Peter rested his little chin on the edge of the boat, his lips adorably smooshing against the silver railing. The pontoon boat glided over the smooth water with ease as Peter’s ears waved in the wind. My parents’ dog, Peyton, would occasionally join Peter in the front of the boat but would soon return to the large couch-like seat for a mid-day siesta. I sat in the front of the boat thinking to myself what an amazing experience it is to be on the water with a dog. There is nothing like soaking up each moment on a boat with a hound dog at your side!
After a few hiccups in the morning, we had made it onto the lake on my dad’s pontoon boat. We were taking our own boat tour of FJ Sayers Lake at Bald Eagle State Park. The lake offers 20-plus miles of shoreline and is almost 8 miles long. Aside from a few fellow boaters and some birds, we had the lake to ourselves. It was a quiet lake, although I can only imagine the bustling weekends that must occur during the summer months.
As we motored across the lake, we saw a partially submerged tree laying in the water. Double-crested Cormorants decorated the log and stretched out their wings as we passed. Fish splashed out of the water and birds soared in the sky above. The mountains provided a stunning view to cap off the peaceful experience.
When our boating adventure was complete, we headed to a nearby town to pick up some supplies. On the way, we stopped at the Foster Joseph Sayer Monument that overlooks the lake’s dam. Foster Joseph Sayer was a WWII soldier who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery and sacrifice during battle. The monument is a beautiful and well-kept memorial to honor FJ Sayer. The lake and dam are also named in his memory.
We continued on to Mill Hall, a little town not far from Bald Eagle State Park. I had been thinking about our next stop all week – The Ice Shack. The Ice Shack is a small ice cream shop that also sells some amazing pretzels. A favorite of mine is the pepperoni pretzel log, only complete with a chocolate milkshake! The Shack has picnic tables outside that are dog-friendly so that Peter could indulge in tasty treat too.
After retrieving the necessary supplies from a local Walmart, we headed back to the campground. Rain began to drizzle onto the truck’s windshield. Little did we know how much the rain would impact Day 4 and 5 of our trip.