I woke up to a beautiful red head lying next to me. His eyes were open and he whispered ‘Happy Birthday!’ I had forgotten about my birthday. I knew it was coming, but like so many other places and dates, I didn’t actually remember, until he said those words. Today, was like any other day, though, except I was turning another year older. We broke camp quickly, and as I was spreading peanut butter across an everything bagel, the lady who was staying in her camper asked us if we wanted any fresh brewed coffee! Matt said yes extremely fast and I said I’d share with him! She brought out the coffee and told us her and her husband summer up here at this park and then spend the winters in Clear Lake Florida. She said there are a few other couples that they have been doing this with since they all retired. Over the warmth and deliciousness of the coffee I immediately started to think of my girlfriends back home and how we have always envisioned living in a communal type setting. Perhaps this is a glimpse into the distant future for us. As we finished the coffee and loaded the bikes, I noticed, couples walking over with mugs to sit in all the lawn chairs outside their RV. They were all having their morning coffee together. It was so nice to see, and as I returned the mug, I couldn’t quite help but get a small taste of their Lake Ontario RV community.
I biked quietly most of the day, immersed in my favorite podcasts. I saved ‘where’s my 40 acres,’ ‘sooo many white guys,’ Democracy Now’ and my new favorite ‘Revisionist History’ all to pass the miles of this day. I gave Matt the map as a bday present to me, and he chose a new route to follow that continued to take us along Lake Ontario instead of following the northern tier route that took us east and then north. This route was beautiful, and except for a bridge being out that we were easily able to just walk the bikes over, the roads were nice and quiet.
We got to Selkirk Shore State Park in plenty of time to enjoy the lake one last time, before we would enter the mountains. We checked in and sadly they said the lake was closed because there were no lifeguards on duty to watch the beach. Little did they know, I had lifeguarded for two summers on the beach and felt fully prepared to spend my birthday in the water. We paid, quickly went back to our site, unloaded everything and rode the mile down to the beach. There was no one down there and so I asked Matt if he was willing to break the rules for my birthday. He said yes and we walked down the pebbled beach far from the abandoned life guard towers. After two months of my feet stuck in shoes, sweating in only two pairs of socks that I switch out daily, they were very sensitive to the rough rocks below. This beach is not sand, but pebbles and trying to walk out into the water and balance was difficult. The wind was strong and the lake looked like the beaches at home. Waves were crashing me into the rocks and I only lasted 5 minutes in the water before exiting. As I sat on a rock to dry off, I noticed all of the algae that was left on my body from the lake. At least I hope it was algae. Matt and I quickly rode back to our tent site, showered off the goo from the lake and got a bite to eat at the local restaurant where I treated myself to a raspberry frozen yogurt. Turned out to be a nice day to grow old in.