Communing with Nature

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There’s bupkis in Bumpass, if you don’t count the North Anna Nuclear Generating Station and Lake Anna – the disturbingly warm manmade reservoir created to cool the plant. We marinated all week in the hot tub that is Lake Anna. The weather ended up being not as terrible as we expected. Even when it rained, we would paddleboard or kayak or canoe back and forth across the lake all day long.

IMG_6050IMG_5920IMG_5884IMG_5954IMG_6082IMG_6010Once I fell off my paddle board into the lake, which had recently been found to have “dangerously high levels of E.coli.” I managed to keep my eyes and mouth tightly shut until I resurfaced, with alarm bells screaming bloody murder in my head. IMG_6076

Good thing my phone was safely tucked away in my handy dandy waterproof case when it happened:

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My sister was so jealous of my jaunty little case, I fashioned one for her out of a sandwich bag, a pencil case, and a lanyard we found at the local Dollar General.

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She’s virtually guaranteed to up her cool factor with this bad boy slung around her neck. 

If I’ve shortened my lifespan in the radioactive, bacteria-laden waters of Lake Anna…well, at least I got to see bald eagles and herons up close and personal as they criss-crossed the lake. My daughter didn’t believe me when I said I saw an eagle. (Ummm, I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but I think you just saw a regular bird, Mom). I was so anxious to prove to her that I really had seen an eagle, I made my sister stalk this one to a tree. We sat in our canoe with our necks craned into position for three quarters of an hour until it finally took flight…

Sometimes we stalked birds; sometimes the birds stalked us. This is the exact moment I learned how much my sister loves me:

We could see schools of fish swimming around in the remarkably clear waters. Once, a sweet baby turtle bobbled up and down alongside us as my sister and I floated on our boards and chatted and stared up at the clouds in the cove by our house.

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We did a lot of loafing that week in Bumpass…IMG_6014IMG_6049IMG_5922IMG_6077IMG_5978IMG_5979

My husband finds it harder than I do to relax. He kept rounding up the kids to do what few local activities he could find. They played miniature golf and disc golf a few times. One afternoon, he took the family to the North Anna Nuclear Information Center – a one-room exhibit about the plant. Toward the end of our trip, he realized that we were very close to Twin Oaks, a 450 acre commune, and that they gave tours on Saturdays. More on that next time!

 

 

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