The Lake of the Sky eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 364 pages of information about The Lake of the Sky.
of this high mountain Lake.  It is so light, they say, that logs of timber sink immediately, and bodies of drowned animals never rise; that it is impossible to swim in it; that, essaying to do so, many good swimmers have been drowned.  These facts are well attested by newspaper scientists, and therefore not doubted by newspaper readers.  Since leaving Oakland, I have been often asked by the young men the scientific explanation of so singular a fact.  I have uniformly answered, “We will try scientific experiments when we arrive there.”  That time had come.  “Now then, boys,” I cried, “for the scientific experiment I promised you!” I immediately plunged in head-foremost and struck out boldly.  I then threw myself on my back, and lay on the surface with ray limbs extended and motionless for ten minutes, breathing quietly the while.  All the good swimmers quickly followed.  It is as easy to swim and float in this as in any other water.  Lightness from diminished atmospheric pressure?  Nonsense!  In an almost incompressible liquid like water, the diminished density produced by diminished pressure would be more than counterbalanced by increased density produced by cold.
After our swim, we again launched our boat, and sailed out into the very middle of the Lake.  The wind had become very high, and the waves quite formidable.  We shipped wave after wave, so that those of us who were sitting in the bows got drenched.  It was very exciting.  The wind became still higher; several of the party got very sick, and two of them cascaded.  I was not in the least affected, but, on the contrary, enjoyed the sail very much.  About 2 P.M. we concluded it was time to return, and therefore tacked about for camp.
The wind was now dead ahead, and blowing very hard.  The boat was a very bad sailer, and so were we.  We beat up against the wind a long time, and made but little headway.  Finally, having concluded we would save time and patience by doing so, we ran ashore on the beach about a mile from camp and towed the boat home.  The owner of the boat told us that he would not have risked the boat or his life in the middle of the Lake on such a day.  “Where ignorance is bliss,” etc.
After a hearty supper we gathered around the fire, and the young men sang in chorus until bedtime.  “Now then, boys,” cried I, “for a huge camp-fire, for it will be cold tonight!” We all scattered in the woods, and every man returned with a log, and soon the leaping blaze seemed to overtop the pines.  We all lay around, with our feet to the fire, and soon sank into deep sleep.
August 21.  Sunday at Tahoe!  I wish I could spend it in perfect quiet.  But my underclothes must be changed.  Cleanliness is a Sunday duty.  Some washing is necessary.  Some of the party went fishing to-day.  The rest of us remained in camp and mended or washed clothes.
At 12 M. I went out alone, and sat on
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The Lake of the Sky from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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