Twenty-six campers/kayakers headed north for our first camping trip of the 2019 season. Sue and Dan arrived first. It was quiet except for the buzzing. They sent out warnings Monday to bring plenty of bug spray and after-bite medication. Deb, Dave L and Kim arrived next, on Wednesday, to try to beat the inevitable setting up in the rain predicted for Thursday. A mama deer and tiny fawn were spotted on the campground road. We were warned about a couple of bears near the entrance and Loop B. We slept in a quiet campground to the sounds of hooting owls, grunting raccoons, rustling deer, woodpeckers, ducks with laryngitis and some creature that sounded like it was being tortured.
It down-poured on Thursday all over NYS. It was so bad in Oswego that kids were sent home from Regents due to flooded roads. The campground could only absorb so much. When Mickey got out of the truck on their site, water was above her ankle. Several who planned to come on Thursday tried to wait out the rain, changed their arrival day, set up in rain gear, or chose to stay in a hotel. A rain collapsed Easy-up and a set of keys locked in her car added a period of frustration for Amy, whose Subaru service did not include sending the open-door signal to Old Forge. She was an unhappy camper and Subaru customer at that moment. All was well by campfire time. Lousy-weather arrivers were Steve, Michelle, Amy, Eric, Kathy, Jim and Mickey, Gene and Tish, Rick and Cindy. Most chose to eat supper out at Slickers (to see USA women win their soccer game), Screamen Eagle (for peanut butter wings and pizza), or the newly opened Old Mill. The evening fire was at Daves under dry skies. It began to pour again at 10:30 pm.
The weather for the rest of the weekend was absolutely perfect. Fish, Cindy MP, Hugh, Yingzhen Yang, Wei, Ro-Ann, En-Ya, Kevin and Alice brought the sun with them. Yang and family captured a nice picture of a bear and its cub sitting in the middle of the road by the campground. We paddled Nicks Lake from the launch and underwater dock. Cindy spotted some young loons. We ate tacos and enjoyed the evening campfire at Kim and Kathys.
Steve hosted Saturdays breakfast complete with pancakes (whipped up by Alice and Dave). There was a ton of tasty food to energize us for a paddle on the moose. Bill E arrived to join the kayaking crew. The shuttle was crazy as usual, but all made it back from their bridge destination to their boat on Rondaxe. A half dozen had to peal themselves out of a packed car. Some young men nearby helped us bring our boats down the steep steps. Dave, Fish, Cindy, Kathy and Hugh chose to go the longer route to green bridge. They said the biting mosquitos/flies/various bug creatures were awful on the portage. Dumping in the water didn’t help at all. The rest of the kayakers had hopped out on the North St Bridge. Some stopped for ice cream. A few of the ladies went on to paddle a bit more on Nicks Lake. The Supper Feast was at Daves with especially good skewer chicken and melt in your mouth peanut butter brownies sent by our favorite non-camping, best all-around cooking wife. Thank you, Jodie! Who eats as good as we do in the campground? No one. Steve built the evening fire for us at his site using citronella oils to keep some of those biting buggers at bay. A head net, hat net and bug repellent scarves accessorized some campfire outfits. We heard the booms that night to scare bears in the opposite direction. Even so, Deb had a nighttime visitor that was quite large and snorty.
Many packed up on Sunday. Yang, Hugh, Sue and Deb paddled Nicks. Amy, Alice, Kim, Dave and Eric paddled a couple hours from Old Forge pond to First Lake. Cindy MP and Fish paddled to Alger Island for a 12.7 mile trip. Loons popped up around us and geese took their little ones for a multi-family outting. The wind did make the trip back to the launch a bit of a workout.
With loop C much quieter (8 happily stuck around), the deer wandered through our sites and greeted people by the bathroom. Tony Harpers Pizza place added roof top seating and a few of us headed there for supper with a panoramic view. The evening fire was at Cindy MPs.
The weather was still nice for the Monday packup and drive home. Those darn bugs had sucked the last of our blood.
Images by Eric, Kim, Amy, Cindy MP and Hugh