Lake Ruth Ann

Turns out it pays to look at a map. (You’d think I would have figured this out after 13 years working on a magazine about mapping.)

I’ve been calling the bit of water here a pond, but it’s named a lake—either Lake Ruth Ann or Small Country Lake depending on your source. The handy map and visitor’s guide the campground gave us (that’s been tucked away these 17 days and I just thought to look at) calls it Lake Ruth Anne. Google Maps calls it Small Country Lake, yet it labels the adjacent road Ruth Anne Road.

Whatever, I’ll now call it a lake. That’s more stately.

It may be small, but it’s got a lot to offer. Here Tracy has spotted an osprey, a favorite of his.

Apparently it’s stocked with fish, since we’ve seen people out on it with their rods, but it’s still too cold for us to think about taking the kayaks out; ours tip too easily (or at least Tracy’s does when he messes around in it, which is whenever he gets in it.)

I’ve mentioned earlier there are two small beaches and a boat launch, plus this wide viewing platform.

With all the signs about what you can and can’t do on the beaches plus the wild-sounding water toys on the map legend:

Saturn Spinner! RockIt! Climbing Wall! Water Trampoline! Water Pyramid!

I’m thinking in the summer what you view from here is gobs of people splashing and yelling. Right now though you look for that osprey.

My favorite time to walk around it is in the morning when there’s mist flowing across. The newly-esteemed map promises a trail all the way around, but part of that is now a private road, so you have to turn back when you walk either way.

Still, there’s enough of a walk to let the lake’s calm seep in.

When it’s fully warm enough (it’s been warm lately but with a breeze), we plan to pack our lunch as a picnic and hit that table there on the itty bitty island.

When it’s super-warm (will we still be here then?), several picnic tables are under a bunch of pine trees on a slight hill overlooking the water. I have my eye on that picnic spot, too.

In the meantime, we’ll all three be grateful this water is here, as it looks like we’ll be here even longer than we thought last week.

You guys take care of yourselves and your neighbors and friends—heck, take care of everyone. But start with yourself.

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