Yep, I am back in The Empire State. Been here the two weeks since I wrote my last blog post. Why so long? I have taken photographs at 12 campgrounds so far totaling well over 1500 campsites. And that is not even half of the campgrounds I plan on visiting in ADK. So lets just say I have been very busy.
They are all in this place.
Adirondack Park is known to locals simply as ADK. It is one of the two areas run by the DEC, the Department of Environmental Conservation.
I was in the other one, Catskill Park, in early June. It's almost 800,000 acres seemed pretty large but is tiny in comparison to ADK.
Take Yellowstone NP, throw in Yosemite NP, add Grand Canyon NP, and the combined land area is still less the the 6 million acres that make up ADK. That is big. That is why it will take me five weeks to visit all the campgrounds.
The New Yorkers I have met so far have be very cordial. I didn't know what to expect, you know, with The Soprano's and all.
The only person I met who was a little nervous was not even a person. He was a moose. Wearing full body armor.
Must be a New Jersey moose.
Anyway, I left Grand Isle State Park in Vermont and looped north around Lake Champlain to the NY side.
I wonder what came first. The building or the nickname.
The Canadian border was less than 1/2 mile away.
I flipped a coin and headed south.
Right into a storm.
Wound up at Ausable Point.
The weather pattern I have been noticing in the northeast seems to be consistent. Afternoon thunderstorms that only last a short time.
By the time I set up in site 99, it was sunny again.
Ausable Point has 125 spots, some on the shores of Lake Champlain and some along the Ausable River.
Mine was the latter and it was a beauty.
Had my own private beach.
The river was wide and slow just a few hundred feet before it emptied into the lake.
So of course, campers took advantage of it.
There was a steady stream of them parading past my site.
I made a batch of fresh taco meat.
Enjoyed a riverside meal as the sun started to set.
The next day I checked out the rest of the campground.
The beach area was rather nifty.
Sites 19 and 30 are examples of camping on the lake.
Be aware that it can windy at those spots.
The river sites are more sheltered, such as 93 and 98 in my neck of the woods.
And don't forget the afternoon storms.
It was a great campground and a nice way to enter ADK.
I continued south to my next stop, Crown Point.
It was fun to watch that afternoon's storm roll in.
Loads of fun.
The park's 66 sites are mostly open, like 19 and 49.
46 is a good spot for a small group.
If you want a cool view, 2 and 9 have you covered.
That would be the Champlain Bridge, connecting NY to Vermont.
The call it Crown Point because there is a point. At the tip of which you find a lighthouse.
The lake was named after this guy, who stumbled across it over 400 years ago.
Behind the lighthouse is a popular fishing pier.
I made a day trip from here to visit two other campgrounds in the area.
Lincoln Pond has just 25 sites but many are on the water. 2, 6, 9, and 13 are good examples.
The pond has a nice beach and is great for paddling about.
Next stop was Sharp Bridge, one of the first two campgrounds built in ADK.
It's 40 sites are located near the Schroon River.
This is a camp for hikers, with many trails leading off into the mountains.
The sites are not large, but 19, 20, 34, and 36 could take a small trailer.
I left Crown Point and headed south to Rogers Rock, a massive campground with 301 sites on the north end of Lake George.
The next morning (don't remember what day) I walked down to the lake before embarking on another long day trip to check out 3 other campgrounds.
You can rent buoys here to tie up your boat. Many folks did.
More on Rogers Rock later.
My first stop was at Eagle Point on Schroon Lake.
The 71 sites offer a few on the shore, such as 8, 9, and 11.
Mix in a lake and beach and you wind up with a winner.
Paradox Lake was next.
58 campsites with a nice beach and lake as well.
The sites are large and shaded. I liked numbers 10, 12, and 24.
Finally Putnam Pond.
63 sites near the shore of a beautiful lake, err, pond.
15 and 23 were good sites.
My favorite was 47. Great for a little trailer or tent and the only site with direct water access. It has a very steep and narrow entry so be warned.
OK, back to Rogers Rock.
The following day, which I believe was last Friday, I walked the campground.
Some of my favorites were 4, 54, 82, and 83.
54 is for tents only and is right on the lake.
There is a tiny loop here with only 11 sites, 23 to 33.
Very safe spot for kids because of the lack of traffic and a flat loop to ride bikes and scooters.
