8.17.2009

The Legend of the Monster of Grand Lake!

with any large body of water it is requisite that there be some sort of legend or some sort of myth
so it only made perfect sense for me to try and build up some sort of story about Grand Lake as we took to the water in a canoe yesterday afternoon... later yesterday afternoon

anyone who knows anything about the mountains knows that outdoor activity should take place in the morning
anyone who knows anything about me knows that I am not a morning person
so yesterday when we got around to renting a canoe it was late in the day
as I signed the waivers I could sense some hesitation in the woman at the rental place's voice
I shrugged my shoulders and gave no mind to the tone of her voice

I had been here before and had rented a canoe and gone canoeing on Grand Lake before
so... there was nothing to make me think that I was going anywhere near over my head

the sky over the mountains did have its clouds but did not seem to be threatening to storm anytime soon
as we left the dock another canoe was coming in
I made mention of the chop and they shouted back that it was not so bad
as we paddled away I worked hard to make sure that the canoe was stable in the wave filled water

we left the shore with lisa at the bow and me at the stern
okay... I was at the back and lisa was in the front
boating is not my second nature... these terms are not really part of my vocabulary

lisa and I each had a paddle and there was a third shorter paddle that was to be shared by the boys

the combination of all the bodies in the boat and the waves around us had me ask that neither of the boys assisted with the paddling
there was a fair amount of chop and a little bit of wind
not white caps... but far from glass
as we moved further away from the shore I fought my urge to cross the lake and took the woman at the rental place's advice and stayed within a reasonable distance of shore

as I paddled I tried to build some sort of image of this Monster of Grand Lake
in my mind's eye I pictured something like the protagonist from The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep
noises around us and sudden movements to the boat were blamed on the Monster of Grand Lake
the boys were excited but not scared
seeing that neither boy was worried I pushed things further
claiming that the Monster of Grand Lake responded to the whining of small children
Grant chimed in with a obvious and fake whine
then Dean added some details about its scaly body and having multiple heads

as we got further from our push off point and closer to the boat drop by the trail head of Adams Falls the wind picked up
by this time I had Lisa stop paddling and I was paddling alone
there was a certain amount of tension
the sun had left the sky and the water had grown dark
the various flags on the lake houses were flapping aggressively in the wind

I paddled... questioning if Lisa's assitance would help get us to our finishing point or cause us to topsize
flipping the boat had a long list of worries
there was of course everyone falling into the cold water of this massive mountain lake
then there was the issue of getting the overturned boat right again and getting everyone to shore
the slight issue of there being my the camera around my neck
and of course The Monster of Grand Lake

the sound of a motor boat in the distance was the sound of the Monster's stomach growling
a sudden movement or push to the boat was of course it coming to the surface
anything out of the ordinary was The Monster of Grand Lake

but really... with all the anxiety that could be created by a myth of a monster
there was actually a scary reality
the wind was blowing and the waves were pushing us around
all the options of a worst case scenario raveled around my brain

I turned the boat around sooner than I had wanted to and started to paddle against the wind back towards "home"
the water got more and more aggressive
and it got harder and harder to make progress against the wind
I thought about our situation

as the chop grew such that there was a mixture of white caps I decided we should pull off and wait it out
it was a bummer that I had not made this decision a hundred yards back as we passed a dock that was occupied by some young lake dwellers who seemed welcoming with their hearty hellos
carefully we pulled up to a vacant dock along side a righteous vacant vacation house
the kids jumped out and started to explore

the wind blew and it looked like it was about to rain
the dark water and its chop did not look so welcoming
I pulled the canoe out of the water and gathered the boys
Lisa and I were already feeling the tension of the moment
she had not liked the tone of my voice
I had not like the thought of our turtleing the canoe

the boys and I sat on the stairs sheltered from the wind
it was clear that the boys were getting cold
it did not appear that the storm was blowing over as fast as we would hope
the rational thing seemed to be for Lisa to walk back with the kids... hopefully catching a ride back to town

in my uptight east coast fashion the weather could not calm fast enough
when things started to mellow I decided to make a go of things
there was great apprehension
my fear was greater then simply getting wet

at first effort I tried to guide the canoe from the rear
but it was clear that this put me at greater risk
so I quickly paddled towards the next dock
the water was rough and it was awkward controling the boat with the nose raised out of the water
I was pleased that I was able to get to the next dock without being slammed into the garage that housed the lake house's motor boat

with my hand on the dock I moved to the center of the boat
using the boy's seat pads for my knees I paddled
feeling proud I fought the wind and the waves
feeling like an Indian I worked my way back to home

at one point the wind picked up and I paddled with full force against the wind
it was as if I were pedalling on a stationary bike
I had covered roughly half the distance towards our put in point
it seemed rational that I get the boat to shore and march the rest of the way home
in the recess of my mind I imagined my wife and children wet and cold marching back

with the boat on land I ran back to the rental place to get the car
as I rounded the corner to leave a message with the rental agent I saw five year old Grant walk up swinging his arms with no indication of mood or discomfort
pleased that my family was back without issue I left back to retrieve the canoe
the wind had let up a bit... but the dark clouds remained
I walked a few blocks back towards the boat then returned to get the cart to walk the boat back
I felt that I had already had my Grand Lake boating adventure for the day and would do better on land

sorry...
this did not develop as it should
and well... I am not sure I am going to proof it
so... this is what you get
what came off the top of my head with a slight glance before Publishing and Posting
not even an image to break up all the text
sorry


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