We decided to get away from the coastal gloom and cool weather this weekend, and drive up north about an hour to Perris. There is a lake there we have never been too, and also some letterboxes that I wanted to find. This time we left Rocket at home with the three dogs we are babysitting. I packed us a lunch, grabbed the fishing gear, and we were out the door by 10 am. Having driven through the high desert area many times before, I wasn't expecting much in the way of landscape and natural beauty, but after this winter's steady rains, I was pleasantly suprised!. Everything is green and the wildflowers are blooming prolifically. The lake was a lovely suprise, too. It was created and dammed in 1972. It was at one time, 95 feet deep at its deepest. It is stocked with trout, bass, and bluegill and catfish. Last year, the city of Perris lowered the level of the water to a depth of 50 feet. Apparently, during the building boom of the past few years, the people who thought it would be nice to live near the lake decided that having a dam across the street wasn't such a perk. I don't know who is more dumb-the builders, buyers or city. Regardless, the lake is actually quite pretty. There are boats to rent, as well as horses, a swimming area, fishing area, hiking and camping. The rock formations are beautiful-but, even though we looked and looked, we didn't find the letterboxes we were looking for. But we did find old Luisueno Indian mortar holes in flat rocks hidden under some pepper trees, as well as faded petroglyphs. The boys had fun pretending to be Indians and slidind down rocks. Allan and I think we will try out the camping there sometime. It is nice that the place is only an hour from home-far enough away to feel like you went some place yet close enough to not need a vacation from the vacation! The best part? Watching the boys have a great time!