By Mitch Lee
Floating around Limekiln Lake on old truck tire inner tubes was a great pastime enjoyed by my friends and me during the summer.
The tubes were supplied by my grandfather who lived in the Saratoga area and each was large enough to accommodate two kids at a time.
We would attach three together to create our own floating island and push ourselves out into the lake for a half-day adventure.
They were easy to manage when tied together and I rolled them down the road some 200 yards to the lake.
On one overly hot day Eddie wanted to climb inside the hole and roll along with the tubes.
For some reason I thought it was a great idea to see him go round and round.
It all started out very well… until the tires started to angle off the road, pitch into a ditch and bounce off a large rock and careen into a tree.
When I caught up to Eddie he had skinned his knee and was fighting off some tears.
We decided that the tires were too unruly for road travel and rolled them to the lake in a safer manner.
Once at the lake we retied our ropes to make a Huck Finn-style raft and added some more passengers to our lake float.
The air was still and it was quite humid out—perfect conditions for a gang of kids to hop aboard this rubber island for an adventure.
Seven of us kick-paddled the float for about a half hour until we were far enough from shore to just bob for hours.
When the tube got too hot we scooped water on it to cool it off, or did back flips and cannonballs into the water.
But for the most part we just laid around soaking up the heat of the sun, dangled our toes and hands in the cool water, and amused ourselves by telling jokes and funny stories.
Eddie had brought a snorkel and face mask and we all took turns peering into the darkness of the lake’s bottom.
I was pretty contented with the entire spirit of that afternoon and wished it would never end. But on the horizon we could see large black clouds forming.
Just as we were discussing how much time we had before the storm hit we heard a rumble of thunder.
We knew we needed to get back to dry land or hear holy heck from our parents.
We kick-paddled hard and within ten minutes we beached our craft.
As we wrapped our towels around us we heard the rain coming across the lake and ripping through the canopy of trees on both sides of the shoreline.
By the time it reached us we were safely inside a screen porch witnessing the fury of that afternoon storm on Limekiln Lake.
Mitch Lee, Adirondack native & storyteller,
lives at Inlet. firstname.lastname@example.org