, Newburyport, MA


March 21, 2014

Loving Lake Attitash

Reader's letter inspires look forward to warmer weather


The water will warm and soften and wave peacefully in the gentle prevailing west wind that we all hold dear on hot summer days. First, the bass boats will arrive — glittery and colorful with hilariously oversized motors — then the ski boats and pontoons will roar and putter respectively. Skiers, tubers and wakeboarders will summer by, leaving wakes that rock small sailboats and splash to shore with an unmistakably summer sound.

Camp Bauercrest will open on the south end of the lake and treat hundreds of happy campers to the best summer of their lives. They’ll wake us all at dawn with revelry playing from a horn atop the hill, reminding us that it’s the best time of year.

Mornings and sunset hours will bring kayaks, canoes and small sails of every color imaginable. From dawn to dusk, the lake will bustle with boating, fishing, swimming — people and wildlife (and on weekends even longer).

But between now and the first ice of next fall, the real magic of Lake Attitash will be the relationships that are made or affirmed. As Betty wrote, it’s a special place, but it’s the people we will remember.

Betty, I share your love of Lake Attitash, and I can’t thank you enough for taking time from your day to write me such a lovely letter. I doubt that memory of rowing to Back River would be as sweet if your sister hadn’t shared the tradition with you. I’m sorry to learn she recently passed, and I thank you for sharing the beautiful picture of her holding a respectable haul of berries.

As for me, the memory you shared has already become a favorite tradition in my family. Every summer, we, too, travel across to Back River with optimistically large pails in search of the finest berries around. This summer, please consider joining us on one of our blueberry expeditions; we’ll even do all the rowing.


Justin Chase is an avid naturalist who lives in Amesbury and grew up in Newburyport. He is the author of the blog Outdoors, By Cracky! Visit his website at, or contact him via email at

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