Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Presidents Day Weekend!

I went winter camping this past weekend with some friends along nearby Polliwog Pond...it was a beautiful weekend, with nearly perfect weather...days in the 20s and nights around 0...10 people came in all, 7 men and 3 women, most from New York, but one from Toronto and another from Pennsylvania...


Everyone showed up early Friday afternoon, and we broke camp on Sunday around noon...


We had lots of different experience levels and lots of different gear to compare and discuss while enjoying the beauty and the cold and each others company...


One camper even spent the weekend living under a tarp, instead of a tent as the rest of us did...he had the necessary gear and clothing to make it work, and enjoys going lightweight...


A couple of minutes before sunrise on Saturday morning was spectacular, I went for a walk out on the pond...I could hear/feel the ice shifting under my feet, and watch my stove to see when my water got to a boil for my breakfast of oatmeal and cocoa...


I had chopped a hole in the pond for our water (much easier than melting snow), and Friday night we all took a late night hike out onto the pond to look at the stars, away from the light of our campfire and headlamps...it was gorgeous!


Our tent-city (8 shelters including the tarp-shelter) was quiet while I made and ate my breakfast...I have grown comfortable with the fact that I get up earlier than those I go camping with...


Another camper enjoying the early-morning quiet out on the pond...


The Sun finally peeks over the trees, and makes everything sparkly...


Some campers got up and enjoyed their breakfast at the pond's edge...


I went to check on Bryce to make sure that he hadn't frozen to death during the night, but he was so warm and comfy that he didn't want to get up yet...


Kevin made Mercedes scrambled eggs for Valentine's day...how sweet!


We went out on one of the local roads later, on a trip to the rifle range, and it was just a beautiful drive...


When we returned to camp, people took the opportunity to enjoy the sun and the pond, Bryce even took a nap out on the pond, while facing the Sun...


The sun fell early and quickly, and the cold came back, but we were ready, with a large supply of wood for the fire, and a communal supper which everyone helped with...


Later on that night, we all piled into the big tent and used a little (and largely ineffectual) propane heater and a power inverter running from my Honda Element (via a long extension cord) to make our campsite into a movie theater...we watched "28 Days Later" while the pond ice shifted noisily outside the tent, and the night got colder and colder...it's sort of fun to geek out and do the movie0watching thing when camping...


The next morning, after a communal breakfast and some time around the campfire, we all pitched in to break camp...some of the tent stakes had frozen into the ground, and needed an ax or shovel to be freed...


We posed for a group shot before heading our separate ways, having already made plans to continue the winter camping tradition (this was the second time that we had done it), and excited about other future camping trips...


While I was off in the woods, Gail and Ben were participating in the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Parade...the theme this year was "Pirates of the Adirondacks!", and Ben's school, which is closing at the end of this year, put together (with lots of help from Gail and our friend Rebecca) a cadre of 1st and 2nd grade pirates to march in the parade and represent Lake Clear Elementary School...


They had a great time, although by the end of the parade, everyone was cold and tired...


Ben likes being a pirate...


He had a great time with his friends in the parade...

All in all, a great weekend for everyone!

2 comments:

Honey Dijon said...

I am a lurker and never comment. Typically, I just love looking at your gorgeous photos and am entertained by your small town stories. Lovely.

This time, I was horrified. Your weekend sounded....awful. It seemed like the kind of thing we do to prisoners to punish them more -- like "the hole" or chain gang work. And you did this WILLING?? Amazing.

Jim Muller said...

I liked your pictures and I am a big advocate of winter camping, but watching TV? Come on!

Next time try dragging a sled a little further from your vehicle and enjoy the outdoors. ;-)

You can do it!

WinterCampers.com