Gordon had a long workday yesterday, so we decided to break it up with a picnic dinner. I put together some food for both of us and drove out to Cheney to meet him at work. He closed up shop and we drove out to Fish Lake to sit at the park there and eat our dinner.
Fish Lake has a grassy little park area and in warmer weather is generally swamped with children and families enjoying the swimming or barbecuing on the beach, but it being March, we found the beach mostly empty (there was one teen-age couple making out on a bench at the far end of the beach). There is a floating dock at the lake that is usually connected to the beach by a floating boardwalk, but as the water level had risen with the spring runoff, it was a long-legged jump from the beach out to the boardwalk, then we could walk out onto the dock. We sat on the dock and enjoyed the sunset over the water, chatting and laughing until it was time for Gordon to get back to work. Getting up from our perch at the far edge of the dock, Gordon was the first to notice our little dilemma.
While we were enjoying the view, the dock--boardwalk and all--had been slowly floating away from shore. What had been a simple jump on the way over had become a run-and-jump-and-cross-your-fingers type situation. We hadn't fully considered this possibility. We thought about just staying out on the dock until it floated back to shore, but we didn't know how long that would take. We hadn't really brought provisions for a lengthy stay and Gordon had just finished eating our last cookie. The sun had just slipped behind the hills and it was already getting quite chilly. Finally, Gordon took a run for it and made it to the beach safely, just barely getting his heels in the water. Unfortunately, the motion of his jump had caused the whole dock to begin floating away from the beach very quickly. I was now stranded a good eight or ten feet out, and the space was ever widening. Gordon at first suggested just leaving me there--he had to get back to work, after all--but eventually decided to help me out*. He wrestled with a nearby tree to break off a long branch (this took awhile**) which he tossed across the water to me. I used the branch to pole slowly back to shore, until I was close enough to jump. Somehow, we managed the whole thing without getting our feet wet or swimming or spending the night floating in the middle of a lake. It was a really nice picnic, actually.
*This same Gordon was recently awarded the People's Choice Award for Most Romantic Phone Call This Decade, after he skied up a mountain in the Pasayten Wilderness so he could get a cell signal to call and tell his wife he loved her. Apparently, in this current situation, he felt he had some romance points to spare.
**For more information on Gordon's branch-breaking skills, see the entry below.