|Not sure I understand it, but that is, in fact,|
a boat anchor hanging from a tree.
After an almost sinfully huge Thanksgiving dinner this afternoon, I took the overstuffed body out for a much-needed walk in the brisk breeze around my old neighborhood in Martinsville. It was quite pleasant; I always enjoy roaming the paths I frequented as a youngster, particularly at Lake Lanier, just down the street from my mom's. I confess I was intrigued to find a boat anchor suspended from a tall tree along the lake bank. I'm not sure it's actually keeping that tree from drifting away, but then, I'm no expert in nautical matters.
In my reckless youth, I took great pleasure in riding my bicycle on every local trail — or anything that even remotely passed for a trail — no matter how primitive or dangerous it might be. In recent years, the once-rugged trail, now called The Blue Heron, around one side of Lake Lanier has been leveled and partially graveled, and the lake association has constructed a few elevated wooden walkways over the steep-sided inlets that I used to zoom up and down on my bike. Quite miraculously, back then I never did end up in the water. I reserved that ignominious feat for adulthood, when I was on foot on the upgraded trail. No, not today, but several years ago, on a similarly frigid, windy day. I was enjoying the scenic view, which has changed little since my days of enthusiastic bike riding, and instead of watching where I was going, I was looking uphill at an attractive house built into the woods that hadn't been there in my youth. A few days before, there had been some rain, but for the most part the trail was dry. I hadn't anticipated there being any lingering slickery spots.
Never, ever fail to anticipate.
|The very spot where I will not admit to|
having fallen in the lake, except I did.
Next thing I know, I'm hearing a disturbingly heavy splash, and I'm looking at my feet way up in the air above me, and bone-chilling water is rushing over me like a cataract. I'm frantically pulling things out of my pockets — my cell phone, my wallet, my keys, anything the water might ruin — and mentally composing an aria of old, new, and spontaneously concocted swear words (think of Darren McGavin in A Christmas Story). I feel something between my teeth, and thinking it might be important, I clench my jaw shut so that whatever it is won't escape. After a few moments, I realize it is a leaf. Reluctantly, I set it free.
Once I finally dragged my sorry, soaked ass out of the shallow water, I determined with some relief that my cell phone had escaped submersion, and — above all things — that no one had been on the trail nearby to witness this act of unparalleled brilliance. On my frigid, three-quarter-mile walk back home, I did pass several walkers who raised their eyebrows at my obviously waterlogged figure, but I gave them my best nonchalant smile and continued on my way.
Today on my walk, I did encounter an old buddy, David Vogelsong, whom I've not seen except on Facebook in several decades. Nice indeed. I did venture into the nearby woods to check on one of my geocaches — "Castle Rock" (GC1BWV2) — where, a couple of years ago, the lovely Kimberly took a less-than-graceful tumble herself. That, however, can be a story for another day.
Click on images to enlarge.
|The old boathouse at Lake Lanier. When I was a kid, I'd ride my bike down to it|
with friends to get sodas, candy, and ice pops here.
|Walkways along the Blue Heron Trail. They weren't there when I used to tempt fate|
on my bike zooming up and down around the inlets.
|The wind was really whipping across the lake today. At least I stayed dry.|
|I've always loved this lake view. It's changed little in half a century.|