I’m so far behind on my blog posts, I don’t think I’ll ever catch up! It’s a lot like how I feel both about our garden and the “putting up” we’re constantly behind on – the garden always needs weeding (and we’re so far behind) and the things we bring home need to be preserved before they go bad. It’s the busiest time of the year and something I look so forward to during the winter time, and not so much right now.
Currently, we’re brining pickles in the basement, have some peach chutney bubbling on the stove, waiting to be canned, and then we’ll be canning regular peach slices, and blueberries. So much to do! I love it, but unfortunately my day job looms tomorrow – pushing this to the background once again.
In the meantime though, we were able to get away for the July 4th holiday, going camping for our second time at Forked Lake, this time with friends. This is truly our favorite place to go camping, and is getting more and more well known as it was so much busier this holiday than in 2008.
The weather was fantastic – in the 90s, but with a strong, strong breeze on the lake that tried to blow things away at our campsite. This was one time we really did need to stake down the tents.
I spent all of my younger years camping for eight weeks each summer, and you’d think that after all of that, I’d be able to settle down into the outdoors really easily. But without fail, after going from the crazy, air-conditioned business world, it always takes me a full night to settle in before I feel comfortable. That first night, I’m scared of everything, from bears to other campers nearby, killing me in my sleep. I know – don’t laugh! But after that first night, I’m always completely fine for the rest of the time.
Of course, the first night camping this time was made 100 times worse by the fact that we were in front of our campfire, backs to the forest behind us. I didn’t hear a thing when all of a sudden, a man comes up behind us, SCARING THE CRAP out of me. I didn’t hear him walking at all. He must have seen our fire from the trail, but the trail was so so far behind us I had no idea how he found his way in the dark. He asked us what campsite we were at, as he was looking for his. After that, it took me a long time to feel safe enough to sleep.
But the next morning, I woke up refreshed, though sore (man, it really does get harder to sleep on the ground as you get older. It never used to bother me when I was young). I listened carefully, hearing nothing but the birds in the trees, the lap of the lake against our canoe. That’s it. K and I got out of the tent and built up the fire, preparing for breakfast, when we saw a loon coming rather close to our site. He stayed far enough away, making it difficult to get a good picture, but close enough that with the naked eye, it was the closest to a loon I’d ever gotten.
He stayed with us for nearly half an hour, paddling around us, and then all of a sudden, the call of the loon rang forth from his throat as clear and mournful as any Taps I’ve ever heard. It was haunting. Again and again he called, over and over, and I stood, stock still, listening to the cry that was coming from right next to me. Beautiful, but so so sad.
And apparently a mating call, as after 10-15 minutes, Ms. Loon surfaced from nowhere and took her place near him as they paddled away. What do I know about the haunting calls of loons?
On the Fourth of July our friends spent the day hiking Blue Lake Mountain (which we’d done a few years before). Jeff came back with a few choice words for us having sent him on such a ridiculous climb, LOL. We spent the day relaxing at the campsite and swimming the lake. It was cold!! In the evening we hiked out from the campsite (as the previous night’s paddling in the dark didn’t work out so well for us) to go out to dinner at the Adirondack Hotel on Long Lake and watch fireworks. Dinner was all right, not as good as the previous time we were there, and then we drove over to the recreation field where most of the locals go to watch the fireworks, instead of hanging out with the crowds on the bridge.
We hadn’t needed any bug spray the entire weekend, but here, in the tall grass, we really did. Too bad it was back at the campsite. But the fireworks made up for it.
After they were over, we trudged back to our campsite in the dark. At least this year we had a lantern! Made things a lot easier.
Back at the campsite, we tried to capture the night sky. So many stars are visible away from the lights of towns and cities!
On Monday, there was nothing to do but pack up and head back towards civilization. Boo.
Our campsite perversely empty, we turned toward the shore, but not first without a backward glance down the lake.
We weren’t the only ones leaving! The far shore was littered with boats and canoes and kayaks.
One last look…
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