Eighth Lake Camping Trip July 26-30, 2012

Thursday July 26

Nine set up their weekend homes just in time to hear the park employee deliver tornado warnings and offer money back if we ran for the hills. There were no takers in this group. Tish, Gene, Rick, Cindy, Eric, Dan, Sue, Erica, and Kim opted instead to share a meal (their last?) under Tish & Gene's awning. Burgers, chicken pasta salad, salt potatoes, store bought stuff, fruit shortcake with all kinds of berries and whipped cream were devoured as the rain poured, and poured, and poured down. The sky stayed tornado free as the deadline for destruction passed. The rain did not stop however. The road and sites flooded. The restroom looked like a house on an island in the middle of the lake.

Friday July 27

The rain stopped and the dry earth began to soak up the receding waters. John, Walt, Spiderman, Hugh, Dave F, Deb, Charles, Mary, and Bob arrived and set up on dry land. Our first paddle was on Big Moose Lake. Joanne, a member of the club who now stays at a place on the lake joined us. Rick was given a detailed map and led us to a nice quiet area where the heron, beavers and loons find safe haven amidst the peaceful Adirondack scenery. Spiderman explored another camp-free area. A few mailboxes were spotted on docks along the way.

Nina and Steve joined the kayak campers back at the campground as the crowd grew. The ice cream truck made a few passes through the campgrounds and a couple of kayakers treated themselves to a nice cone. For dinner, some stayed at camp to enjoy fire-cooked goodies while others set out for the Seventh Lake Inn to try to get a glimpse of Olympic happenings along with their meal.

Saturday July 28

Doughnut man made his rounds and chatted about the bear rustlings he heard throughout the night. Others wandered with their empty coffee cups searching for a fill up and morning conversation. The camp internet remained down since the Thursday evening storm, so the weather was a toss-up. In fact, No Vacancy signs were setup as they had no way to check people in and out or know which sites were free. There is no cell service either. It was nice to get a break from those one-sided conversations we hear everywhere back home.

Saturday's trip plans were to launch at Seventh Lake, paddle through Sixth Lake, get out at Inlet and walk to the ice cream parlor to enjoy a gelato or ice cream, then paddle back. It was a nice paddle. We passed a couple of loon families also enjoying the water under now cloudy skies. Oh, and another paddler joined us, Mini. And ... we finally got to see Nina's new boat. It's a beauty. There weren't many motor boats, but the one headed right at me was pretty scary (see picture). When we arrived at Inlet the takeout was at a high dock and there was no place to leave boats. A local lady tried to reach a neighbor who had more room for us, but she was apparently out somewhere. So, we were forced to turn back. It began sprinkling so it was a good idea to get moving back toward camp. The decision was also wise, because as we later found out, it was quite a hike to Inlet from the take-out. It wasn't just across the road.

Tarp and tables were set up to prepare for the dish-to-pass supper. Kayakers gathered and another kayaker, Jim P, who paddled with the club in the past, joined us with Joanne. The food was delicious as usual. The entertainment was also a treat. Walt played a selection of Creedence Clearwater Revival songs and a number of other great songs from the 60s.

Total kayakers = 23 around a blazing campfire made with wood delivered via kayak, hacked into pieces by Dave & Dan, then torched by you know who.

Sunday July 29

Sunday was the best day weather-wise. The sun came out to dry up any remaining dampness. Many packed up and headed south. Ten of the 23 stayed to paddle. They were Rick & Cindy, Charles & Mary, John & Mimi, Gene & Tish, Eric and Kim. This campground is great because you can launch on either Seventh or Eighth Lake. Today, we picked Eighth. It's a beautiful Lake with another loon family. We paddled to the end of the lake, pulled our boats up onto the sand, then hiked the 1.1 mile trail to Brown Trout Pond. It was a natural nature trail with lots of wild flowers, tiny frogs, and side trail to an outhouse. After the hike back, we took a walk or dip in the refreshing lake. The paddle back under the bright blue sky was a welcome break from the clouds. We chatted about what we had for leftovers for dinner, then the final 5 agreed on Plan B: pizza and wings at the Screaming Eagle. We wandered around Inlet after dinner, checked out the hardware store, and walked on the dock with names engraved on the boards. A relative of Tish is remembered on the first board at the end of the dock. We meandered back to the ice cream parlor, took a bit of a hike to find that take out, and then it was back to a relaxing campfire.

Monday July 30

Then there were 3. The last paddle was in the early morning mist. We launched on Seventh Lake taking in the nooks & crannies. On one side stream we notice a bird on a tree limb. He let us float closer and closer so we could see he was an osprey. He showed off his massive wing span and seemed to pose for the camera in all directions. His peeps were few and very quiet. Our presence did not seem to annoy him at all. His crop was full and I suspect he just had a nice fish dinner. What an experience. We backed out quietly and traveled along the shore to where the Bugs Lake trail passed by Eighth Lake. Gene hopped his boat over the path to explore. He went over a few beaver dams until he met his match. Tish & I explored the trail. Sadly, our weekend on the water had to come to an end. We padded back to finish the packing and head for home. When I left the campground it was a glorious 74 degrees with a nice breeze. One hour south it was 90 degrees and humid. What a summer&n#33;


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