Sunday, June 26, 2016

Our 13th Anniversary - Day 3

 We started the day early, at 5:00 a.m. or so, nature called us (in more ways than one).  So, we got up and got on the road, hoping to reach Bloomington Lake by sunrise.  Dawn was breaking over Bear Lake and it was absolutely serene. 
 The roads were pretty bad, and they got worse and worse until they became impassable because there was still SNOW blocking the road.  So, we had to stop.  Luckily the sunrise was still pretty from where we were in Bloomington canyon.  It was quiet and calm. 
 Steve captured some really honest photos telling of the beauty we were amongst.

Since Bloomington Lake didn't work out, we thought we'd go to the free bird refuge and get some pictures.  
 We saw lots of cool birds, but they were moving targets, or too far away, and difficult to take pictures of. 
 The mud swallows by the bridge were nutso, though.
 You can see in this next photo how they have built their nests in huge colonies under the bridge.

I thought this next photo was ironic- an airport sign next to the old pioneer cabin.

Next, we were off to the Paris Tabernacle for a free tour.  The building was pretty and I liked how it still had so many of the original charms from when it was built.

I got to walk behind that organ.  Ever done that?

After our tour of the tabernacle, we went back home to rest a bit, mind you, it's still like 11 in the morning since we woke up before dawn.  We were greeted by hummingbirds when we got to our cabin, so Steve got a nice close up of this one-

We rested, then ate some lunch and decided to nix the idea of going golfing, and go rent an off-roading side-by-side.  That turned out to be a fine idea.  We rented it for 4 hours and drove up several different canyons admiring them all.

When our four hours with the OHV were done, we had to get a raspberry shake, so we asked the workers at the rental shop where we should go, and they both suggested their favorite, Zips.  So, it was off to Zips for dinner, a mere 30 second drive down the road.  
 Zips was GOOD.  They had lots of shake options, and the raspberry one was tasty.  Steve also ordered one of their hand-dipped corn dog, and fried buffalo chicken triangles.
 I got their roasted chicken sub and with each bite I tried a different sauce, they offered lots.  I remember liking the teriyaki and wasabi mayo and moose sauce, but they all were good.

Evening was upon us, and Steve and I still hadn't had a chance to go out to Bear Lake, so we thought we'd just drive down the path the owners had, but that plan didn't work.  We got our front tires stuck good.  We had to tell the owners who rounded up some neighbors with a tractor and chains to pull us out.  
 The owner pushed from the the front, and his slacks got plastered in mud as the tires spun backwards.  I felt so bad for him and for inconveniencing their entire evening. 
 But when our van was pulled out, we finally went for a walk down to the lake.  This time we walked down a different private path, just to take in some more scenery.
 Bear Lake was a short walk away, and it was really pretty.  I loved that there were no other people around. 

 I did touch the water and was surprised by how warm it actually was.  Apparently Bear Lake is pretty shallow and the water is a nice temperature. 

 On our walk back, we took the route our van was pulled from.  Here's the mess we left-

This place would be a nice gathering spot for a family reunion or church group!

Our hosts had a nice garden between our cabin and their home.
 Their property was really pretty.

 We built a campfire before we headed off to shower for the night.  The hosts let us use their shower in their home, which we REALLY appreciated.  We were covered in dirt and bird droppings thanks to our off roading adventures.
 We sat and watched the fire as the sun set behind us.  It was a perfect day at Bear Lake, one we will remember forever.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Our 13th Anniversary, Day 2

"Smile Steve!  No, like REALLY smile!"  And this is what I got- an expression of pure joy!
 We left Logan in the morning to drive to the Bear Lake area, but not before stopping off at the infamous "Angies" for breakfast.  It did not disappoint!  Steve got the berry cheesecake waffles, and I got a ham and egg breakfast croissant sandwich.  We liked everything so much, we made another stop to Angies later on our vacation.
 Next, we headed up Logan canyon, stopping off at a pretty spring to take pictures.

 Then a couple came by and offered to take a picture of both of us.
 In 2 poses, no less!  Let me tell you, the springs look really cool in real life.  Here you can only see the river, but in that cave behind us the cave wall just stops, and water comes up out of nowhere to make this flowing river.
 When we got to Idaho, we went straight up another canyon to the Minnetonka caves, only stopping for a herd of cows who decided it was a nice road to take a walk on.

 Minnetonka caves had tours every 1/2 hour that lasted for approximately 1 and 1/2 hours.  The tour was phenomenal.  With a jacket, I was comfortable in the 40 degree cave, and I'm glad I wore my hat in because the cave was weeping with water. 
 There are 896 stairs round trip, and I wondered how well I'd do with that, and the answer is... not bad. 

It was fun when we got to the middle of the cave and got to turn out the lights for a chance to be in complete darkness.  We also saw a bat flying around and of course there were lots of cool cave formations to look at.
 After the caves, we checked-in to our cabin which we would call home for the next 2 nights.  Our hosts were wonderful and were in the home nearby if we needed anything.  We used the airbnb website to secure this lodging, as well as our lodging in Logan. 
 This cabin was actually the first cabin built in the area in the 1800s when Mormon pioneers came to settle.  It has been updated with conveniences, but the place still had many original features. 
Gifts including a personalized welcome sign, fresh cut lilacs, and a jar of homemade raspberry jam, our hosts welcomed us warmly.  They also included a bag of bagels and a container of Mango Juice for us!
 Although there is no wifi or cell phone service, they did have satellite TV, which we didn't really use all that much, but Steve did get to see some basketball playoff game he was looking forward to.  This cabin does not have a bathroom, so we had to go outside to an outhouse that was made equipped with modern plumbing (not those smelly latrines you're thinking of).  For showering, the hosts let us use the bathroom in their home.  It was so nice to have a shower after hiking and spending our days in the sun!  While one of us showered, the other visited with the hosts, which was nice to get to know them a little bit.
 We browsed around the property as our dinner cooked in the oven.  The meadows were peaceful and lovely to take a walk down, and the lake was only a short walk from our cabin on a private driveway. 
 We were being attacked by mosquitoes at that time of day, so we headed back to the cabin to finish our evening.  When our hosts found out mosquitoes were attacking us, they ran to the house and gifted us a bottle of bug spray, and additionally, within 5 minutes, mosquito abatement showed up with a big pickup truck blowing some sort of vapor and started de-bugging their meadows!  The next time we went out to the lake, there was not one mosquito to be seen!  Now that is what I call gold-star customer service!