The Road to Aetna
How to Avoid the Walk of Shame

Climbing Whiteface - part 1


OK. To start with the title of this post is hyperbole. I did not climb Whiteface. I drove my car, my kids and my dog up to the parking lot and $22 later we were allowed to park and climb the last 2/10ths of a mile to the peak. At least I didn't use the elevator except for the second day when the only way we could get Lucia out of the car was to promise her the elevator on the way up which meant we had to leave the dog in the car but that's OK, I don't think he wanted to do that again.

This was my first vacation alone. I can't really count last year because Cielo came with me and we stuffed ourselves into a 12 x 12 cabin so that's not really alone, right? Right. I can't really count Costa Rica because that was a group trip and Florkow and I shared a tentalow. I can't count the second trip to Frisco in the cabin because, hell, even CG came with us this time and we were all packed into that cabin. Definitely not alone.

This year I rented a cabin on Lake Placid. Notice the use of the singular I as opposed to the plural we. That was really hard and don't any of you tell me it's a we because I had the girls with me. The girls did not rent the cabin. I did and it was a big scary step.

You can see the lake and our island below. There are two large Islands and one small. We stayed on Moose Island which is right next to that little guy which I believe has a single house. I don't know for sure. I was panicked at the time and just a teeny bit lost. Which brings me to the boat. You didn't think we walked on water to get there, did you? I suppose we could have been dropped off with a weeks worth of groceries and picked up at the end of the week. There might be such thing as a water taxi but not at Lake Placid best I can tell and we sure as hell did not swim.

I have been on boats frequently enough in the last 25 years to be very comfortable. I especially know my place on a boat. It is either with the captain on the little seats at the back and I'm very good at staying out of the way or it is on the front of the boat (see, I don't even know what the front is called even though I know perfectly well I've been told at least a thousand times) flat on my back in a very small bikini. I have been known to hold a rope when required and not let go until I'm told. Also, I am very patient and can wait on the dock for hours if that's what it takes to get the thing going and lastly, boy can I clean up! Hand me a scrubby thing and some deck soap and I'm all over it.

But that's it. One time somebody put the tiller in my hand and I panicked and handed it right back because BOATS DO NOT HAVE BRAKES and I am not interested in being the one to ram us into the side of something that will most likely be incredibly expensive. In short, I have been enormously spoiled.

The one little catch about the rental was... must have experience with outboard motor. I could only assume that the outboard motor was attached to a boat. I was right, it was, is attached to a boat and for that I'm actually very thankful as it turns out. I have had experience with an outboard motor. I've looked at it while other people attempted to start it like a recalcitrant lawn mower.

I told the owner, no problem but it's been awhile. She said, no problem, Joe the Caretaker will give you a refresher.

Joe the Caretaker gave Alecto a refresher. No boats were harmed or killed during the filming of this fiasco. In the end he handed me the keys anyway. I thought perhaps he was very tired and maybe just wanted me to hold them for a minute while he rustled up someone with another boat so that he could drop us and the boat I was never to touch again at the cabin and then speed off with the rescue guy shaking his head and saying, John, I was never so scared in all my life.

He did not say that. He told me how to get to the grocery store and then proceeded to get in his truck and drive out of the parking lot. I figured if he had the audacity to leave me holding the keys he surely meant to give notice immediately.