A day at the lake

Entertaining children can be as simple as entertaining yourself and letting them hang out with you. Children do not have our resources or abilities, but they have great imaginations. If you simply combine everyone’s ideas, skills, and money, who knows what you can come up with. One day camping at Lake Timothy, my son told us to build a rope swing to swing over the water. I thought, cool, all we need is a long rope and a leaning tree over deep water and you’ve got it. (Travel itineraries, tips, discounts, articles, can be read on TripTalkusa) The rope was not a problem as I was in the habit of taking everything, including the kitchen sink, with us to the camp. The leaning tree posed a problem as the lake has no leaning trees. We took our little 12 foot aluminum boat across the lake to find a tree that we could bring back. On this low-key cape and dagger mission there was an adult (questionable) an 8 year old boy and a 5 year old boy, a Sears and Roebucks rowboat with a 2 hp outboard motor, a small but sharp survival saw and a bundle of rope and string.

We crossed the lake into an area that I thought would have no people, (because I wasn’t sure what I had in mind would be approved), we landed in the forest and found a group of trees that were very tall and thin. I selected a tree about 3-4 inches in diameter and proceeded to cut it down, except it wouldn’t fall over because all the trees around it were preventing gravity from doing its job. Finally, after a lot of shoving and shoving, my accomplices and I were able to carry three nice clean limbless poles to the water’s edge. We set up the skiff to be a tugboat and slid our log raft into the lake only to find that we had cut down hemlock trees and they don’t float. There we were with three slim, twenty-foot poles, all tied together in a log raft, sitting at the bottom of the lake.

Although this seemed like the end of the mischief, it was not. Our little 2hp was able to pull the raft, and as we kept moving, the raft stayed close to the surface. When we slowed down, it would sink and hang from our tow rope. This actually worked to our advantage because no one could see what we were doing, and if I was caught or interrogated, I would just drop the line and let our contraband sink into its grave of water. Driving across the lake dragging submerged trees with a 2 hp motor seemed to take forever, and I was sure they were watching us. As we approached our waterfront camp, we raced the boat to shore and our illicit cargo was deposited on the bottom in 18 inches of water. So far everything is fine, nobody knows anything, we just found logs along the shore. This is my history. Just don’t talk to my kids, they have wild imaginations and they tell crazy stories. After letting the dust settle, so to speak, the boys and I arranged our three poles (still in the water) in the shape of a large letter A. Then, using a bunch of twine, we tightly tied the three points where they met. they crossed the posts. That means a third grader with the help of a younger brother tied him in knots never before discovered. Next, we maneuvered our non-floating wooden A-frame into deeper water, where it was glad to stay submerged. The final step was to tie a rope to the top end of the A-frame and run it ashore to a secure anchor tree. We then lift the top of the A-frame out of the water and tie it off, leaving the A-frame standing at an angle with a short piece of string hanging from the top. The kids could now stand on the A’s crossbar and swing. The swing turned out to be a great success and the children played all week. The poles were not strong enough for the weight of an adult and would bend when hung from the rope. When we broke camp to go home later in the week, we towed the poles to a spot ten feet deep and sank them to the bottom planning to retrieve them and resurrect the A-frame next summer. The author has more articles on triptalkusa.

John 2010

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