In a landscape abounding with jaw-dropping vistas, it still takes me by surprise to discover a hidden gem, another postcard view that wrenches out my heart and squeezes it till it pops. Yesterday, on a perfect spring afternoon, wrangler Leah, office gal Casey and I went on a short drive to a nearby lake, on the recommendation of foreman and all-round local info guy, Dylan.
Tie Hack Reservoir is located just down the road from Paradise, literally about a five mile drive along Highway 16. Turn left and onto a gravel road, drive inland for about a mile past a campground, and there's a beautiful lake and dam, flanked by pine-clad slopes, with the tiara of the Big Horns in the distance.
It was great to see so many people out enjoying this site on a sunny Sunday - families soaking up the sun in deckchairs on the dam wall, kids fly fishing off the green banks, and a lone fisherman in a rubber dinghy in the middle of the lake. No motorised boats are allowed on the lake - just as well, as it's such a tranquil spot, with just the lapping of the water and the wind in the pines as accompaniment.
On the far side of the lake, the icy waters were pouring over the dam wall, creating a man-made waterfall. We walked down the rocky path to feel the water spray, charged with invigorating ions; then back up and over a metal bridge where the waters rush beneath.
So close to Paradise Ranch and an easy drive, I'm planning a return trip at sunset, armed with a bottle of chilled white wine, soft cheese and crackers. The perfect summer picnic spot!
(me and my gal pals!)