On Lake Ouachita, and Naps

By the middle of May, I was pretty much worn out. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been kind of ragged. It was a tough end to the semester, and we’ve been shorthanded at work, and I’ve overcommitted myself on bike projects, and I just needed a break. Bryan and I decided that, after Mandy left for Tulsa on Friday evening, we’d just disappear for a couple of days. We chose Lake Ouachita for our getaway, since we thought it would be the quietest of the nearby lakes on a busy holiday weekend, and we put in at Buckville since it’s a faraway boat launch.

We didn’t get the quiet lake we’d hoped for, but we did manage to¬†find our own private island on the edge of it.

Hayduke enjoyed the freedom to run around and explore without being called back. Since there wasn’t room on the island to support animals much bigger than bugs, we didn’t worry about his getting into trouble. He ate a gross fish head and some goose poop and a tree stump, but wasn’t able to manage anything really destructive. He spent a great deal of time racing into the water and then running back up to the gravel to scratch his back in the rocks. After investigating every available smell on the island, even Hayduke napped soundly.

The weekend was a rare chance for me to just be still, and I enjoyed every minute of it. The lake was crowded, but most of the boats that nosed into our little private cove were fishermen who wanted nothing more than to quietly poke around the shallow water and then slowly drift away.

I was up early on Sunday, and the lake was still and quiet and grey, with layers of easy greenish mountains off in the distance. Hayduke and I watched the faraway boats cruising straight for their early morning fishing spots. Bryan made breakfast on Sunday morning – rooibos tea and raspberry pastry – and as we ate, we watched more and more people wake up and get out onto the lake.

There’s something really restorative about an entire weekend spent napping and reading. I worked on a book I’ve had for months but haven’t yet taken time to read, closing it between essays to think and doze. Bryan took some photos and went for a swim with Hayduke, then took a long nap in his netted hammock.

Even in the midafternoon sun, our little island was dappled with shade, and a strong breeze made it feel cool and comfortable. By the time we packed up to head back to the car, the wind was blowing whitecaps on the lake. We both took an experimental paddle out into the waves, to be certain that we could handle paddling in the wind, but we agreed that the trip back would be no problem, and it wasn’t, and the drive home was a good one, and we ate at a mexican place on the way, and we were only a little bit sunburned and in bed right on time.

One Reply to “On Lake Ouachita, and Naps”

  1. Just wanted to let you know that the members of our family read every one of your posts and we are huge fans of Hayduke. We really feel as if we know him!

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