Friday, September 2, 2016

Scenes from the Battenkill

The pool.
One of my missions this summer is to find my spot on the Battenkill River. I love this river like crazy it has gotten into my being and reminds me of the wonder that world can still offer on a daily basis. I used to have a spot but now its just a little too far to make it practical so I have spent a day here and a day there this summer hunting for new spots. Luckily a friend is on a similar mission and one day maybe we will even go tubing.
I thought I had found my spot not too far from my house but on the weekends it is a portage spot for tubers and kayakers so there is little peace to be found. I made the mistake of going there on July 4th and was rewarded with a guy throwing up next to me. So I had to scratch that pretty spot off the list. And then I heard whispers of the Georgi. I did a little recon when I was on vacation and it looked promising especially it had two essential things a parking lot and a bathroom. A bathroom is always a good thing.
Let me tell you folks this place is magic. Beautiful grounds with perennial gardens and great old planting several different spots to cool off in the river. Plenty of space so even when the parking lot is full there is space to find your own spot.  My first full day there I was watching people walk up the river a bit and then ride the water down through a channel and pop out down river now this looked like fun and when I was finally alone later in the afternoon I went for my first run. After killing my feet on the pebbles (really need to get water shoes) I found a likely spot to jump in and away I went whisked off down stream via water power floating on my back having a grand time. As I rounded the corner I spotted the beach I usually hang out on and figured I would swim across this deep pool and go dry off.  Not sure why I felt I had to cross there but I think I wanted to avoid walking on more rocks. Now I know my basic swim strokes we were tortured in High School with having to take swimming and the coach treated us like we were Olympic hopefuls which trust me we were not.
So anyway I strike across the pool and notice that man that current is strong but I keep swimming then I realize that I am not making any progress. So I switch to my back stroke and nope still not going anywhere then I say okay under water nope no progress okay breast stroke nope side stroke old lady don’t want to get my hair wet style nope no progress. At this point I am getting tired and I say to myself shit I am going to drown in the battenkill. How freaking embarrassing. So I start to tread water and formulate a plan. I ended up reaching the other bank on the wrong side of the river and walked back up to the shallows and crossing back over. I sat on a rock and caught my breath and gave thanks for not having a heart attack I really am out of shape. To be honest I was a little shaken by this whole thing but I was proud I didn’t panic (well not much) formulated and executed a plan. It made me feel like a kid again when I would be out alone somewhere I probably wasnt supposed to be and would get myself into a scrape and then have to get myself out of the situation.
For the rest of the night I kept braying on to my husband jokingly about my brush with death on the Battenkill and he was not impressed to say the least. The next day I went back to the river and was enjoying myself on the edge of the pool when I watched an older woman do what I did the day before but she yelled out to a guy fishing saying she had to come his way and didn’t want to get tangled in his line as she couldn’t exit where I had in vain tried the day earlier because the current was too strong. I was vindicated it wasnt just me and my poor swimming it was the current! Yay silly me.
Went back again on Sunday (yes I have a problem) and was having a great time taking some dips reading my book and chatting with people. For some reason I leave my introverted tendencies behind and chat with everyone. I was having a nice chat with two guys about the area and just funny little stories when a large group of fully dressed people descend on the little beach. Now this was curious! I can’t tell whats going on are the all just sight-seeing and stopping by do one of the kids want to take a short swim? But no guess what it was a full immersion Baptism. I kid you not! What a strange and wonderful world this is right? So I move over to accommodate them I guess I could have left but I didn’t want to walk through all the people. So as I was sitting waist deep in water enjoying my surroundings Rob and Donna were Baptised. Dont get to witness that everyday!