Growing up near the beaches of North Carolina, my family and I always ventured eastward to the beach each summer for a relaxing vacation. We enjoyed fishing, crabbing, making sand castles and all the other activities the beach and ocean had to offer. One of my favorite traditions was collecting seashells at low tide and painting them in the shade of the balcony while listening to the waves crash. Something about that week with the family, unplugged from everyday life, was invigorating and refreshing.
Ashley and I now have two kids of our own and are raising them about as far away, both in length and altitude, from the beach as you can get. While we love getting back to the low country, our current western Wyoming location has us constantly exploring new getaways in the mountains to take a break from the busy summer months in Jackson Hole.
With the rivers raging from record snowpack, we ventured out on a mid June excursion to Half Moon Lake Lodge located just outside of Pinedale, Wyoming. We anticipated cool mornings in a cozy cabin where we could make s’mores, take out the old family canoe, have a nice meal and perhaps catch a fish.
The lake itself is impressive, approximately 900 acres in size and reaching depths of close to 300 feet! It felt a bit like the popular Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park, only more quiet and serene. The summer months should produce excellent trout fishing for one of the many species that make the lake home. We explored the trails surrounding the lake packing a picnic lunch and throwing rocks in the water at every opportunity. We even caught a few trout in the stocked pond.
We helped feed the horses, which are there to accommodate backcountry rides through the epic Wind River Mountain Range. The inside of the Lodge facility is world class, but it was just too nice outside not to sit on the deck. We ended our day with an amazing meal and refreshing cocktail overlooking the lake. One final treat after dinner was riding in the pontoon boat, and Louise (my oldest) even got to drive the boat for a few minutes. This is surely an experience she will not forget.
Raising a family, it is natural for Ashley and me to long for as much family time as we can get. Many of our friends and mentors have older children now and constantly remind us to “soak it all up, because it goes quickly.” In that spirit we feel fortunate for the time spent together and memories made in the great outdoors at at Half Moon Lake Lodge. There is so much to do there, and we only experienced a small portion. One moment that will be forever etched in my memory was spending the afternoon painting rocks we found in the shade of our deck overlooking the beautiful Half Moon Lake. The girls are already asking to go back!