An inordinate fear of lake monsters.
Recently I took a little jaunt to Lucky Lake in the Cascade mountains. The hike was a blood-pumping one mile, the lake was shallow (which means the water was refreshingly cool rather than omg-I-think-I’m-dying freezing like most of the lakes up here), and it was deserted. My hiking buddy and I got to swim, the dog ran around until he was exhausted, and I revealed to yet another human being my absurdly irrational fear of lake monsters.
No, I’m not kidding. I don’t know why it’s there. It’s not like I even watched many scary movies as a child that featured lake monsters. In fact, the Lochness Monster was always my favorite mythological creature. Once when I was very young, I dreamt I lived in a magical land of magical animals and Nessie was a brontosaurus that could live both aquatically and terrestrially and we were friends.
And yet for some reason, when I’m swimming in a lake, it freaks me out. I gaze off behind me warily and tell myself there’s no such thing as lake monsters. Every now and then I swim just a little too far and immediately turn back around for shore at a good clip, pretending to practice my awful swimming form. I told this to a pair of other good friends a few months back whilst bobbing in another lake, and the more mischievous of the two waited the obligatory five minutes after the story, then thrashed around with arms flailing, cried out, and threw himself under.
When he resurfaced, I just shook my head. “See, Mike, the thing is,” I said, because there are some things that I know for certain, and this is one of them: “You won’t have time to scream.”
I spent the rest of my day in the shallows playing with their kids.
I think Sunka is also afraid of lake monsters. He likes to wade into the shallows but immediately loses interest if his footing is unsure or if the bottom becomes too murky for him to see. To his credit, he spent a fair amount of time trying to pull enormous, dead branches out of the mud, which meant submerging his entire head under the water. When he got tired of taking in H2O through his sinus cavity, he opted for lounging in a sunny spot on the shore.
After repeated efforts to coax him into the water with us, he surprised me by taking a sit. Yes, you read that right. Right in the water, he sat down in protest, as if to say, “See, Momma, I’m not a bad dog because technically I did get into the water when you called me. However, I have boundaries and once I saw a clip of The Blob.”
Like human, like canine.
Posted on September 25, 2011, in Naturalist Notebook and tagged animals, dog, exploration, hiking, irrational fears, lake, lake monsters, mountain, mountains, nature, nature photography, outdoors, photography, pinedrops, roaming, scarlet gilia, swimming. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.