A Quick Dip...
Wellington State Park wanted six bucks a person and they didn't allow dogs so we bailed. We were just passing through Bristol and thought it'd be fun to take a quick dip in Newfound Lake. But no matter. Now what do we do?
We followed the map to another patch of green, of which there was plenty in these parts, the Grey Rocks Conservation Area. We put Wilder, our effervescent blue merle, on a long leash and let him roam in his own puppy way.
The trails wind around the hilariously-named Cockermouth River, which makes a beautiful, lazy summer scene as it flows into the lake. Lots of kayakers were paddling by and a pontoon advertising “Eco-Tours” was docked in the harbor. We followed the gravel path marked Riverwalk Trail.
The path sparkled in the sun like it was some sort of magic place. The mica in the gravel lured us along the river. Trees bent over the water and bushes grew up from the shores. We found a platform at the end of the trail where some folks were enjoying the sun with their dog so we let the pups say hello. What a quiet, off-beat little place! Lucky to live here, we told them.
A sign on the trail identified the trees around us as gray birch and quaking aspen. These trees are quick to grow in bare areas, which is good to start off a conservation project, but then other trees and plants will take over and the birch will fall back. The birch and company provide the protection for the new plants to thrive. I wasn't shocked to learn later on that the entire project has a permaculture mindset and someday they plan to install raised-bed gardens and more plants in the area, to liven things up and restore the habitat. Folks can help fund the project by purchasing a board from one of the bridges around the property and personalizing it. A cool way to build something beautiful, I think.
Maybe it was the pontoon and the trees taking a sip from the river, but the vibe made me wish I could float along in a raft and read Twain stories. But it was Frost who came to mind, One could do worse than be a swinger of birches...
The whole area looks like it used to be a marina. There are wooden walls along one side of the river and beams half-buried in the dirt on the other. After taking a broader view, it's apparent the entire lot was once filled with boats, and this river leads out to the lake. This afternoon, it was quiet and pleasant, nothing but a few kayaks floating by.
Then, splash! Wilder bunny-hopped into the water. After pawing around the sand and muck, he decided to take a swim. I crouched by the shore to take a photo of the wet dog and his stupid happy grin and was pummeled immediately. I turned back to save my camera, but Wilder mopped my butt and I had a soggy ride home. He immediately cannon-balled back in.
Soon we had to jump back in the car and get on. But we got to drive down this wonderful narrow road that clinged to Newfound Lake. To our other side, boulders and trees pressed down onto the passing cars. At times we felt like we'd drive right into the water. Private beaches and get-a-ways somehow managed to smash up between the road and the lake, and there were lots of bathing suit-clad weekenders.
That muddy green pond smell was in the air and I inhaled it deep. Always places to go and things to do; but never fail to take in a little breath of August air and cherish it.