A little apprehensive, for fear of the entire crew falling in the lake, we set out on our journey but not before a life vest for Ben was purchased and picture-perfect picnic was packed. We headed to Split Rock Reservoir , a dream of a lake right smack in the middle of Boonton Township. Not easy to find, there are absolutely no signs pointing the way to the destination which I believe is done on purpose like a well-kept secret. However, we happen to know one of Jersey's finest fishermen, my father-in-law, and he was able to point us in the right direction.
The lot was near capacity when we arrived (it is also the only parking lot/boat launch on the reservoir). We decided it would be best to dump all the gear near the path to the lake and then park the car. Of course, I got a little spastic and somehow injured my shoulder before the paddling even started but I swore to myself that I was going to be a trooper.
Now before we get to the kayaking part, let me paint of picture of what needed to be accomplished to get into the lake. We had to lug a 100 and something pound two-person, I mean three-person now, kayak down a rocky hill with a picnic basket, cooler, paddles, life jackets and two-year old in tow. I have to say Benjamin listened to every word we said that day and was extremely well-behaved (thank you God). Ben held onto his Daddy's hand as we navigated down the incline. When we got the bottom of the hill, we asked Benjamin to stand to the side and "not move a muscle." He agreed, "Mommy I won't move a muscle." Once again another thank God - this time for the kindness of strangers. As we scratched our heads trying to figure out how we were going to get everyone in the kayak without tipping it over before we even started, a nice man helped us steady the boat as we loaded in. And off we went...
Benjamin was thrilled to be in the boat. Well, at least that's what Wally said, since I was in the front and the two boys were in the back and I wasn't turning around for fear of tipping. I could hear him though as he started pointing out all the various sights.
We paddled around the lake looking for an uninhabited, smooth spot to dock and have our picnic lunch. Heading straight across the lake, we found a lovely cove to picnic. Upon exiting the boat, I almost stepped on a frog which Ben still thinks is funny. In fact, he placed a plastic frog between my toes the other day to amuse himself. Once we were all safely out of the boat, I unpacked the lunch and spread out the tablecloth on a smooth rock. Not sure how Benjamin would be with a sandwich, shockingly he hasn't really had many, he ate his hummus and cheese like a sandwich eating pro. He also enjoyed some chips and other snacks. As a treat for my newly promoted husband (yipee Wally!), I made him a special snack of deviled eggs which got a little tossed around but were still delicious nonetheless. While eating, I threw bread in the water to show Ben the fishes who came close to the surface to grab their own lunch.
After picnicking with the dragonflies and a run in with a spider, we headed into the water. Wally first took Benjamin out into the water but he pleaded with his Dad to go by me since I was in a more shallow area and closer to shore. Together Benjamin and I sat on a rock in the water and watched Wally swim. Daddy even swam under water for us which thrilled Ben to no end, "do it again Daddy!" After getting over his initial fear, Ben got brave enough to swim between his Dad and me! Go Ben!
Before heading back, we paddled some more checking out a few other spots on the water. Not realizing how far we had actually went, we came a bit confused as to where the boat launch was located (again no signs). We eventually found our way back and proud to say without a tipping incident. As we sat in the car, exhausted, sweaty, sore and wet, I knew this would be a memory we could all treasure forever.