Lake Eaton Camping Trip
August 17-20, 2017

It was an early start for Kim, Kathy, Eric, Deb, Sue and Dan. They set up their sites, ate, chatted and enjoyed a campfire together at Kim’s on Wednesday. Wednesday night the temperature dipped to a cool 44 degrees. Fires were blazing early on Thursday morning to warm our bodies while we ate breakfast. Several campers arrived: Amy, Bob, Hugh, Sandra, Cindy MP, Dave F, Jim and Mickey, Ray and Heather, Wes, Jason and Fenna. Dave, Cindy, Hugh and Bob paddled the southern end of Long Lake up to Buttermilk Falls. Kathy, Kim, Sandra and Eric paddled Lake Eaton.

Another guest arrived who was NOT invited. Deb was eating her lunch when she heard rustling behind her. Thinking it was probably a chipmunk, she turned and saw a bear cub sitting on a stump. She ran 3 steps to her car. The cub grabbed her peanut butter lunch. The rangers found her Tupperware container with teeth marks. It would be sent to the DEC lab for DNA testing. That was scary. Amy offered to let Deb stay on her site. Four of us picked up Deb’s tent and paraded down the camp road. Meanwhile the rangers had to inform everyone about the visitor and remind them about leaving out food and coolers. When checking in we had been told no bears were in the campground. Guess the story had to change. This is the second year bears were encountered at Eaton. Last year one was in a tree by the bathrooms behind the recycle building and meandered behind Sue and Dan’s campsite. In the evening we gathered together to share food and campfire at Kim’s. Bear remarks were plentiful.

There was a heavy downpour during the night. Sites had lots of puddles/ponds Friday morning. Alice arrived. Deb and Amy moved across the road to a hilly water site (67) and Alice joined them. Robert, Aneta, Cooper and Bauer also joined us. Rain showers until 3 PM were predicted, so we played it safe and canceled the group paddle. Sandra and Deb went to the Blue Mountain Museum. They enjoyed the new exhibits. Amy, Alice, Kim, Kathy and Eric got in a quick paddle on Lake Harris and then visited the Interpretive Center where they hiked. The kayak launcher at Lake Harris was fun. We measured our wing span at the Center. Most of us had arm lengths equal to an osprey’s wing span. Ray, Hugh and Bob paddled a bunch of miles on Little Tupper, Sperry Pond and beyond. They spotted 3 eagles, heron and jumping frogs. One frog jumped onto Bob’s boat. Cindy and Dave checked out Lake Placid. Heather and the kids went to the Wild Center. All stayed dry. Eleven went to the Adirondack Hotel for Friday’s dinner. The fish was good; some other entrees were not so good. Drinks were slow and 2 arrived for free at the end of dinner. Back at the campground, Sandra unfolded her ORU boat made of what looks like corrugated plastic. It is quite interesting. Those who paddled it said it handled very nicely. The evening fire was at Robert and Aneta’s. The fire had the best flames. Unfortunately, it soon became an umbrella fire; then it became a run for cover as it turned into a downpour.

Saturday’s breakfast was at Amy, Alice and Deb’s site. Amy flipped the pancakes and they were delicious. There was also bacon, sausage, hash, egg frittata, fruit, yogurt, sweet stuff and juice. Thank you for volunteering to host, Amy. NICE JOB with that stove and non-stick mat!! The long-mileage men (Bob, Hugh and Ray) chose to paddle Forked Lake. They logged 17 miles. Whew! Ten headed for Lake Henderson: Dave F, Cindy MP, Sandra, Jim, Deb, Eric, Kathy, Amy, Sue and Kim. The parking lot was full because there is access to several hiking trails (including Mt Marcy) from that spot. We had a fairly easy (no roots) 0.35 mile portage to the lake. The lake was beautiful and serene with Henderson Mt at one end, Mt Marcy at the other and several more mountains in between. Not so beautiful were the small biting flies which hunted you down if you came too close to land. We heard several waterfalls along the way. The beginning of the Hudson River is here. We did find a nice area for lunch. We logged 6.8 miles.

Thanks go to Eric for being persistent and finding this lake. It was a challenge! After the paddle some stopped at the historic McIntyre Furnace by the road. It took 20 years to build the iron ore operation in the 1800s, and it ran for 10 years. Supper was at Jim and Mickey’s. Thank you for having us!! We ate well and there was not much left on the table. We devoured sausage, Caesar salad, artichoke dip, cream cheese with raspberry balsamic, tortellini, goulash, potatoes and zucchini, tomatoes and mozzarella, chicken kabobs, brownies, peanut butter cookies, macadamia nut cookies, fudge and … . Jim and Mickey also had the colorful evening fire.

Several had to pack up on Sunday. Aneta and Robert, Jim and Mickey, Sue and Dan, Cindy MP, Dave F, Kim and Eric stayed for another day. The weather was gorgeous. We chose to paddle what is often called “a kayaker’s favorite” - the Bog River Flow. It is a popular site, and parking can be crazy on both sides of a narrow dirt road. The DEC put up signs which allowed parking on only one side, so it was much better than previous years. There were fewer cars, too. Sundays may be the best day for this paddle. Sue, Kim and Eric paddled 7.8 miles. Cindy MP and Dave portaged around the dam under construction. They made it to campsite number 12, so they paddled maybe another 5 miles. Eric, Kim, Dave F, Cindy MP, Robert and Aneta dined at the Cellar. The food there was delicious!! The campfire was at Jim and Mickey’s where Dave had his second s’more.

Everyone packed up on Monday morning. They headed for home except for Kim (that’s me). It was eclipse day and the weather was just perfect. In the afternoon I paddled out on Lake Eaton and watched the moon travel in front of the sun from my kayak. Thanks for the glasses Eric! Five loons gathered in the middle of the lake near me, hooting. It was a nice ending to another great weekend at Lake Eaton with 22 campers, a conure, a handsome poodle and that most unwelcome bear cub.

Images & Report by Kim Wojnowicz Images by Amy Wood, Hugh Papworth and Eric Zhaman

CNY Kayakers Syracuse NY

Kayaks & Paddleboards Willow Bay Rentals