Photos and Words by Ashley Herrin
When I think of White Pond, I think of the smell of wood burning in the fire, the crackle of the logs as they slowly cook pancakes, filled with blueberries picked from the bushes that guard our camp. I think of the loons that playfully call to each other in the morning or at night, when all have left the water but them. I can hear the bullfrogs, nature’s alarm clock, reminding us that’s it’s 7:00 o’clock in the morning and ‘why are you still in bed?’
I can picture myself in the hammock, enjoying a good book and an even better afternoon nap. I’m reminded of the simplicity of it all. The fact that there’s no running water and an outhouse out back only adds to a true camp experience. The sunsets and the sunrises. The early morning paddles around the lake when everything stands still just for you and a cool mist dances off the water.
I’m reminded of the hundreds of delicious campfire meals shared with friends and family and the hundreds more that have yet to be enjoyed. I can picture the dozen or so camp journals stacked on the bookshelf that have documented every stay over the years, and will continue to do so for generations more.
Our place on White Pond is called Broken Paddle. It’s a humble lake house built in the 60’s by my grandparents. What was meant to only be a temporary structure has become a family landmark that houses too many memories and laughs to count.
The earlier years at Broken Paddle saw a gathering place for friends, family and co-workers almost every weekend during the summer months. My grandparents and crew would make the weekly pilgrimage, oftentimes equipped with a keg that was to be buried in the ground for cool keeping. They laughed and swam and ate and drank. From May until September. It was their tradition.
Although traditions change throughout the years, there has always remained one constant. That one-room camp built in the 60’s is still standing. And with it, so are the many memories of canoe rides around the lake, campfire pancakes, hammock naps and even a few kegs.
I wouldn’t trade that camp for anything else in the world. It’s the keeper of our family memories.