Bear Lake

72007-bear-lake-vacation-034.jpg  Bear Lake…my perfect vacation. Enough said. Now, the truth is, Brian struggles to understand my annual yearning to be at Bear Lake where the lake has receeded 150 yards and you have to now 4 wheel drive or get your exercise just getting to it. He also finds it not as attractive as the beautiful lakes we are surrounded by here in Oregon. And, our living quarters are at the Blue Water Resort, a mixed usage area with RV’s, camper trailers, tents, a little hotel, and some Condos. If you want to see an interesting crowd, come to Blue Water Resort. If you want to see some amazing SUV’s and pickup trucks owned by everybody, afforded by nobody, come to Blue Water Resort. If you want to see every water toy ever created by man, come to Blue Water Resort. If you want to see the resort pool close due to some child pooping in it, come to Blue Water Resort.

I try to explain to him that I have been going to Bear Lake and Blue Water Resort ever since I was a child. I can remember my excitement as we would decend from Logan Canyon and see the blue lake ahead of us. It was just amazing and I still find it just as inspiring-this year I came upon the lake and had the Mormon Tabernacle Choir belting it out on my i-pod…..presh! I have fond memories of playing “Steal the Flag” with Uncle Dan when he was a teenager. I remember searching for buried treasures (candies) in the sand with other grandkids. I remember Dyana getting stuck on the porta-potty as a 3 year-old. I remember sleeping in my grandparents camper trailer with Cameron. I remember the annual ritual of setting up our ever so clumsy 8 sleeper army tent with my parents (I would try to hide to avoid the painful task of helping). I also remember a special trip to Laketown with Grandma and Grandpa Woolley where I got to pick some cherry candies. I remember the year my dad drifted away on a sailboat not to be seen for hours as he was stranded on the lake and ended up in Idaho with 3 other uncles. I remember my Uncle Ray getting a kidney stone at Bear Lake and having to be sent emergently to the hospital. I remember my first attempt and failure to water ski was on Bear Lake. I remember some torturous rides on an innertube compliments of crazy Uncle Bruce and not as crazy Uncle Rick. A bonk on the head or knee to the chest caused by someone on the banana tube being pulled behind the boat was a rite of passage. Bear Lake meant grazing from campsite to condo each of my aunts and uncles fixin’s for meals. It means cinnamon rolls from Aunt Kathy, candy from Aunt Renea, uncle Rick’s 8 year-old bubblegum, Aunt Undy’s Baclava, and my mom’s endless supply of rice krispy treats. It has meant late nights of funny stories and non-stop games. It has meant being buried in the sand over and over and over again. It means giant sand castles compliments of cousin Mark and cousin-in-law Brad. It means Cameron beating me by at least 4 strokes on the golf course. It means cousin Jason wishing he could be me by 4 strokes on the golf course. It means all of us being clobbered by cousin-in-law Josh on the golf course (scratch golfer).  It means RASPBERRY SHAKES (for lunch, dinner, night-time snacks, and reasons to leave the resort) at Hometown or La Beaus. It means wave runner rentals and wild rides. It means church in Laketown, a local musical show such as Joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat at the theatre, and a hike to the caves. It means a quiet conversation with Grandma Woolley, a playful prank with Grandpa Woolley (and this year-skinny dipping!). It means insults from everyone in good banter, giggles from everyone, and more hillarious conversations. It means mom’s giant ball or parachute, her giant desert island that she brings a generator with her to blow up (no joke)!  It means a million family camp chairs on the beach as we sip sodas, chat, and bake in the sun. It means playful water dunkings, and drifting 100 yards out before you are 2 feet deep! It’s not just the place, it’s the company.  As Grandma Woolley just recently said, “Bear Lake is sacred!” Well, here are some of this years memories:


Here is the attempted sand castle we were making until Ray told us to tear it down! Andrew and Cooper were our beach diggers!


It’s a good thing Rachel loves my brother Cameron even when he looks like this (I omitted his chest hair!).  Grammie and the girls had lots of fun beach time. And group conversations in the middle of the lake were a daily occurence!


CONDO FUN!  Chilling in the condo chatting together and endless games! (p.s. Condos weren’t part of the picture until the last decade. It use to be chilling at the camp site.)


 4TH GENERATION: The Great-grandkids had a ball. Grandma-Great Woolley was loving it! J-“Andrew, what is your favorite thing about Bear Lake.”  A-“The Hot Tub.” J-“But Andrew, can’t you go anywhere to use a hot tub?”  A-“No, only Bear Lake! And mom, I also like the beach and the seashells on the ocean.” J-“You mean the lake?”  A-“No, the ocean at Bear Lake.”


FUN TIMES ON THE LAWN! I have officially decided that my mom would have been the ultimate EFY counselor but was born 40 years too early!


This year’s lawn adventures included the “Newlywed Game” compliments of the Woolley Women!


FORE!!! Watch out! Cameron and Brad are on the course!  Even more scarry–Jill & Rachel driving the cart! 


CHURCH: Laketown LDS Ward. What a great looking family!




Thanks for making such a fun tradition so lasting in all of our memories. Thanks for all of your support-physical, mental, and spiritual. We all love and appreciate you!-Jill


2 responses to “Bear Lake

  1. Jill, this post is amazing. The level of detail truly impressive. We’re going to Bear Lake next summer and can’t wait. I think your feelings about that place are a little like mine about Grandpa Hall’s farm in Idaho — not because the farm was as fun as Bear Lake, but because it’s a place with a million memories for us. I hope I’m helping my kids make memories like that — what will your kids say someday about the good times at the ranch ?

  2. Now Jill, why would I ever get in a boat…let alone the water at Bear Lake? Never did I float on a stranded boat for hours…rather, I stood on the beach for hours wondering why the men hadn’t come back yet… And when they did, they were toasted. Remember Uncle Rick had to stop at the hospital on his way home from Bear Lake to have the blisters on his feet and shins debreeded…

    Only this year, after some thirty-two years of Bear Lake, did I wade into the lake up to my thighs… I am the world’s biggest hydrophobic.

    Maybe in another 30 years I would be game to get on a boat and float for a while, for now… I will sit on the beach and watch all the crazies playing in the water!

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