Basket packed with camera, knitting and snacks, we headed north yesterday to a place we had heard and read about called Nine Corner Lake. Parking alongside the road at a trail marker an hour from home, the kids climbed out, we loaded up with life jackets and began our hike through the woods. Uphill. For a mile. Yes, please feel a bit sorry for the pregant mama's back and hips. I'm for sure waddling today. :)
Little Chase walked the whole way up by himself, even though Sean had the back carrier handy in case he needed a ride. The trail consisted of the most beautiful rocks, boulders and tree roots intersecting it, a stream fed from the lake cascading down over boulders alongside the trail, wooden bridges to cross and then...finally....the lake in view in pristine seclusion up from the rest of the civilized world.
From a rope swing on top of a boulder, a line of people waited for turns to swing and drop into the water (cold northern lake water - but how good it felt in that hot sun). A little ways out into the lake, a boulder rose up and the older kids and Sean swam out and jumped off of that.
We're not ones for crowds though, so we hiked further around the lake to a secluded rocky point and settled there, in the quiet, finding wild blueberries and blackberries prolific, eating and wading and swimming in the radiant sun.
Aiden had brought along a pocket full of "fishing" gear, which included a window suction cup for his hook, string for fishing line and a wooden clothespin for his fishing rod. He strung it all up and was content for hours to sit and hold it over the water, waiting for a nibble. You can imagine his pure delight, when under the blueberry bushes growing alongside the lake and boulders, he discovered a tangled fishing bob, fishing line and real hook!
Chase contentedly stood by the blueberry bushes, grazing, or waded into the water, still standing on the massive boulder we were all on, which was partially submerged and allowed for perfect wading in the amazingly clear water.
Andrew and Annaliese swam, picked berries and kept me company. There were two varieties of blackberries alongside the lake, a small bush variety and a low growing ground cover sort, which I have never seen. I wish I had pulled some of those to bring home and plant.
Four year old Ella has become quite the fish this summer and with her life jacket on, kept up with all the older kids in their swimming and jumping.
Finally as dinner time approached, we headed back down the rocky trail, Chase exhausted in his carrier on Sean's back, and the boys, like nimble mountain goats, running and laughing down the trail.
Wish I could share photos of our beautiful day (next time, for even with the hike, this pregnant mama would love to go back), but my memory card was safe and snug here at home all the while and all the images of the day are captured in our hearts and minds.
This morning Andrew has two brown ducklings we hatched out following him around the house (3 days old) and it's time for me to make breakfast before the rest of the house wakes up. I plan on a thorough cleaning and scrubbing and sorting and tossing in the kitchen today. Our stone counters need to be re-sealed and this seems like a great project to tackle as the counters are covered with jars of canned green beans and canning paraphernalia.
Here's hoping for a beautiful week for you all,