Once you take a two-week vacation somewhere, it’s difficult to ever go back to one week. I haven’t taken a two-week vacation since 1990 – before we were married.
This morning is a perfect start to a New Hampshire day. Danforth Bay is like a mirror; reflecting the wispy clouds set in a pale, blue sky. The loon, as they have all week, are active this morning with their unmistakable call cutting through the cool morning air. The chorus of birds are welcoming the day while the occasional fish jumps in the water.
This is quite an active and busy weekend in the White Mountains and Lake Region. Our neighbors have a party of eight spending a long weekend. Their
Friends arrive for week 2
first night lasted well beyond midnight (but they are up this morning grilling something and walking the dogs). There were some loud guys somewhere in our cove, but they quieted down around midnight. Our son and his friend spent the evening enjoying the Comedy Network and laughing it up. My husband collapsed about 9:30 p.m.
In a few hours, we’ll be packing up and moving 20 miles or so to our week 2 house in Moultonborough. Our friends, the Brauns and my friend, Donna will be joining us. While it will be another New Hampshire adventure, I’ll miss the serenity of this piece of paradise. The boys
Go-karting in Ossipee
enjoyed some tubing on Broad Bay yesterday; we had a BBQ dinner at Yankee Smokehouse, then spent an hour at the nearby Go-Kart track.
We’ll say farewell to Danforth Bay with more happy memories of a week spent in this nearly pristine place untouched by Starbucks and stress. We move to another place to experience another dose of paradise. One more week…
Our 24 hours together is set on these serene piece of water with a gentle breeze, low humidity and sparkling sunshine. Fueled with some yogurt, fruit and granola and the best-smelling coffee, we paddled in the canoe across the bay to the small creek that leads to amazing displays of nature. Despite the hum of a lawnmower somewhere beyond the campground and neighboring state park, the chorus of birds and the gentle lapping of the canoe along the creek is all we could hear. Turtles sunning on a log, water lilies and lupin growing on the surface of the water and small fish greeted us on this short trip. A few kayakers and one fisherman also greeted the day that included this natural treat. The relaxation continues…
A picnic lunch accompanied us to a spot we have not seen yet, White Lake State Park. It’s just a short ride from our Danforth Bay house. The $4 per person admission was worth seeing the white-haired woman at the gatehouse. Doug said, “She’s probably as old as this park.” It was particularly funny when Doug almost rear-ended the car in front of us and the gatehouse woman said, “I know I’m gonna see an accident here someday.”
White Lake State Park, Ossipee, NH
We got the lay of the land quickly as the day-use area included a large beachfront with plenty of families, family-campers, day camp and overnight campers and their counselors and even the occasional garter snake. After lunch, we walked the two-mile trail around the lake which was formed millions of years ago by a glacier. After our walk, we decided to get into the swim area for a dip. Because it’s a glacial lake, it’s a bit cooler than Lake Ossipee – but it was still refreshing and relaxing.
Following our foray into civilization, we stopped at the neighborhood store for some fresh cod fillets and yet another bottle of wine for a fabulous dinner after a one-hour ride on the boat along Lake Ossipee. It’s all I can do now to hop in the shower, then stay awake a few more hours to enjoy another amazing White Mountains sunset over the bay and take in the Phillies-Dodgers game on MLB.TV. Thursday, Adam leaves his camper days behind and joins us for 10-days of NH vacation-bliss. His favorite friend, Andrew, arrives Friday – it’s all good!
They say you can survive without food, but not without water. We have now survived just about 18 hours without water at our lake house and all is well (or is it water well). The water for the lake house is pumped from a well and the motorized pumping sound is sort of like an air conditioner hum – you know it’s working well – until it’s not. Around midnight Monday, the pump kept cycling through with the “contractions” getting closer and closer until I knew something was wrong. You see, at that hour, no one was using water, so WHY would the water pump be operating? Turns out there was a crack in the housing and water sprayed all over the basement creating a 1/4 inch deep pond. Our attentive house owner was contacted and he arrived around breakfast time to begin cleanup and let us know the plumber was on the way.
