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4/20/05 – Today was warm and sunny, and former crew members John (OB) and Kathleen Oberholtzer, and future crew member Hazel, came up for a volunteer work day (it was their idea!). With their help, we freed the canoes from the dome and set them up on their racks in the canoe yard, ready for the first customer. Kat also stocked our food department in preparation for our first outfitting group. Hurrah! Thanks to the Oberholtzer family for their hard work and good company.

Since the canoes were out, Mary Alice and I decided to make use of one this evening. Our first paddle of the season started in full afternoon sun, with dogs chasing us along the bank. We only ventured as far as the Alton portage, where the soft, unmarked ground assured us that we were the first ones to pass. Alton Lake was clear of ice, and the setting sun illuminated moose tracks and signs that seemed very recent.
As we headed back to the Sawbill landing, the shade and the brisk breeze reminded us that it is still April and we are due for the return of more typical April weather. Still, as we crept along the shore, aware of the silence and the fact that many months had passed since others paddled these waters, M.A. raptly repeated, “It’s so beautiful!” And it was.
– Molly.
Homer investigates the canoe and Mary Alice.
Sunset over an ice-free Alton Lake.