Monday, March 24, 2014

128. Jumping Into Lakes

In regular life you have to plan a day to go jump in a lake. Unless you live on a property with a lake on it, odds are pretty good that if you find yourself jumping into one, you had probably been planning on it. It's not a frequent occurrence for someone to be driving home from work, fully clothed and maybe on their way to do other errands, to suddenly pull over to a lake alongside the road and just fling themselves in. Just one good fling! 

But while we were long-distance hiking, if we came upon a lake, we could just jump right in. The only decision that needed to be made was what percentage of our hiking clothing were we willing to get soaked. Douglas Adams wasn't kidding that a towel is a good travel companion: a towel is something I missed very frequently while on trail. But if it was a sunny day, we could just hang out until we felt we had let it evaporate enough. 

I was going to try and explain it in a new way, but I think one of my posts from the trail does a solid job of summarizing the, ahem, freedom of jumping into a lake on trail.


Thud, thud, thud THUDTHUDTHUD

"Don't look at meeeeeee!!"

Like most humans, when bade to look away, my instinct is to immediately focus in on the thing in question with laser-like intensity. I looked up from the water just in time to see a tall, muscular, bearded man running as fast as he could down the dock to the lake. He was also naked as the day he was born, clutching his hands over his exposed nether regions. In what seemed like slow motion, Grim launched off the end of the dock, his nude form hurtling through the air over our heads like a fleshy, low-flying 747. On a nearby shore of the lake, two elderly fly fishermen in wader overalls and bucket hats stared at the spectacle in open-mouth shock. All of us in the water had been frozen in surprise and glee. Suddenly realizing the fast encroaching danger, we all scrambled to get out of the way. We dove aside just in time for an explosive tidal wave to crash over our retreating faces. 

In the water was Catch, Cascade, Pretzel, Hugs and I. Lounging on the dock was Dumptruck, Whistle and The Hunger. Our group of 9 had been driven back to the trailhead by Ma Buddha, well-rested and bellies full of raspberry pancakes. We had started hiking around noon, and knew that we likely wouldn't make it very far. Thus we made the best of it, stopping at every view and possible chill-out point. After a few miles, the trail went directly through the well-manicured lawn of an inn that often caters to hikers. There was a long dock on a gorgeous lake, and everyone was looking out at the water wistfully. Someone mentioned the idea of jumping in, and I immediately dropped my pack, ripped off my shoes, sprinted down the dock and hurtled myself into the water. Everyone else followed in quick succession. 


Dumptruck took some great photos on that particular lake day, including one of a nude Grim leaping into the lake, which is decidedly not family appropriate. So, alas, it did not make it into this post.

I suppose this could be under a large umbrella post about the spontaneity of living the life of a hiker. There is an overall goal, a general destination, but every day you get to choose your own adventure. And sometimes that adventure is just getting soaking wet in your underpants, in the good way.

Pretzel leaping #1 (Hugs is in the water). Look at those hiker calves!

Pretzel leaping #2

Pretzel leaping #3

Look at my tiny hands in the water!


Drying off
Clever Girl

I will do my best to cajole Dumptruck into providing more photos for these posts. There are so many beautiful, fun pictures that didn't make it into the book, and didn't make it onto the blog because there was no way to get his pictures on here after the share functionality broke on his camera while we were in Virginia (thus why a lot of the photos on the blog after May or so are just from my iPod).


  1. Awesome post! Love Whistle's hair all spread out on the dock. She could play Medusa...if Medusa was a kind hearted naturalist with a great sense of humor :-) Love, Mom and Dad

  2. I'm with Mom & Dad above.....she has a killer smile too! Oh yea, the post was good too. ; )