becomes our main Christmas Day feast. Soon enough, the weekend ends and we must head for home.
Mittry Lake is eye candy at this time of year with golden hued beauty in all the surrounding vegetation and seemingly hundred mile views of the distant barren hills. However, unless one is fishing, it does lack in things to do besides taking it easy and also the dirt road has quite a lot of traffic going by so the privacy factor is not what we are normally used to when boondocking. This has probably been a onetime camp spot for us.