There is a lake five minutes from our house that we have never traveled on. It seems we've traveled on and through most water holes in our corner of the world over the past couple of summers, but this one we hadn't touched yet. Brinker Lake - or East Lake, as it's more well known - is the only lake in town that allows for high-speed motors, skiing and wave-making. Because of that, it's also the busiest lake anywhere close to here. If it's a nice day, you can bet it's packed. They have plans to expand its size in the near future, and we're pretty anxious for that, but for right now, it is what it is. And since we've never desired to wait in line an hour for an open boat ramp, we usually pass right by it and don't even make an attempt.
But on a calm, overcast and somewhat cool Wednesday afternoon late in June, I had the itch for a family adventure. Just the four of us, the feel of the open water below us and sky above us, and I thought just maybe it might be the perfect night to try this place out. So I called Cody up before the end of the work day, and he told me to pack up the picnic basket and have it ready for when he got home.
What a night we had.
I envisioned that the lake wouldn't be crowded - and I was right. I envisioned eating our sandwiches from the seats of our boat and spending 30 minutes or so putzing around. What I didn't envision was that there would be one other speed boat and skiier out with us, making for the perfect waves for Daddy to have some fun with. Since we hadn't made it on the river yet this summer, we hadn't cranked up the motor full-speed yet either. He skipped us, flew us and splashed us over waves, allowing for the water to spray us in the face and the kids to laugh and smile and scream the whole way through.
And then we found our dinner spot.
It didn't look like much from the water, but once we pulled ashore, we felt the softest sand between our toes - the kind of sand you can't find anywhere else around here. Our little isolated island perfect for our picnic basket, our handful of sand toys, and the family of ducks that casually joined us for dinner. And those views...
We felt like lone survivors on our own little lost island.
We stayed until close to dark and had the best, most beautiful evening. We fed the ducks our leftover bread, swung from the rope that someone had left there before us and had fun when that lone speed boat created small waves that crashed against our little shore.
The very next day, this little lake came up in a conversation with an acquaintance of mine, and without knowing we had just spent the evening there the night before, she scoffed at it and said that there was nothing fun or special about it. I say that you can find beauty and adventure wherever you are - even if you have to look a little bit harder. It's worth it.