A Day at the Lake

The guys and I went to Ruth Lake on Saturday. (The guys being: Toby, Toby’s brother and his dog, Tuff) It was a perfect day. Not too hot, not too cold but just right! We had to drive two and a half hours inland to escape the fog and dampness that shrouds the coastal town of Eureka. But it was totally worth it. There is something about the smell of the pine and bark and the water and the mountains that envelopes you and you immediately remember that this is what vacation smells like. We sped off in Toby’s Dad’s fishing boat to the family boat lease to enjoy a day at the Cove.

When we got to the Cove, Toby and his brother went right to work, limbing trees and clearing brush for the cabin that’s going to be built some day soon. Last year I spent a lot of time helping them clear brush and pulling up some old tubing that was stuck in the creek. But this year I got to laze around on the shore, read a book and take a nap because I’m pregnant. Everybody spoils the pregnant lady.

While we were there, we saw a bald eagle and two ospreys (commonly known as a fish hawk) fighting in the blue sky right over our heads. Apparently, bald eagles don’t catch their own fish to eat. They just steal it from ospreys. So two ospreys got tired of that pirating behavior and ganged up on the bald eagle. It was quite a ruckus. They dive bombed it and even plucked out some of the bald eagle’s feathers. One feather even floated down to us. I guess you can get put in jail for holding a feather of the national bird.

I also caught a fish! Just a little spotted blue gill but still it was fun. As Toby’s brother said, I caught the biggest fish, the littlest fish, the ugliest fish and the prettiest fish! In other words, I caught the only fish of the day. We got quite a few nibbles on our bait but nothing very exciting. It still made a perfect day more perfect. Then we let the fish go and Toby took a shot of me fishing and looking pregnant so someday I can tell my kid, “See there you were at the lake before you were born.” I love looking at old pictures of my mom when she was pregnant with me.

As the sun began to dip behind the tree covered mountains and the shadows crept across the lake, we pulled ourselves away and headed home. It’s always tough to leave the lake because it’s just so pretty there at sunset. But we can’t leave too late because it’s a good long drive to get back to town. One of these days we want to camp over night.

Not So Fair Weather Fair

Here we are in the land of winter. It’s the middle of August and I’m drinking hot cocoa, wearing a sweater and wishing I had some warm socks to wear. No matter how much I thought about how much colder it would be up here, I still managed to pack clothes that are completely flimsy and ill-prepared for the brisk wind and damp fog. My maternity jeans with their stretchy spongy waste band were nearly unbearably sweaty to wear down south. Up here they are cozy as can be. The only thing that bothers me is that they are cropped pants and the four inches of bare leg they expose is where I’m wishing I had knee socks or boots or something. Oh, the fashion faux pas! But I’m cold and I have no long pants that go all the way down!

We took our chilly selves to the chilly Ferndale Fair today. It was fun. It was definitely interesting. It just didn’t remind me of summer like a fair usually does. I’m used to walking in flip flops on hot black asphalt, with my cotton candy melting and watching where I walk to make sure I don’t step in somebody’s melted chewing gum or sticky spilled coke. It’s strange to wander around in the foggy fields where kids are wearing coats and boots to ride the carnival rides. It doesn’t exactly make for colorful fun pictures either because the fog makes everything seem cold and gray.

The best part about the fair was watching the 4H kids. I was never into 4H when I was younger but I sure wish we lived up here and I could get my kids into it. It just seems so wholesome in a way that Orange County could never be. The kids were amazing. I was really amazed at the way they paraded their stubborn cows around the corral while a judge to critiqued everything from the way the cows hooves were positioned to how high they held the cow’s head in it’s muzzle. It takes a lot of patience and skill to lead a cow in a direction it doesn’t want to go. Especially when the cow is bigger, stronger and meaner than you are.

The whole time I was at the fair, I had this incredible deja vu feeling because I’ve been here probably when I was three or four. I lived in Eureka until I was five, before my family moved down south. I barely remember anything about the fair but something about that old rusty Zipper ride really brought back that feeling of familiarity. I know I’ve never been on it but I think I remember my Dad went on it when I was little. Either I remember watching him go on it or maybe I remember him explaining it to me how it worked. I just can’t believe it’s still here. That was back in the 70’s!

How can it still be here and be safe? It probably isn’t. It looks pretty rickety and half the light bulbs in the sign are smashed out. I just can’t believe these rides are safe when they assemble them and disassemble them as they go all over the country. Plus, the people that run them look like they are strung out on drugs. I guess part of going to the fair is just accepting the risk and living a little.

Thankfully I’m pregnant and I have the perfect excuse not to go on any crazy rides.

p.s. No posting lately because we haven’t been near any internet connections and every time I want to post I have to beg Toby to take me into town to the nearest internet cafe. But on Monday we will be staying in a hotel with free wireless so I’ll be back to posting regularly then! Good thing too because I’m going through withdrawals!