Yesterday a friend asked for my help hauling his boat closer to shore, along Lake Champlain in the Northern part of town. The recent flooding elsewhere in Vermont had now reached the lake, and he was worried that the rising waters would carry off his summer recreation plans. So I pitched in.


Wading in at the debris-filled shore, I spotted a bright, straight-edged object in the water, and hauled it out. It was a cocktail menu!


More specifically, it was a cocktail menu from The Old Dock, a bar I knew from long bike rides around the lake, and from ill-advised treks up I-87 as a way of getting back to Burlington from NYC. I had actually been past there in April, though they weren’t open for the season yet, and the place had the weather-beaten look of a long winter endured.


The Old Dock is in Essex, on the New York side of the Southernmost ferry connection with Vermont. Essex is . . . kind of a long way from Burlington as the menu drifts. 14 miles of open water, actually.


While I was immediately compelled by the epic journey of this lonely menu, I’ve also considered the possibility that it was brought over by accident in the hands of a forgetful boater after one too many of the “Dock Fizz”.

Or maybe it was a bored gull.


Regardless, I’ll plan to bring it back on my next trip over there, with the tale of how far it drifted in the current.