Limekiln Lake Camping Trip
July 21-24, 2016

I love July camping. We can leave all the long johns and cold weather paraphernalia at home. On Thursday Michelle, Hugh, Eric, Dave L, Steve and Kim arrived. It was a bit humid, but nothing like the stifling heat we left in our cities. Some paddled Limekiln from the nice water sites we selected last winter. We spotted 6 loons and a “school” of teen kayakers gabbing and trying to decide which way to go next with their upside down paddles. For supper a couple of us went to town for amazing pizza, wings, onion rings and 50 beers on tap at the Screaming Eagle in Inlet. Others camped traditionally, refining their grilling techniques. We slept well through the light sprinkle that night. One poor camper’s air bed collapsed, so the hard ground did not feel too comfy. Fortunately another camper (Dave) had a cozy blowup mattress Hugh could use. A mouth full of whipped cream perked him up, too.

Dave (Fish), Christine 2, Mark and Sue settled in on Friday. This is the day the weatherperson predicted rain. Since no one had any cell service, we couldn’t check our more reliable sources for precipitation. Hugh got up early to paddle Limekiln as the creatures began stirring. A couple of campers went to town to find a replacement for a lost water shoe. We decided not to take Limekiln Rd to paddle the Cedar River Flow. After chatting with others on the road, Dave found out that the dirt road section was approx. 20 miles long and your speed would need to be 20 mph most of the way. We voted to paddle closer. The wind was creating some decent waves on Seventh Lake. Eighth Lake was calmer, so we launched there. Sue & Dan were camping there, so Sue grabbed her kayak and joined us. She showed us where the hot springs were. It was a short paddle, but rain-free and pleasurable. There was time for a quick dip in the lake and moment of wondering where the mounds of shells on the beach came from. Friday dinner was at the Old Barn for those eating out. For those eating at the campgrounds, they dined with the 3 friendly chipmunks and a cute red squirrel. Michelle had a campfire at her site that night. We enjoyed a variety of cheeses and dark chocolate s’mores. Luber tried his luck at fly fishing. Unfortunately we had no fish to grill.

On Saturday we filled up on pancakes and fixings at Eric’s, then the Fearless Four: Mark, Sue, Michelle and Steve headed down the Moose River with the promise of a train ride back. The Super Seven: Dave L., Dave (Fish), Kim, Hugh, Eric, Christine 2, and Sue K. made their way to Raquette Lake for the paddle to Blue Mountain. It was a windy start on Raquette, but all fought the waves to the calmer Marion River, Utowana Lake, Eagle Lake, and then Blue Mountain Lake. At the portage we noticed threatening rain clouds east of us. They seemed to be staying east, so we decided to make a run (paddle) for it instead of waiting it out. As we entered Blue Mt Lake we saw lightening in the distance - not a nice thing to see on a day the weatherperson predicted great weather for this 13+ mile paddle. Oh, yes, we paddled faster. The leaders were maybe 10-20 feet off shore when it hit. The last of the group were approx. 200 feet from shore. It was like being inside a washing machine. Waves sloshed us from all sides. The rain pelted our cheeks. The rain let up a bit as we loaded our boats. We were able to double up, so there was just one trip to Raquette for a car. That worked out nicely without the multi-shuttle of autos. Soaking wet, we headed back to camp for warm showers and dry clothes. Eighth Lake campground had been drenched, but Limekiln campground was dry. Steve hosted the group supper. There was plenty of delicious food for all.

Sunday was pack-up day for some. It was gorgeous weather-wise. Dave L fished a bit more, a bunch of us investigated all the nooks and crannies of Limekiln Lake, and some went antiquing. Eric hit the camp trail. A porcupine joined him, and in fact led the way. That’s why you only see the porcupine’s back side in the pics. They had a nice walk. Another odd creature scampered through our campsites – a weasel. He was pretty cute and too fast for the camera. Well, he was cute until he appeared with a huge fat rat in his mouth – that was less cute. There were 3 bears in the area: mama, baby and teen. Smart people used their bear boxes. Dumb people – well, they are the reason there were fireworks and pellet guns to scare off the hungry bears. All four toilets in the woman’s room flooded – maybe it was that cute lizard that hung around the faucet. The facilities at Limekiln need a serious upgrade. Showers were nasty too. I guess we were a bit spoiled by the new facilities at Moffitt earlier this year. We are so wimpy. Supper was at Michelle’s where yummy leftovers were grilled, boiled, cut up and devoured. Thanks Michelle and Steve. You are the BEST cooks!!

Monday’s sky looked a bit iffy. All were able to pack up before the light sprinkles started. Hurray, there was nothing to hang on the clothesline or re-setup! We missed all you campers that were off to weddings, reunions and other family obligations. See you on the next trip.

Report Images by Kim Wojnowicz Images by Eric Zhaman

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