Strawberry Bay: Enjoyable or Not?

I spent almost 2 hours on May 15, 2022 driving, heading southeastward to Strawberry Reservoir, located about 40 miles from Park City, Utah. The trip felt spontaneous and rushed even though it was planned one week before and honestly, I did not think I would enjoy the trip despite having a hunch I will enjoy the drive.

I should mention Mom planned the trip, not me, and it is the reason why I did not think I would enjoy the trip. It doesn’t have anything to do with she’s my mom and always trying to control anything. It’s just her trips often makes me feel rushed. It’s always go go go, no time to waste kind of trip as if taking a breather is illegal as well as it often feels like it’s a play on opening night – everything must be perfect.

The day before the trip, she began packing my compact-utility-vehicle (smaller than a SUV) with a tent, chairs, camping stoves, and pots and pans. Strawberry Bay is a popular spot for crawfishing and she was expecting to catch some fresh water lobsters. That night, she prepared chicken drumsticks to use for bait, marinade some ribs and chicken wings to be cooked the next morning prior to leaving.

In the morning, after packing my car with food, my camera, and tripod, we were off. I was the lead car. My aunt and uncle would follow in the car behind while my other uncle (mom’s brother) and his wife would leave later in another car. As Mom hopped into the car, she was already fuming because her brother wouldn’t leave on her schedule.

About 20 minutes later, my aunt (mom’s sister) called and said she had to use the restroom. She had Colorectal cancer back in 2020 and though the cancer is now gone, she had to live with the after-effect which is needing to use the restroom every 15 to 20 minutes. Once again, Mom fumed. “We’ll never get there. Didn’t she went before leaving the house?”

After two quick restroom breaks along the way, we finally arrived. It took a 6-person (including me) team to set up the tent, and bring the tables, chairs, and food down to the lake’s rocky shore. The path was slippery with lots of moving rocks, which made me wish I had worn my hiking boots instead of my everyday running shoes.

Before long, everyone hovered around the food and began devouring the ribs and chicken wings. I was glad the closest neighbor was a distance away because I felt a little embarrassed to be among the loudest and strangest group on the shore. I felt like the idea was lost. Isn’t coming to the lake was to enjoy a little bit of nature? Not to eat?

However, after the long drive, I was a bit famished.

After satiating myself on a bit of ribs and chicken wings, I grabbed my camera and began to walk around the rocky shore of the lake, looking for photo inspiration while trying to shake off the annoyance and anxiety from the drive.

Honestly, I’m not sure if I enjoyed the drive. All along the drive, mom was behaving like a back-seat driver. She would suddenly scream “watch out,” or “brake,” or “careful” like I was about to hit something. I also had to ask her permission before changing lanes, which was irritating because changing lanes is sometimes spontaneous, not something to wait.

After around 3 hours, everyone called quits. Without access to the internet, the family was on edge and impatient. Mom didn’t even try to actively fish for a crawfish. As for me, I was never interested in crawfishing. I came on the trip to spend some r&r (rest and recreation) time with nature and play with my camera.

In the end, there was no crawfish. The family spent barely 30 minutes together (most of which was spent eating). I got a few shots, though none of which really stood out as a favorite. And I had another anxiety-filled drive. I enjoyed some aspects of the trip but I think I would’ve enjoyed it more alone.

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