Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Very Cold Swim and the pursuit of the National Treasure Rock

Sylvan Lake
Part 3, Day Four, Thursday, August 22
After the fun hike and the adventurous drive, we finally made it to Sylvan Lake.  We toted our coolers to the nearest picnic tables, through the natural spring-fed ground that was kind of mushy-muddy.  Ish.  It was grass, like any other park picnic area I've seen, but it was deceiving.  The ground was sodden and sucked at our feet as we walked through it.  Several of us had mud splattered legs and clothes by the time we got to the picnic tables. 

No problem, though, since we're finally going swimming!

Playing in the sand
We quickly ate lunch, but not quickly enough to please all the kiddos, especially the older ones who'd been waiting to swim since we started out Monday morning.  Some kids had swimwear on under their clothes and others changed in the van.  The off we went to the lake.  To the beach.  Along the path.

Until we once again got into some spongy ground.  Thinking it to be only about the same as the ground in the picnic area, since there was a path there, after all, we continued on.  Only to learn too late that we really, really ought to have turned around and found another way.  There was a paved walkway further in, but we hadn't seen it until things got gooey.  But this time, besides just the gooey, spongy ground, we also found the water was sedentary.  Whereas on the hillside where the picnic area was, the springs flowed downhill toward the lake, here on the path too the lake, the ground was level enough it simply sat.

And stank.

So that by the time we had gotten through the quagmire, we were all quite coated with stinky, smelly mud.  Most had on flip-flops, so it wasn't too much trouble. 

But I had my tennis shoes.  Ish!  As soon as I got to the lake, I dipped them in and swished them around to get the stink out.  Which would have been fine had we sunny weather in the days to come.  But those poor shoes ended up in a bag in the car for several days.  And ended up in a gas station dumpster somewhere in Arizona or New Mexico.

But I get ahead of myself.

John trying to open the cave
One of the fun bonuses to which the kids looked forward at Sylvan Lake was the possibility of finding The Rock.  The rock into which one of the treasure hunters in National Treasure Book of Secrets had to stick his or her hand to open the cave or whatever it was to solve the mystery. 

Stella trying to open the cave
But they all knew just what Joe meant when he said, "Sylvan Lake is the Lake where they filmed parts of National Treasure.  The one that's alleged to be above Mt. Rushmore, but isn't really.  But it is a real lake and we'll get to go there when we're in the Black Hills." 

"Can we stick our hand in the rock?"

Sohpie getting bitten by a brown recluse--JK
As it turned out, no, they didn't get to stick their hand in the rock.  That particular rock must have been a prop.  But they found the promontory which was where the rock was supposed to be.  At least they think they did.  Joe took some of the littles around to other places until they found a similar enough looking rock that the kids could stick their hands in.  What a guy!

Climbing the rocks
By the time we were done with lunch and ready to swim, the wind had come up and it was quite chilly out.  The more mountainous lake temp compared to our still shallow lakes in Minnesota was also colder than they expected.  So as it turned out, nobody really swam much.  But they played in the sand, took walks and climbed the rocks.

Trying to keep warm
We listened to the chit-chat of the other tourists in many languages.  We heard German and Turkish and Russian, just at the beach among the few families that were there.

When we tired of shivering, we headed back to the campground to get an early bedtime.  In the morning it'd be time to break camp and hit the road again.

Rock Climbing
Hang on, girls!
Rachel and Louisa
Teeny Sophie

No comments: