Lake Cascade Idaho

The Road to Lake Cascade

It was a cool, crisp late-summer morning. We packed up the car with sleeping bags, food, alcohol and our precious pup – you know, all the necessities - and headed into the mountains to explore the Idaho wilderness. As we made the trek higher and higher to an elevation of nearly 4,800 feet, I kept thinking how cool it was going to be to see the world from a whole new view. A vantage point this girl who grew up in the land of sea level had never experienced before.

This trip with two of our friends was all about getting in touch with Mother Nature. All four of us had careers in television news at the time. We longed to escape the daily deadlines and pounding pressure. We simply wanted to relax and indulge in the beauty – nature’s beauty - among us.

Newsy Parents
Credit: Aileen Van Pelt, Newsy Parents

We found it at Lake Cascade. Sure, it looks a little foggy and overcast in this picture but trust me, it's gorgeous. What better way to enjoy this view than with a cold beverage in our hand. We popped off the tops of our drinks (don't ask me why we chose Mike's Hard Lemonades. I think we were finishing some leftovers before moving onto beer.) and sat down to take in all the Gem State has to offer. Lots of gems, just take a look at those majestic mountains.

Credit: Aileen Van Pelt, Newsy Parents
Swimming dog
Credit: Aileen Van Pelt, Newsy Parents

This campground was the perfect spot for our dogs, too. Our friends' black lab was right at home fetching toys in the lake. Our beautiful Pekingese-Shih Tzu mix is what you'd call a "Nature Girl” in quotations. Perfectly content sleeping in the lap of luxury (mine, of course) rather than roughing it in the cold but refreshing water. These pictures chronicle our efforts as we attempt to coax her in.

Trying to get dog to swim
Credit: Aileen Van Pelt, Newsy Parents
Almost there
Credit: By: Aileen Van Pelt, Newsy Parents
Swimming puppy
Credit: By: Aileen Van Pelt, Newsy Parents

Like proud parents trying to get their child to jump in the water for the first time, we were supportive and encouraging. Bailey finally did make her way in and eventually swam… ONCE. Hey, at least we can call her Nature Girl, without the quotation marks now.

As the sun set behind the mountains amid a backdrop of white, wispy clouds, with my husband and pup by my side, I was in true amazement at the sheer beauty, the magnitude of beauty before my eyes. As a girl having grown up in a concrete jungle surrounded by millions of people, this was a refreshing sight. One that I encourage you all to visit after reading about our experience. Trust me, most people don’t think about visiting Idaho, but this is just one of many reasons to put it on your list of places to travel and camp. You won’t be disappointed. In fact, you’ll be pleasantly surprised and glad you did.

Bailey the dog
Credit: Aileen Van Pelt, Newsy Parents
Happy Family
Credit: Aileen Van Pelt, Newsy Parents
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