Last week I went to Bear Lake with Shawn and Kris and Cade and Makae and Ethan and Jace and my dad. Ed was in Nebraska and Iowa so he couldn't come.
As we came down out of the hills West of Evanston and saw that gorgeous blue of the lake it was marvelous. I don't there is a lake anywhere that is prettier than Bear Lake. They should have called it Blue Lake!! We got there early afternoon and got the whole camp set up and then just relaxed. I fixed Taco Salad for dinner that night and Kris had brought enough nummies to last two weeks so we were well set. I think the hardest thing we did all that evening was try to decide which flavor of the crispy cremes we wanted to eat. My diet went out the window.
The boys slept out in the tent, and the rest of us were in the trailer. The first night was peaceful and other than a couple of Betty's kids up at the cabin we had the place to ourselves.
Kristanne made us a nummy breakfast the next morning. Lunch all the days were easy - sandwiches or hot dogs.
Thursday the day was warm and clear and just plain wonderful. It was a lazy day - except for the kids who had discovered some previous sand castles and built upon them. Ethan was the main architect although, as you see from the pictures all of the kids helped. I went down to the beach in the early afternoon with them and read and relaxed and simply enjoyed the beach.
Here we have Jace and Cade working - or at least Jace was working and Cade was supervising?
These pictures were actually taken friday morning before the winds started whipping up - so you can see that the sand castles kept them busy for two days!!
Makae is hard at work here while Ethan takes a breather!
As you can see (maybe) mighty ditches were dug to create a moat around the main 'building'...at least until they all realized that the water was dropping so fast that their ditches were being left high and dry!
Here again, is Jace and Cade, We had the beach pretty much to ourselves - Shawn, Kris and Dad didn't even come down to the beach. True it was a llllloooooonnnnngggggg walk out there but we had two four wheelers for heaven sakes. ;-)
I think if we had realized that Thursday was going to be our only good day we all would have spent more time at the beach that day. But actually we adults went up thinking we were going to relax and we did.
Makae and I had a particularly lovely time - since Ed was not around she gotto share my soft comfy bed. It is the most comfortable bed in the trailer - I guess I ought to buy an egg crate mattress for the other queen sized bed and it would be just as nice ...but I didn't hear Shawn or Kris complain about the hard mattress. Makae and I also enjoyed our time on the beach just visiting too. I was thankful for such a fun weekend with the whole family.
There were a couple of fun (!) memories at the beach that day. Cade and Ethan headed out into the water to play and all of a sudden they were way way out - I said to Makae - they are too far out there, they need to come back. I'm sure its getting deep. Makae said 'yeah, ethan keeps going under'. I jumped up and hollared for them to come back. Then reason returned and I hollared for them to stand up. They did - they water came up to their knees!!!!
The even funnier thing was when Makae and I were sitting on the beach and the four wheeler was between us and the boys. Makae went over to see what they were making and she screamed "I'm branded for life...a sight no sister wants to see - Ethan running buck naked down the beach after his brother yelling 'give me my swimming suit back!!!' Evidently Cade had dumped a handful of sand down Ethan's swim trunks and he couldn't get it out so he pulled them off under water and was rinsing the sand out when big brother grabbed the suit and took off.
Thursday night Kris made dinner again - actually Shawn and Kris - they dutch ovened a delicious meal. The winds and rain came up during the night and in the middle of the night we had three scared boys come into the trailer saying that the winds broke their tent. So we put Ethan and Jace in bags under Shawn and Kris's bed, and we folded out the table 'bed' and Cade slept there. (Grandpa Merritt was on the couch bed). That worked great for everyone except Kristanne who knew she could get down out of her bed, but wouldn't be able to get back up since there was no room to put the ladder!!
Friday dawned bright and beautiful. We looked at the boys' tent and teased them about telling tales so they could come in the trailer to sleep. The tents looked fine! Anna Lisa and Ed Smith arrived for the weekend, to police the grounds. She and her husband have been protecting Marjories property for a long long time.
