what makes wading in a lake so unpleasant
Sunday, September 4 2022
location: 800 feet west of Woodworth Lake, Fulton County, NY
Yesterday I'd drunk a little alcohol, just enough to take the edge off my hangover, and so I woke up today feeling rested and energetic. After I had french press of coffee and some kratom tea in me, I took a recreational perocet so I could maximize the holidaity of this, the peak day of the long Labor Day weekend. Eventually I set up my audio box to play the local oldies station (the one with all the weird ads for Rossbach Shoes) and I set to work further building out the stone patio near the southwest corner of the cabin. In so doing, I managed to use up nearly all the good (and many of the not-so-good) pieces of bluestone I'd brought up from the Catskills over the course of numerous trips. By the end, there, the patio looked to be big enough for our six grey plastic Adirondack chairs and our steel fire pit. All I had to do to finish it was include a few fat chunks of granite I was able to find in the nearby woods. There isn't much stone on the surface in this part of the Adirondacks that isn't in the form of massive round boulders, but near the cabin there are a few usable flat-sided chunks that were pushed to the top when the site was leveled to build the cabin. I also did a little additional work on the stone pathway to the cabin's front door, extending a "curb" of long bluestone "sticks" along the edge of the driveway and beginning a side path that will eventually go along the west side of the cabin and down to the dock trail.
After doing all this, I was sweaty and sprinkled with sand (which the "soil" placed around our cabin mostly consists of). Whenever I've been working in this sandy soil, there comes a point when I also get some in my mouth and I can feel it crunch between my teeth with every bite. When I was still very much in this state, I grabbed a beer and walked down to the lake on my own, this time heading through the trackless wilderness in a more-or-less straight line east from the cabin. I soon came upon the backwards-facing cliffs I'd discovered on Friday, and I decided to follow them southeastward to see where they led. Interestingly, they form something of an unbroken wall blocking lake access for Shane coming down from his building envelope (his "little slice of heaven"). In order for him to make a trail down to the lake, he either has to veer around the cliffs onto either our parcel (to the north) or Ibrahim's parcel (to the south).
Once I'd made it to the lake, I went north along the shoreline to our dock and then spent a fair amount of time pulling waterlogged sticks and trunks out of the muck just north of the dock and piling them atop all the other woody debris at the base of the massive tooth-shaped boulder. It's far too mucky in that part of the shoreline to make for a comfortable wading experience. But perhaps removing the sticks would improve it enough that I might start wading there more, and over time I might remove some of that muck and use it to fill holes or smooth out dips in the trail, making it an even better place to wade.
After I was hot, sweaty, and dirty, I climbed onto the innertube and went for a float, holding a beer between my knees as I paddled with my hands. The weather was cloudy and there were threatening rumbles of thunder, so I was only one on the lake despite it being, as I said, the peak of the long Labor Day Weekend.
I paddled over to the vicinity of the beaver lodge on the shoreline near where Ibrahim's parcel borders Shane's. And as I drew close, I saw a beaver floating there in the water, not really moving. So I stopped paddling and floated, wonder what he or she would do. (This looked like a medium-sized beaver, that is, neither "Madyson" nor "Clide.") Eventually the beaver started swimming out in my direction, getting fairly close before slapping his or her tail and briefly diving under the surface. I didn't want to bother the beavers too much, so I initiated a retreat, and the beaver eventually decided I wasn't worth getting worked up about.
Later as I sat on the dock with my feet in the water, I saw Ibrahim appear on the end of his dock. He waved at me and I waved back, but neither of us made any sound, as the stillness at that moment was magical and nobody wanted to be the one to break it.
Later I pried a stump out of the grassy patch above the dock. I'd used this stump as a low-grade anvil and as a drilling surface when I'd been working on the dock. But now it was just something to stub my toes on and I wanted it gone. I had a big 42 inch crowbar at the dock, and this made quick work of extracting the stump once I'd managed to get under it and set up a solid fulcrum. I then used some of the lake bottom's slimy muck (which makes wading in a lake so unpleasant) to fill in the where the stump had been.
Meanwhile, Throckmorton the Loon was out on the lake, though he never came close enough for me to get a good photograph.
The bluestone patio southeast of the cabin, looking north.
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The bluestone patio, looking south.
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Note the male cannabis plants in the foreground.
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The bluestone patio with the Adirondack chairs in place, photographed from above (I was standing on the nearby picnic table).
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