Swimming may or may not be prohibited at this secluded location on Ramapo Lake.Where:Ramapo State Forest, near Oakland in Bergen County
What:A hike followed by a swim
Weather:Hot, humid and partly cloudy
While Lindsay was in Manhattan doing whatever it is women do in Manhattan, I was suddenly struck with an urge to take a swim. I knew she would soon be on her way back to Chilltown and is usually game for whatever ideas I conjure up, so I was pretty confident I could make it happen.
I've probably taken that walk up to Ramapo Lake 200 times. I caught my first pickerel there, been lost in the woods up there, almost sunk in an inflatable raft in 35-degree water up there and have plenty of fond memories of hanging out with old friends up there. It's one place where I don't need a map and know plenty of places that no one could ever find.
As we made our way around the lake, we did take notice of the "No Swimming" signs at several locations. However, when we arrived at the large rock that I had intended to slide into the water from, there was none present. I didn't feel much like debating whether those signs applied to the entire lake or those particular areas; and I'm not so sure I would have heeded a warning if it was there.
We had a wonderful swim.
Now hear me out: Except for the occasional passing through a yellow light or a quick double-park, I walk a pretty straight line, and as far as I'm concerned, Mother Nature can veto local law. Much like the fence warding off intruders from the Reservoir in the Jersey City Heights, this was a line I was willing to cross.
After all, if someone wants to write me a ticket for fishing or swimming, it will be money well spent.