Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Bear Lake Day 2

We woke up bright and early on Day 2 and Tiffany and Jonny made breakfast. There were pancakes with chocolate chips and bacon. There was also a mouse in the trap, which we didn't eat, but which freaked out some of the more squeamish vacationers among us.

It's funny; we went to Bear Lake to play in the water, but we didn't actually spend a lot of time doing it. In fact, the second day we loaded up and headed for Minnetonka Cave before we even got anywhere near the water. On the way across the north end of the lake, which happens to be the south end of the Bear Lake Wildlife Refuge we saw a few bald eagles nesting in the branches of a telephone pole. Mark thought this was pretty awesome and regaled us with information about bald eagles and their nesting habits for the rest of the day.
One of the bald eagles we saw...and we saw them every day we were there!
We did make it to the cave, though. We had to wait outside before going in, and the boys had a lot of fun spotting fossils in the rock wall surrounding the parking lot. It has been Dad's dream for quite awhile to go into Minnetonka Cave, so he was super excited. Many campers were less excited when we saw a rat run out of the cave entrance as we approached. We weren't, though. We like wildlife--even the kind that tends to wipe out millions of people by spreading disease. In fact, we spent much of our time in the cave looking for bats, which we never spotted.

The boys have been pretty excited about caves lately, and we've done a lot of caving over the last year, but Minnetonka was a bit different. First, it is guided. Second, it has about 1,000 steps (actually it was around 890 or something). We didn't mind the steps, and the caverns inside were really cool. The last thing that is unique is that the cave dead ends. We've never done a guided cave where you have to turn around and go back out because there is only one opening. Unfortunately, Seth had to go to the bathroom, so when we finished the tour, he and Dad had to run out back along the path before there was an accident. This is the same thing that happened in Timpanogos Cave, so we've decide that caves make Seth need to pee for some reason.
Grandpa with all the grandkids who went in the cave (minus Hattie)!
We love caving!
Mark was so excited that we found all these fossils in the rocks.
Here's the crew who went in the cave. It was fun to go with everyone!
We are fans of bacon, even cave bacon 
We were glad we could take so many family pictures, even when Jonny photo bombs!
We all liked this train rock. 
This is the end of the cave. Now we have to turn around and climb 899 stairs. AAHH!
We are not joking about the stairs!
After the cave we spent a little time in Paris, Idaho. There is a beautiful tabernacle there that we enjoyed, a tiny museum that we tried, and one restaurant. We shared a table with the Poole's and let Tiffany order a raspberry chicken pizza to share, which tasted exactly like that face your making.
Hattie loved playing peek-a-boo with Dax.
Dax chowed down this whole plate of spaghetti.
The Paris Tabernacle
Here we are inside the tabernacle. I think Randy is telling Daniel something very fascinating.
The Poole's were the only good sports to make the trek out to the Paris Ice Cave with us, though, which was a highlight of the trip. It is very small, but I think we actually liked it better than Minnetonka Cave. We had to travel out a dirt road quite a ways, but the cave has two sections, one for everybody, and one for the adventurous sort. First, we went into the opening and across a wide boardwalk over the water. The cave opened up into a small cavern with no ceiling, and a few steep, nasty paths you could attempt to climb up and out. There was also a dark, foreboding crack in the back of the cave. Of course, we had to crawl through and see the ice. It was really dark back there, but there were towers of ice standing throughout the cave, and the floor was covered with a thin sheet of ice and frigid water. Tiffany even managed to get Hattie back there, which was pretty amazing. So we decided to forgive her for the pizza.
Here we are outside the Paris Ice Cave. 
Tiff was a real trooper hauling Hattie around everywhere.
This ice reached top to bottom.
It was cold in the cave, but it was so fun.
Blurry pic, but Randy lit the huge ice piece up with a lantern.
It was time to head back to the house, so we drove back and Dad pumped up the new boat. The boys loved the boat, and the beach, even though Dad let Seth's flip-flops wash away with the waves. One amazing thing about Bear Lake is the shallowness of the shoreline. You can walk out 100 yards at the water won't get much past your bellybutton. We wondered how far an adult could walk out before it went neck deep, but it was too far to leave the kids to find out. We had all the kids in the water, and the littlest ones like Charlie and Seth wanted to ride in the boat. The bigger boys just wanted to try and paddle. We discovered that paddling isn't nearly as easy it seems, and only Dad could actually make the boat move in the direction he wanted. Mom and Jonny went in hopeless little circles and felt pretty proud of that, though.
We had so much fun at Bear Lake!
Seth loved the boat. He was not good with the oars!
Mark and Daniel love spending time together.
Dax loves the water.
We ended up spending most of the evening at the lake and when we got back to the house Grandpa had barbequed hamburgers and hotdogs. Then we did stories again. This time it was the Poole's turn. Mom was smart enough to record all these stories for the ages on her phone.

After the kids fell asleep, we went outside to look at the stars. The sky was astounding on the dark side of the lake, and you could easily pick out any constellation. Dad set up the star-binoculars and found several cool things to gaze at in Sagittarius, and most people came out for a look at the constellations and the Milky Way. It was another magical day.


  1. The pizza wasn't as bad as you say it was, we ate quite a bit of it!! Thanks for letting us tag along, it was quite an adventure for Hattie!


Total Pageviews