I’m sinking 100 yards off the shore of Lake George. Icy water below, I was certain this was going to be my grave.
I fired up the 66 Chevy and rolled down the window to catch a whiff of that 47-year-old engine exhaust.
Off to pick up Dominic Edwards, a cheeky fellow from some southern cement jungle where the freeways intersect the cartoon version of Barack Obama. Dominic once towed me around Lake George because I forgot my fins. I met up with him and we threw the tubes, rods and beers in the back of the truck, and headed down to town to Rick’s Sporting Goods to get some air.
As I proceeded to fill up my prehistoric tube, Dom with a large smile on his face said, “That thing’s going to pop fool.”
I laughed and said, “Never this is ‘The Tank.’” Seemingly sealing my fate. Two eggwhite McMuffins later and it was off to the lake. Halfway there I realized we forgot the hashbrowns. No turning back now though, so after a couple potholes we reached Lake George. No wind … glorious. I unloaded the gear and cracked a cold one.
Tubes in the water, fins on, poles ready and off to the far side of George. While kicking to the other side I began to tie my fly and get my other poles set up, but noticed I was starting to sit a little lower in the water. “Have I put on some weight?,” I wondered. I ignored the sign and blamed it on the cold water changing the pressure in my tube. We got to our spot and I took a couple photos.
Suddenly I noticed the amount of bubbles coming up from my tube. Dominic called out, “Low rider,” and that’s when I bailed. Feeling as though Lake George wanted my soul, I kicked my fins like a sea otter escaping a great white. The emerald blue water was creeping up my chest and starting to fill my waders. My one thought was saving my camera. I to hold above water til my last breath. My heart was racing as the icy, wet death below drew close. Suddenly I touched the gravely bottom and dryland never felt so good!
Freezing cold and soaking wet, I unclipped my waders, and water rushed out along with my iPhone … but the Canon 5d made it! I was so happy to be alive and standing with my camera in hand. But then I had to face the long disappointing, wet walk back to the truck. Walking that narrow rocky trail, with my limp tube in hand dragging it along with all my gear soaking wet, I wondered what I had done to deserve this. While walking I received looks from every fisherman on shore. Some even had the nerve to ask if it was a good day. I replied with a smile and kept dragging my tube like Pigpen from Peanuts.
I kept reliving the event in my head on that lovely stroll. I couldn’t take my mind off the fact that “always be prepared “ had been drilled into my head since early childhood. There was so much at stake, thousands of dollars worth of equipment and I go out in a janky 2004 tube.
After stubbing my toes off of every dang rock in the place I reached my Chevy. I mumbled to my float tube that I hated it and threw it not so gently into the bed of the truck. I stripped off all my wet cloths, and wrapped up in a jacket then fired up the truck and headed to town while Dominic stayed behind and continued to fish.
My dignity was lost, but at least I saved the camera.