This spot ended up being so much more than just sight-seeing or spending another day loving the outdoors. It’s hard to even put into words but at the end of Memorial Day weekend I went home thinking, “this is life, this is what it’s all about…The simple things.” The beauty of coincidences can’t be overlooked.
I’m going to share (most) of our personal experience as well as information on the area itself. So if you want to skip past the good stuff 😉 and get right to it you can…
Our experience – We went to Clearwater Lake Rec. originally just for the day to see what it was all about and scope out the campgrounds. We got there around 2:00 PM and my son took off for the lake before I got all of our stuff out of our car….by the time I got to the lake he was already in water playing. He’s a fast little guy. The water was gorgeous and so clear…just as the name suggests lol and it was also warm which as you can imagine is a switch up for us. I inflated my paddle board hoping he’d paddle the lake a bit with me but he was having way too much fun swimming. A baby boy was pointing at my board and I said he could sit on it if he wanted so him and his sister got on while their mom and I were talking for a bit, she told me that it was considered a busy weekend for the recreation area because normally there will only be a few people there. That was good news to me because it wasn’t busy at all, already from the few hours being there I knew I wanted to come back and camp eventually. I managed to get him out of the water long enough to hydrate and hike the trail then we were back in the water. Fast forward an hour or so, two guys came down making a huge deal about how clear and warm the water was… in hindsight they were probably already drunk lol. They were talking to this man and woman (later on I’d find out his name is Richard, I don’t know the woman’s name) as I was kind of paddling on my board but staying near my son because he still didn’t want to go paddling, Richard asked me about my board then went back to talking to the two guys ( Neill and Walter), they were talking about beer and I interrupted or maybe I interrupted to talk about beer……I’m not sure. But I remember saying “So, if we came back tomorrow to camp would you guys have more?” He said yes, so I told him it was a deal. I asked what kind they had and of course he said Bud Light…I told him my favorite was Heineken and Richard joked that I was being picky. I asked Neill if he wanted my number and his response was “you’re gorgeous I would love your number!” lol. It was around 7:30 PM so I was packing up, Neill and Walter offered to carry our stuff to our car and I told them we’d see them tomorrow. We got lucky on Sunday, Neill and Walter were staying at Richard’s campsite and he had a huge one that fit two cabin tents and two 3-person tents. We got to stay at his campsite for free since the guys already paid for their night’s stay (: My son was ready to get back to the water ASAP so I set up our tent with their help as fast as I could to avoid any tantrums lol I just wanted a laid back night and ultimately that’s definitely what we had. We got out to the water and Neill brought me a Heineken… that first sip of a cold one is heaven, lemme tell ya ! I whipped out my waterproof speaker and had some country going for a while, Sam Hunt is one of my son’s favorite artists; he’d come up and put the speaker to his ear and start spinning in circles in the water, just lovin’ life and totally enjoying himself. Around this time is when two boys came out with their mom who we later found out was ten days divorced and was also out at the lake camping with her kids. She was super chill and had an up for anything attitude. Her youngest one was just as rambunctious as mine and they played together. Her older one and I, who was probably 12-14 years old debated about country music and why he didn’t like it: he thinks most songs are about politics and people automatically label him a conservative or trump supporter because he is caucasian. I had to strongly disagree on all of the above. All the grown ups got out of the water and I switched up the music from country to reggae, we just stood around marveling at how gorgeous everything was: the sunset, the lake, bonding with strangers, the kids out there playing on my paddle board. At one point there were canoes left on the shore that someone had rented but not put away and after some number of beers Walter, her, and her boys high jacked it for a quick paddle. I couldn’t stop laughing; she tried to get me to go along but there was no way that canoe was meant to hold 5-6 people. She said “Come on! What other time are you going to be able to canoe with total strangers during a beautiful sunset like this ?!” She had a point, but I still didn’t get in lol.
The guys had been making chicken and other stuff for dinner but I hadn’t been hungry all day- when I finally did get hungry I grabbed a sandwich from my cooler but was also so exhausted from saturday (and Saturday night I only got 1-2 hrs of sleep) that I woke up at 4:40 AM Monday to realize I fell asleep on top of a sandwich with only the edges eaten off. I eat a lot of things like that… the edges first, idk lol.. I do weird things. So I grabbed a clean shirt, strawberries because I was still hungry, changed into something that didn’t smell like spicy mustard, then walked to the lake and ate my strawberries. It was still pitch black out but the quiet was nice and so were those juicy strawberries… I was proud of myself for bringing them. The guys left before we woke up but Richard was still there, he’s a really kind man: He got us donuts and me some coffee, told me we could stay as long as we wanted the rest of Monday. We left close to 5:00 PM and I left him a note thanking him for his hospitality.