A Couple More Tales From Lake George

August 19, 2011

Last time I wrote about our trip to upstate New York, I concluded by saying that I had more videos, pictures, and stories. You may have seen the pictures, and videos are here (although the best of them are embedded in this post). That just leaves us with stories to tell.

That just leaves us with stories, and one story is important for context before we get to the video.

Our rent house came along with two canoes. It became my routine to go out for a short paddle with one or two of the kids around sunset every evening. The first of the nights where I started my sunset cruises, Brent decided to come out in the other canoe with whichever kid was feeling left behind. Somehow or other (I was out in the lake), he tumped the canoe over and fell into the ankle-deep water right by the shore.

When I returned, the wives were several drinks in, sitting down on the gravel beach by the canoes. They asked me to see if the other canoe had a hole in it, as Brent had made up that particular piece of bullshit to explain his little swim. I don't remember why, but I noted that there was a sticker in the canoe listing its weight limit as 700 pounds. Mrs. theskinnyonbenny chimed in, "That's just you plus a sack of dog food!"

I could have let it go, and I don't think it would have come up again, but instead, I took every opportunity to refer to my weight, which I proudly stated as 660 pounds. I'd even like to get an LSU jersey with "660" in the spot where the last name should go.

One of the most memorable things we did is to go to these particular cliffs, and jump into the water from them. They were 25-30 feet high, and from the top, you could see the bottom, even though it was pretty deep. I never did hit the bottom, and the kids at the marina only ever heard of one person to touch bottom there at all.

We went two different days. Here's my jump the second time that we went.

Crystal's jump was the funniest. I think she was scared about drifting back into the face of the cliff, so she prevented that by just running down. I don't know how to describe it, except to say that it's something you might see the Coyote in Looney Tunes do. Watch for yourself.

One day, we were all the way down at the far end of the lake -- probably 20-30 miles from home, and the boat wouldn't start. Brent took the kids up into the town of Lake George to find a restroom. They found a spot at an Italian restaurant, and he was nervous that they guy wouldn't let the kids go, because we weren't customers.

Instead, he couldn't have been nicer. "Come on in, my friend. No worries. I have kids too; I know how it is." His kindness made a great impression, and one day, we tried to go back to his restaurant for lunch, but unfortunately, or day back was a day that they are closed for lunch.

And what happens to nice guys? This. No shit.

I guess it's not entirely surprising to find drug dealers in upstate New York, but it did surprise me to find a healthy number of rednecks. The most Louisiana-worthy was a guy who at 10:00 at night stumbled drunk out of a convenience store. He saw that we saw him miss the step on the way out, so he came over to the car to chat. The slurred coversation about what fish are biting would have been right out of North Louisiana Stereotype Casting.

I don't have much to say about Lake Placid, which we drove up to see, but I do have to ask, how did this town host an Olympics? The tiny main throughfare through the town must have been packed shoulder to shoulder, like Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras. The question that really gets me is "Where did the people stay?" There couldn't be more than 1000 hotel rooms in the whole county.

Last story: one morning we went out to catch a river rafting trip. On the bus ride to the put-in, we got the standard rafting trip lecture on safety and procedures. The guide giving the instructions was kind of a clown, peppering his speech with one-liners, and trying to make the families on the bus comfortable that the dire situations he described wouldn't actually be a problem. At the end, the guide asked, "Does anyone have a medical condition or is on any medication that we should know about?"

Now that I've been on the trip, this is certainly an insurance company requirement. There's no reason that this little river would tax any medical condition that I can imagine.

Before I could stop myself, my hand shot up. When they guy made eye contact, I said, "I have erectile dysfunction!"

He stood there, not knowing what to say for a couple of seconds. So I added, "If that matters to our rafting trip..."

It would have remained awkward, but there was too much laughing. And it turned out that the state of my penis did, in fact, not matter to the rafting trip.

I'll close with this last video of us trying to make our way up the lake to get home before darkness set in.