I was in 30.
Great neighbors near me in 26 and 27.
The cul-de-sac looks like this.
At the end is a short path down to a dock where I took the earlier pictures of the lake.
The beach is just a short walk away.
Last Saturday I followed Highway 9N south alongside Lake George to Hearthstone Point. There was a bit of traffic.
Hearthstone's 251 sites are only a few miles from the town of Lake George, the biggest tourist destination in ADK. You can tell by the sign above it is very popular.
There are a plethora of motels and hotels in this area. Even an amusement park called "Great Escape".
Passenger ships ply the south end of the lake for hourly excursions.
I think that boat's sign maker needs to run spell-check. Kinda missing a "K" but maybe that is the French spelling.
When I arrived at the campground I gave them my name and they looked up my reservation. I saw the rangers grimace. They looked at each other and nodded.
"The site you reserved is not really suitable for your trailer. not very level."
"Um, OK" I replied.
"You drove here all the way from California?"
I was thinking about a sarcastic answer but wanted to see where they were going with this.
"Yes", I answered tentatively. I didn't mention that I was Canadian because that might have botched things up.
"We had a cancellation 10 minutes ago. One of our best sites. It will work for your 3 night stay."
"Great, Thanks. I'll take it."
Which is how I wound up in site 70.
Yes, that is just one site, 30 feet from the lake. I even walked in a bit so my rig didn't look too tiny.
Again, it is at the end of a cul-de-sac with just a handful of other sites like number 68.
A few hundred feet away is the beach.
I walked all of the sites on Sunday. 146 was a private spot in the loop across the road.
73 was a good tent site with views of the lake.
16 was in the more open area near the showers.
Monday I watched the sunrise.
By myself. I guess sunrises take some dedication. Sunsets are easy.
My campsite at dawn.
Made some tea.
And killed a mosquito.
Spent the rest of the day on the computer processing campground photos.
It is hard to make reservations in ADK without having been to a campground before and noting the best sites. There are no pics anywhere.
Well, there will be soon, along with my choices of the best ones.
You are welcome.
Tuesday I continued my trek south to Luzerne.
The rain fell all day, not briefly like a thunderstorm. Reminded me of the Pacific Northwest. Yes, this was the period when New York City got deluged by over a foot of rain. Set a record. Because of me. Sorry.
It didn't let up on Wednesday so I grabbed my umbrella and walked the 174 sites anyway.
I stopped first near the crowded beach and lake.
Amongst the nice damp sites I liked were 11, 80, 87, and 132.
You might have noticed a preponderance of tarps in this post. In fact, everyone carries them for the occasional shower. You are allowed to tie ropes to the trees to set them up. Most campers try tossing them over the limbs. Some will tie rocks to the end of the line to make it easier.
I even added an extra one to my California Room.
But these campers had the best idea.
Bring along a 15 foot ladder. Good job.
Luzerne is one of the few campgrounds in ADK that has a horse area. 22 separate sites with a stable and barn.
Did I mention the rain? Here is a view of the shower house on Wednesday as the staff tried to stop the flooding.
Thursday I left and headed southwest to Northampton Beach, crossing over Great Sacandaga Lake.
Friday I walked all 220 plus sites here and then processed photos for Hearthstone and Luzerne. Today, Saturday, I drove to Sacandaga campground, walked it's 140 or so sites, and then spent the last 5 hours writing this blog.
I think I might not leave you with another great camping tip.
Oh, you are sorry? Well alrighty then.
It is all about watching what you eat.
See, bugs blend in to their surroundings by means of camouflage. Well, most do, some choose gaudy colors for various personal reasons.
I made my usual dinner on Thursday, tacos, and ripped up a bunch of lettuce by hand to top off the tacos.
I was heading back into the trailer to eat as it was getting dark. I noticed that a piece of lettuce had fallen on my sleeve.
I picked it off and popped it into my mouth. It was not lettuce.
A slight crunch followed by squishiness, juice, and a nasty taste let me know I had made a mistake.
I gagged and spat it out. On the ground lay a partially chewed green moth.
Camouflaged to blend into the deciduous leaves, it resembled a piece of lettuce in the dying light.
So be careful out there in camperland. Inadvertent food happens.
Although I hear fried grasshoppers are good...let me know.
Regards, Park Ranger