Along the way my dad spotted bear tracks in the snow and then a little while later the culprits were spotted up on the hill in the snow. It was a mama and two sizeable cubs flipping over rocks to look for food. When we all stood still we could hear them talking to one another and all squeal when one slide down the snow a bit at one point. Luckily my dad brought his binoculars so we could all check them out better.
The lake was beautiful, albeit mostly icebergless except for the one struggling to stay frozen. Part of the lake had a thin smooth matte icy layer that I loved. It was a great first day and great first hike. The snow highlighted everything and we were so glad we got to see it that way.
Then we headed back to our "home" and because we got kicked out of our campsite because of bears and kicked out of our hotel for fires we ended up finding a spectacular & cheap little cabin (with heat) to stay in for the first half of our trip. It was adorable & warm :) We had a Cincinnati dinner night with Skyline chili and Rhinegeist beer that my padres brought.