She tried to give me a bad time about having my mat down on the grass in front of the trailer and I told her it would NOT damage the grass - it was open weaved and the grass could breathe through it. I think it kind of surprised her that I would stand my ground but she can be such a warden!!! She gave Kris a bad time for having fire wood on the grass!!
In the early afternoon John Sabin and his wife showed up with their boat ready to take anyone that wanted to go out skiing. For John's whole life grandpa merritt took him skiing summer after summer after summer so it was it turn for pay back. Dad did come down to the beach but just then the wind started up and we sat out there trying to keep the sun off of him and keep from being blown away (it did ruin my old beach umbrella) and finally he gave up and says - this just isn't fun anymore. I talked to kecia that evening and we decided that it would probably be too cold for them to come up and camp...we didn't want their first camp out with Emma to be the one where they got snowed on!! Of course it didn't get that cold but it was not fun Bear Lake weather at all.
What was fun was that they had a pair of ski skimmers - for little kids - it was like one large U shaped ski with handles coming up from the skis! Jace got up skiing!!! the rope was attached to the post with the handle on it so Jace didn't have to worry about controlling the skiis or the pull of the rope - all he had to concentrate on was to stay standing up! He went down once and then got back up and stayed up. The other kids tried to ski but the lake was just getting too rough with white caps and all but they had fun anyway riding the tube or whatever you call it. All we know is that the boat took off with all on it, pulling Jace and they didn't come back for an hour and a half!! But they had fun!
The weather went from bad to worse that night - but the boys didn't have any trouble out in the tent Friday night. Jace got so excited when we told him that Skye was coming that night. Of course when she arrived with her dad, all he wanted to do was play his game boy. Kids!!! So she attached herself to Makae. We decided to let Jeff and Skye sleep in the big tent we had put up the first day for Kecia and Glenn. We had used it for a storage tent for all the nummies. I'm sure Jeff didn't have to go very far for a midnight snack!!
While we were eating some of Kristanne's fantastic spagetti dinner Kris got a call from Lillianne. It seems that they had packed up the truck and trailer and were going to camp on top of Monte Crisco. But there were no camp sites available. So by the time they got down the other side of the mountain to Randolf, she called Kris to see if they could come to Thatcher's property. So we said come. Courtney was not especially friendly to Makae when she got there - in fact not until the middle of the next day, but Makae handled it very gracefully. Like my dad said - whenever mickie got upset she would head down to the beach on the 4 wheeler and when she came back she was fine. The lake did settle down Friday evening but Sabins were no where to be found - it was really too cold for too much water sports.
Saturday was definitely cold. It was 42 outside when we got up about 8:30 am. I cooked a big breakfast for all of us (but not Lilliannes family) I turned into a bit of a grouch and Shawn said later that Kris almost called me Wanda!! I don't do mornings well when I have to get up and get moving fast. Sorry guys.
Anna lisa walked over to our trailer to tell us that Marjorie had passed away that morning at 4:30 am. It was totally expected. She has been going down hill for several months although the kids said that she recognized them up to the end. She was 94 years old. Her oldest daughter Valerie came up to stay at the cabin later on that afternoon and we had a couple of good chances to get together to visit. She is such a beautiful woman.
It had warmed clear up to 53 by noon!! So we decided it would be a good day to go to the caves. We all piled into three cars (all of us except dad and I think by then he was just craving peace and quiet - to go from living alone to sharing a 26 foot trailer with 4-7 other people!!).
We drove into St Charles and headed up the canyon and got halfway up there and there was this terrific traffic jam. EVERY one else at Bear Lake thought the same thing. The word came back that they were selling tickets for the 2:30 tour through the cave ...and it was only 11:30 in the morning.
We voted not to stay and we turned around and headed back down the mtn...and came face to face with another car that had decided to go up the mtn in the wrong lane!!! IDIOTS!! the black car backed back into place and we headed down. Darin and Lillieann were able to do the same. But poor Shawn and Kris were in our truck and the road was simply not wide enough to turn around. So HE had to go up the mtn to the parking lot and then come back down.
