What is a lake? It is waters, a spider, a gently lapping meniscus against geological striations and ossified wood sculpture. It is fire, weather, it is people too, fears and joy, a wildly bifurcating and nebulous phenomenological timespace assemblage. Govan. All attempts to represent such an object will invariably seep into the earth, leak into the next lake. Yet in a very real sense we are all currently on Lake Govan—and will never, ever arrive there. Govan as a concept, when held in the mind’s eye, recedes ever further into the liquid horizon, and then whoa, burbles up within our guts, radiates out through our bloodstream.
There’s a gentle goth ambience to the place, with overgrown swamplands and water-logged detritus, the remains of a disturbing fish massacre, a haunting spider colony in the north, remnants of a minor forest fire blackening a narrow finger of shore to the south, fogs and mists that obscure and reveal in equal measure. The many islands make for curving, riverine passages, subtle labyrinths, not too much open water and thus delightful paddling, far better than Lake Schooner, for example. The effect is of being swaddled by Stevie Nicks—her mystic shawl draped over you, her beads clacking softly in your ear. Understandably, those inclined purely to benevolence (e.g. white-robed mages) may feel out of place—Govan does not (and will not) pander to the light.
As for lodging, many sites dot the lake, some with with tri-directional views, furniture and other profane amenities. Others are more metaphysical, tucked away on tiny islands, ideal only for a solo hermitage, an engagement with our shadow selves and dark elves of the soul.
The topography is less epic than a lake like Schooner, and there are no evident cliffs, bluffs or peaks. But on the micro-detail level, this place expands fractally, darkly—full of moments when Govan gives you (obliquely, warped) back to yourself, with a greyish hue to your skin and clear iridescent eyes, and perhaps an incipient tentacle sprouting from your back. You may hear mirthful laughter (your own) echoing through the dawn mist.
Unfortunately, this verbal representation may have effaced the lake itself. Oops. Still, it’s probably worth the attempt to try and maybe reach this lake, if one is more and/or less prepared… we were never at Govan, we’re already there.