August is one of my least favorite months of the year. The summer heat and humidity make it difficult to do on the lake. The busy area was used for boating, fishing and picnicking, but if you walked a ways around the point of a ridge you were well out of sight and had the lake shore to yourself. This we did, with snacks, drinks and fishing poles in hand. Not too surprisingly, nothing was biting. After an hour or so of this in the hot sun, the water was looking pretty good.
There was a small island a short distance offshore from where we were fishing, and the conversation turned to who could swim over to the island and back. Conditions were perfect for a swim but we had no swim trunks and wet blue jeans are heavy, uncomfortable and take forever to dry.
Of course, it was only a matter of time until the subject of skinny-dipping entered the conversation. I think a few dares and double dares came into play (it was hot, so I don’t recall the infamous “triple dog dare” being a necessity in this case). Regardless, off came the clothes and quickly into the cool mountain lake. I wasn’t too keen on the idea but didn’t want to be the odd man out. However, I have to admit, the cool water felt pretty good! A few boats went by but they were far enough away so as not to be a concern.
What could possibly go wrong? As they say, timing is everything! Only a few minutes had gone by when we heard the low drone of a motor. A houseboat appeared slowly moving around the bend, very close to the shore! It was obviously headed toward the nearby island! To our utter amazement the boat idled up to the island and stopped. I don’t know the maximum capacity of a houseboat, but the number of occupants that disembarked would have made a cruise ship envious! With our heads bobbing just above the surface of the water, at a distance way to close for comfort, we watched what appeared to be several families, including grandma & grandpa and a bevy of kids of all ages, settle in for the day. Now what do we do? How do we get out of the water without becoming the afternoons entertainment? We all looked at each other uncertain about what would draw the least amount of attention? Do we nonchalantly, one by one, ease out of the lake to get our clothes? Or do we all discreetly make a move to the bank at the same time? After a short discussion about how to proceed, our minds were made up when one of our group said “we can’t stay in here all day” and headed for the shore. Nobody wanted to be left “behind”! The scramble up the bank and struggle to get dry clothes over wet skin was pretty awkward! I never once looked back as we grabbed our gear and walked back around the bend! Somewhere in Tennessee an innocent family may have an entirely different version of this story to tell!