We spent an afternoon with Judy's family by taking a walk in Fox Forest in Hillsboro, NH then gathering at her youngest brother's and sil's new house just down the road from there. The plan was to head north to Meredith on 93 then take Rte. 25 over to 16 to camp at White Lake, it was a good plan. We had gorged on pizza that afternoon, so we had a light supper and set up camp in a site about 100 yds. from the lake. As we had foreseen, all the water sites were full on a Saturday night, but there were very few other campers in the park so we had the pick of what was available for non-water sites, and got an excellent one. We got down to the beach on the lake in time to watch a brooding sky darken as somewhere behind the clouds the sun had set. It was a chilly night with lots of woodsmoke in the campground blown from the water sites as they were getting a stiff breeze off the water, making it seem much colder at those sites though we were comfortable and protected from the wind back in the forest a bit as we were.
We had a hasty breakfast and boiled water for tea in the cool shade of the forest where the rising sun has not yet penetrated with its warming rays. We then got the kayaks right down to the water which was now well lit with the quickly rising sun, and we soon could feel its warmth. Folks were setting up for Sunday morning service at the pavilion beside the beach and wished us a nice paddle as we set off. There is no question as to why this place is called White Lake. The white, sandy bottom is evident everywhere you paddle on it. It makes the water sometimes look that lovely turquoise and aquamarine you see in adds for visiting the Caribbean. Osprey gave us a fly-by with his distinct "Kee-kee-kee" cry, and the loons called from the other side of the lake. Along the shore there were patches of color as though some mischievous imp had splattered paint on an otherwise green landscape. Clouds were moving east giving way to a beautiful blue sky, though some of the more dark and brooding of the tribe chose to hang around the heads of the Abanaki chiefs, Passaconaway, Paugus and Chocorua to our north.
There was just the lightest of breezes as we paddled around, occasionally the sound of voices lifted in song came from the service on the beach, but we had the lake to ourselves except for the loons. We had the laziest of paddles and soaked in what warmth the sun was sending. About half way 'round the lake the passing clouds thickened and darkened, threatening a downpour, but it never came. When we had floated around the entire shoreline we paddled back onto the beach as the sermon ended with another song. I was thinking to myself that I had just practiced my religion and had indeed been in church myself, but with no one but mother nature to give me her visual sermon. We loaded the kayaks back onto the car and went across the road for coffee and sandwiches before heading a short drive north to paddle at Chocorua Lake.
The breeze here was slightly stronger and there was a slight chop to the water, but the sun was still bright and the passing clouds threw shadows across Chocorua's bald dome. A loon joined us for a few moments as we paddled counterclockwise around the lake, heading first to the northwest corner where there was some bright red and orange foliage. Now on the leeward side of the lake we paddled slowly south towards the well known bridge which separates the main lake from Little Lake. Paddling under the bridge now we paddled to the small dam a few hundred yards downstream. As we paddled back Chocorua, Paugus, Passaconaway and Whiteface stood dark against the northern horizon. When we had circumnavigated the entire lake we again hoisted the kayaks on the roof and returned to camp at White Lake. Before supper we hiked the easy trail around White Lake. Later, with full bellies all the fresh air and sun caught up with us and we turned in early. Next morning we would pack up camp and hike Mount Chocorua, redlining some trails we had not used before to reach its majestic summit.