Bear Lake, Idaho

Bear Lake; I love this place with all my heart! My parents purchased a time share here before I was born, and so every year, we travel over the mountain to this little paradise that crosses the borders of Utah and Idaho.

The lake is HUGE, and the water is always blue.

Growing up, my parents owned a boat, and we used to spend our weekends boating. When we became adults, my brother and I stopped making time for boating, which I regret sometimes, so mom and dad got rid of the boat. But I remember coming to this little slice of heaven for 1 week every year and living on the lake.

It makes me wonder if I could get up on a wakeboard again? I feel I still have the muscle memory.

I would have to say that exploring different beaches by boat is one thing I really miss. How unique it is to be out on the lake, instead of on the beach. It just gives me a whole different feeling of adventure!

My childhood was pretty much heaven! Thanks mom and dad!

The favorite view of every traveler who makes this trek is always the turn around the corner of the canyon mountain that reveals this large beauty. I missed my opportunity for a panoramic shot, so please forgive me.

A big lake in the valley surrounded by mountains and trees called Bear Lake

We left for Bear Lake late on a Friday night to spend the weekend with family, just like the good old days, and arrived just in time for me, my mom, my sister in law, my niece and nephew, and their cousin to hit up a local play: The Little Mermaid brought to you by Pickleville Playhouse

Pickleville Playhouse has been around since I can remember, and their tiny Playhouse has thankfully survived through the era of movies and on demand entertainment. In fact, they’ve been keeping up with technology as well!

I’ve been to one of their summer plays almost every year, for the past 25+ years, and I’ve never been to a bad production yet. In fact, they keep getting better! (If you’ve ever heard of Juanito Bandito, this playhouse is his home.)

The Little Mermaid by Pickleville Playhouse

The Little Mermaid was fantastic! The characters were so well developed by the actors, and I was extremely impressed with their mannerisms and attention to detail. You could tell these actors had put in their time and really cared about the quality of their performance.

And at the end of every show, the actors are outside the door, waiting for photo opportunities for the children, or a quick shake of the hand to send you off on your day with a friendly “Thank You, come again!” Thanks Pickleville Playhouse.

And when us girls got back to the condo, the boys had put together super sandwiches! These are my all time favorite sandwiches, with loads of Italian meats and cheeses, Italian dressing, tomatoes, banana peppers, and onions. Oh how I look forward to the super sandwich every year! (We usually make it at Bear Lake and sometimes around Christmas)

This sandwich photo is even a dumbed down version of the super sandwich. It has less meat and cheese than we usually put on it, inspired by Sam.

An Italian sandwich with a lot of cheese and meat

Early Saturday it was looking quite gloomy, but these Mountain Lake storms usually only last a couple of hours. Here’s the view of our beach front for the condominium guests. Not a lot of people out around 7:00 AM, but that quickly changes around here.

A grassy area before a beach in front of a large mountain lake

We hit up the beach later in the day with my brother and the kids. The water was pretty cold, so we would wade up to our calves, then go lay back down in the sun.

Any who, here’s a sexy photo of my husband for you to enjoy:

A man laying on the beach at Bear Lake Utah

And of course, we always hit up Cooper’s when we are over the mountain. This bar and steak house is the best restaurant in Northern Utah, hands down! Located at Bear Lake West in Idaho on a golf course, this little diamond in the rough is our favorite find from the past couple of years.

A man and woman sitting outside at Cooper’s Bear Lake West

Their deck is so pleasant to dine on, with the view of the Lake in the background.

With Bear Lake straddling the borders of Utah and Idaho- we find ourselves running up North a few times to get some lottery tickets.

And when Sam parked the truck in a spot we haven’t been to before, he found a hidden gem!

100 year old house construction

Check our these buildings that were constructed well over 100 years ago!

An old barn with weathered gray wood and a beautiful antique barn door in Bear Lake Idaho

The old gray wood just looks so beautiful; and that barn door!

A 100+ year old barn in Bear Lake Utah

These are the adventures we go on.

A few things we missed out on this year that we occasionally do:

  • A drive all the way around the lake, which will take over an hour. The North end of the lake (which is called the North Shore) got shut down during this weekend for the first time, since the population of visitors was so high! (It was the 4th of July weekend). We weren’t aware of the shut down at the time, but were kinda glad we missed out on our little trip after we heard the news. (I don’t like being around a ton of people. Don’t get me wrong, I can handle a large crowd situation, but why? For a concert, or a play- yes, but for lounging at the beach? No.)
  • Minnetonka Cave. There is a little cave in Idaho with some fun history that you can go down to the depths and check out with a tour guide. Since I have a huge live for rocks, it thrills me to see some of the features of stalactites, stalagmites, and their different shapes and structures. There is even a giant fault line you can view, as pointed out by your guide “right above your heads…” terrifying. But one of the coolest things I’ve learned about caves, is the true darkness that exists. At the bottom, the guide will turn off the power, and you can experience what it may be like for someone to be blind. I’ve found myself staring wide eyed and blinking, trying to catch some glimpse of something, but with no results. During the black out, it will also be noted how if you are in true darkness for a period of time, you will lose your sense of balance, and not be able to stand up right. Apparently we need vision to be able to tell which way is up and down? Crazy eh?
  • Fishing: I’ve never had much luck with fishing in Bear Lake, but a lot of people have. It’s one lake that you have to learn the trick to catching the fish- and believe you me- that once someone learns this trick, they keep it to themselves!
  • 4-wheeling: there are many recreational trails around the mountains here, and once upon a time we would bring ATV’s. My favorite memory with ATV’s is driving them along the deserted beach after 7:00, with my best friend Nick. We’d drift into the water periodically- and get a spray of water to cool off.
  • Boating: there are a lot of places near by to rent boats, jet skis, paddle boards, and trampoline islands.

That’s it for this year. I’ll be posting again next year!

With Love, Erika Nora

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