One never knows when one will run into a creepy male homo sapien. They, (the creepy variety of the male species) could be lurking anywhere. They could be at the gas station. They could be at the dump. They could be prowling by public toilets. And yes, they could even be in the form of kindly old fisher mans. One can never be too sure...... Of course, with an imaginative mind such as my own, creepy men could be hiding behind any bush or rock. Because of this hazard, my husband always makes sure that I am armed with my .38 before I embark on a running, swimming or hiking adventure. When I notice that there are people at my lake, I tend to find an alternative place to get into the water. Off trailing it can be quite an adventure in itself, but, on the other hand, so can (and has been) running into strange men alone on a hiking trail to the lake.
I imagine that it must be quite a sight for an unsuspecting old fisherman. He is peacefully enjoying his day minding his own business. He is thinking about catching a whopper and sporting a smile because no one is there to nag at him to take out the trash. He's happy and in his own world. He thinks he's alone in the wilderness at a remote mountain lake. Suddenly he hears splashing and sees something moving through the waters. He cranes his neck to see what kind of animal he is about to catch a glimpse of. Could it be a moose? Possibly a bear? By gosh, no! Its some lady swimming the entire perimeter of the lake. Nobody knows where she came from and he is beginning to suspect that he has been in the sun far too long. He looks over at his pile of empty beer cans and shakes his head. Maybe he can't hold his liquor like he once could.
The lady is swimming like crazy. She saw a leech and so she is trying to out swim it. She notices a man is staring at her from across the lake. She suspects he could be one of those varieties of creepy males. She's on her guard and taking no chances. As quick as she appeared out of no where, she jumps out of the lake and darts back into the woods leaving the old man in a confused daze. This seems to be the pattern that I have fallen into. Somebody even recently told me that they have been discussing this mystery woman at the local bar. Some say its a mirage. Some think possibly a swamp creature. Still others have heard its a mid-aged woman with 5 kids who is training for a swim. Whatever the rumor, people can't help but to stare with a dumbfounded expression once they have concluded that it is a woman and not a moose.
Today for example, I wasn't going to go for a swim. I knew I had to work in a few hours and I had slept in. After that, I took a ride with my husband to the fire department where he proudly picked up an engine that he had planned to do some maintenance work on. Our six year old grinned from ear to ear as he watched his dad call on the radio to announce that the truck would be out of service for some routine maintenance. He could hardly believe his good fortune to be riding in the Community fire truck. I figured that after all that fun, I would put Moonbeam down for a nap and go for a quick run. The boys were off fishing the river and my daughter engrossed in a novel. Of course, as the afternoon wore on and the sun came out, the lake called my name. I had scarcely jogged down the driveway when I knew I would just have to detour my way over to a quick swim.
As I approached the trail head I noticed a man with binoculars looking my direction. The "creepy male" light went off and I decided it was an "off trailing it" day. I'm sure he was just looking at wild life, but its best to avoid wild animals and wild looking men in the wilderness. One never knows when a primitive cave man instinct could emerge. I jogged up the back side of the lake and part walked part fell down the steep grassy slope not giving any thought to how I was going to climb out. Carefully, I hid my .38 and then took off my shoes and socks. As I dove into the water, it dawned on me that I was seeing all too well for having forgot my prescription goggles. After returning my glasses to the bank, I basked in the heavenly water. It was just perfect and I couldn't see anything anyway so I didn't have to worry about out swimming leeches. As I swam, I could see some fisherman camped at the beach area. In tradition as usual, they were staring in a perplexed manner. It reminded me of the other day when I left my towel and shoes just off the main area. I was mortified to find that two fisherman had taken up residence directly in front of it. I was quite annoyed until I later found out that they were friends of part of the group of women who had come to meet me there! I laughed at myself. I remembered trying to maneuver our truck down off the hill the other day and putting a big long scratch on it. As I swam, the stress of it rippled away behind me. I was glad my husband had been patient with me about it. I remembered the hike I took with my friends Elasta Woman and Mist. I had accidentally attached my belly band upside down and didn't discover it until we were miles out into the forest. Luckily for me, the Velcro kept my .38 intact and I didn't have to go looking for it. I swore them to secrecy. Other blond moments of the week washed away in the beautiful waters and by the time I climbed through the weedy swampy back side of the lake, I was ready to go home, nurse my baby and head to work for my night shift.
A neighbor lady and some small children had joined the fisherman and were cheering me on from across the lake. I yelled back some friendly words. "Wow" I thought to myself. "They are cheering for me!" I guessed I had better try and look a little bit buff as I climb this steep terrain. After ungracefully climbing the hill and tripping up a time or two, I laughed again as I headed home. It would be one thing if some buff young thing was out here doing this, but its not. Its a 36 year old mom of 5 kids complete with her share of flab and a little grey. I guess perhaps that's what makes it all the more entertaining.