Lake Champlain vs. Rosslyn Boathouse

Rosslyn boathouse is flooded
Rosslyn boathouse is flooded (6:00am April, 29, 2011)

We knew it would happen sooner or later. But like so many inevitable but dreaded events, we’d wrapped ourselves in a warm comforter of denial. And four springs slipped quickly past since purchasing Rosslyn without the boathouse getting flooded. Sure, we’ve had plenty of high water, but the water’s never risen above the floorboards. In fact, the highest it had ever gotten was about 9-12″ below the floorboards!

Not this year. Lake Champlain‘s water level has risen quickly in recent weeks due in part to seasonal spring melt after an extremely snowy winter and spring. But spring rains are the real culprit. Lots and lots and lots of rain. We’ve been watching day by day as the water crept up, reassuring ourselves that it must be cresting soon… Only it wasn’t. It’s still rising. About another 5″ inches since yesterday afternoon, bringing it to about one foot in the last 24 hours. That’s fast! But slow enough for us to clear out the items that don’t play well with water. Which put a dent in Doug’s carpentry work upstairs, finishing up the trim and oiling the fir. We also had to shut down all electric. Which makes for a dark and eerie lair in the evening. A bit like a flooded tunnel. Interesting photos though…

Most of the drama surrounds the boathouse, especially since we’ve worked long and hard to restore it to health and happiness. But the waterfront is another big concern. Major erosion already, and that’s with relatively light wind and minimal wave action. Big wind and big waves could be catastrophic! Hoping against hope that the wind will remain calm and the waters will fall. Help me hope if you’ve got psychic horsepower to spare. Although we haven’t finished landscaping the entire waterfront, roughly a third (about 80′) looked great up until a few days ago. We’ve rebuilt the stone walls and planted a lawn on the terrace above the beach. The rear edge of the lawn, following the base of the next stone terrace had grown into a handsome daylily bed that stretched the full eighty feet. Spectacular in summer. Now virtually erased by drift wood grinding and churning in the waves. All hand planted. All pampered through the first season. All healthy and thriving earlier this week. All gone now. Memories. I can only hope that some of the bulbs are intact, floating around Lake Champlain, and that they will wash up on people’s beaches and surprise them this summer with heirloom blooms!

In the time it took me to whip up this post, the USGS has changed the Lake Champlain water level from 102.54″ to 102.61″ which happened over an interval of about three hours. So, still not cresting. And the sky has gone from sunny and clear to dark and cloudy. Storm clouds threatening. Wind rising…

About virtualDavis

A writer, storyteller and unabashed flâneur, George Davis (aka virtualDavis or G.G. Davis, Jr.) is the author of Rosslyn Redux: Reawakening a home, a dream and ourselves, a transmedia chronicle about rehabilitating an historic property in the Adirondacks with his bride. He blogs about storytelling, poetry, doodling, marginalia, flânerie, publishing, and other creativity-inspired esoterica at; posts sometimes exhilarating, often unnerving, occasionally euphoric, and always pollyanna "midlife mashups" at; chronicles his sailing adventures (and misadventures) at Sailing Errant; and delves into matters of parenting, babylandia, and childfreedom at Why No Kids? George formerly taught and coached at Santa Fe Preparatory School and The American School of Paris, and he co-founded and launched Maison Margaux: "Paris à la parisienne" in Faubourg Saint-Germain. He currently owns and operates Adobe Oasis in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his bride. George meanders on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and Flickr.
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