Guerneville is located 75 miles northwest of San Francisco sheltered in the coast range mountains, surrounded by tall redwoods and bounded by the meandering (and too oft flooding) Russian River.  This weekend, the summer days were very hot and evenings were ultimately cool.  The truly awesome atmosphere among the 5,500 or so Bears was again relaxed, friendly and festive.  Again, I attribute the mellow atmosphere in part to  good organization by designating the daily 'hot' and 'mild' sites and the opening of new venues which helped spread out the crowds.  In addition to five resorts' pool areas, there were nightly dances, the nightly bonfire at Fife's, three cabaret show, the riotous Sisters' Bingo, beer busts and barbecues and more.  Tent cities provided their own entertainment; canoeing was popular; wine tasting opportunities abounded; and even beachcombing attracted as the Pacific Ocean is just 12 miles away.

The brainchild of  Harry Lit and partner Allen Eggman, Lazy Bear Weekend was conceived as a warm and fuzzy entrepreneurial venture whose goal was to combine the casual fun of a resort weekend with a concerted charitable FUNdraising effort.  On this its 10th year, the Sacramento Valley Bears once again co-hosted the event with additional help from the Bears of San Francisco and many others. The few thousand bears converged on every resort room and campground in the area and were again eagerly welcomed by local businesses -- the Bears had fun, business was very good (the strongest 5-days for the year in Guerneville) and more than $155,000 has so far been raised for numerous charities.  It may not be the more intimate Lazy Bear of the past, but that didn't seem to matter as everyone I spoke to was having a great time.  It was a blast.

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Poolside at The Woods, Triple R and to Fife's:  Entertaining house guests and with a limited stamina for night time activities meant I couldn't be everywhere, but poolside at the resorts was were my camera seemed most happy anyway, so that is what you will see here on most of the following pages.  I'm happy with the results and I sure hope you will be too.  Enjoy.

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Lazy Bear Weekend 2005

copyright 2005

Lynn S. Ludwig

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