Fish Lake Family Vacation

This weekend our family went to Fish Lake to have a family vacation with my parents and brother and sister and their families.

We left Friday around 11 am, after 2 hours of packing the poor mini van to the gills. There was a body in every available seat minus one, the back was filled to near overflowing, the cargo bag on the roof was jammed with soft and light stuff and the 4-bike rack held 6 bikes.

We rolled down the highway with the rear suspension bottoming out on even minor bumps and the bikes bouncing in way that made me flinch as I thought of the carnage that would follow if the rack broke. The 3 hour drive seemed short. We arrived and checked into our cabin - a cozy 2 bedroom unit (by cozy I mean it was small).

Once settled we went for a short bike ride along the Lakeside trail. We didn't go far and stopped to play by the lake. When we got back we had dinner and then rushed down to the lake for a half hour of shore fishing that was unproductive.

Saturday morning we went out on the pontoon boat my sister's husband, Brent, had snagged for us at 6 am (all the boats were reserved except for one first-come-first-serve). We went out and trolled across the lake then found Brent's brother who told us how to fish for the plentiful Perch that stayed close to the far-side bank. Soon everyone was catching almost as fast as they could reel them in. We don't fish much and my boy had never fished so this was a big thrill. Can you tell from the photo?

After fishing we went to the lodge for lunch and I had the double-quarter pounder Lodge Burger (which came highly recommended by a co-worker) - it was delicious.

After lunch Jolene and I went for a mountain bike ride. We considered the Mytoge Mountain trail, but felt it would be too long (this was a family vacation) so we decided to try the Pelican Canyon trail (map). It started off nice, but after 1.5 miles it turned steep and rocky and we pushed our bikes for 1 mile. At the split in the trail we went on the left fork a ways, then turned around because it was raining and we didn't know how long it would take to complete the loop over to Doctor Creek. We were able to ride down most of it even though it was wet and a bit slippery. Luckily the rain never got heavy or too cold.

After we got cleaned up we had a delicious dutch oven dinner of seasoned mutton, stewed cabbage, backed beans, potatoes and peach cobbler for dessert. At dark we sat around the fire and ate smores.

Sunday we took our time getting up. Then we packed up and checked out. We packed the loaded van and went for a short hike a ways up the Bowery trail that connects into the Pelican Canyon trail (Jolene and I had come down this yesterday). We got into the Aspens and had fun walking along the trunks of the deadfall, trying not to touch the ground. We did a little tree climbing, but Aspens are tricky to climb. Then we started breaking off the dead branches of the Aspens and just couldn't stop. It was one of the spontaneous fun activities that just happen. We karate-chopped them off, then kicked (trying to kick higher and with fancier moves, then hacking them off with "lightsabers" (aka sticks). We played in the Aspens for at least an hour - all of having fun. Eventually we hiked back down to the van and bid Fish Lake goodbye.


irideiwrite said...

That seems like an almost-ideal staycation. My wife wants to know if the cabin had a fully functioning bathroom with a hot shower.

I want to know why you forgot to pack the bike helmets for the kids.

KanyonKris said...

We stayed in the "twin cabin" - my sister and her family were in the other side. The rooms were small, but functional. It has a heater, fridge, stove and hot water. The bathroom has a small shower (2' x 2') - not spacious, but big enough to shower. In the post I added a link to Bowery Haven Resort, that's where we stayed.

We took helmets for the kids, but we had less than an hour to ride, the trail along the lake is flat and smooth, and we went really slow (I doubt anyone went over 5 mph). Sure it's always good to protect the brain, but the risk was so low here we didn't bother with the helmets.

irideiwrite said...

Thanks for the link. If the Capital Reef Classic stage race is on again next year, I might drag the entire family down for it and stay where you did.

My wife refuses to go 'camping' unless there is a hot shower available. So I had to ask.

Other than that, all we need is a dry, covered place to rest our heads and an actual toilet to sit on.

UtRider said...

It's not just speed that can cause head trauma, but the distance from the head to the ground. You could be standing still, fall over on your bike, and, if you weren't wearing a helmet, do serious damage to your brain. No forward momentum required, just the drop from point A to point B (i.e. the ground).

Q. Which sport is most likely to crash-land you in a hospital emergency room?

A. Bike accidents crash-land more kids in hospital emergency rooms than any other sport. In fact, kids ages 5 to 14 get hurt more often than bikers of any other age! Every day, about 1,000 kids end up in hospital emergency rooms with injuries from bikes - like broken bones or brain concussions. About one kid every day dies of these injuries. Others suffer lifetime problems, like limping or brain damage.

Bicycle Helmet Effectiveness

Bicycle helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent and the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent.Bicycle helmets have also been shown to offer substantial protection to the forehead and midface.

It is estimated that 75 percent of bicycle-related fatalities among children could be prevented with a bicycle helmet.

Universal use of bicycle helmets by children ages 4 to 15 could prevent between 135 and 155 deaths, between 39,000 and 45,000 head injuries, and between 18,000 and 55,000 scalp and face injuries annually.

Child helmet ownership and use increases with the parent’s income and education level, yet decreases with the child’s age. Children are more likely to wear a bicycle helmet if riding with others (peers or adults) who are also wearing one.In a national survey of children ages 8 to 12, 53 percent reported that a parental rule for helmet use would persuade them to wear a helmet, and 49 percent would wear a helmet if a state or community law required it.

UtRider said...

Oh yeah, and if you packed the helmets, why not wear them? The time required to put them on is minimal and the example to your kids is far more important than the small amount of time you would have lost. Kids don't know when the risk is "low" so anything you can do to get them in the habit of strapping on a helmet is important. You won't always be there to perform a risk analysis of every riding situation and if they've been allowed to ride without a helmet before, the odds are good they won't bother when the choice is theirs to make.

Ok, I'll step down from my soapbox now! :)

KanyonKris said...

I judged the risk of head injury on this short ride, putt-putt ride through soft dirt to be very low. A fall on this trail presented a much lower risk of injury than the pavement around our house. I made the call, I can live with it.

Lori said...

Looks like you guys had a GREAT vacation!!

MOCougFan said...


That looked like a blast. I just got back from our Utah vacation (sitting at my desk for the first time in 10days). We had a blast as well. Climbed AF Canyon with my good friend Chris twice, went on a all day Mtn Bike ride, and climbed Squaw Peak. Also did all the other fun Utah vacation stuff. Very nice to be on vacation and hang with the family.

UtRider... looks like a real mild ride. Ease up.