So we called each other and decided to go into Garden City for a Raspberry shake. We called dad at the camp and told him to meet us at the road and he could come with us. The shakes were nummy - Garden City was sooo packed it reminded me of West Yellowstone or Jackson Hole - way too many people for a small space. Lots and lots of shakes being sold. Raspberry shakes taste better when it is hot outside though!
That afternoon Carl and Pat Sabin came over and visited with dad for a good couple of hours. I think that was the highlight of his trip. I think he was missing having his own truck and tools, and isn't as steady on his feet as he should be to walk over much of that ground. I did see him scouting out the lay of the land on his four wheeler though. The weather stayed cold and windy that whole day. Skye thoroughly enjoyed playing in that cold bear lake water though. She doesn't feel the cold at all I guess. I am glad someone enjoyed it.
this picture was taken on Sunday - when we looked up there was Jace leaning back against the back packs half tipped over sound asleep. By the time I got my camera from the trailer he had woken up and shifted position but still wasn't really with it.
Sometime - Saturday afternoon probably, I invited Courtney and Makae and Darony to make ankle bracelets. It was a good chance to run through what it would take to teach a class like that. Their bracelets turned out really pretty. Each one was totally different. Such fun. they enjoyed it too.
Sunday morning after sharing some of Lillianne and Darin's pancakes and eggs (Jeff helped cook them!) it was decided to make another attempt at going up to the cave. This time Lillianne and Shawn went alone and bought tickets and then came back and gathered up everyone that wanted to go. I stayed back with grandpa this time because I knew Dirk and Da were on their way and didn't want to be gone when they got there.
Sunday about 2 or 3 oclock Dirk and Melinda and Ben and Simon showed up, It was so fun to see them. As you can see, none of us were in swim suits ...rather long jeans and sweatshirts although Sunday afternoon warmed up nicely.
Here we are sitting in the sun in front of the trailer - feeding our faces as we did the whole weekend. Ethan wasn't sure he wanted to try my zuchini bread...he thought it was like Jamaica food -- cooked bananas and such. Finally his mom told him it was like banana bread...and I added 'with lots more cinnemon'. So he got brave and tasted it and loved it!!! Yeah for trying new things!
Just a cute picture of a little family keeping busy.
Ben was not sure about this whole thing, but he was cute
That afternoon Melinda and I decided that if they were going to drive all the way to Bear Lake and the sun was shining and the wind wasn't blowing (too bad) we could take the boys and the big yellow blow up raft and pull them around the lake for 15-20 minutes just to say we did it. We headed down to the beach and Da and Ben headed out into the water with the big boat and Ben did NOT want to get in it. He liked the water, that is until the wind pushed him down twice into the water and he got scared. So we scooped him up and put him in the boat and he thought that was great fun.
Simon wanted to walk to hanging onto two of my fingers we walked and walked and walked through this three inch deep water and he was loving it when all of a sudden he just sat down. And he LOVED that - the waves lapping gently around him. Great fun!!
What was not fun was telling them mama and grandma were tired (Shawn and Dirk had stood and talked the whole time) ...they did NOT want to get out. But simon settled down once we had the towel around him and he was getting warm again. Ben we promised he could go up and play throwing rocks for the dog to fetch. Yep - a dog that only wanted to fetch rocks. It was so funny to watch him scoop up the rock with the side of his head against the ground - he would scoop up the rock with his teeth and then run back to you. He would then hold the rock in his mouth until you tossed another for him to go after. Hey, Dirk and Da, maybe this is where Simon learned the golf ball trick.
Dirk and Da left about 6pm and we all got on the road about 7 pm stopping in Evanston for a late dinner.
We all traveled to and from the lake safely and had a wonderful time. Hopefully Shawn and Jeff will share the GOOD pictures they took. I didn't take many - should have taken more - in fact I broke my camera somehow coming home...it still takes pictures, but the view screen is broken!!