Monday, August 24, 2009

Twin Trees

So I thought I’d written up and posted about our trip to Twin Trees back in July, but it turns out I was only half done. And now I don’t remember what else happened. But here’s what I have:

Day 1: I pack furiously, but confronted with a refrigerator full of a CSA share, I am too overwhelmed to consider planning meals. I leave behind the cheese I’d bought for the trip but Dan remembers to bring socks and underwear this time.
The ride is blessedly uneventful. When we arrive, C immediately claims his favorite chair in the living room and reads a book. A wails, as we’re still unloading the car, “C has something to do and I don’t!” I suggest she climb on rocks, and to my surprise, she thought that was a fantastic suggestion.

We unpack and eat ice cream and send the kids to bed. (C in the Chalet, and I wonder if the fact that he not only accepts, but enjoys, sleeping in a building by himself at his age is something I should worry about.) Dan equates contra dancing with speed dating and we listen to the rain on the roof.

Day 2 dawns bright and sunny; we wonder where we are. Friends call and worry that their child may be too ill to visit. We assure them that vomiting only adds to the ambiance and ask them to pick up our cheese*. Dark clouds have rolled in by the time they arrive. “It’s funny,” they say, “it was sunny right up until we turned onto Thirteenth Lake Road.” How did my ancestors find such a miserable microclimate?

Hooper mine, lemon balm pesto, wine, campfire, s’mores (with vegan marshmallows!), hearts. Dan and I marvel at the functional toaster, and it occurs to us that we, too, could have one that toasts both sides of the bread simultaneously and stops when done.

Day 3: A bickers with her friend all morning (“everyone in the whole world is hurting my feelings!”) but shrieks, “You can’t leave so soon!” when his family departs. We go to Raquette Lake, where it’s windy and cloudy but not actually raining. The kids explore the cemetery when we return. We wonder, not for the first time, why my relatives LIKE to have a view of the road. I read a recipe that calls for a quart of breadcrumbs, which are used as bait to trap the pigeons used as the meal’s protein source.

Day 4: C wants to spend the day in his pajamas and we agree that he doesn’t have to go anywhere that requires clothing. So we spend the mostly sunny day reading; A colors and misuses game pieces and both kids play outside. Dan can’t take another day without e-mail and goes to North Creek for a fix. (I am extremely jealous.) He then demonstrates an effective way of removing dried CSA popcorn from the cob that he learned from a childhood of tic-tacking houses with field corn. I propose that people who hit deer with their cars be required to take partial responsibility for their actions by learning to gut and cook the meat.

Day 5: I think we went to the swimming hole at Ski-Bowl, which has the same lifeguard as last year. Sweet job- there are rarely any swimmers there, the pond is only about 5 feet deep, and he has his friends come over to hang out all day.

Day 6: Our next set of friends gets in around midnight and we stay up way too late chatting.

Day 7: A guest cooks us potatoes and peanuts for our third breakfast before we head out to Hooper Mine again. A climbs to the promontory without assistance. We stop at Thirteenth Lake on the way home and A freaks out when “black plumpy things” attach themselves to her. “The problem is that she doesn’t move around enough so the leeches have a chance to grab on,” Dan opines, as he swims out to a rock. All the children wail because they can’t reach the rock too.

Dan liked last year’s improvised lentil/ turnip/ feta meal so much that he makes it again, on purpose this time. Brian arrives as our other friends leave, bearing a six-pack of beer and a bag of cookies. He knows how to please us.

Day 8: Brian takes his bike to check out the “bike center” at Garnet Hill Lodge but is foiled by typical Adirondack service. So he rides to North Creek and back instead. The grandparents pick up C for a couple nights at Raquette Lake.

I tell Dan that I don’t want to go out to dinner if it means driving as far as Indian Lake (20 minutes). He tricks me into getting in the car to drive to the trailhead for Vanderwhacker Mountain an HOUR away, the last five miles of which on a rocky dirt road that does unmentionable things to our car. It’s muddy and buggy and steep and starts to rain when we’re less than halfway up. Brian and I insist on descending, traumatizing A who’d been promised a fire tower, but as it starts raining harder and harder even Dan admits we were right. We arrive at the car soaking wet and covered in mud, and of course have to creep back along the now-wet road designed for high-clearance 4WD vehicles. We have been officially Vanderwhacked.

Tired and hungry, we stop in Olmstedville for pizza at the dubiously-named Lucky Leprechaun. The waitress is polite and the place is clean, which is remarkable ‘round these parts, so things are looking up. The food takes forever, but when it finally comes I’m impressed that my first slice of pizza is tasty. Then I have a second and realize I was just starving initially. There is a single bathroom that eight people, including the four in our party, all desperately need to use simultaneously. I give up before it’s my turn, determining that it’d be more expedient to just drive home, where I declare that sea shanties don’t make anyone gay.

Days 9: Who knows? Presumably we were recovering from being Vanderwhacked.

Day 10: We manage to pack and clean up early so we’d have time to get home and settle in before I needed to go to work on Monday. But we are foiled on our way out of North River, when A has a sudden bout of (understandable) motion sickness and vomits all over the car. We spend an extra half hour cleaning up in the Hudson. Our car ride is more peaceful than usual, as C is still with his grandparents and A can obsessively listen to the same book on tape as she did on the way up, and I get the first load of laundry in as soon as we get home.

Back in September!

* I later find local cheese from happy cows for sale at Hudson River Trading, so I won’t have to fret so about left-behind-cheese in the future.

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