It's become an annual event for us in the summertime: a Sunday afternoon visit to Boulder Meadows, east of Naples.
Photographs cannot capture the stunning and pristine beauty of the area. Only a visit can.
So, that's why we try to go every year.
Yesterday four Love pups and four Love humans drove the bumpy, rough road to the meadows.
It takes time to get there because of the road, but the reward is worth the drive.
This was the first visit for half the crowd. The younger Loves and their pups got their feet wet in Boulder Creek and walked through often waist-high grass dotted with abundant wildflowers. I think they liked what they saw.
We also took a jaunt on the trail leading to Kelly Pass. I'm sure this was the same trail that took us horsebackers out of the meadows nearly 40 years ago when I rode with the Gold n' Grouse 4-H group on an overnighter.
Debbie and I suffered the consequences of walking that steep trail. My right knee is old, while hers is still feeling the results of that bike ride three weeks ago.
The downhill trip on the trail reminded both of us, with every step that steep climbs and declines are not good for bad knees.
Advil kicked in, though, and we managed.
After snacking with the mosquitoes back at the camp, we moseyed on back, with buckets in hand, and picked a heap of huckleberries.
Word is spreading that the hucks are not plentiful this year.
I would dispute that, based on the pickings we took out of Boulder Creek, with little or no search.
Between us, we had about 1.5 gallons of berries after an hour's pick.
They're not huge, and they're don't load down the limbs like grapes, but there are enough to go around, I'd say.
Boulder Meadows, probably because of the bad road leading into the area, continues to be one of the most peaceful, pure and pretty spots a person could find around here.
A good time was had by all on our annual return to this stunningly beautiful sanctuary in the Cabinet Mountains.