Tales from Woodhull Lake: My Mom's Late Night Visitors
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Tales from Woodhull Lake: My Mom's Late Night Visitors

Make sure the fish guts are completely burnt. Always.

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Tales from Woodhull Lake: My Mom's Late Night Visitors
Joshua Simon

Many years ago, before my parents were married, they went to Pinnacle Lodge for the first time together. My mom had no idea what to think as my dad turned off the paved road and onto the dirt road. For all she knew, this was the beginning of a crazy movie. When they got to the end of the 10 mile dirt road, they pulled into the landing (where we keep our boats) and looked out over the lake. They loaded up the boat and started puttering across Woodhull. When they were about halfway across the lake, my dad looked at my mom and said, "If you can make it here, we have a chance. If not..." and put his hands up in the air in a shrug we refer to in our family as "The Don."

Mom and Dad crossing the lake (Thanksgiving 2015) Taken by Amanda Simon


Obviously she loved it and has since been back to the Lodge many times. We all have many great memories and stories about it, but one of her favorite stories is about a pair of unexpected visitors.

My dad was teaching in Rome, New York, which is about an hour and a half away from camp. This is where he and my mom both grew up and lived for many years. My parents went up to camp on a school night to open it up and get it ready to spend the weekend in paradise. They had done all the things we normally do at camp, fished, relaxed, ate the good fish while relaxing. It was a normal visit. My dad had to leave that evening though, so he could go in to work the next day. He left and my mom decided to spend the night at camp by herself.

So they kissed goodbye and my dad sped across the lake in one of our boats. My mom lit a fire and relaxed on the couch, probably with a good book and maybe a glass of wine. When it was time to go to bed, she put the screen in front of the fireplace and went up to bed.

Fast-forward to about midnight and she started to hear weird sounds coming from the roof. Her first thought is "Oh it must be Don trying to be romantic and sneak back into camp." She started to yell things to him, trying to tell him to just come in the door. She got nowhere with him, so she figured he must be drunk to be trying to do something this crazy. Thinking nothing of it, she went out with a flashlight, expecting to see my dad crawling around on the roof. She was very surprised to find two raccoons scratching at the chimney trying to claw a way down.

She scrambled back inside and just tried to ignore them for the rest of the night, but realized exactly what happened. She and dad had caught a couple of lake trout that day and cleaned them on newspaper. Naturally, they burnt the newspaper to limit the waste they would have to bring out. The raccoons smelled the equivalent of a great piece of smoked salmon and decided to go investigate. Good thing it was a couple of raccoons and not a big bear.

Mom and Dad after their first year of marriage.- Amanda Simon

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