From Boston I climbed on board a Cesna, an 8-seater plane (including the pilots), where even my purse was weighed and stowed in the wings of the aircraft.
Upon landing, my sweetheart was waiting there with our friend and host, Ryan. Earlier that morning it had rained with full force across the lake, but since my plane left the terminal, the clouds had cleared to reveal a kind sun-- just warm enough to carry the scent of the moist forest floor and creating a perfect atmosphere for our convertible ride to the lake house.
Ryan’s parents — a retired teacher and a dentist — waved to me from the shore. There, they were docking their water toys — a stand-up paddle board and a hobie, which is basically a stand-up bicycle on the water. Ryan’s old but sweet yellow Labrador Harley greeted us with wagging tail. I dumped my stuff inside and we took a walk down a forest path to hunt for wild blueberries.
When we returned, the sun was beginning to set. We went down to the dock and met with Ryan’s parents and their friends over some beers, watching a glorious vibrant sky reflect on the darkening water. Eventually, we went inside, and Ryan made us a delicious gourmet dinner.
Over the next few days, we hiked some trails that lined the Adirondacks, or took the boat out to visit all of the little private beaches and favorite fishing spots. We rode the SUP, or rowed the kayak, or paddled the hobie as far as we could. We lounged in the hammock, read books, listened to music. Ryan happens to also be a pianist, a DJ and a musical composer— for hours his fingers sashayed across the piano keys as we sang along to the classic rock tunes he played. We spent the evenings gathered around the fire pit, sharing stories and dreams for the future.
This quintessential American summer experience was something that I-- a desert girl from Southern California-- have only ever seen in movies and on tv as teenagers heading to Summer Camp or BBQing on the dock with dad... No, I spent my summers baking slowly in the vibrating heatwaves of Palm Springs under a wide-brimmed hat in my warm swimming pool, fighting off wasps and swimming cockroaches. I couldn't fathom how so many American kids spent their summers in the cool waters of a northern lake, with a gentle current, and soft mud between their toes...
This scene at Lake Clear was one of the most calm and rejuvenating settings I have ever been privy to.
Forever I will dream of this slice of American Pie, a place where I could escape for a summer to practice painting lunes with watercolors, or write that great American novel...