A day at Hyatt Lake

Hyatt Lake is Oregon's swiss army knife. In the winter, it's a snow-laden play area with sledding and views of the frozen lake if you brave the hills. Fantastic hiking awaits you in the spring and fall. But Hyatt Lake's prime time is summer, when the water is warm, the sun is hot and the eagles soar through the sky. Hyatt Lake is our Lake Tahoe, minus the crowds and the boats.

Families head to Hyatt, bringing everyone, it seems, except the cats. Dogs that normally wouldn't swim unless you chucked a tennis ball into a pool turn into fish as soon as they roll out of the car. Youngsters, and even some adults, trade cellphones for goggles and run, barefooted, down the smooth plastic docks, not even bothering to jump off the end, just sprinting as fast as they can into the blueness.

The water is so clear, it's almost frightening to look down at the alien marine scene. A few empties, vintage Bud cans and the like, that have settled around the dock are out of place, yet somehow look natural in the seaweedy environment. Gray fish flit in the shadows. Water snakes hide in the reeds.

Kids and dogs splash around all day, never tiring until Mount McLoughlin, which lingers in the background, is stained pink with sunset. Then it's time to head off to The Green Springs Inn for burgers, with everyone's hair still damp in the warm Oregon air.

Amelia Covert Zeve is an Ashland-based writer who explores the outdoors and chronicles her adventures for publications. Contact her at ameliacovertzeve@gmail.com

A Summer Day is a series of photo-driven looks at Ashland outdoor activities. If you want to share your favorite place to go or thing to do, please email jeastman@dailytidings. com

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