This past holiday weekend, I had the chance to hang out at a favorite local attraction, Bear Lake. It has often been referred to as the Caribbean of the Rockies. Once you see this beautiful lake, you'll understand why it has earned that nickname. The water is often an aquamarine color, not typically seen in a mountain valley. There are a variety of stories, legends, and some scientific data that explain why it's this vivid color of blue. I especially like the tales that include the famed Bear Lake Monster, a distant cousin to the Loch Ness character that Scotland brags about on occasion.
When my family first moved to Bear Lake Valley in 1979 (don't make fun, I'm not senior citizen material just yet) this lake was a huge attraction. We played in the water whenever possible. At that time, we stayed primarily on the north beach, which is open to the general public. There is a slight fee for this privilege, but it's worth it. On a hot summer day, the cool water is inviting. We usually brought along a picnic lunch of some kind, taking advantage of the numerous picnic tables that line this beach.
The east side of the lake offers several picnic areas and campgrounds. One state park provides a couple of large pavilions which come in handy for reunions and such.
This past weekend, we spent time with relatives who were enjoying the west side of this lake, along a private beach for Bear Lake West residents. We drove down a dirt road and parked off to the side to stay out of the way of the numerous vehicles that traveled that particular road on Saturday. The beach was crowded, but we still had a lot of fun.
It is advisable (during hot days), to set up items that will provide shade. Our clan had set up a tarp tent that offered a bit of cooling shade after we were through playing in the water.
My husband's uncle had brought a boat to enhance our enjoyment of the lake. We took turns going for rides, but some of the braver souls waterskiied, tried out the wake board, as well as a large inner tube that was attached behind the boat, and at times behind the wave runners (picture snow machines that run on water. That pretty well sums up what these items are like---tons of fun)
We ate, we visited, we played in the water. Some of us got sunburned, but we had a lot of fun. The biggest smiles were inspired by the small fry group who did what came natural and were adorable.
All in all, it was an enjoyable day, something we'll strive to do again in the near future. If you're ever in the area, be sure to drive by this lake, and if you have the time, stick your big toe in the water. You'll be hooked in no time; this lake has a way of getting under your skin. Before long, you'll have to journey back to enjoy this little slice of heaven on a repeated basis.
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