I've always been a lake guy instead of a beach guy when it comes to waterfront fun. Warmer water, less crowding, fewer things looking to sting you or bite you or swallow you whole. New Hampshire is blessed with lots of wonderful lakes, and my favorite will show up a little later on this list. For now, I want to profile the first NH lake I loved - Lake Wentworth.
Just east of its big brother Winnipesaukee, Lake Wentworth is smaller, calmer, less glamorous, content to be a getaway for families and fishermen rather than the glitterati speedboat set. When I was a kid, my family would rent a little cabin at Wentworth for a week each summer, and we would swim and canoe and fish for hours on end. I can remember being thrown off the dock by my dad Albert Pace in all my clothes, swimming during a huge rainstorm when it was just as wet above the surface as below, fishing with my brother Al from that battered Old Town canoe with the yellow perch hitting the naked hook over and over. Sometimes my grandparents would come too, and some of my fondest memories of them involve folding lawn chairs on the little strip of sand along the shore. There was a little stream that ran into the lake next to the cabins, and Al would fish there all day if we'd let him. We'd read at night in the bunk beds and I can't remember watching a single movie or show in all the time we were there - were there even TVs in those cabins?
It was thirty years ago, and like all those confronting middle age, I'm often a victim to nostalgia. But sometimes, it really was better then.