The Adirondacks – Canoeing at Raquette Lake, NY

Camper Jim paddling on Raquette Lake New York

Our day starts in a misty fog in mid September. We seem to have beaten the crowds by starting out after the Summer rush.

The state-maintained lean-to campsites around the lake are really beautiful – and we had almost total privacy. One tip, paddle to the campsite early and stake your claim. A lot of paddlers passed us by looking for our spot on the big island. Getting there early gave us lots of relax time and food preparation time. Seems like we do a lot of food prep on camping trips. We’ll discuss preparing gourmet campsite meals elsewhere. I think it’s enough to say, “we eat pretty well while camping.”

By this time of year, the Summer people have returned to the city and have given the beauty of this area back to the locals and the campers. Gone are the swarms of pleasure boaters and water skiers. What they leave behind is the natural spectacle of the Adirondacks.

Things have changed here over the years. The most notable difference is the significant number of trees that have become victim to Armillaria, a fungus that looks like a white spider web – it attacks hundreds of different species of living and dead trees. It makes me sad that some of the most beautiful trees in the world are slowly being killed. I don’t remember that many dead or dying trees when I visited Raquette Lake back in the 1960’s on a canoe trip with the Boy Scouts — maybe I wasn’t looking for them then. It seems like the older I get the more things I notice.

So we decided to camp on the island. One of the reasons for starting on Big Island was that there was a geocache there. We were so close, we had to try. We had perused the maps, and after settling the campsite we started off on the hunt.

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