Lake Eaton Camping Trip
August 19-21, 2016


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We left our hot humid cities and towns for the refreshingly cooler Adirondacks. The nightly moon was so bright that you would think someone left a glowing lantern right outside your tent or trailer. Sue, Dan, Kim and Eric got a head start, arriving on Wednesday. The charming Lake Eaton was their paddling choice. Since there were 3 ice cream shops in town, they HAD to check out some flavors. The campfire was at Kim’s.

Bob, Hugh, Ray, Kathy, Ashley, Mary & Charles, Jim & Mickey, Andrew & Hannah set up their campsites on Thursday. Bob and Hugh circled Lake Eaton 2.5 times in their kayaks. Kim and Eric launched on Long Lake to find the way to Brook Pond. A finely constructed beaver dam block the waterway, so they did not reach the pond. They spotted a heron and lots of mergansers with their wild red hairdos. Eric, Jim & Mickey, Andrew & Hannah created the roaring campfires on their sites, looking over the peaceful lake reflecting that bright moon.

A heavy mist hid the lake Friday morning. Bob, Hugh and Ray got an early start to paddle 22 miles on Little Tupper and Round Lake. They watched an eagle and said the loons were as plentiful as the ducks. Three kayaks and a paddleboard launched on Lake Harris. Kim, Eric, Kathy and Ashley circled the lake then explored where it connects with the Hudson River. They checked out the route south to NYC until the rapids under the route 28N bridge. They also went a half mile north on the Hudson towards Mt Marcy. That will be a nice paddle for another day and they researched the portages around rapids by car after the paddle. Peddlers (yep, peddlers) headed for Saranac. Jim, Mickey, Hannah, and Andrew boarded a train and peddled it through the Adirondacks. A good time was had by all. Swimming was also on the activity list for today. The Friday eve dinner was devoured at The Cellar. The fish fry was outstanding. No one was interested in having their picture taken, so all you see is ketchup, empty glasses and candle as a remembrance. Lobster rolls, Cajun chicken, and mac-n-cheese were on the menu for the campers who whipped up their meals at the campgrounds. Mark arrived and all finished the day around the evening campfire.

The 6 A.M. morning mist was orange on the mountains and the bright moon reflected on the lake. What a sight to wake up to. Saturday’s breakfast was hosted by Jim & Mickey, Andrew & Hannah. Jim and Mickey flipped reluctant pancakes on their new grill. We also had blueberries, chocolate chips, hash, bacon, 2 types of sausage, melon, sweet bread, OJ and some loons on the lake for added ambience. It appeared that the loon parent was teaching its young one to fish. Bob, Hugh, Ray and Mark headed out early again to paddle a ton of miles on Long Lake. One achieved a 14 miler, the rest did not give up until they reached 25 miles. Sue, Mary, Charles and Jim paddled Lake Eaton with the loons and mergansers. Kathy, Eric and Kim set out for Lake Lila. First there was the 4.5 mile narrow road into the woods, then the 5.6 mile bumpier road to a 0.3 mile portage that no one’s wheels could handle. We had a nice hike and view of Lake Lila and a black snake after a frog. The frog lived. We decided to make our way back to Little Tupper. It was quite windy, so we returned to camp to chat, swim, read and relax. We heard how scorching and humid it was that day back home and appreciated our Adirondack weather. Jim & Mickey, Andrew & Hannah hiked a bit and had a great time at the Long Lake beach on the slides, trampoline and swing into the water. All had a pretty nice day so far, well except one, whose scrambled eggs spilled on the picnic table before they were cooked. His paddle adventure was just as unfortunate, as he forgot to close his hatch before he rolled. Bilge, Bob, bilge!! Saturday’s supper was at Jim & Mickey, Andrew & Hannah’s. Jim tried out a new grill and the hamburgers were the best ever. There were a lot of accompaniments with couscous, quinoa, goulash, mac-n-cheese, cheesy rice, noodles and chicken and Jodi’s chocolate cake with cool whip. We don’t go hungry. The evening fire was at Jim’s while we watched a lovely sunset. The entertainment came in the form of a bear. Campers directed their flashlights on him as he perched in a tree. Rangers took over. The bear made his way down, travelled through Sue & Dan, Mary & Charles’s area campsites until he found food in a screen tent. He ripped it up and had some Jiffy pop and snacks. We found out he visited another careless camper’s left-out food the evening before.

The wagon ride to Newcomb Lake was at 10 AM. We didn’t want it to interfere with the Saturday breakfast, so we moved the trip to Sunday. We rode in a covered wagon pulled by three beautiful horses. Another wagon with a canopy on top followed, towing a wagon full of gear and kayaks. It was pulled by 2 more clip-clopping horses. The wagon was quite comfortable and we enjoyed the 5-mile, 1 hour and 15 minute ride through the woods. It stopped along the way at a dairy farm complex which was quite interesting. We could walk through some of the old buildings created by Robert C. Pruyn (1847-1934) who was successful Albany banker. 19th century Camp Santanoni is one of the oldest and largest Great Camps. Teddy Roosevelt visited there. At the bridge they unloaded the pile of kayaks. Campers setting up in the primitive lean-to site gathered their gear. The wilderness lake was serene. We paddled the shore and found our way around some of the less travelled islands. The paddle time until wagon pick up was just 2 hours. It was not enough to see the whole lake. We would have to save the rest for another day. We watched the sky on the way back, since the weatherman called for afternoon rain. It began to sprinkle near the loading zone and we were able to get our kayaks on the cars before a down pour. It rained for a couple of hours, so we showered and headed to town. The grandkids had another fun day at the Long Lake beach. The rain stopped around 6 P. M., just in time to build theevening fire and enjoy the lake.

It cooled down into the 50’s overnight. There was a nice breeze Monday morning, so everything was dry to pack up. The remaining campers (Kim, Eric, Jim & Mickey, Andrew & Hannah, Mary & Charles, Sue & Dan) headed for home. It was another great camping trip. Bye, bye bear!

Report Images by Kim Wojnowicz and Images by Eric Zhaman

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