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A little dose of Adirondacks

>> Sunday, July 17, 2011

Early last week, our friend D, who has appeared in this blog a time or two before, sent me a text message that said "Kids and I are going on a canoe trip next weekend.  Please join us!"  I immediately texted back an affirmative, and then asked my husband if it was okay with him, hoping fervently he had no objection.

I took off work on Friday, packed us up, and Spouse got off work early.  I gave Phoebe anti-nausea meds (that worked!  hooray!) and we then made our way to the Adirondacks to Follensby Clear Pond.

Follensby Clear Pond is just south of the St. Regis Canoe area.  It's one of D and his kids' favorite spots, in part because there's no need to portage gear, but the sites are isolated and the lake fairly quiet.  If I had my druthers I probably wouldn't stay there again unless we were going up with D, just because with just a tiny bit more work (i.e. a portage with all your camping gear), you can camp on St. Regis Pond or one of the other adjoining lakes in the St. Regis Canoe Area, which is significantly quieter.

Follensby Clear technically allows motor boats, although I believe there's a horsepower limit.  But just having the possibility of motor boats makes it a slightly more popular spot than St. Regis, and that meant there were people playing a radio in the woods late into the night, and another person motoring back and forth across the lake after midnight.  It's amazing how inconsiderate people can be, even people who are willing to rough it in the woods.

Regardless, those moments of annoyance were few and far between.  Follensby Clear has some great sites - big, pine-needle cushioned, and far from other people.  They're not plush.  The full extent of the "facilities" are fire pits - no picnic tables, no running water, no outhouses - which frankly, is my kind of camping.

The lake is so beautiful, and we heard loons calling almost all evening.  We paddled about easily on Saturday, portaging from one lake to another and exploring, and then came back to our camp and swam for hours in the lake.  Or at least, D's son C and I did. The other three were total party poopers about the whole swimming in the lake thing.  How much they missed!  It was deliciously warm and cool at the same time, and C and I just floated about out there for ages.  Talk about a good way to reduce one's blood pressure.

C and I did have some company out there in the water, though.  Phoebe swims!

I suppose this isn't really something remarkable, but we've never had a dog who liked water.  We enticed her out into the water on Friday evening with a life jacket on, just to see if she'd do it.  She then proceeded to spend much of the weekend swimming about, very proud of her new skill!  She does still need to learn to keep her mouth closed when she's out there without the life vest, as every so often she takes a swallow then coughs and sputters.

Phoebe rapidly decided she likes this whole camping thing.  It's a rough life, can't you tell?

Simon, of course, is an old hand at it.  He's as happy as he ever gets when we're camping.  Check out the clump of pine needles hanging from his lip, like a fine cigar.

"Um, guys?  Where's dinner?"

Before I leave you with a little photo essay of the day, I would just like to note that D's kids are the opposite of all teenager stereotypes.  They're just the greatest kids.  They'll be sophomore and senior in high school next year, and are happy, funny, helpful, and wonderful company.  All five of us (seven counting the dogs) just seemed to strike the right balance between enthusiastic exploration, and just sitting and breathing in the fresh pine breeze and the sound of loons.  I know from experience that finding woodland companions who are that, well, companionable, is a rare gift.  I am very much looking forward to our next trip with them.

I managed to capture this fellow with the polarized lens:


Louise July 17, 2011 at 7:34 PM  

Absolutely beautiful. And, I'm so happy Phoebe swims. She's going to be so much fun to watch as she learns to get around in the water, and, maybe, to retrieve a ball thrown out for her.

Woodswalker July 17, 2011 at 10:52 PM  

Mmmm. I can hear the loons, smell the pine needles, and see those sparks fly up to join the stars in that wide black sky. Glad your trip worked out so happily for both you and the dogs.

Sneaksleep July 18, 2011 at 2:41 PM  

I recognize the bow of that Old Town canoe! :)

sarah July 18, 2011 at 9:54 PM  

I got a ton of vicarious pleasure out of this post. Thanks! I've hiked in the High Peaks region, but I haven't had the pleasure of the water side of the Adirondacks...

Ellen Rathbone July 19, 2011 at 1:01 PM  

Some amazing shots - make me homesick. :( And what a lucky dog. Phoebe must think she's died and gone to heaven. :)

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