Wyoming Boasts More than Yellowstone

Wyoming offers incredible scenery, wildlife, and natural beauty. Yellowstone National Park is rightly a destination worth experiencing. However, Wyoming boasts more than Yellowstone. The state parks we visited were each unique in their own way. If you are able to, include a few nights at these parks as well.

Beginning in the northeast corner of the state, as you cross into Wyoming from Sturgis, SD, you come to Keyhole State Park. This park is convenient to the interstate, yet off the road enough to be untarnished by sights and sounds of the roadway. Multiple camping options, a marina, playground and beach, and most impressive, cliff jumping are all available for your recreation. Visit the Keyhole State Park website for additional details.

Just a few miles east of the entrance to Yellowstone is Cody, WY, and the Buffalo Bill Reservoir. This state park has many native animals that are also in Yellowstone: long horn sheep, elk, moose and more. Our campground was right at the water’s edge and the sunset was spectacular. The dam construction and history is interesting and quite an accomplishment. The visitor center can give you all the details.

Seminoe Reservoir and State Park are more centrally located in Wyoming, and are particularly suited for ORV enthusiasts. Surrounded by miles and miles of mountain trails and sandy terrain, this is a perfect location for a weekend of fun on a four-wheeler. Most of the RVs were toy-haulers, and the occupants were on the hills. The surrounding mountains are stunning in color, formation, and size.

Three parks are near Cheyenne, WY, in the southeast corner of the state: Glendo, Guernsey, and Curt Gowdy. Each of these is famous in their own right. Glendo, the furthest north on I-25, has many small primitive camping sites all around the reservoir. Guernsey has construction by the Civilian Conservation Corps that is worth seeing. Curt Gowdy has three reservoirs, is known for great fishing, and is close to much Wyoming history.

Amazing Lake in South Dakota

We are headed west in our recreational vehicle, and I am thrilled to report we have discovered an amazing lake in South Dakota! Lake Oahe, formed in the Missouri River with an earth rolled dam, is absolutely stunning. The landscape is varied, the daily sunshine is therapeutic, the cool breeze is refreshing, and the miles of waterway is invigorating. So far, this has been an amazing experience that has sold me on South Dakota as a vacation spot. Who knew?! If you still have travel plans open this summer, I highly recommend Lake Oahe as a destination!

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Lakeside Dining at its Finest!

Scenic View Restaurant at Monroe Lake and Ainsley’s Cafe at Brookville Lake are excellent choices for outdoor lakeside dining. Each restaurant offers unique features, but what they have in common is a wonderful menu full of delicious meal options! Be sure to treat yourself to a savory meal at whichever one is closer to your favorite lake.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you are near Monroe Lake, the Scenic View Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner all week and includes breakfast hours on the weekends. Outside seating gives you the opportunity to look down at beautiful  Monroe Lake from their hilltop location. The table umbrellas provide shade from the sunlight, and the landscaping creates very pleasant scenery. While nearly all the tables were filled when we visited, we did not feel at all crowded.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

An assortment of tasty appetizers allows you to begin your meal quickly. We feasted on the shrimp cocktail – five huge jumbo shrimp along with homemade cocktail sauce! Scrumptious!

Dinner options ranged from pasta to chicken to seafood to steak and more. We decided on a spinach salad with bacon and mussels in pasta with a sauce. Both were presented artfully, and we thoroughly savored every bite! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe service was prompt, attentive and very friendly. We could not have been more pleased. For dessert, we split the huge hot fudge brown sundae and calling it delectable is an understatement.

For those enjoying Brookville Lake, Ainsley’s Cafe is the place to go. A multiple-level covered deck right on the lake, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAoverlooking an incredible marina, gives you an amazing atmosphere. Rain or shine you are protected from the elements. In addition, a nice breeze off the lake keeps insects and heat under control. We were served by an attentive and helpful staff who met our needs before we even asked! And you can easily fit a meal into your vacation schedule since they are open Tuesday through Sunday in June, July, and August.