The day was not lost. Even without a shower (we showered before the pump had broken), we managed to brush our teeth with bottled water, ate breakfast at a nearby diner, then packed up the boat for Doug’s treat for the Camp Robin Hood Saxons- a jaunt in the boat and tubing. I had decided to treat the Saxons to pizza so the day became a lunch-time, afternoon event.
The Saxons at the Friedman's camp on Lake Ossipee
After picking up $125 worth of pizza, I drove to the home of Jack & Jane Friedman and their son, Myles and wife Virginia. Jack is a cousin of my mother-in-law. Jane’s family has owned the Lake Ossipee property for well over a century. I arrived with the pizza just as the Saxons arrived at the dock. They were hungry and grateful and dug right in. I spent nearly two hours talking with the Friedmans about family history and listened to stories from the past.
The weather was hot, with a light breeze. The Saxons swam and tubed for a while, then collapsed in the beach area outside. I ventured back to our cottage to check out water pump progress. The owner was continuing to wet-vac the basement and dry out belongings that were soaked. Rich, the plumber from Federal Piping in Freedom was just about finished by 3:30 p.m. We had water and a new pump once again.
Doug was exhausted from the Saxon jaunt. I prepared a simple grilled chicken and vegetable dinner with a salad. I watched the Phillies get clobbered by the Dodgers (though they tried to claw their way back), and it was lights out by 11 p.m. Another day at the lake with an adventure in water pumps.
Ethel Thayer (Katherine Hepburn) cried to her husband Norman Thayer (Henry Fonda) in “On Golden Pond,” “Come here, Norman. Hurry up. The loons! The loons! They’re welcoming us back.” While day three of our NH vacation is starting out gray and damp, the dance of the loon on Danforth Bay is unmatched in its wonder.
This morning, there was no mist, just a light breeze from the east and the chirping of countless birds to wake the day. In the flat water, I saw rings fanning out as though a fish had jumped. Looking closer, I saw the unlikely silhouettes of two loon dancing in mirror opposite on the water. They seemed to peck at each other; dip their long beaks into the water to snap up some bugs, then they’d disappear in unison below the surface to swim maybe 15 yards underwater. Then they’d pop up again on the surface, repeating the dance.
It is quite unusual to see two loon together. They are solitary, aquatic birds – except when they are mating. According to The Loon Preservation Committee, what I apparently saw this morning was the male and female doing short dives and swims together in their mating ritual. The male eventually leads the female to a suitable spot on land, but near the water, to mate and build their nest. Typically, nesting takes place in May or June, but it’s possible this male loon had a failed mating attempt with another female and has found another mate to try to start their family.
As far as I can tell, no one on Danforth Bay saw this display of nature this morning. Navigate to this link to hear the call of the loon – it is like no other. Voice of the loon http://www.loon.org/voice-loon.php
Doug, Adam and Grandma Arline - before the lake situation.
The peace and magic of a vacation morning is everything you want it to be here on Danforth Bay. Up at 6:30 (after a horrendous dream about a beaver
Morning mist on Danforth Bay
destroying our boat), the mist danced and swirled across Danforth Bay. Two fisherman in their boat glided across a mirror-like waterway as the morning clouds just started to give way to sun that will herald another beautiful August day. The only sounds were the chorus of birds and then – just like a scene out of “On Golden Pond,” the loon gave her mystical call almost as if to welcome this new day.
There will be boating with the Saxons at camp and a welcome to Doug’s mom later in the day. For now, the blue sky and sunshine breaks across the rolling hills across the bay. The lake awakes.
Who knew my son skinny dips? There I am, trying to be the “cool mom,” waving and standing at the front of our boat as we zip past the camp waterfront after dinner and spot my son and his group of guys swimming. As one of the boys jumped up, I quickly realized, swim trunks were optional – or there was some sort of game underway – that surely did not include parents as observers. My husband quickly turned the boat around and we waved
A modest lake house for sale in NH.
“bye-bye.” Oh, did I say my mother-in-law was with us as well? I don’t have a photo of any of this – not ever.
The day also included what I now affectionately call house 285. We are always looking at houses for sale in NH. This one is something that could be a fabulous and comfortable vacation home. We look, we dream – we continue to vacation. Tuesday- a visit to Maine.