EWU EPIC equips you with outdoor gear for insanely cheap prices so everyone can be an explorer any day of the week. Have an afternoon free? At EWU you can grab a canoe for $11, lash it onto your car roof, paddle a nearby lake and stream, and be back by dinner.
Bonnie Lake is just one of half a dozen narrow lakes tucked in the ancient flood-carved canyons south of EWU. The only way to enter the lake is by paddling up a mile long stream through lush grasses teeming with wildlife.
Above the stream we spotted an amazing, rare basalt arch. A half-mile later a beaver dam marked the entrance to the lake. Even steeper cliffs rose up on all sides. An island in the middle of the lake is a great lunch spot.Besides a few kayaks and little fishing boat we were utterly alone and engulfed in complete silence. I live near the freeway and a train track, so I appreciate true silence, as rare as that basalt arch.
We ate lunch on the island, and took a nap, only to realize that time had gotten away from us. It was four in the afternoon already. How had four hours passed already? We were astonished. We loaded our gear and headed back. This time it was cooler, the shadows deeper, the beams of light brighter and the cliffs awash in intense slanted evening light glowed like the walls of some ancient fortress. More wildlife was out, too.
Red winged blackbirds, unperturbed by our presence, sang from perches six feet from our canoe. A great Blue Heron rose startled from the marsh and flew in a wide circle down the canyon and back up toward the lake. Osprey hunted for fish to feed their fledglings, and ducks and geese browsed the riparian grassland for insects. From deep within side canyons past the thick marsh the sound of waterfalls echoed, taunting us with their mysterious and brief spring time existence.