Thursday, June 21, 2012

Adirondacks Day 2 (C) - Thurs 6/21/12

Part 5, Evening at Camp

Heart Lake south to Wright, Algonquin, and Iroquois (ridge line L-R)
After our hiking today, I get to try out the bathhouse facilities for the first time. They are not bad for a campground - plenty of hot water and clean. There are three shower stalls, and my only issue is that they are about the size of an old style phone booth, and the shower head is pointing at my chin, not the top of my head. It's a small complaint, and the shower feels wonderful. Some careful twisting, turning and ducking results in a perfectly acceptable shower.

Our campsite is terrific. We have two adjoining sites. One is especially large and nice, and we end up using that for basically everything except the tent Dave and I will share. They are very close to level, with good spots for tents. Ted will be in one tent, Phil and Leo will share another. Phil has brought a little pavilion with a roof and sides that will be used as a combination changing room, storage area, laundry rack, and emergency rain hangout. Each site has a picnic table and a fire ring with fold down grill grate. This is all very standard, but is nicely maintained here. Being nestled in a mixed pine forest, the packed sandy soil is covered with a layer of pine needles, which makes for a very comfortable (and not at all messy) carpet.

We spend the rest of the early evening at various tasks and diversions, each doing our own thing. Some read, or just sit and chat. I wander down to the lake to take some pictures, some of us try for wifi access at the Loj (with limited success for me), and I take the time to write notes that will turn into these blog entries. If past experience is any indication, I will take good detailed notes earlier on and get briefer and sloppier later (in the end this will prove to be true). That's where digital pictures and being a persistent photographer come in handy; I can build timelines of our activities very accurately based on picture timestamps.

Sharing camp with us are a swarm of large chipmunks and small squirrels. The chipmunks are very bold in their quest for food, and will do everything short of climb up your leg. If you sat still enough, I am not convinced they wouldn't. Chipmunks are cute, and are very much preferable to the mice we have had other places.

Sundown, Heart Lake (8:18pm)
Dinner is a late meal of grilled chicken and a green salad. Phil has done a great job of planning out the menu and between good planning and a ready supply of ice, we will have fresh produce and veggies with every dinner. The chicken tastes great over an open fire. The only minor glitch with the meal is a little (ok, a lot) too much cooking time which turns a half dozen baked potatoes into large oval hockey pucks. This isn't a total loss, as it provides a good trigger for cooking-related teasing for the rest of the trip.

When dinner is over we clean up, stow all food and smellies in the van (to keep from attracting the resident black bears), and sit around the fire. We begin working our way through the assortment of beer that we have brought, and talk. Dave has recently purchased a "travel guitar", meaning a lower priced acoustic that he feels comfortable bringing on trips. It's actually a really nice guitar... Tonight, and throughout our time at camp, Dave will periodically pull out the guitar and play for a while. He has gotten very good and knows lots of songs. What we realize when attempting to sing along is that nobody seems to know the words to much of anything anymore, except Ted who remembers the words to most everything but doesn't really sing. Perhaps next trip we need a song list with cheat sheets for lyrics.

Fading Light, Heart Lake (8:30pm)
It is the first of many beautiful evenings, cool but not cold, with enough of a breeze to keep the campfire smoke from lingering. It is forecast to drop into the low 50's tonight, but we are all prepared and should be fine.

It's Grace's birthday today, and I have not been able to get a call through. Much Daddy guilt. I did trade texts with her this morning, so at least that is something. It would normally be the first day of summer and the longest day of the year, but since this is a leap year that all happened yesterday.

10:15pm - Tomorrow is expected to be the big hiking day, so Dave and I head to bed early, leaving the others to their drinks and conversation. I don't think anybody stays up too late. Quiet time begins at 10pm and ends at 7am by campground rules. The place isn't very crowded, and it does get quiet quickly. I sleep easily and well.

Next... Marcy Day

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