Although a lifetime of waterskiing has been a huge part of my family’s togetherness, we fell in love with Bear Lake only a few years ago. We’re in love with its beautiful blue hue, the glassy water, and the relatively short drive from home. So, after having been back in the states for only a week, I was glad to get back out on the water with my family, even if the trip was on super short notice.
We arrived at the cabin my aunt’s family had rented well after 10:00 PM on Friday and before we’d been there five minutes, Colton and Ben had already decided on sleeping on the deck. This left Miara and I to laugh and do the same if we wanted to hang out with our boys. We set up mats and sleeping bags next to the grill and Miara and I plotted our escape into the living room if it got too cold. We chatted under the crystal clear night sky, watching the shooting stars as we fell asleep sometime after the clock struck midnight. (Ben’s note: In 3 months of traveling through Europe, some places in which there was not a living soul for miles, we never had stars to rival those that we have here. I suppose that is one of the advantages of living in a high altitude desert)
It was mere hours before I was awakened by the brilliant rising moon and only a few hours after that when the early morning sunrise stirred us all into awe at the beautiful morning. Ben even had the good sense to get up and take a picture before we all pulled our sleeping bags over our heads and pretended to sleep for another hour while the bugs, who also seemed to like the sunrise, buzzed around our faces.
Soon, we gave up on getting any more sleep, and packed up our sleeping equipment and passed the morning with our heads in our reading material. As we read and lounged around, we even witnessed a humming bird become pretty entranced by a tiny floral swimsuit that had been left out to dry.
The rest of the cabin eventually began to stir, and and after sharing a pretty fabulous breakfast, we headed down to the water. The typical glassy morning water was absent though, and we sped across the lake hunting for a patch of water worthy of skiing on. I wasn’t convinced we were going to find any smooth water, but soon, the wind quieted and the little cove was ours for some of the best skiing we’ve had in a long while.
The six of us took turns on skis, Colton and Ben skiing aggressively and crashing with almost as much enthusiasm. I swear they have no fear! We even spent some time letting my dad teach us about the nuances of pulling a skier, and Colton gave him a good pull as well. Every year I think that one day us kids might ski as well as he does, and every year he proves me wrong. My dad really knows how to rock a water ski!
Usually I take a conservative approach to my skiing, and today was no different until somehow as I casually crossed the wake, I sunk the front end of my ski and took the worst spill I’ve had in years. Turns out, nasty crashes hurt worse with every year older that I get and my sore neck protested loudly for the bulk of the day. (Another note from Ben: Bree has the amazing ability to get into the water, ski several pulls, and climb back into the boat without even getting her hair wet. Today’s more aggressive skiing and crash made me so proud!)
We took our usual leisurely lunch break, hanging out with our sandwiches and listening to the water lap on the side of the boat. These floating picnics are one of the few things that seem to never change no matter how many years go by and no matter how our family grows and changes. We chat, laugh, and eat and enjoy the sunshine, even though we almost always go home with a sunburn.
This time though, instead of packing up and heading home after lunch, the water still looked smooth, so we enjoyed another round of skiing and even got Miara started on a slalom ski. Over the years, we’ve taught plenty of people to ski (including Ben) and it has become a bit of a ritual to shout advice over the side of the boat to the newest member of our waterskiing party. Miara was terribly patient with the boat full of know-it-alls and made some really good progress. She’ll be riding one ski before she knows it.
Hours later than usual, the late afternoon breeze showed up, so we broke out the tube and us kids took turns driving the boat, taking each other on wild rides as we headed back to the dock. My dad has expertly driven the boat for years so flawlessly that I think we were all shocked to discover that it is actually pretty tricky! After all the time he’s spent in charge of the boat, it always seems a little funny to me when he sits anywhere besides the driver’s seat, but hopefully in the coming years he will get to do a little more relaxing on our trips as we all get a bit more confident at piloting the ski boat.
By the time we pulled off the water, we’d logged nearly nine hours in the boat, marking one of our longest ski days ever. Exhausted, we drove over for some traditional Bear Lake raspberry shakes (we’re pretty sure the raspberries are actually imported) and all-American sandwich fare. It was fun to sit at the picnic table and observe the mobs of sunburned people out and about in small town America enjoying shakes and the closest thing to American cuisine there is. It felt a bit like the 4th of July, and for a few minutes, I really was glad to be home.