Conquering Spy Pond

Lainey discovers Elizabeth Island.

My daughter Lainey is six year old, and I love her. She has seen so many times, and now she has finally conquered it.

A new program from, offers kayak and canoe rentals, available beside , from Friday to Monday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., all summer. Lainey and I saw their sign on the , and jumped at the opportunity.

I paid the attendant $15 for an hour on a canoe, signed a release form, and picked out our lifejackets. The attendant helped me carry the canoe down the launch, and Lainey boarded the vessel like a pro, even though it was her first canoe ride. We pushed off and fought the wind, paddling my hardest.

“What do you think, Lainey?” I yelled.

“Great,” Lainey said. “I was scared at first but now it’s pretty fun!”

Since all the weight was at my end, the canoe wanted to veer in a circle.

“Go straight, Dad!”

“I’m trying!”

Then the wind died, the surface turned to glass and we glided across the water.

“Where should we go?” I asked.

“Let’s explore the island!” Lainey pointed. And so we went.

Before long, we hit land, dragged the canoe ashore and looked around. We were alone. The island felt quiet, and so remote.

“A swan feather!” Lainey yelled and picked it up.

“Look, Lainey!” I pointed to a metal sign on a tree that read: "Welcome to Elizabeth Island."

“Cool! Follow me!” Lainey smiled and marched up a steep wooded bank.

We found a flat grassy spot in the middle of the island, which would be great for , if it were allowed. We found a teepee of piled up sticks, and a duck nest, but the best part was the view.

“Look, Dad!” Lainey pointed. “The!”

We hopped back in the canoe and steered toward the highway. Lainey even tried paddling. The water turned shallow and weedy so we turned back towards Spy Pond Park. Soon, the cheers of a nearby echoed across the water. A lady in a bikini floated by on a pool raft. We drifted a while, neared shore and avoided .

“Do we have to go back?” Lainey asked.

“Yes, honey.” I sighed.

“Dad,” Lainey said, “Can we buy a canoe?”

Everything seems different from the water. There’s a peaceful calm to just floating around, and Lainey seems to agree.  We’ll never look at Spy Pond the same way again.


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