Saturday, August 20 2022
location: 800 feet west of Woodworth Lake, Fulton County, NY
This morning I got up fairly early and worked on setting more bluestone pieces to further build out the walkway between where we park the car and the steps up to the cabin's front door. At some point Gretchen got up
[REDACTED]. Then she and I
we had a our conventional Saturday-morning-at-the-cabin until about noon, when the first of our weekend guests arrived. It was our friends Kate, Sarah the Vegan, and Nancy, though for some reason Nancy had neglected to bring her dog Jack. Kate remarked that during almost none of the drive had the landscape looked anything like the Adirondacks. But then they passed the sign welcoming them to Adirondack State Park, and that point it did look like the Adirondacks. Three miles after that, they'd arrived at our cabin.
Our guests had brought various housewarming gifts and a bottle of wine, none of which they would bill us for before leaving. We gave a little tour of the cabin, and of course our guests made all the appropriate noises. I think there were some snacks, though I'm not really sure, and then the five of us went down to the lake. Pretty quickly Gretchen dove into the water, followed by me getting on an innertube and then Sarah and Nancy gingerly entering the water. Nancy made a lot of discomfort noises as she adjusted to the water temperature, which seemed pretty warm to me. At some point Nancy asked a very Nancy-style question: "when you have to go pee, should you get out of the lake to do it?" (The answer to this question is that one should pee in the lake. Dilution quickly makes urine functionally homeopathic.)
I took a break from socializing to mix up a batch of concrete to expand the footing of the northeastern most pier on the fixed part of the dock. The lake level was even lower than it had been last weekend, which meant I had less water interfering with my under-water application. But the water was also significantly choppier, and it seemed prudent to cover the fresh concrete with rocks and sand to keep it from being washed away by the agitated water.
Later, while Gretchen was up at the cabin to retrieve more of our arriving visitors, I took Ramona for a ride in the canoe out into the outlet bay. As I was returning, Gretchen arrived with our last guests for the day, Jeff and Alana, the only visitors who would be spending the night. Jeff doesn't swim, but Alana does, and they had a nice swim out into the mouth of the outlet bay. At some point Kate took one of the kayaks for a paddle and had a "magical" time, though when she was trying to get out of it, she capsized and ended up in the drink.
I took another break from socializing to pry loose a large step-shaped block of granite from the lake floor and used it to form a better, more solid bottom step for the stone stairway leading down into the water from the dock's abutment (a stairway mostly used only by me and Ramona the Dog). I knew this sort of thing activity was antisocial, but I figured I should get it while I could, given how social this weekend would be.
Eventually the seven of us had had our fill of the lake experience and hiked back to the cabin. At that point people started consuming things like cheese and crackers and wine and beer. The bulk of tonight's dinner would be grilled on our charcoal grill, so I got that going using paper, charcoal, charcoal starter, and a great many small dry sticks, the latter producing nice coals of their own. It wasn't long before the grill was over 600 degrees Fahrenheit, and with it running like that, it took only a few minutes to grill all the things Gretchen was preparing: marinaded portobello mushroom caps, marinaded slabs of tofu, Field Roast "hotdogs," onions, and a few Impossible burgers (though one package of that we'd thought we'd had had gone missing). Somehow all seven of us managed to fit around the little circular table out on the screened-in porch and we ate these things (by the time I ate mine, it was cold). There was other food that Gretchen had prepared earlier in the week, including quiche and pasta with pesto sauce on it. The pasta was a mix of rotini and penne, the latter bought (to Gretchen's horror) by mistake. Our visitors couldn't understand why Gretchen would be so anti-penne, but they had to admit after trying a piece of penne and a piece of rotini that the latter was better, probably because it held onto more sauce.
Later Gretchen set up a fondu pot and everyone (except me) went apeshit over the idea of dipping strawberries in molten chocolate.
Shortly after dark, Nancy, Sarah the Vegan, and Kate all drove back to the Hudson Valley, leaving us with Jeff and Alana. He and I had some "bad scotch" (as Gretchen characterized it; it was Duggan's Dew) and then Jeff told us all about what it was like growing up as an adopted son in a deeply conservative family. He'd always felt different, and ended up having a liberal world-view. More recently, some of his relatives tracked him down via Ancestry.com's genetic database. I was the first to bed, and Gretchen had Jeff and Alana sleep in the "Barbara Room," the room where the two Barbaras had slept last weekend. It's the room Gretchen and I used to sleep in before we completed the upstairs bedroom.
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