Plunging Into Icy Water in Lost Lake, Oregon
Children don’t seem to feel the cold. They leap from the dock, flinging their bodies into the air and careening into the glassy water with terrifically exaggerated splashes. Their parents offer a hesitant foot or hand, shiver, and withdraw to deck chairs. Guarded by hills, Lost Lake does feel off the map. It’s high on Mt. Hood’s northern slopes, accessible only by a curling road through the trees. The mountain’s snowmelt fills this basin; Hood’s peak rises huge and snowy to the south, its inverted image projected across the water’s surface. On the porch at one of the lakeside cabins, two shirtless men drink beer with their feet up on the rail. A rowboat breaks the shimmer of yellow on the water’s surface; the sheen reforms behind it, sealing the small boat into place. A few young people venture out onto the rocks, and peer down into the water as if to read the temperature there. A vigorous sun prompts them forward. One yelps as he wades knee deep; he takes a deep breath and dives.