Summer memories – part two

Posted on June 2, 2021


swimming

In part one I described our summer cottage, Hickory Lodge, and the surrounding area. In this blog I’ll talk about some of our summer activities that I still fondly look back on 50+ years later. There are a lot of activities that come to mind so I’ll save some of them for my next blog.

Probably the one fun activity that stands out the most was going out on the lake in our old wood rowboat. Long before aluminum rowboats became popular everyone used boats made of wood. Ours was actually pretty sleek and was painted the same colors as our cottage. It sat low in the water and was a lot of fun to row and could go pretty fast. The biggest thrill was when were allowed to go out in it without an adult along. I still remember the sense of freedom I felt when I could row all around the lake, exploring every nook and cranny to my hearts content! It was almost like getting your first car and driving around where ever you wanted.

My twin brother and I did a lot of fishing in the boat too. While I really didn’t like to eat fish, that didn’t stop us from going out after dinner in the boat to fish until it got dark. It turns out that that was a wonderful time to be out on the water. I can still visualize sitting in the boat as the sun set and the lake was so quiet and peaceful. I didn’t care if I caught a fish or not. Just looking back across the lake from the boat at the quiet beaches and cottages illuminated by the low setting sun was beautiful!

Speaking of beaches, swimming was another activity that we did a lot of. The beach was only a five minute walk from the cottage so we could easily go down for a while to do some swimming and then go back to the cottage for lunch. After letting your food digest for a half hour (which all parents seem to make their kids do back then) we might go back to the beach for more swimming and to cool off. Quite often a bunch of people from neighboring cottages would go down to the lake and swim together. There would be inner tubes, rafts and lots of ball games in the water. A couple of folks liked to dunk us kids so I usually got dunked a few times, whether I wanted to or not! One of the inner tubes was from a big truck and it was HUGE! You could easily fit three kids in it so that made for some real fun.

My dad always took his vacation the last two weeks of July and we always went to the cottage for those two weeks (along with lots of weekends through the summer). One thing we did during vacation was to get a group of neighbors together and take a hike on the Appalachian trail at the Delaware Water Gap, which was not far away. It’s a perfect hike from the trail head to Sunfish Pond, which is at the top and is a wonderful place to have lunch and soak your feet in this beautiful glacial lake. Along the way, there’s a really pretty mountain stream in a gorge that you can walk down to. The water is so cold you can only put your feet in it for a few minutes, even in the summer! It’s crystal clear too!

There are lots of other wonderful activities that we enjoyed at our summer cottage, which I’ll talk about in my next blog. What things did you do in the summer that you fondly look back on?