August 13th, 2007

Life at the Lake
Lake Winnipesaukee
By Dave Pearson, PA

I'm spending the first half of August at Gillian's ancestral vacation spot on Lake Winnipesaukee. I say 'spot' for it's not really a house or a single cabin, but a series of small cottages; some designed for sleeping and some for writing. There is even n artist's studio. The locus of all family events is a larger cabin which has three large rooms –kitchen, living room, and bedroom – and a small bath. The buildings are charming and rustic; the living is almost primitive. Imagine tent camping under wood instead of nylon or canvas. Little has changed since the camp was started by my mother-in-law's great grandparents at the turn of the last century. Or was it her great, great grandparents? Hmmm...I'm not sure. Anyway, in a time when the complications of life extend even to vacation spots, at a place where vacation 'homes' run to seven figures and power boats and jet skis rule the lake, Gillian's family has chosen to keep their existence on the Lake as unchanged from the early 1900's as possible. They like it that way. So do I.

Our cottage

I get up with the sun to either put in a few miles on my bike, or go fishing. I'm most comfortable with running water and have found several good mountain streams a little less than an hour away. I'm out of the camp early and on the stream by six. I drive from the northern section of the lakes region to the southernmost section of the White Mountain region.

The streams are much deeper than they first appear. They primarily flow over granite, so the beds are mostly sand and the rocks are large and round. Lots of places for fish to hide. The water rushes over a steep grade. Even in the low water of August, there is some white water. This gives the streams a good shot of oxygen. Where he water is not white, it is crystal clear.

I greet the day thigh-deep in a New Hampshire trout stream. I catch some fish and restore my soul. After a few hours I'm back in the car and headed to camp.

In my absence, most everyone remains in bed save for my father-in-law, who is up early cooking breakfast for the clan. Breakfast is either oatmeal or sourdough blueberry pancakes. Both these dishes are augmented with grains, fruit, and tofu (!) and are far and away better table fare than their names would suggest. Breakfast can go on until noon. No one rushes at the lake. Each and everyone find his own gentle pace and everything unfolds in its own good time.

We spend our time reading and conversing, cooking and eating, and swimming. Mostly swimming...and canoeing. Everyone here is a powerful swimmer. It's part of the lake culture. They all interact with water by getting into it and moving through the medium; or by getting on top of it (in a canoe) and gliding on the surface.

Center stage

I prefer to remain still in moving water. The rest of the family prefers to move in still water.

There are two fishermen in the clan besides myself. Both are kids, both fish the lake for bass, and both use spinning rods. Next year, they will come with me and begin to learn the ways of trout in moving water. And they will try their hands at fly fishing. The older of the two owns a fly rod and will bring it with him next season. The younger of the two needs his own fly rod. Looks like I'll have to build him one. It'll make a good Christmas present.


Here is a picture of the younger fisherman, Reuben, with a nice smallmouth bass he caught in the lake. ~ Dave (black gnat)

Days End

About Dave:

Dave Pearson lives in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania with his loving wife, Gillian, and two dogs, Casey and Booboo. His passion is small mountain streams. He teaches guitar for a living. You may contact Dave at: pdewey2@aol.com

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