There's no place like home

Ponder This

T.R. WilliamsJuly 2, 2013 

With summer at hand I recently found myself reminiscing on days of old. The excitement for school break, weeks of long warm days were ours for the taking. It seems like just yesterday mom and dad would load the Mustang, fill the ice chest and we would head to Bass Lake for seemingly endless days of sailing, swimming, sunbathing, and cruising the water in our friend's motor boat.

Countless hours did my little sister and I spend floating on inner tubes, spinning and splashing about the crystalline waters sparkling under the brilliant turquoise sky. The sting of summer on our skin, lending warmth long past sunset. The sweet smell of barbecue filling the evening air, bonfires on the sandy beach; the memories still so fresh I can almost hear the laughter now.

We'd gather around the flickering flames dancing on the wood heap regaling the adventures of the day. Though dad has been gone since 1981, I can to this day recall him recounting the tale of being stuck on the opposite side of the lake with no wind to fill the sails. Seeing him holding his size 14 sandal in hand, reenacting how he utilized it as a paddle after accidentally losing the wooden one in the water still makes me laugh aloud.

My mother's best friend taking the stage to recant with the upmost care for detail — their encounter with what sounded like the circling of countless vicious sharks. In reality, that wind that dad had so longed for lay low until the ladies took the Hobiecat out for their turn. One quick blast and upside down they went. In their attempt to get the attention of the guys back at grandpa's dock they climbed atop the pontoons waving their arms wildly, even signaling with an air horn. Caught up in their conversation the men failed to notice, that is until every male boater on the lake rushed to the scene to save the bikini laden damsels. That was the first time I saw soda spew from my sisters nostrils.

Though these days are but a memory, the beauty of the lake still takes my breath away, that joy still lingers on 37 years later. Whether you're renting a boat to cruise the water, playing on the shore or enjoying time with friends and family at one of the hundreds of campsites — you can't beat having all these fun adventures moments from home. The night skies so magical, laced with the glowing embers of campfires. On any given night the cricket song and bull frogs croaking set the perfect mood for the stuff that dreams are made of. We are blessed to call this beautifully bountiful Mountain Area home.

There are countless other ways to spend the summer in these majestic mountains. The sheer enchantment of Yosemite Valley is enough for some to travel from across the globe to experience. The anticipation when entering the tunnel, those last few seconds before you peer out into the canyon, the utter awe when you exit the tunnel and half dome takes center stage before you — a true gift from above.

The countless lush green meadows are perfect for kite flying, picnicking, bird watching or simply losing yourself in a good book any summer day. And the nights are full of mystical delights as well.

An evening cruise around the lake coupled with a delicious meal from any one of the numerous waterfront eateries makes for a fabulous night. A dinner cruise on the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, an evening of karaoke at a local pub, dinner at one of our area restaurants, a fun night of taking in a movie, Scrabble at sunset in our community park, a drive through the mountains or a simple barbecue with friends in the back yard is the perfect way to spend a summer day.

So before looking to pack up the family in search of a summer adventure elsewhere, why not step right out your back door and make some memories close to home. Sometimes the best things in life are right before us if we simply take the time to notice.

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