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Posted on Aug 6, 2015

There’s more than mud at Soap Lake

The quaint town of Soap Lake was founded on the shores of mineral lake, a lake the Native Americans called Smokiam, which means healing waters.

History shows that Native Americans camped along the shores during the summer months. To this day, scores of people have come to soak in the water and smatter the mineral-soaked mud all over their bodies.
But this town, incorporated in 1919, also has several spots to grab a bite, a local art scene and a place to play in the water.

When visiting Soap Lake, make sure to stop at the Cougar Cafe. Photos by Kurtis J. Wood.

When visiting Soap Lake, make sure to stop at the Cougar Cafe. Photos by Kurtis J. Wood.

One local eatery, Cougar Liquor, has daily specials and has a Washington State University Cougar vibe in its Cougar Cafe. They sell Cougar Gold Cheese and Ferdinand’s Ice Cream, which is made at the WSU Creamery. Cougar Liquor currently offers huckleberry, chocolate, peanut butter, Tin Lizzy and lemon rasberry flavors for the price of $3.50 a scoop. But that is the dessert.
For the main course, Cougar Cafe offers a breakfast and lunch menu. The Mexican omelet has chorizo, egg, avocado, bell peppers, olives and cilantro, with a side of toast for $12.95. You can also have ham and eggs for $10.95 or one of the other seven breakfast items, plus the special of the day.
The lunch menu has soups, salads and sandwiches. The Bonnie Guitar is a turkey and Havarti sandwich, with avocado, tomato, cream cheese and raspberry chipotle sauce on toasted sourdough bread ($10.95).
The cafe also serves Buffalo chili made with ground beef and buffalo meat, three beans, tomoatoes, onions, peppers and a secret blend of spices. It is served with cheesy bread. The big bowl costs $10.95 and the small bowl is $6.95.
The dining room offers five tables, a couch and several lounge chairs. Cougar Liquor serves espresso and offers a complement of liquors, wines and microbrews on the liquor side.
The eatery is at 110 Daisy Street and is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays.

The south end of Soap Lake offers plenty of shallow water for wading.

The south end of Soap Lake offers plenty of shallow water for wading.

After your meal, walk a couple of blocks to the city park and enjoy plenty of shade. Or head to the beach. The waterfront has 10 covered picnic areas, kids toys, tons of sand and over a yard of shallow wading, camping and bathrooms.
If the beach is not your style, head toward the downtown area and find the Lava Links. For a small donation of one or two dollars, the perfect break from the water is the Lava Links, an executive par-3 golf course in the middle of town.
Located across from the police station on 2nd Avenue Southeast and a few blocks from the water, Lava Links offers a unique take on golf.
Don’t look for a green fairway or a smooth green. Rather, enjoy the rocks, sagebrush and sandy greens. The only clubs you need (and the only clubs allowed) are a 9-iron and a putter.


— By Kurtis J. Wood,

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