Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Breakfast and Burgers and the Fourth of July on Lake Champlain

On July Fourth I awoke before J. or K. (or J.'s additional family members who had arrived in the preceding evening). I needed to do an internetty work check in, which couldn't be done from the cabin itself, so I drove to Port Henry to take advantage of the weird glory that is parking in front of a small town library and using their wireless. A thing no one did ten years ago...though I did, at that stage, walk to a small town library and go inside to use their internet. The times, they are a'changin'. In any case after getting the work stuff out of the way I drove and took a gander at the view of the lake by a nearby church, and then decided that I'd have breakfast at the little old-school diner next to the town's grocery store. The diner does have that very quaint small town look to it, and though it's not the most iconic in terms of a longer rail road car-like set up, there was a bit of that. I made the choice of sitting at the counter, which was generally wise as I think that it had a little more character than the backroom with tables. One drawback, however, was that my feet couldn't touch the ground on the stool and there was nothing to really easily rest my feet on. This wouldn't have really been that big a deal if it wasn't for the fact that the food really did take forever and a day to actually arrive in front of me. Basically I ordered two eggs, sausage (I was told they only had Italian sausage) and home fries with a roll and then sat for about 45 minutes. The lady behind the counter was diligent in refilling my coffee cup and it wasn't an entirely unpleasant experience, but by that same measure I really had expected to be in and out in about 45 minutes, so the delay kind of cramped my style a bit. The food was good and the cook/owner came out to say hi to me once he saw a camera involved. Basically I have no ill will towards this place, but the wait wasn't entirely counterbalanced by what was a pretty unremarkable breakfast.
Then there was more swimming and sitting. I think this was the day that J.'s uncle was using his motor boat to let people go 'tubing.' I have always thought of tubing in terms of moseying down a river without a care in the world in something that, you know, actually resembles a tube. But on lakes there seems to be a completely different take on the activity....covered tube-like things at the end of a long rope attached to a power boat that drives you around in fast fun circles. I have no photographic evidence of J. and I tubing in tandem, but it was fun and I'm glad I didn't wuss out as I was thinking I might. Each bump over a wake of water was like a little roller coaster adventure, but with the knowledge that the worst that would really happen is that I would fall into the water, which was delightful in temperature. I also went out to the middle of the lake with J.'s younger cousin and enjoyed diving into the really, really deep water, which was even cooler and speckled with sunlight than the shores I kept to for most of the visit. Then the sun began to set and it was beautiful.
And I momentarily lost a hand and looked weirdly pale and bald with a comb over.
I mixed up ground beef for burgers that night, which K. was in charge of grilling to perfection. Some were "fancy" and some were "non-fancy" to appeal to those with an interest in my version of burgers (little salt and pepper, soy sauce, worcestire, garlic, cumin etc.). Turns out that J.'s family doesn't even salt and pepper their burgers usually, or that's what one of them said in any case.
J. testing out a fancy photo with his mom nearby.
K. jumping into the action too.
Yup. Cheese makes the world go round.

Then there was a period of time sitting around a fire with J.'s extended cousin network. Looking at fireworks that were being lit all over the shores of the lake north and south and east (we were on the west shore.
It was not a good year for me and taking photographs of fireworks. I'll have to try better with the next opportunity I am given.
At some point K. and I headed back towards the cabin we were staying in and ended up going back down the the lake for a night swim, which really was a wonderful experience. Floating in water and being able to see a bazillion stars (and I think the Milky Way) all while naked without a concern of anyone seeing you is pretty much a winning situation for me, and one that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys the outdoors.

And that pretty much wraps up the days I spent on Lake Champlain. It truly was a relaxing and satisfying experience. In addition to all the swimming and Catan and eating, I also read three books in quick succession, which really reminded me how much I actually love to read. I even started thinking about my novel for the first time in so long there is no point in even pointing out how long it actually has been. Not that I've actually made any progress with those notes, but I felt momentarily excited for the first time in forever.

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