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More Adirondack Bliss

>> Friday, August 12, 2011

It has been far too long since I have posted, mostly because I've been too busy to post.  Most of the busy has been good busy, though, including last weekend's Adirondack camping trip.

Sneaksleep, who is my best girlfriend from forever ago, and I decided we needed a camping trip in the Adirondacks.  She and I had had a trip to St. Regis Canoe Area together something like 16 years ago, so it was high time to repeat it.  This time, we managed to convince her "little" brother C (far, far taller than I am) to come with us all the way from California, and Sneaksleep's husband M joined us as well.  It was M's first ever wilderness camping trip.

We all took 2 days off work, and Sneaksleep's gang drove up from New York City, and Spouse and I drove from CNY with the pups, and we all met at the Little Clear parking lot early Thursday afternoon.  Little Clear is one of the gateways into the St. Regis Canoe Area.  We quickly put the canoes in the water, all brimming with excitement (although admittedly M may have been feeling more apprehension than excitement).

This picture is badly underexposed but somehow it's a cool effect.

We paddled across Little Clear, then portaged all our gear over to St. Regis Pond, which is way bigger than its name makes it sound.  See map here.  There are several wonderful things about St. Regis, including the utter lack of motorized anything, and the way the sites are few and very far between.  After a whole lot of paddling around the lake to find an unoccupied site (it's a popular area and a number of our favorite sites are now closed to let them recover), and with our arms feeling a bit gelatinous from all that paddling, we finally found a nice spot at site 8. 

Our view:

It was an idyllic few days, through and through.  We had beautiful weather.  And Sneaksleep and Co. are perfect camping companions.  We were all so very, very mellow, hanging out, occasionally paddling around the lake in canoes, swimming, eating an obscene amount of good camping food, laughing, catching up, and just enjoying each other's company. 

Just before our trip, I had taken inspiration from our friend D and picked up a hammock made by ENO.  Holy Hannah - that thing rocks!  We found a spot for it right next to the water, and all took turns lounging in it.  C even spent the better part of one night sleeping in it, and would have spent the whole night in it if I had had a mosquito net for it.  I shall soon be purchasing one.

It turns out Simon was a big fan of the hammock as well.

While I dearly loved the hammock, there is one place I prefer even to that - the lake.  I swam long distances around that lake, among different islands and our site.  I calculated from the topo map that I swam more than a mile and a half in the course of the weekend.  I know that's not all that far to most triathletes and swimmers, but for me it seemed like a looooong way.

If you look carefully, you can spot me in the middle of these.  To give you an idea of how far out I was, my husband took these with the 200 zoom.

Sneaksleep and my husband each spent lengths of time with me in the water, although I was definitely the water rat of the group.  I think that's one of the very best things about the St. Regis Canoe Area - the lack of motor boats means no fear of getting run down and injured while swimming.  I can think of nothing more mediative and seductive than floating out there, in the very middle of the lake, lying back and looking at the tree lines and the clouds and the mountains in the distance.  It makes me feel as much a part of the Adirondack wilderness as it is possible to feel.

Having Sneaksleep and C along for the trip meant some great canoeing instruction time, too.  Sneaksleep and C are both highly accomplished wilderness adventurers, having spent weeks at a time in remote places in canoes and tents.  Both have canoed and camped in the Arctic, and C very recently went on a whitewater Arctic adventure for a film shoot he did.  My husband is rapidly becoming a good canoer, but it's quite new to him, and even newer to Sneaksleep's husband.  So C kindly spent a long time teaching a class for the husbands, instructing them in all sorts of paddling strokes and tips.  I've done a fair bit of canoeing and even some whitewater, but I learned from the lesson, too.

The ONLY down side to the entire trip was that it had to end far, far too soon.  I could have happily stayed out there for days and days and days...

I think this is the most incredible shot.  My husband scooped up the camera and shot a quick photo when this fellow landed on my finger.  It's breathtaking.

Some poor blue jay sure became a meal:


biobabbler August 13, 2011 at 4:46 PM  

Jeepers. Heavenly. LOVE the shot of the doggy on hammock, and doggie plus human snuggler on hammock. Lying on my back in a lake, looking at the sky is my go to image during end of yoga relaxation. I agree--the definition of peace, floating in beautiful, calm, quiet nature. Looks like a lovely time was had by all. Thanks for sharing! =)

Louise August 13, 2011 at 11:01 PM  

Definitely a place to refresh the soul. I could feel the cool water on my skin as you wrote about it. Your pictures are, as always, gorgeous, though I have to admit I'm quite surprised that something caught a blue jay. They're usually too smart and quick to end up as a meal.

Sneaksleep August 15, 2011 at 11:28 AM  

What can I say? It was an amazing time together, out in the woods (after far too long, for me). Thank you for taking such wonderful pictures of it!

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