Dear Cumberland Head Straits,

You saw me just the other day-along with so many others who love to line up their cars on your modest strip of parking and watch the sunset. But I remember the days when very few visited you.

Decades ago, you were just a humble tract of land off the side of the road. I remember the first time my dad took me to see you. My brother and I were enchanted with the rocks and stones, each so unique-a whole little universe unto themselves. My father started skipping rocks, and of course, my brother and I couldn’t wait to try it ourselves.

My brother and I squealed with delight as each little stone plunked into the water. Most sank immediately, but some skimmed a few times along the surface of the water. It seemed like we were there for hours-the soft sunlight shimmered over the water and the waves murmured so gently. No one else was there. It seemed like you were going to be our own magical place-meant only for us. We visited you many times-and we never saw anyone else.

Now, I take my daughter to see you and watch the sunset melt in the sky and render your shoreline all pink and gold. But, it has gotten much more crowded. Everyone else in Plattsburgh seems to have the same idea-especially now during the pandemic. You are such a short drive away, yet you still have that otherworldly feel-so more and more people want to spend time with you.

You have water, sunsets, and rocks-these timeless and rhythmic talismans draw everyone to you now-but I was one of the first to love you. I hope you remember me from many decades ago. Do you miss those quieter days?

Despite the crowds, I will continue to visit you. I still have to master skipping rocks.

One of your oldest friends.

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