Posts Tagged ‘Floating Patio’

Travels With Maggie

Laughter not only makes the journey endurable and even enjoyable, it also helps keep us healthy.” — Joyce Meyer

 Seventeen female volunteers and staff workers from Farragut State Park met this week for dinner and drinks at the Floating Patio. The small bar and restaurant sits atop Lake Pend Oreille in the tiny tourist town of Bayview. Idaho.

A Canada goose takes off in front of our pontoon boat ... Photo by Pat Bean

The deep blue, 65-mile long lake’s name is a sure give away of who’s a local and who’s a tourist just passing through. It’s pronounced Pon-da-ray, which is sort of French for ear, or so I’ve been told, not Pend-o-rye-ly, as I called it before I was corrected.

I’ve learned that when a group of females get together – be they giggling teenagers to wrinkled and post menopausal old broads – irreverent laughter often rules.

Heading into the Floating Patio for Drinks and Dinner ... Photo by Pat Bean

 So it was this night as we drank our wine and Diet Cokes, snacked on pre-dinner popcorn and then ate our hamburgers, chicken Caesar salads or barbecue specials. Without boyfriends or husbands to please, compete with, impress or cater to, women often lose their inhibitions of proper-ness. Men, I think, do the same when women are not present. It has nothing to do with liking or loving the opposite sex, it just feels good once in awhile to be in a group that best understands you.

The laughter and camaraderie we shared getting to know one another better during the meal continued as we boarded two pontoon boats for a cruise of the lake. Ours was captained by Scott Bjergo, owner with his wife of Floating Patio Boat Rentals and Bayview Merc. You can reach him at bayviewboatrentals.com.

Shoreline reflections paint the lake's canvas ... Photo by Pat Bean

 I asked because I was impressed by Scott, who put up with our female kidding of him being the boy toy on the boat, and because I thought of how great it would be to spend a day on the water with friends and loved ones. You might think the same if you’re ever in Idaho’s panhandle just 100 miles away from the Canadian border.

I was truly looking forward to the boat ride. Being on the water makes me giddy. It’s a comfortable feeling of both awe and belonging. I sometimes wonder if its my ancestral cells calling to me.

The avid bird-watcher in me also got a treat when a gaggle of geese led our pontoon boat away from the Floating Patio. They floated ahead of us so close I was afraid our boat was going to run over them. One in particular was slow to get out of the way, but finally took a running, flapping scramble into the sky. Droplets of water from its spray hit me as I leaned out to snap a photo of the awkward aerial takeoff and then its graceful flight as its wings caught the air.

Women on the second boat excitedly point out the mountain goats high on the escarpment. ... Photo by Pat Bean

 Long evening shadows of color from sailboats, trees, cliffs and houses painted the dark water. Pend Oreille, is over 1,000 feet deep in places, which makes it an excellent spot for the Navy’s testing of submarines, albeit miniature unmanned ones that could have even now been passing beneath us. We passed by the Navy’s lake facilities, both onshore and lake anchored, where the testing is done.

 The highlight of the evening aboard the boat would have to have been the sighting of the mountain goats on the steep

 glacial carved escarpment surrounding the lake. After a few white rocks fooled us, we finally got a glimpse of four of the goats near the top heading upward. We had missed a closer view of them coming down to the water to drink. The goats were too far away for my camera to capture them, but I did get a photo of the passengers in the other boat as the women excitedly pointed at the animals.

 The evening ended all too soon, with everyone heading back to the park, most to loved ones of the opposite human sex. Maggie, my faithful cocker spaniel travel companion was waiting for me to tell her about my ladies’ night out. And I did. She’s been my soul mate for the six years I’ve been traveling the country in my RV.

It’s always ladies night out for the two of us.

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