Sunday, June 22, 2008

Paddling on Lake George

Yesterday Ruth invited me to go kayaking at Lake George with them on Sunday. Mike's family has some land and a cabin on Lake George, on the South Mountain just south of Berwick. They have three kayaks, all handmade. Two of them were built by Mike, and one by a friend. One of the three kayaks is just like the one I am building, so I will have a chance to see what my kayak will be like to paddle when it is done.

It was a wonderful day of paddling and hanging out at Mike's family's cabin.

One of Mike's younger brothers is there working on a project. He is carving three foot high chess pieces from poplar logs with a chainsaw, for a commission. He has some dental surgery coming up and needs the money to pay for it, so he is anxious to complete the job as soon as possible. Which is too bad for us, he needs to use the chainsaw in a space next to the cabin all day. The chess pieces are impressive though, he has most of them done.

The knights...

The bishops...

Lake George is not very big, our first trip before lunch we head west, and then after lunch we head east. There are some high speed motor boats and Sea Doos also on the lake, just to complement the noisy chainsaw next to the cabin.

Also there are still black fly here, and a lot of them! Especially at the east end of the lake. Bug dope, even DEET, is of no use against them, they drive me crazy. Mike and Ruth seem curiously immune or invisible to them, they paddle slowly along the shore when all I want to do is get out in the middle of the lake and paddle like mad to escape the flies. Later in the day I go out by myself west and south, there are few flies in that direction. But that is also where the Sea Doos and motorboats are roaring around. I try to ignore them, assuming that they can see me and will avoid running into me. Rather a risky assumption but no one runs into me.

Mike jokes about his Sea Doo remote control. He has a contraption he constructed of wood and bits of electronic parts, that basically looks like a large wireless remote control. When the Sea Doos are most active he goes out to the end of the dock and aims his remote at them and begins fiddling with dials and switches. He says that he gets relief and satisfaction from this activity, and sometimes manages to scare the Sea Doo-ers down to the other end of the lake. I joke that this is like the old Kids in the Hall joke, "I am squishing your head!" He says yes, it operates by the same Law.

After dinner (barbecued hamburgers, strawberries and chocolate) Mike leaves with the badarka to play music at Paddy's Pub Celtic night, Ruth and I go for a final paddle. But the flies are even worse than they were during the day. As we head back to the cabin, the rain starts. By the time we get to shore it is coming down hard. We run for our rain coats and then load one of the kayaks onto Ruth's car. We are leaving one behind for Mike's brother to use tomorrow. There is a stunning rainbow from one end of the lake to the other.

We chat most of the drive back to the Harbour but by the time we reach the land I am almost catatonic with exhaustion. It was a great day and I much enjoyed being out on the water, fantasizing about what it will be like when my own kayak is completed. Could have done without the flies though.


Anonymous said...

What a lovely day, despite flies, intruding boaters, and noise. Love the idea of a non-functional contraption that gives one a sense of some control over human offenders! I bet they'd sell like hot cakes!

Hope you slept well!

Goodie! One more entry to read!!!!!

Anonymous said...

p.s. Love the gi-hugeic chess pieces, too. Applause to Mike's younger brother and I hope his dental procedure goes well.