Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"Weekend Warriors"...Can't avoid 'em!

OK…I’ve mentioned them before, particularly on busy summer weekends here at the lake in Michigan, and I haven’t ever gone into too much detail and other means of explanation about what exactly I mean. This morning, though, I’m in the mood to write about those inconsiderate, rude, and boorish folks I call the “Weekend Warriors.” After Saturday’s venture out onto the water in our intrepid 22-foot Tahoe pontoon, I need to vent just a bit.

On Saturday afternoons, the lake gets rather busy with all sorts of watercraft out and about—particularly powerboats pulling skiers or a various number of tubes. There are also an inordinate number of wave runners and jet skis flitting hither and yon, in and out of the traffic flow. Throw in the numerous pontoon boats trying to enjoy a pleasant cruise around the lake, the occasional fisherman, a sailboat or two, plus the popular kayak paddlers, and one can realize the short amount of time it takes for the lake to be way-too-crowded. And this is all perfectly as it should be. That’s what summer at the lake is all about!

Though I am usually smart enough to keep our boat tethered to the pier on the weekend and wait until later in the day before setting out to ply the gentle waters of Magician Lake, last Saturday was the exception. It had been nearly two weeks since I’d had the boat uncovered due to weather, and being gone for a few days, I was anxious to get out on the water and enjoy the clear beautiful day. At the time, the lake was calm, relatively light in traffic, and just right for a slow chug around the lake. I couldn’t have been more misguided!

Within ten minutes of leaving the pier, I found myself having to fully concentrate on the speedboats, pulling skiers and tubers, that insisted on cutting directly in front of my bow and thinking nothing of it. It does no good, either, to wave or yell or offer other loud forms of invective, as the people driving these boats are too caught up in their tubing and skiing adventures. The drivers, usually twerps with baseball caps on backwards and pasty faces, pay no attention to lake etiquette or the various other “rules of the road.” More and more, it’s as though they’ve all hurried up here from their bungalows somewhere in Illinois, quickly deposited their stuff wherever they spend the weekend, and beat a hasty path directly to their watercraft. And it’s never just one or two people in the boats. It seems that each boat outing requires that the whole kit and caboodle of family and friends hop on board for a day of wild and frantic fun on the water. Away they go!

Unfortunately, during this part of the summer—the heart of vacation time—the lake is overpopulated with folks trying to grab a piece of the summertime experience, to take their overpowered watercraft out and about on the lake and pay no heed to anyone who dares to get in their way. Once in a while on weekends, the county sheriffs will put in their appearance, especially on holiday weekends, but very seldom. And even when the police are on patrol around the lake, this doesn’t seem to faze the “weekend warriors,” who, after all, have the unwritten right to go about in any manner or speed or recklessness they see fit!

My leisurely chug around the lake was cut short—out of self-defense—and I somehow made it back to our pier with the Tahoe still intact, my blood pressure well above the Mason-Dixon Line, and my common sense once more reminding me to let the “weekend warriors” have the lake. Realizing that, I know that, sooner or later, the “warriors” will have to get off the lake to fuel up before running out or breaking down, which, come to think of it, would be a lovely thing! Now, it’s time to relax and watch the lake go by and enjoy the beauty of it all…MLA
P.S.-By the way, the “warriors” aren’t limited to just weekends!


  1. Unfortunately, during this part of the summer—the heart of vacation time—the lake is overpopulated with folks trying to grab a piece of the summertime experience, to take their overpowered watercraft...

    Being marooned in the hellish Midlands of South Carolina I very rarely have the chance to return to the coast and enjoy a sunrise on the beach. The last time I was able to make it down I had to share the environment with a bunch of guys on jet skis doing their best to annoy everyone.