Art and Connie's 2008-2011 Adventures travel blog

Paris Tabernacle

View of the inside

All of the wood is original

Who remembers S & H Greenstamps?

After five weeks, our slow waltz through Southern Colorado has ended. It took us 2 days (yes, we are slow travelers!) to go from Fruita, Colorado to Bear Lake State Park, Idaho.

This state park is about 11 miles east of Saint Charles and considered the southeastern part of Idaho. Bear Lake is known for its striking turquoise blue color which is the result of tiny soluble carbonates in the water. That’s the technical reason, my take is that it’s just plain pretty.

OK, so why are here in Idaho? Two reasons, (1) it’s much cooler here – the temperature in Fruita was hovering around the low-mid 90’s; here it’s in the low 80’s. (2) We are planning to attend the Bannock County Bluegrass Festival held at the Pocatello fairgrounds during the last weekend in August.

For the next week or so we will be playing tourist in this very rural area. St. Charles only has a population of 156 but its claim to fame is that it is the birthplace of Gutzon Borglum who designed Mt. Rushmore. Today, we did a driving tour of some of the other smaller towns. We stopped at small village of Paris (no, not Paris, France). Paris and this entire valley were settled by Latter Day Saints. The Paris Tabernacle was built in 1888 and today church members give tours of this beautiful building that is still in use. We were also lucky to arrive when the organist was practicing on the 1928 organ (made out of wood) still used today. The acoustics were fabulous. Paris has a population of about 600 and several of the turn of the century building remains.

Then, it was onward for a drive to Montpelier, named after Brigham Young’s birthplace, Montpelier, Vermont. This small city is really a crossroads town offering supplies for the travelers going to Yellowstone and the Tetons. Montpelier has a museum on the Oregon-California trail but we passed on visiting it since we had seen a similar museum in Casper Wyoming two years ago. We did take a peek at the small railroad museum in the basement within the same building that focused on LDS settlers.

Final stop was the resort town of Garden City, Utah which is about 24 miles south of the campground. The Bear Lake area is famous for is raspberries. The season is just about over but there are still a number of stands selling fresh raspberries, jams, jellies, syrup and other food made of raspberries. We shared a raspberry shake and enjoyed the cool weather.

Tomorrow we will probably take a bike ride around a portion of this lake.

This evening we will be enjoying the evening breeze and catch up on our reading. Ah, life is good!

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