Friday, August 24, 2012

Squirrels, Sandcastles, and Splashes

Bear Lake

One More Trip

I was feeling a little bit sad about summer coming to an end.  So many people keep saying how excited they are for Fall, but I don't want to let go of Summer.  I didn't really feel like we had had a real vacation.  I love family reunions, but they don't really count as a vacation.  I wanted to do something with just our family, and Isabelle wanted to go camping again.  I started thinking about Bear Lake and was surprised that there were camp grounds open.  I think that it helped that we wanted until the 21st of August to go.  Several school districts in the area have already started.  There were a lot of open spots at the campground, and lots of space at the beach.

Heading Out

We had to wait until after the kids dentist appointment to leave.  Isabelle was a little panicked about going, but she did fairly well.  She apparently wouldn't bite down and they were unable to do x-rays.  She also didn't open as wide as the hygienist would have liked, but she did a good job and didn't have any cavities.  Tristan fought the whole time.  This was his first visit.  I was curious to see what the dentist would say about him.  He didn't get any teeth until he was 14 months.  He is still missing two of his bottom teeth; ones that most kids at about 6 months.  He said not to worry unless they still haven't come in by March at his next appointment.  I think he is just slow on his teeth.    It didn't matter that we had to wait for the dentist appointment because we weren't done packing until after twelve anyway.  I also had to stop at the store and buy a swimsuit.  I got an awesome deal at a store here in town called Hapori, that I didn't even know existed until a couple of days before.  Both of the kids were so excited to go they got in the van and hung out way before we were done packing.  Finally we headed out.  I like that Bear Lake is only two hours away.  It is closer than a lot of other places I like to go.  (For example, I wish Yellowstone were a couple of hours closer!)

The Campground

I had looked at the state park, but I didn't know which of the three campgrounds I wanted.  Also did we really want to camp right on the beach with small children?  My brother recommended Sunrise Campground.  It is just off the highway when you come our of the canyon, but before you head down the hill.  The turn off is right before you see the lake.  It is a nice campground, and we really liked our spot.  It was very shady with a lot of tall pine trees.  We also picked it because it was near the restrooms.  Without my mom (and her trailer) there, I was a little worried about nighttime potty emergencies.  After we had set up we found that the water spigot was also next to our site.  After we got all set up we went for a walk.  The campground was only about a quarter full.  There were a lot of reservations for the weekend, but not as many for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  After the walk we made dinner.  Tacos are a pretty easy meal to make while camping.  It only took about 10 minutes to prepare.  It was fun to use all of the camping supplies I've been collecting.  Since we usually go with my mom, I often end up using her stuff.  Especially things like her stove.  I think this was about the 3rd time we've used ours in seven years.  The same for our lantern.

My two biggest complaints about the campground were bees and squirrels/chipmunks.  I think there were some of both; Thomas explained the difference.  There were a ton of bees; especially when you were eating.  They didn't bother us, but you had to keep swatting them away from the food you were eating.   The squirrels on the other hand were a real nuisance.  Because it was supposed to rain, we left most of our stuff in the van.  We left the back window open, and just got out what we needed.  I didn't really think about it, and after getting into the cooler, I left the side door open as well.  We were just sitting down to eat when I looked up and noticed a squirrel perched on top of our food bin, which he had gotten to via the side door.  I was so shocked it took me a moment to even say anything.  Then Thomas jumped up and ran over hollering at it. It of course took off.  The food bin looked OK, but the package of buns for the next night sitting in one of the car seats had suffered.  There was a giant hole in the bag and half a hotdog bun was missing.    I also later discovered claw marks on my Chocolate bar!  I was so angry.  After that we had to keep an eye out.  The next morning when certain children wouldn't eat and had abandoned their breakfast, it was carried off by small furry creatures. It was kind of cute, but appalling at the same time.

At the Lake

After dinner we drove down to town.  The lake was still high and there was no beach access in Garden City.  We drove down to Rendezvous State Park.  It is $8.00 to get in and the beach has a fair amount of greens growing in it.  We heard the Idaho State Park at the North end had better sand, so when we headed out the next day we went there.  It was only $5.00.  There wasn't very many people and we pretty much had the area we were in to ourselves.  The first order of business was building sandcastles.  There were a lot of holes and channels left by others we could improve upon.   After a couple of hours we made lunch, then headed out in Grandma's boat.  I was horrible at rowing and we ended up just pulling the kids around in it.  Tristan kept dipping his hand in the water and sucking the water off.  We told him if he kept doing it he would fall out of the boat.  We were all surprised when he actually did fall out.  He was of course wearing a life jacket and was fine, but he was not happy about it.  The fall sapped out the last of his energy and he seemed to just start fading after that.  His lids got heavier and heavier and his little chin slipped down into his life jacket and then onto the edge of the boat.  It was really cute.  He ended up sleeping that way for about a half hour.  It was shortly after this that we decided it was time to go.  Isabelle didn't want to leave.  She had so much fun.  I told her we would have to plan a trip for next year.  Maybe something that was more than just a day. 

 Since Tristan was napping anyway, we decided to drive back along the east side of the lake.  Neither of us had ever seen that side.  Apparently that is the deeper side of the lake.  The shoreline looked fairly similar, but there was less of it that was developed.  What was developed had more new, large, fancy houses.  The main beach, Cisco Beach, had some campgrounds, but we didn't' see anybody there.   We didn't see much sand either, just rocks.  Oh course before we headed back up to camp we had to stop and get a famous raspberry shake.

Heading Home

Back at camp we made dinner, had another walk, built a fire, then headed off to bed.  I almost forgot to mention that a certain small boy refused to sleep in his sleeping bag.  Refused to sleep at all.  He thought that bed time was really playtime, and mommy was the jungle gym.  We did get him to sleep both nights, but it was in our bed and not his.  Not very comfortable. I didn't realize how much he moves at night.  In the morning we packed up and headed home.  The biggest problem with camping at the lake, is the lack of showers.  We all needed to get home and clean up.

It was short, but it was still a good trip.  It was nice to get away and not think about the end of summer and the impending school year.  (Although not everyone is dreading it.  Isabelle yells out Kindergarten School!  every time we drive by her new school.)  Thomas loves the water, and enjoyed playing with the kids, who also appear to love the water.  I look forward to being able to go again.


  1. I need some pictures! Where are the pictures:)Miss you guys and I'm glad you got a little vacation.

  2. I got some pictures. These are the ones from my camera. The other camera has some from the campground. I haven't had time to look at those yet.