The Blog of the West Wind

The Blog of the West Wind

It's Time

Monday, April 20, 2015/by Ken Robbins/Go Back

It's Time

This week will mark a transition point, turning away from winter in to spring and towards summer. Bruce and Bill have been knocking around almost daily since last fall, but in a matter of days, they'll be joined by Jeff and Mark, who will move to camp to begin opening cabins, pulling boats out, and undoing all of last year's winterizing work.

For the next few months, I'm going to try to use this space to chronicle the process of preparing camp for its 92nd summer. Hopefully it won't be just my voice – anyone who will have a hand in the task will be welcome to share their thoughts and experiences.

It was less than two weeks ago that all of the pictures of camp featured a still-solid snowpack, but yesterday it was dramatically reduced, as warm temperatures and rain have given spring a boost. It's great to see the ground! The stream is running hard through camp, the junior ballfield is soggy and soft, and there's brush scattered everywhere I look. We have our work cut out for us, though no more so than any other year at this time.

The most pressing issue ahead of us is water – camp's water lines run almost entirely above ground, so in the fall we shut down the well pump, drained the two 1,500 gallon tanks, and blasted all of the lines with air to prevent damage from freezing. Now that the overnight temperatures are reliably staying above 32 degrees, we can safely start things up again, a process that Bruce will guide us through with his usual plodding patience. In a few days we'll have running water up at Beechwood so Mark and Jeff can have the luxury of a hot shower at the end of the day. Once water's up in the Motels, Jeff will be able to settle in for what is annually the longest sustained stay – he probably won't head out again until the leaves start to turn and drop.

Once the water lines are all charged and flowing, Jeff will head to the waterfront to start readying the boats, and Mark will turn his attention to clearing brush, removing damaged trees and limbs, fixing whatever's broken, and just generally making it look as though the winter never happened. Before we know it, things will start to look like we remember them from last summer and virtually every summer we can remember.

More to come! In the meantime, here are a few photos from a cool, grey afternoon around camp and a delightful picnic lunch on the motorboat dock with Bob, Maria, Nick, Katie, Bill Jr., Roanne, Nora, and Quinn.