Day 1: Traffic makes the drive a half hour longer than usual, but the last stretch was enhanced by a sign in Wevertown reading "Eggs so fresh you'll want to slap the hen" and a game that involved A laughing so hard that she shrieked, "You're making me drool!" "Piano Man" comes on the radio and Dan complains that radio stations only play three different Billy Joel songs.
Day 2: Overhearing the kids playing Go Fish, Dan and I contemplate pick-up lines following that format. "Do you have a rhinoceros?" is deemed too intimidating. C goes to Raquette Lake with his grandparents before Jeff, Sandy, Robin, and Iain arrive. Our campfire includes Violent Femmes sing-alongs and s'mores, and it is determined that Iain has not inherited his father's enmity toward marshmallows. It is also determined that s'mores made with Rolos are not as awesome as they should be.
Day 3: Dan makes omelets and fresh pesto with basil, parsley, and garlic he grew himself. We get sunburns while visiting Hooper Mine and Thirteenth Lake but blueberries provide adequate compensation. Dan attempts to take pin-up shots of me in my swimsuit but I have a bad attitude. (I then contemplate creating a nude Twin Trees calendar as a fundraiser, but can't think who would buy it.)
The old guests head for home and new ones arrive. Corrina, Donny, Dylan, and Arielle get settled in just in time for thunderstorms to keep us up all night.
Day 4: It's still pouring when we wake up. The kids are cheerfully but noisily playing inside and thus I feel rather sorry for Gene when he arrives for the day, but luckily it clears up enough to go to Thirteenth Lake and Hooper Mine. Yes, again.
And again, old guests leave and new ones replace them: C returns before Steve and Denali arrive. Steve, tasked with sorting peas while we cook dinner, is wholly unimpressed with Dan's methods. We consume a shocking number of desserts, since in addition to our own ice cream, we'd managed to wrangle chocolate zucchini cake, banana cake, lemon pie, and fruit from our previous guests and cookies and watermelon from our current ones. The boys play Settlers.
Day 5: We attempt to hike to Peaked Pond, but the kids’ enthusiasm for exploring and loon-watching kept us from reaching it. We only made it back to the Thirteenth Lake swimming area (yes, again) after I challenged them to walk for an entire ten minutes without stopping to eat. Our guests stay later than planned because C and Denali become immersed in NetHack.
Day 6: I beg for and am granted a day in which we don’t drive anywhere, despite Dan’s itching to find cell service. We walk to the creek across from the fire station and bicker about the safety hazards of throwing rocks. A hummingbird visits each hosta flower in turn. The kids complain about the homemade frozen pizza but acknowledge that it’s better than the pizzeria pizza we so cruelly subject them to on occasion. Everyone but me reads Garfield books that some sadist left behind. While making s’mores around the campfire, C sings along to a repeating song, and I wonder how much of his sing-along hatred comes from not remembering the words.
Day 7: We venture down the hill for the first time since Friday. The grocery store, to our surprise, has both organic yogurt and an aisle labeled “Warehouse Snacks.” We explore gift/ antique/ junk shops and the burnt-out ruins of the transfer station.
The heat causes my blood pressure to plummet. Having finished all of my own books I make selections from the camp bookshelf, and determine that John Grisham is a better choice than James Patterson.
(I cannot complain about the weather, though. This was the only unbearably hot day and other than Day 4, every day was sunny and gorgeous.)
A randomly decides to sleep in a tent by herself and stays there all night despite a noisy rainstorm. Dan however does not sleep at all, worrying about his 6-year-old out there. It was a little jarring to send off a little girl wearing a nightgown that matches her doll’s and carrying four stuffed animals to sleep outside alone.
Day 8: Dan cooks up potatoes and eggs for brunch, with the feeble hope that it’ll keep the kids from being hungry for an entire hour. C hadn’t yet climbed Hooper Mine on this trip, so off we went (yes, again), stopping (yes, again) at the lake to swim on the way home. We lazed around for the rest of the day. I flip open a magazine and read, “It can be tough to decide among bikes priced in the $2100 to $2700 range. Cyclists who find themselves faced with this budgetary limit on their hobby have to carefully evaluate how to get the most value for their money,” and giggle at the arrogance.
Tragedy! The baby zebra from the Go Fish game falls through a crack in the porch floor. A wails because “it will miss its mommy.” Dan is delighted when C volunteers to be the one to go under the porch after it. C find the crawlspace “awesome!” and collects both the zebra and an old used glowstick, which I refuse to let him bring home.
Day 9: I give C the next book in the series he’s reading and this renders him unwilling to go to the river with us. We drag him along anyway and A and he have a fantastic time swimming, collecting rocks, throwing rocks, exploring “Itchy Island,” and watching an osprey. Heidi, Brian, and Guinevere stop by for lunch before we head for home. “Big Shot” comes on the radio and Dan is delighted that it’s not one of the standard three he listed on the ride up. I’ve unpacked and done most of the laundry, but think it’ll take a few more showers before we’ve washed all the lake sand off.