PHOTOESSAY

Escape to Lake Pleasant

by Hana Sackler

My good friend has a cabin nestled in the woods on Lake Pleasant in the Adirondacks in New York State, and for the past three years I have been going there for a weekend each summer. The trip always seems to come at the perfect time; it acts as my escape from the hot and crowded streets and subways of New York City. Google maps will not take you there, it is off the main road and reachable only by some unnamed dirt path. Luckily nearby is the Camp-of-the-Woods, a Christian Family Resort and Conference Center. It’s a good landmark, and always the rendezvous spot for my friend to come meet us so we can follow her back to the cabin. My friend’s grandmother inherited the plot of land on Lake Pleasant in the 1960’s and designed the entire structure. One of my favorite features is the wooden staircase that folds up from the top floor where all the beds reside. When you fold down the staircase and walk upstairs, there are three rooms with a wall separating each one, but no doors.

When we arrive at the cabin it’s late and I am in charge of cooking dinner for everyone. I love cooking for large groups of people. Maybe it’s because I come from a big family but even when I’m alone and cooking dinner for myself I always seem to make enough food for three or four people. After dinner we make some drinks and hang out in the cabin, talking about life, relationships, playing Scrabble or Jenga. On the first night we try to stay up for the sunrise. It’s a long night considering there isn’t a whole lot to do there and only half of us manage to stay awake. The lake is chilly but if you wait until the evening the air gets cold and the lake doesn’t seem so bad. Just before sunrise a few of us walk out onto the dock. There is a quilt of fog that stretches across the whole lake as steam rises up from the water. We all take off our clothes and jump in; it’s like jumping into a warm bath. We float on our backs throughout the fog while the rest of the cabins on the lake sleep.

The next morning I wake up early, the fog has lifted and I have some tea and sit out on the deck in the sun. I read and take photographs while everyone else sleeps inside. After people wake up we make breakfast together and the day follows with sitting on the dock reading to each other and swimming. I like to take Big Bertha, a large inflatable tube, out on the lake. I sit in her and let her drift away in whichever direction she chooses. I know she can’t go far as she is attached to a rope connected to the dock, but when I close my eyes I imagine I’m out in the middle of the lake alone.

One of the reasons I love going to the lake so much is because there is no one around, it is quiet and I am removed from my everyday life. I go to sleep and wake up to the sound of the lake.

When it’s time to leave we strip the beds and pack up any remaining food. I walk down to the lake one last time and dip my feet into the cool water. We say goodbye and thank you to the lake and the cabin for a wonderful weekend. I hug my friends goodbye and head back into the hot city. I’ll be waiting until next summer.

 

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There is a quilt of fog that stretches across the whole lake as steam rises up from the water. We all take off our clothes and jump in; it’s like jumping into a warm bath.