While there are plenty of tempting choices for appetizers, our group of four moved directly into theOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA main OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcourse. Two of us had seafood (orange roughy and walleye), one had a cheeseburger, and one had a spinach  salad. The meals were prepared with care, were attractive in presentation, and were delicious to the taste! All of us were very satisfied with the flavors and size of the portions. Overall it was a wonderful experience and we all looked forward to our next chance to visit again.

Although we certainly had already had enough to eat, we each indulged in a dessert as well:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA cheesecake, warm pecan pie a la mode, key lime pie, and Texas sheet cake sundae. Again, delectable is the word that comes to mind. I would strongly recommend this extra course with your meal!

With these two reasonably priced, wonderfully located restaurants available, you want to be sure to include a meal from Scenic View or Ainsley’s. You will be glad you did!!

June 6-7: Free Fishing Days!

Hoosiers can enjoy free fishing in Indiana on June 6-7, 2015.  On these days, Indiana residents do not need a fishing license or a trout/salmon stamp to fish the state’s public waters. Usually it is youth under age 18 who fish for free, but on June 6 & 7, everyone can take advantage of this opportunity! Get more information here.

No boat? No problem!

You can enjoy the thrill and fun of boating on the lake by renting a boat for the day. Fill your cooler, grab your sunscreen and towel, head to the dock, and you can embark on a great time for all! Cruising with the wind in your hair, floating with the sun on your face, or tubing over waves with the water spraying, it is hard to beat the excitement of a day at the lake on a boat!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I got to spend Mother’s Day this year on a 12-person pontoon boat from Kent’s Harbor Marina. There were nine people in our group and we had a blast. The weather was fantastic, the boat was clean & comfortable, the food we had brought along was excellent, and the day was one to remember! A boat rental is perfect for making a good day GREAT, and you are free of the hassle of hauling, trailering, and cleaning the vessel. I highly recommend including a boat rental in your vacation for maximum fun on the lake!

Include a Festival

As you make your summer vacation plans, be sure to include a fun festival.  A wide variety of themes and locations nearly guarantees you will find an activity near the lake where you are staying. Bike rides, carnival rides, car  and tractor shows, plus an assortment of flavorful foods — the choice is yours! Be sure to check out all the listings under the events link to make sure you don’t miss a thing!

Think Camping!

Nothing quite like camping at the lake! Breakfast cooked on an open fire; coffee percoth-1lating and giving off a delightful aroma. And easy access to fun once everyone is up and around. Plan to make wonderful memories this summer at the beautiful Indiana lakes.

Be sure to check out the classified listings for campers, boats and vehicles to make your recreation even more fun. Great deals on new and pre-owned items to give you the most for your money. Also listings for lake property to rent or own.

Time for excitement, comfort, and thrills as the weather improves and the temperatures heat up! Get your plans and reservations made soon so you don’t miss a thing!


Getting Ready for Summer!

Warmer temperatures are reason enough to start getting ready for summer! Snow and ice are nearly gone, and the sounds of song birds are filling the air. Be sure your boat motor is serviced, your fishing gear is up-to-date, and your sunscreen isn’t expired. Won’t be long and a day at the lake will be the only relief from the heat! Already it is staying light later (thanks to daylight savings time), and the nights are not quite as frigid. Don’t know about you, but I am ready for the season change!

Abundant Schools of Walleye Anticipated

According to the DNR, this year’s Walleye supply will be excellent. A higher than average survival rate among the harvested Walleye eggs from Brookville Lake (about 10 million more!) is the source of the abundance. Therefore, fishing for this delicious fish in the Indiana lakes which have been stocked should prove to be exceptionally satisfying in 2015. Enjoy yourselves, Anglers.

Indiana lakes were stocked with additional species: bluegill, brown trout, crappie, channel catfish, chinook salmon, coho salmon, grass carp, hybrid striped bass, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, muskie, pike, rainbow trout, redear sunfish, saugeye, steelhead, striped bass and yellow perch.