Archive for the ‘Camping’ Category

Well, we just returned from a week-long family vacation in the Adirondacks. We camped for the week at Rollins Pond, located in between Tupper and Saranac Lake. This is the third year that we have camped for a week there. It is one of our favorite Adirondack destinations.

Our front porch looking out

Here is the campsite we called home for most of the week.

What is this

Ash borer sign

When we pulled into the site, Steve couldn’t believe his eyes. Hoping to leave his life as an entomologist at home for the week, he was slightly amused to see an insect trap hanging in the tree across from our site.

Sitting around the campfire

Sitting around the campfire is always a central activity over the week of camping. This year the weather was pretty cooperative for campfires all week.

Poking stick III

One of our traditions when camping is using a wood burner and inscribing our campfire poking stick with the year and location of our camping trip.

Rascal the chipmunk

We had a pair of friendly chipmunks that seemed to like to see what we were up to when we would have meals. We named this one Rascal. He seemed the most mischievous of the two. The other was named Bob at first. But we thought that maybe the second one was Rascal’s love interest so Bob became Bobette.

Stephanie and nathan take a dip

One of the reasons that we love Rollins pond is that most of the sites are right along the water. Above Stephanie and Nathan enjoy a dip at our site.

splish splash

There is also a public beach at the campground. Here Sean and Nathan are mixing it up a little bit while the life guards were flirting.

All in all, it was a wonderful week and we are already dreaming again about our week or two there again next year, or even considering an autumn weekend to the area. Enjoy the rest of our posts from our week.


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morning fishing

This year, fishing took a higher priority than it has in past years. Dale can be thanked for that, as he has inspired the boys to want to fish more often.

Steve has been particularly interested in bass fishing this summer, and he has been determined to get himself photographed holding a big ole bass by the mouth. He caught one that fit the bill when we visited Long Lake over Memorial Day weekend, but there wasn’t a camera or anyone to get his picture with that one.

The second night of the Rollins Pond trip, Steve decided to throw a few casts just after sunset and another opportunity for that photo-op presented itself. As he landed the fish he urged Nathan to run up the hill to the campsite and grab the camera. When he returned he was ready to snap the picture.


This was Nathan’s first attempt at the photograph. At this point the bass was nicknamed “Bassquatch”. Steve tried to continue to hold the fish by the lip and help Nathan get the camera set so that the flash would go off.

bassquatch - 2

Steve struck the classic fishermans pose with the fish and Nathan snapped away. As Nathan tried to show Steve the picture of his fish the bass made a valiant flip and flop from the grasp of Steve’s fingers, eluding Steve of the postcard picture with a big ole bass. As you can clearly see though, the 15-20″ bass was certainly a memorable catch.


Tuesday morning was by far the best fishing of the week. Sean in particular had a great day. He  caught too many pumpkin seeds to count, and a few perch and a small bass.


On Saturday night Steve and Nathan headed out for a dusk fishing excursion.


Boy it was worth it too. Nathan landed this 13″ bull head all by himself. He still hasn’t stopped talking about it.

I think the boys have found a new pastime.

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Sean-early-morning-fishingThe good news about fishing in the Adirondacks, is that when the fish aren’t biting, you still get the most serene views that can be found anywhere in the world. Above, Sean is taking an early morning cast from our canoe.

Morning from site 254

This was the early morning view from the shore in front of our campsite.

scenic sun set

A Rollins Pond sunset.

morning loons

The quintessential Adirondack view – a pair of loons.

seagulls get a snack

As the loons were being photographed, Steve neglected to pay attention to the fishing line that he had out on the water. Well, a pumpkin seed ended up swallowing the hook. Which ended up being to the delight of the seagulls flying above.

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did he forget to pack his razor

As the days went by Steve’s 5 o’clock shadow got more and more pronounced. So, when the week of camping came to an end, he had a decision to make, to shave, or not to shave.

maybe a gotee

Perhaps a goatee?


“Hmmmmm… there is something I don’t like about this look.”

Youkilis goatee

“Oh yeah. That’s what it is.”


How about a moustache?


“I like this look better… to shave or not to shave, that remains the question.”

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After our return from the Mountains a few weeks ago, Steve found a book at the library that was inspired by the trip to the Adirondacks. The book was called “Forest Under My Fingernails: Reflections and Encounters on The Long Trail.” by Walt McLaughlin.

As Steve was reading he found the authors reflections to be a wonderful reminder of the feelings of being in the Adirondacks, even though the author was reflecting on a trip that he made up The Long Trail, which runs the length of Vermont.

We thought that the following passage goes well with the picture above that Sean took of his own dirty feet.

“The forest is under my fingernails. A mountain stream runs through me. My skin smells like the rotting leaves underfoot. I inhabit these woods no less than the fleeting deer or chattering chipmunks. Three weeks on the trail and I belong in this green universe. The wind brushes over my face. I’ve given enough blood to the many biting insects to qualify as part of the grand design. My feet follow an unending path cutting through yellow lilies and bunchberry. My spirit soars high overhead, among the few wispy clouds. My heart sinks deep into the earth, as solid and unmoved there as the dark grey bedrock. My progress northward is deliberately slow, in celebration of the simple earthy pleasure of absolute immediacy. All heady presumptions have been stripped away by the wild. Today, this hour, this moment, I am a woodswalker. Nothing more, nothing less. And that once-and-future life of mine back in the lowlands is only a vague concept, a fading memory.

“The mountains are fountains of men as well as of river, glaciers, of fertile soil,” John Muir once wrote. An unspeakable force flows from these rocky promontories, catching me off guard. I am re-created by it. This mere slipping between forest shadow and light is reason enough to be in the world. I inhale the freedom of the hills, exhale all paltry concerns. My walking stick has the airy strength of a prophets staff. Every pilgrim has his or her wilderness. This one is mine. I count my blessings as I walk-foremost among them just being in such a wonderful place. God is great. God is generous. The forest shouts timeless beauty. Here and now, it is impossible to be anything but fully alive.”

– Walt McLaughlin

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We had the good fortune to have last week off from work, spending all of that time on a camping vacation in the Adirondacks. For the week our front porch looked out over the serene setting of Rollins Pond, as we tent camped at the state campground there. 

This is the second year that we have stayed at Rollins pond. It is a very peaceful campground, and is a good home base for trips and hikes between Tupper Lake, Saranac Lake, and Lake Placid. The Adirondacks has always been a special place for our family and provides a much needed rejuvenation of our spirits when we return there.  We hope you enjoy the remainder of our travel-log and it gives you a taste of the peace and bonding that it brought our family.

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It wasn’t the best of weather for the beach Monday afternoon, but we made the best of it. The boys had been looking forward to going to the beach.

Here are a couple of happy Yankee fans at the beach.

Nathan had an unfortunate dancing incident (hip-hop in the living room) a week before we went camping, that limited his efficiency and options at the beach.

It didn’t dampen his spirits though. He got right to work building a sand town.

Soon to be proclaimed Crazy Town.

It can’t be a town without a river. Sean got right to work on that.

It is a lot of work to keep the river running.

After an afternoon at the beach it was time to start preparing the campfire for s’mores.  Life is good!

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