Lewey Lake Camping Trip
September 15 - 17, 2017

What a weekend! The weather this year was just unbelievable – mid 70s during the day, low 60s/high 50s at night. Except for the rainfall on Thursday evening, we had white fluffy clouds, sun, sun, and more sun. Jim and Mickey arrived first, Deb pulled in second to share her site with little bear. Kim, Eric, Cindy MP, Kathy, Di and Alice (in the penthouse apartment by the bathroom) joined them on Thursday. Lewey Lake was like glass and those who paddled meandered, enjoying the quiet, peaceful lake. We shared our tacos for supper and a campfire at Jim and Mickey’s.

The lake was covered with fog on Friday morning. The sprinkle during the night left a few puddles that where soaked up quickly. Bob, Amy, Doug, Hugh, John and Dan S (John’s brother) set up camp at various times. The Jessup River was low, so one group of paddlers headed north to Adirondack Lake, where we encountered heron, mergansers, turtles, a loon family and stuff in the water that looked like brains. Bob paddled Indian Lake where eagles were spotted.

Friday’s supper “out” was at Speculator Inn where 12 kayakers refueled. Speaking of fuel – gas in Speculator was $3.07. Ouch! The evening fire was at Kim’s with a pressed hardwood candle centerpiece for our enjoyment and the fire log organizer’s aggravation. Boats were parked on shore ready for those who looked forward to an early morning paddle.

Seven kayakers awoke for the 6:30 AM Saturday sunrise paddle in the dense fog on Lewey Lake. It was serene paddling alongside the loons and ducks. It was spooky paddling past the girl in the pine tree on shore. Getting back to campsites was tricky for some. A sense of direction can be lost when in the middle of the lake in a cloud.

Ray, Heather, Wes, Jason and Fenna arrived in time for Saturday’s shared breakfast. We enjoyed every bite. Thank you for hosting Jim and Mickey. Thanks to the pancake flippers too: Di, Jim and Mickey. All that food would more than sustain us on the 40 minute drive to the Cedar River Flow. The drive was worth it. The hills were filled with bright red. We planned to go straight across the lake to the river. The river entrance was a bit tricky to find in the tall grass, but we eventually did. A few beaver dams made it adventurous. Those darn small biting flies were a nuisance. We had to stay away from the edges of the lake or be tortured. One group paddled 8 miles before heading for an ice cream treat. Bob, Hugh and Ray went a few miles further. The day ended with another tasty shared meal in the community room. Doug cooked the best venison I ever ate. We all sang happy birthday to Jason and ate frosted half-moons. The “normal” fire was at Amy’s penthouse (It is just a little hill up to their fireplace). We shared lots of laughs.

We had a bear visit this campground too. On Friday morning 3:30 AM, it rummaged through coolers left outside on the site across from Deb. It took off with a large container of dog food. The empty container was discarded behind John’s campsite. On Saturday morning 1 AM the bear found coolers left out on the site next door to Deb. Jim set up his nature camera on Deb’s site the next night in hopes of getting a look at the critter the neighbors said was “huge”. Unfortunately the campers in her area smartened up, and he must have rummaged elsewhere. She would have to settle for a pic of the little ceramic bear in her tree trunk.

On Sunday everyone packed up except Jim, Mickey, Di, Deb, John and Eric. Some went paddling on Indian Lake before departing. John, Dan S, Kim, Eric, Kathy, and Jim went to the end of Lewey Lake down the Miami River in “beavertown”. I counted 8 dams we went over, around or through. Hugh brought his “suitcase” kayak: Oru Coast XT. He logged 34 miles with fellow kayakers. That’s a good weekend. Twenty campers would agree.

Images & Report by Kim Wojnowicz, Images by Amy Wood, Kaathy Karpinsky, Alice Wilson, Hugh Papworth and Eric Zhaman

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