Fourth of July found me at an old-fashioned celebration on Lake Twelve, a small trout-stocked lake outside the historic mining town of Black Diamond.

The picnic was potluck with no shortage of creativity, while the grill churned out typical picnic fare that was atypically good. Gary and Sandy hosted the affair at their family cabin.

As evening approached, the pyrotechnics began. A bottle rocket here, an M-80 there, a highfalutin no over-the-counter take-no-prisoners dock-sinking variety rocket down the shore. The neighbors as it turns out were professionals, and their efforts only intensified as night fell. A four hour fireworks show, anyone?

The next day, after packing up and shuttering windows, we headed for town. Black Diamond has a century old bakery that's famous for their breakfasts, with names that recollect the town's glory days as a coal mining center. The fresh baked bread's no slouch either.