Words by Bruce Furrer. Photos by Nataya Furrer.
Silver Lake, located just South of Everett, is a small lake with a nice park and surrounding houses. It provides a recreational oasis for the growing community. I have fond memories of this lake. Not far from the high school I attended, it provided a gathering spot for friends and then became a summer hangout. I remember one time having fun with my own floating island in the middle of the lake on a hot summer day. I borrowed my brother’s river raft, inflated it, then paddled it out into the middle to hang out. Jumping off I didn’t really consider how difficult it was to get back in. I managed but didn’t plan that again. Another time I ventured out to the lake with my parents Klepper folding 2 person kayak complete with sail, rudder, and all. Not really knowing how it all went together I just packed it up, determined I would figure it out having helped my dad years before. After a few missed pieces at critical steps, having unassembled and then restarted, it finally came together. I set out hoping to catch the wind for easy sailing. I think I mostly paddled that day. It’s probably good the wind didn’t come up as I was a better kayaker than sailor. I remember there was a lot going on with the sail boom, ropes, dagger board, and rudder pedals. I determined a simple kayak and paddle is more manageable. I’m sure people on the shore were scratching their head wondering what kind of contraption it was. Many people didn’t know much about kayaks back then, yet alone one that folds up into four bags and comes with a sail!
Today Silver Lake continues to be an urban oasis providing a platform for watersports. For the last couple years my oldest brother and dad have been going out weekly, when weather permits, to paddle around the lake. One lap, about 50 minutes, connecting with the water and nature. A simple get away to take in the outside. Most who visit my dad hear about that week’s outing, usually with photos to amplify the experience. Not too long ago the outing took on greater appreciation for my dad as his first great grandson joined in the paddle adventure. Breckham would sit in his grandfather’s kayak cockpit to paddle along while great granddad paddled alongside.
In June, on Fathers day, with normal family gatherings not recommended, my siblings arranged a paddling trip around Silver Lake. Social distancing to prevent virus spread is easy on a lake in kayaks. We all met at the lake with our own kayaks and had a glorious paddle. A few of the family watched from the shoreline attending to 3 other great grandkids. 15 paddling and 5 ashore.
Fathers, Grandfathers, and Great Grandfather day 2020. The Furrer family afloat and a few onshore not pictured.
Earlier this summer I began meeting Werner Sr & Jr to paddle the lake. The weekly outing became a much-needed escape for my dad. Like so many of us, Covid concerns put a damper on his ability to get out much. Mine too for that matter. The paddle around the lake became a calming time amid the political chaos and captive feeling from virus concern.
The days I’ve been able to join have been perfect. The weather has been mostly sunny with glassy flat water. Our kayaks have cut through the water making the only waves on the lake. Drops from our paddles creating expanding rings. My dad, with his favorite early version Camano paddle, is in heaven when out on the water. He walks with a cane these days for added security. Sometimes a bit unsteady. Him walking is unlike his paddling. When he’s in his kayak he’s sure and steady with forward strokes coming from years of muscle memory. Like riding a bike, he charges ahead taking in all the surroundings. Looking effortless with a beaming smile, he seems to have found the fountain of youth.
Left to Right, Bruce, Werner Sr., Werner Jr with Breckham.
In September I turned 60, my dad 93. Milestones reached and passed. We enjoy another beautiful day on the water. Making the only ripples on the lake.