Twin Lakes Tradition
"This is my lake country."
I quote Thoreau, who references Wordsworth. "They are great crystals on the surface of the earth, Lakes of Light."
I posted about our trip to Twin Lakes last year, which doesn't even seem that long ago, and was only about six posts ago given the irregularity of my presence here. But it truly is something that brings me bliss, and it seems that around the seventh week of the school semester I start to crave it desperately.
"Talk of heaven! ye disgrace earth."
It was Addie's idea this time to go again, and maybe make it a yearly tradition, and we went in July, right before Lucy's birthday again: Pops, Joey, Scout, Addie, Art, Utah, me and the girls. Darin couldn't come, and I'm more confident now; I think I did a pretty great job with the girls and our gear, driving and camping together.
Course I always have Pops and Fofe to back me up.
"This was an airy and unplastered cabin, fit to entertain a travelling god, and where a goddess might trail her garments"
As Addie and Art and Utah drove up in their motor home, the girls excitedly put on paper masks to go surprise Utah.
Four little critters standing in a row.
"Girls and boys and young women generally seemed glad to be in the woods. They look in the pond and at the flowers, and improved their time."
Addie played board games with the kids (this strikes me as odd now, looking back, since she hates board games?) while Artie started prep on everyone's favorite camping meal: spaghetti with browned butter and mizithra cheese, with steamed garden veggies on the side.
The heartiest feast. Everyone eats at least three plates full.
"I have, as it were, my own sun and moon and stars, and a little world all to myself."
"The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour."
"The life in us is like the water in the river."
Then we went down to the lake to spend the rest of the day. We brought picnic lunches, beers in little coolers, bathing suits and floaties. We set up camp on the beach, and later in the afternoon Papa rented a little motor boat, just like last year, to take a whirl around the lake!
Our little camp and the glorious parade of peaks beyond.
Ice cream cones at the little stand at the lakeside resort.
Boat dock fun! The girls always make me nervous here....
"A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature."
"I grew in those seasons like corn in the night."
"We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn."
The child's got style.
Addie and Art had to leave that evening, they only got to do a one-nighter. So she read us all a gem of a Mary Austin story before they left, and the kids all hitched a ride in the mote around the campground.
I hope my girls' childhood memories smell like campfires.
That night, Joey and I had put out the fire, tidied up camp, locking up food items in the bear cabinet, and finally gone to bed around midnight. We were each half dozing off to sleep in our neighboring tents when a loud crash jolted us both fully awake. There was some scuffling and a ruckus just feet away. It was unmistakable. A bear was in our site.
"Joey, are you awake?" I whisper-hissed into the darkness from inside my tent. "Yeah...." he answered, and my voice rose a notch as I asked, "Was that a bear?" "Yeah, I think so," he answered. "Did we leave out our cooler? Let's check it out." Our voices had quieted the situation out there, and we both zipped open our tents and sprang through the darkness to the picnic table, where sure enough, we had left out our cooler on the table and it was now on its side on the ground. We were silent as we lifted it together, hurried it into the bear cabinet, locked it up, and scrambled back to our tents. Looking back, I'm surprised I was brave enough to go out there knowing a bear was close by, watching us. But at the time I didn't even think about it. We were mortified that we'd forgotten to put away the cooler.
We both snuggled back up with our sleeping babies, who had not even budged, thank goodness. My heart was pounding, and I knew Joey was still awake over in his tent, but the night was quiet again, so after a few minutes I whispered, "Okay Fofe, I'm going to try to get back to sleep. Good night."
It was only minutes later that more scuffling in our site woke me again. He was back, looking for our cooler I presume. I froze in my tent, arms around my two sleeping babes. In the daytime, I love the idea of bears in the mountains. At night, protecting my children, vulnerable in our tent with no weapon, heads exposed with just the thinnest layer of vinyl between us and the night, I was terrified. I could hear the bear sniffing around; I could hear his footsteps. I could hear his breathing, clear as my own, and it seemed like he was right outside his tent. Riiiighhhtt there...scuffle...shuffle...sniff...sniff.
"Joey!" I whisper hissed into the night, hoping my voice would scare the bear away from our tent. "Yeah!" He whisper-hissed back. "I think he's back. Do you hear that?" "Yes I do!" Our voices rose to normal pitch as we talked back and forth between our tents, hoping to scare him off, and his breathing and footsteps receded. I had one bar of cell phone service and I texted Addie, who I knew was still on her way home, that there was a bear in our site. Then I heard neighbors in the campground banging pots and pans. Later I'd drift off, and then wake to a dude's far away voice yelling at the bear, or more crashes. That bear definitely made the rounds. Wish I could've caught a glimpse of him! But not really.
"Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me."
In the fresh, cheery air of mountain morning, we dressed Scout and Polly in matching dresses I had brought, and we all decided on one last dip at the lake after packing up. That put a pep in our step.
We found a playground by the camp store.
And then made our way down the rocky shore on the east side of the lake. The girls and Papa dipped their toes, waded and skipped rocks and Joey and I both jumped in! I wanted that cool lake water refreshing my skin as much as possible for the long hot drive home. Then Pops jumped in too. It was a good leave-taking celebration.
Well that and push-up pops, of course.
"I delight to come to my bearings -- not walk in procession with pomp and parade, in a conspicuous place, but to walk even with the Builder of the universe, if I may -- not to live in this restless, nervous, bustling, trivial Nineteenth Century
, but stand or sit thoughtfully while it goes by."
All quotes from Thoreau's Walden.