Priest Lake, Idaho has been my favorite place on this earth ever since I became old enough to choose favorites.
Tucked snugly in the woods just beyond Washington state’s eastern border, Priest is close enough to be easily accessible, while still far enough away from the big city experience to allow visitors to feel sufficiently unplugged. I learn something new with every visit, making Priest not only a lake above all lakes, but a sort of outdoor educational conduit for my own personal growth. Besides learning that my favorite place on earth boasts of more than seventy miles of shoreline ripe for recreation and relaxation of all types, the last few years I’ve come to understand that when you mix my family and friends with Priest Lake, laughter induced stomach aches, life lessons and interesting occurrences abound. Following is a selection of wisdom I acquired this past weekend spent lakeside:
Cheetos brand cheese puffs, always a good idea. Sitting on a pontoon boat with fifteen people who think watching a fast approaching lightning storm from the middle of the lake an ideal plan, not such a great idea.
When you hear the same song six times in the span of two days you just might start paying attention to the lyrics.
Routinely leaving at least one window open at your lake cabin is a good idea, especially in the case that minutes upon arriving at 11pm one of your friends decides she’s going to lock and close the front door, with all of the keys, cell phones and warm clothes tucked, and now locked, safely inside. As a side note, watching that same friend try to wedge herself through a window about 8 feet from the ground, Charlie’s Angels style, does prove quite entertaining.
Quoting SNL skits and movies like Zoolander, The Royal Tenenbaums, So I Married An Axe Murderer, and The Rundown can make an afternoon raft-lounging on the lake pass ever so quickly. So quickly, in fact, that you don’t realize until it’s too late that you could look the part of the lobster on the Long John Silver commercials without ever donning a costume.
Don’t argue with the birthday girl. It can only end in tears.
Biff remains a better name alternative than Clifford. Well, naturally.
Water in northern Idaho is still /take your breath away/ cold in June. But never does that deter the extreme lake fan from taking a pain staking plunge at midnight.
The deepest question of the weekend: “Do you think Ronald
Reagan really liked everyone calling him Ronnie?” My answer: Nah.
Reading Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, I’m lost in a sea of seeing. It’s a pleasant sort of lost. A place to go when I’ve no interest in being found because I’ve already discovered everything I was looking for, and everything I didn’t realize I needed. Words uttered in soft twilight against my cheek sitting quietly on the bottom of a creek bed. Sentences shouted against the solid sides of mountains loyally limping alongside me, floating behind my eyes like → Read more...
I go down. Rung after rung and still the oxygen immerses me the blue light the clear atoms of our human air. I go down. My flippers cripple me, I crawl like an insect down the ladder and there is no one to tell me when the ocean will begin.
The Little Mermaid is the first movie I ever remember seeing in a theater. My dad took us when it was first released and we undoubtedly ate popcorn and Ursula made my sister cry and Sebastian made my dad laugh and Ariel → Read more...
Turning and turning in the widening gyre, the fire cannot hear the firefighter.
We electively rose before dawn, eighty fires worth of smoke still poaching our air, sleep still determinedly stuck to our faces. We sat with small waves of nausea as our stomachs realized the time (4am) and the place (no longer asleep). Eggs and tator tots and sausage we ate, merrily but quietly, the three of us thinking about moutains and miles and the day’s adventures quickly approaching.
Mountain → Read more...
Tuesday night the moon donned a waxing gibbous, blasting its nearly full body through blinds I can never seem to shut tightly, so much do I want the sun’s company during the day, and then the moon’s when the sun’s seen fit to sink below this prized, peak-studded horizon.
I have moons on my mind lately. Maybe because the moon’s been especially bright as of late. Maybe because the moon’s always especially bright here with so few clouds to cloak the sky → Read more...