We fled the city for the Great Sacandaga Lake this weekend. Funny thing about camping, though – kinda hard when you forget the tent. Thankfully the new car, aka the Multibeast (it’s apparently a Phish thing, it’s not my car, don’t ask me) fits two and a dog with the seats down.

Our first order of camping business – two camp chairs, a book (me), the NYT (him), and nothing to do otherwise but nap. It was a lovely few hours. We roused ourselves to walk the lake front with the pup and finagled a canoe for a bit. Sadly, it seems the Great Green Grill has passed on to camper heaven – a leak was sprung, and all we could do was mourn and try cooking over a fire. Note to self: broccoli and fake chicken strips do not fireplace food make.

We snagged fishing gear, and the next morning a canoe, but sadly no fish. Pup had her first jaunt on the water, and thankfully was so nervous she stood stock still. Mostly. Except for the times she tried to put her nose in our laps as we paddled. Which was about as successful as one could imagine.

We stayed at the Northampton Beach DEC campground (a moment of appreciation here for the Brady Bunch-era photos on the site – nice trunks!) Many people brought bikes and that seemed like a swell idea . It really is a beautiful Adirondack lake, although not really, since it’s a man-made reservoir. But the views of trees and mountains all around are lovely, no matter who created the water. From Albany, you either drive to north to Amsterdam and cut right, or to Saratoga and cut left (literally – you drive to the heart of town and turn at the Starbucks). A friend has a family camp on the northern end, and I’m crossing my fingers I’ll get to go later this summer.

PS If you drive the Saratoga route, there’s the greatest general store ever on the way to the lake. Sorry, I don’t remember the name. I love it because of the cheese and the cranky lady behind the counter. She sells all of the old-fashioned candy my parents sent me at sleep away camp – but she hates children. It’s highly entertaining. She makes her own cheese so good she limits the packages you can buy on a single trip. She’s got a wheel of it on the counter she cuts to order, covered with a lid attached to string, a pulley and a water-filled milk bottle so delicately balanced a drop would change it. It’s a fascinating bit of physics. If she doesn’t yell at you for standing there staring at her for too long.

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