Tuesday, February 28, 2006

06-21 Gay Report, Adirondack Hike, New York



Adirondack Hike

Great Camp Sagamore

Rainbow Woods, A Gay campground


This is the final Northerly destination before I begin my treck back south. And what a great way to complete my northerly journey. I’m up here to visit with Peter and Michael at Rainbow Woods. A unique gay campground on the river. I rate it a true woodsy campground. The campsites are all tucked away in the surrounding forest, with dirt roads winding and twisting around and between the trees. I was surprised to see so many campsites. I didn’t get a chance to experience the campsite that much, but did get a walking tour of it (mosquitoes and all) and the neat sandy beach along the river that boarders one side of the campground. There is a “straight” campground across the river, also owned by the same couple that owns Rainbow Woods . They co-mingle for a summer party once a year.

My timing was perfect, as Peter and Michael had friends, Keith and Tom coming in from Albany for the day and I was invited to join them for a hike in one of the many state parks in the Adirondack park system. The hike consisted of a trail through the Adirondack mountains, along some hilly terrain, pine nettle blanketing parts of the trail to our destination of two lakes, Heart and Lilly Pad Pond. We hiked in for about an hour and a half. There were a fair amount of other hikers along the many trails, as the weather was perfect. Partly cloudy, sun peaking out periodically, low temps for the most part, making for perfect hiking weather. A picnic lunch, some of the guys swimming in the Lilly pond. Michael brought his Hagen Recorder (a type of flute) and played it along the trail and at the lakes. What an awesome sound, bouncing off the lakes with their bolder and tree covered islands and surrounding mountains. Like being in a nature concert. Too cool.

The lakes are being restocked with trout and other fish and it appears that they are recovering from the years of acid rain, devastation brought on by the coal burning electric plants and factories.

The next day Peter (Peaches), Michael and I went to the Great Camp Sagamore, in the heart of the Adirondack park. Sagamore was originally built by W.W. Durant during the gilded age, and later was purchased by Vanderbilt in 1897. It was a “rustic” camp, with all the amenities discreetly hidden to make it appear as if they were roughing it. Giving the guests the feeling of going back to nature without the harsh reality of actually having to living it. Each guest had at least two servants to take care of them, games to play throughout the day from crocket to bowling and the outdoor sports of fishing and hunting. Lavish French dinners sometimes using the game acquired during those hunting and fishing expeditions. We had a great tour guide in her second year of college for design and history.

The locals who live in the Adirondacks still having an ambivalent feeling towards outsiders coming in to their pristine mountain retreats. Needing the tourist dollar, but not necessarily liking the trapping that come with them. I was constantly awestruck by the gorgeous lakes along the way with their log cabins and boat houses on the edges of the lakes. Those awesome islands dotting the lakes, making for a perfect destination to go to in a boat for an afternoon of frolicking.

A final look at the mist hanging on the mountain tops and creeping down into the valleys as evening gradually descends on this enchanting land.

1 comment:

Thom said...

Doug: Don't overlook hiking at the 548 acres Landis Arboretum in Schoharie County. The Landis Arboretum may well be the northern Catskill Region’s best-kept secret. With centuries of history and the riveting beauty inherent in the Arboretum’s world-class, global collections, generations of extraordinary plantings continue to impart their secrets to visitors.

http://www.catskillregionguide.com/articles/article.php?id=995

Thom O'Connor
Executive Director