My Shangri-La

The walls were closing in on me when I left Milwaukee on September 19th and I hoped a little camping adventure at Ottawa Lake would provide some breathing space. The serendipitous discovery of a little Shangri-La at the Ottawa Lake Campground walk-in sites #335-334 will bring me joy for years to come.

I had been camping at Whitewater Lake for the first 3 nights of the trip and met Pati there on Sunday morning. We visited the Whitewater Prairie

and took a hike on the Ice Age Trail

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and then she offered to help me setup camp at Ottawa Lake. Lindsay and Connie joined us shortly after with a bottle of wine to compliment Pati’s and we got the dinner and the fire started.

Lindsay and I squinted through the wall of buckthorn blocking the view to Ottawa Lake and I was determined to cut a corridor through it the very next day. “Cut it all!” Lindsay exclaimed. Pati called it my Shangri-La, and with The Springs right across Hwy ZZ it definitely qualifies as a mystical, harmonious, earthly paradise; I could definitely be permanently happy there!

Here is the view from site #335 as I was just getting started.

And after…

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I harvested a downed red oak for firewood

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and enjoyed many nights playing guitar by the fire as the music passed through me like the wind.

When I wasn’t cutting buckthorn or sharpening my chains I did a little sight seeing of a couple of nearby sand prairies and got in a few yoga asanas at the marl pit bridge. I hit a stretch of phenomenal weather; warm, sunny days and dark, starry nights.

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I don’t know what this plane was spraying; that is not a normal contrail.

I returned to site #335 for 5 more nights the following week and was fortunate that no one was camping at site #334, the other walk-in site, so I had the opportunity to cut the buckthorn blocking the views of this site too. Here is how it looked before I got started.

and after.

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I followed the trail that runs along the east side of Ottawa Lake north past site #334 and found this crystal clear stream flowing from the spring that is on the North/East side of Hwy 67, across from the Sky Dance dog kennels. This is yet another spring source ultimately feeding the Scuppernong River.

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I’m really looking forward to returning to Shangri-La for another week at the end of October!

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See you at The Springs!

15 thoughts on “My Shangri-La

  1. Fantastic post! I’ve never camped at the walk-in sites at Ottawa but have been back there to see them a few times, including last year when I found that trail along Ottawa Lake. (I always knew the trail was there but never realized how far it went.) Its actually a nice little trail.

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