Bear Lake, Utah/Idaho… (it all went downhill from here…)

Lately I’ve just not been feeling so hot, so the other day I suggested an overnight camping trip to try and lift my mood and get some family time. We decided on Bear Lake, UT (also extends up into Idaho) because its less than an hour and a half drive, and slightly cooler than most of the area… and we wanted to have somewhere to play in the water.

Of course “the men” insisted on bringing the fishing poles, bait, worms, football, frisbee, floaties for the kids, all our folding chairs, the kayak, several life vests… seeming to forget there are more important things to pack (you know, tents, sleeping bags, pillows, food, drinks…) we were packed to the brim, for an OVERNIGHT TRIP. They had quite a good time with the kayak but not a single fish was caught and frankly I find packing it all a huge waste of space… then again I had them pack my folding hammock, so… in the end it all fit.

We got to Cottonwood (aptly named.. little white fluffies everywhere) campround around 10:30 and reserved our spot. Site 16, on the lake. We ran into town to give the people still there plenty of time to pack up (they were on their way out already) and picked up lunch at one of the cute little take out burger places in Garden City (there are a few, they all claim to make “the best raspberry shake” or “the original”) And we also drove the 7 miles to the Idaho border, rather, across it.. to pick up some “adult beverages”. Can you blame me?

By noon we were on the beach, camp was set up (after quite a bit of struggling with our “bargain tent” from walmart [more on that later, never again.]) and we were feeling pretty good! We spent a good 6 hours out on the beach before dinner, and the whole rest of the evening. The boys kayaked, the kids hopped in with them, I soaked up some sun and kicked myself for forgetting a few good books.. all around a really nice evening.

The lake was really nice. Warmish, clear, crystal blue water. The only issue was the bugs.. lots of biting bugs, so bring lots of bug spray if you intend on staying there. Brian, Chris, and Sidda all got dinged a few times but didnt really care all that much, but Micah takes after me- we get huge half dollar sized welts from each bite, so I’m head to toe a giant itchy red spot. It was hell. I forgot the bug spray at home so we used our OFF coils but they didnt little if anything to help.

Then, 8:30pm rolls around. We were just getting the kids in their jammies, it was starting to get dark.. and this family roars into our campsite, just literally stomp right through. tripped over our tent tie downs, just tromped right in. They showed up at 8:30 looking for a site. They looked at a few that were really nice, and finally settled on the one RIGHT. NEXT. TO. US. They loudly set up their site while their SIX kids ran around, through our site, again and again tripping over our tent MULTIPLE times (it didnt move… hello!) and at 10:30 when we finally were able to get our kids into their sleeping bags, theirs were still running around like monsters. STILL tripping over our tent. They had no reason to, since there was 20 feet of space all around it, they just felt like it.

Its about this point I went to zip the tent closed and saw the zipper was broken. Broken. Broken. The door zipper, on the tent, the only thing keeping me from thousands of mosquitoes, was broken. FML. We worked for about an hour to fix it, to no avail.. finally snipping a zipper off one of the other panels, not caring if it let light in as long as there was netting.. and it was a different size. We had to cut the zipper off the bottom of the door, to fit the top part. So whatever we did, there was still an opening and I got bit all night long, but it was better than nothing. That piece of shit tent was literally right out of the box, and the zipper fell apart like it was made of plastic. Thanks, Walmart! Our Coleman tent (that Chris was sleeping in) is 10 years old and working fine. Proof that you get what you pay for.

When we finally were situated to the best of our ability, we tried to go to sleep.. with plans of waking up and enjoying the day. We didnt have to leave until 2… so we thought, hey- why not get some swimming done? Enjoy the kayak a bit more…. oh no. Sleep wasnt happening…

The campsite that came in at 8:30pm? It was noon to them. Their teenage son laughed, screamed, argued with the younger kids, and made gay jokes until about 2am, by that point I’d had it. Brian got up to pee and made sure to point the flashlight right at their tent “Oh DUDE, someones out there. SHH pretend to be asleep!” Yeah, that works. Idiots. They finally quieted down, a bit, after that. At least enough that I could sleep. I dont know what about 10 feet away and nothing but nylon between me and you they didnt understand, but I heard everything that kid said like it was being whispered in my ear, and not one bit of it was nice. Hes lucky I didnt dump 5 gallons of lake water into his tent.

the assholes…. thats only a few of them, all in all there were 3 adults and at least 6 kids.

I’m sorry, but they were idiots. The next morning the kid bragged to his dad about how nobody told them to be quiet, as they tripped over our tent a few more times. There was a perfectly good path 10 feet away, but no.. our tent looked like much more fun.

I was so done, we just packed up and left. Oh, and we chucked the walmart tent in the garbage. Say what you want, you didnt go through our night. That tent deserved what it got, and believe me- the zipper was not salvageable. We had to cut through several of them just to get one that would fit on the door zipper, it was a mess. We saved the poles, the stakes, and the fly though. It would work as a temp shelter or shade shelter if needed some time.

So we checked out some tents and Target as a Coleman tent on sale, a very nice COLEMAN TENT….. Just like SOMEONE (me) suggested in the first place. But SOMEONE (husband.) insisted it doesnt matter and just bought the cheapest piece of walmart “ozark brand” crap he could find. Guess who admitted he was wrong today? Yeah. Thats right, big boy. We’ll get it before the big Yellowstone trip in Aug.

Other things broken on this trip: My solar shower, A Solar lantern, my Propane Lantern (might be able to fix that one), My sanity. Overall its a nice place to camp in theory, but the spots are SO CLOSE TOGETHER… you can hear your neighbors fart. Thats how close it is. Its not fun, when you go up on a Wednesday night expecting a bit of privacy… you cant really beat the location right on the beach though.

our campsite, empty now…

Lesson learned… next time, we might just move. I’m serious, we could have just pulled up our stakes and shifted to the other campsite further away… or, confronted the family about shutting the hell up. We were trying to be nice, but all that got us was a terrible night sleep. A sidenote: They never went to the beach, only to look at the stars once. Left right after we did… wtf? They spent a total of maybe 14 hours at the campsite, all night/breakfast. ::confused::

We’re home now, Brians tailbone hurts from spending 6+ hours in the kayak (hes blaming it on sleeping on the ground, ha!) The kids are grumpy, I’m grumpy…. but, it was lovely.

PS… the drive in and out (through Logan Canyon) is lovely, and we passed quite a few campgrounds/hiking trails/trailheads/river spots through there…


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