The Dock

This week’s blog was written by Micaela J., a Bucktails alumni. Micaela is interested in pursuing a career in engineering, although she hasn’t decided what type of engineering she would like to go into yet. Last summer Micaela attended Northampton County Junior Conservation School which sparked her interest in the environment and how we impact it. That program led her to learn about the Wildlife Leadership Academy, which she soon wanted to attend because of its focus on conservation and learning about the plants and animals in our environment.

You know how we all have that one safe spot that we always can relax at? Well, Lake Wallenpaupack is my calm space where I can relax and find peace. My grandparents built a house there in the ’70s, and when my family goes to visit, I always go down to the dock. Since my grandparents’ house is positioned on a hill, there are over 70 steep steps that wander through the trees to get down to the lake. No matter the time of day or night, the view from the dock is worth every step.

The docks edge

When I reach the end of the steps I tenderly balance my way across the rocks that line the edge of the lake shoreline. In the beginning of the summer, the gray rocks are all underwater, but by the end of September, the water level of the lake has lowered, revealing the once submerged rocks. Standing where the lake meets the rocks I take a seat on one of the larger cool rocks. Closing my eyes I can hear the subtle waves crashing on the shore around me. I can hear a breeze whisper through the trees behind me, almost as if they were admiring the autumn weather. The leaves of the beech, chestnut oaks, birch, and soft branches of the hemlock and white pine dance in the soft wind. As a boat passes by, the waves crash harder by my feet, as if trying to wake me from a dream.

Summer’s ending

I slowly stand up and wander over to where the dock begins. Stepping onto the dock, I can feel my balance shift, adjusting to the water that sits, always fluid, below the dock. I pass the empty slips that hold my neighbors’ boats over the summer until I reach the end of the dock. When I get there, I take a seat, take off my converse and socks, and roll up my jeans just above my ankles. Slowly, I lower my feet into the lake, feeling the cool, crisp water as my toes break through the water’s surface. I lean backward, my feet still in the water and my body lying on the dock, and stare at the clouds above my head. They twist and swirl above me in the fall breeze like wisps of cotton. As waves hit the dock, I can feel the wooden slats rock and hear the metal bolts and hinges clank as the waves gently move under the dock and towards the shore. As I am laying there I get lost in thought and lose track of time. When I come back, I sit up to see the sun setting behind the mountains across the lake. The reds and oranges dancing and reflecting on the water. The beauty of these sunsets never ceases to amaze me.

The photos used in this blog belong to the author.