I love this time of year. The sun is out and the leaves are coming out. The yards are drying, and gardens are being planted. It also means that campers and tents are being aired out for a long summer of outdoor adventures. (I know some people camp in the winter, but I'm not talking about those crazies.) So, in this week's "Reminiscing," I've decided to talk about those weekend trips with family and friends.
As the weather turned from the gray, dreary winter and spring into beautiful summer days, my parents occasionally would pack up the car and head out for a day of relaxing at the lake, or maybe even a weekend camping trip to one of the state parks. Sometimes, we even had some family friends join us. Actually, I think it was mostly with these family friends.
|Wilson Tuscarora State Park - courtesy NYS Parks|
Most often, we'd meet up with the Herman family and spend the day picnicking. To get from the beach, there was a rather steep hill going down to the water's edge. As little kids we had a difficult time climbing that to get back up to the picnic area. With sand underfoot combined with the steepness, our footing was slipping and sliding. All the way to the west end of the beach, there was a trail to the beach that was mostly overgrown and probably the steepest of the trails. Matt and I wold dare each other to climb that one. It was a matter of pride if you could make it up that part of the cliff.
Herman's had a boat, and so did some of the other people who happened to be part of our merry group. So, we'd go out in the boats and cruise the lake. It is so much different, seeing the land from the water. The perspective is sometimes difficult to comprehend. Just think of the travelers in the early days of exploration plying those same waters and seeing an unending forest.
One time, I can remember one of the guys with a boat trying to teach people how to water ski. That was an interesting day. Thankfully, I was too young to try. Otherwise, I likely would have been in a body cast for the rest of the summer. Seeing the attempts that were made by the adults in attendance, it's surprising no one else ended up in traction.
Another thing we'd do when I was a kid would be to go camping on a long weekend. We went to Golden Hill a lot for that. With it's cool lighthouse, this was one of my favorite places in my youth. I dreamed of long-ago pirates lurking in the waters of Lake Ontario, just off the coast and trying to avoid the all-seeing light of Golden Hill. Under the cover of darkness, they'd haul their booty into the cave in the bluff below the light. No one would think of looking for it right under the noses of the authorities. (Yes, I've always had quite an imagination.)
Speaking of caves at Golden Hill, I can clearly remember seeing that cave one time when we were out in the boat. We got as close as we could without grounding, but never really took any chance to explore the cave. I'm not sure why. It looked pretty big in my young mind. I'm sure that most of that area of the shoreline has long been washed away, and the secrets of the cave along with it.
|Golden Hill Lighthouse - courtesy NYS Parks|
Golden Hill also had mowed trails that we could hike. Matt Herman and I would run those trails, mostly to get away from our sisters. We did laps and laps of those trails. The ones right near the campsite we could go on almost anytime we liked. However, the ones between the campground and the boat launch were only for supervised hikes. Parts of those trails went through some pretty swampy areas and along the creek. Our parents didn't want us drowning or getting eaten by all the alligators in the swamp.
|Camping at Golden Hill State Park - courtesy NYS Parks|
How many of you had weekend trips to the campground with family and friends? Did you enjoy those picnics at the lake? I think the only place my kids have camped besides the backyard is at Aunt Jan's house. That's probably my fault because of my aversion to camping. However, we have spent time at Roosevelt Beach and gone to Hamlin Beach for an afternoon. It's one of the pleasures of living near the Great Lakes -- we have wonderful summertime destinations.
Next Week: A Memorial Day Special
Craig Bacon has the gear to go spelunking. Anyone ready to hunt down the missing Treasure of Golden Hill?