Lake George 2021

Posted on 29 Aug 2021 by Steve Markham

This past week we camped at Lake George for the annual Maughan/Crapo family reunion. We originally planned to stay for 8 days (out of 13) to be home in time for school. But between orthodontist appointments and forecasted thunderstorms, we came home after 6 days. It was great fun, as always.

For the first time in a decade or so we were NOT camping on Big Burnt. This year was on Uncas, where Janet camped when she was a little girl. You may recall that last year everyone was nervous about using public spaces. Many reservations at DEC sites were canceled, and the cash-strapped DEC decided it would be a good idea to open 2021 reservation slots 16 months in advance, instead of the usual 9 months. By the time we realized what was going on, our usual sites were not available. Luckily we managed to get 5 sites in a row on another island.

Big Burnt has great rocks for jumping off of, and several divable docks. Uncas has a huge sandy bay, and IMO better group eating arrangments and better trails between sites, though not every site had a tent platform.
Big Burnt has great rocks for jumping off of, and several divable docks. Uncas has a huge sandy bay, and IMO better group eating arrangments and better trails between sites, though not every site had a tent platform.

Our reservation started Monday, but it was rainy that day, so we all went up on Tuesday. Andy and Nancy normally spend the whole first day driving the motorboat back and forth hauling gear and people, and coordinating a pickup time at the marina can be hard. So, the Markham family all paddled out to the island and swam and played while we waited for a good opportunity to take the motorboat in for our gear. Kyle was in the “new” red kayak, Camille was towed behind the green canoe in the orange kayak, and Janet and I had the kiddies in the canoe with us, along with swim stuff and lunch supplies. Setup took a little longer than usual since we were on unfamiliar sites. Andy, Nancy, Sharon, Alan, and Phil also came up on Tuesday.

Wednesday morning I woke up to three paddlers going by my hammock in a canoe!

Janet paddling with Lewis and Camille, in front of 1st Peak and French Mountain Point on the Tongue Range
Janet paddling with Lewis and Camille, in front of 1st Peak and French Mountain Point on the Tongue Range

Before long, Kyle and Adele were in kayaks exploring the islands with them.

Kyle really likes this red kayak we have on long-term loan from Alyce. I really like it, too, while we're on the topic.
Kyle really likes this red kayak we have on long-term loan from Alyce. I really like it, too, while we're on the topic.
Kyle is a pro paddler, and showed Adele and Lewis how to work the orange kayak.
Kyle is a pro paddler, and showed Adele and Lewis how to work the orange kayak.
Adele is a natural!
Adele is a natural!

On Friday some folks were swimming in the bay, and Adele asked if she could paddle by herself. I told her to stay in sight. A few minutes later she asked if she could paddle around Brush Island, even though that would take her out of sight for a couple minutes. I said yes, and she did great. She can be very timid and anxious about some things, but not kayaking. She even got in the kayak from the dock by herself without getting wet (which is hard, I assure you), though she did accept a hand when it was time to get out.

Whenever there was sun, we swam. Lewis wasn’t sure he liked flippers at first. He was swimming face down, and had trouble getting his feet under him when it was time to breath. So we took him to the Holdens’ dock where it is deep, put a puddle jumper on him, and let him learn the beauty of flippers when it’s so deep you never try to stand. He was hooked, and figured out how to use them in shallow water, too.

Lewis loves jumping in the water.
Lewis loves jumping in the water.
All four kids got along remarkably well with each other all week.
All four kids got along remarkably well with each other all week.
The orange kayak is a bit of an heirloom, having now been paddled by Phil, Kyle, Camille, Adele, and Lewis. I expect it will be well-used for 10 or 15 years, since Sterling will grow into it around when Lewis grows out of it.
The orange kayak is a bit of an heirloom, having now been paddled by Phil, Kyle, Camille, Adele, and Lewis. I expect it will be well-used for 10 or 15 years, since Sterling will grow into it around when Lewis grows out of it.

Kyle brought his fishing pole, but had no luck on Friday night. Lewis, on the other hand, pulled a fish right out of the water! Saturday night Kyle made up for it, and caught 7 fish after dark during a fire/s’more party at the Holdens’ site.

I'm no angler nowadays, but I do recall loving to fish when I was about Lewis or Adele's age.
I'm no angler nowadays, but I do recall loving to fish when I was about Lewis or Adele's age.

Saturday morning we had a quick breakfast and then went water-skiing before the weekend boat traffic stirred up too many waves. Camille was first, then Kyle, Phil, me, and Devin. Janet was just getting back from her morning walk on the carriage road along the shore, so she stayed in the water for a better view.

Camille skiied like a boss, getting up on her first try and putting on a show.
Camille skiied like a boss, getting up on her first try and putting on a show.
Janet and Sharon had the best seats in the house. The rest of us caught the occasional glimpse from the dock.
Kyle got up on his second try, skiied until his arms fell off, and then was done.

After Devin went down the first time, the boat started buzzing loudly. I did my PC troubleshooting (turn it off and back on again) and the noise went away. The next time he went down it started again, and we figured out how to add oil to the motor in the middle of the lake.

Great Grandpa will come to the lake with Bruce sometime tomorrow, but we knew we would be gone before then (Kyle has an ortho appointment tomorrow) so we got our own ice cream this year. Andy and Nancy passed, since they can only handle one ice cream trip per year and will still be at the lake for Clyde’s visit. The Holdens will also be there with Clyde, but they can handle as much ice cream as they can get:)

Lewis got a Load'd Sundae, which is a high score for calories, 590, versus second place's 380. But he's a kind little boy and shared with both parents and both sisters.
Lewis got a Load'd Sundae, which is a high score for calories, 590, versus second place's 380. But he's a kind little boy and shared with both parents and both sisters.

We got 15 minutes of rain Sunday morning, but things had mostly dried out by the time we packed up. After thinking about various options for getting all the gear, all three paddle boats, and all the people back to the cars, we decided that Kyle, Phil, and I would paddle the green canoe full of gear and towing the orange kayak, arriving right around the same time Barb was going home. We’d hitch a ride back with Alan in the motorboat, and then the whole family and the rest of our gear would fit in the motorboat with the red kayak laying on top down the middle. The plan was great, except the lake was very rough and we took on a lot of water in the canoe. So there are a few things that need drying out after all:)

Today is all about unpacking and airing out. Tomorrow is orthodontics and laying out clothes for the first day of school on Wednesday!