The Crooked Canes Journal

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Ski Trip to Camp Santanoni ~ Jan 10, 2013

Journal entry by Ray Bouchard

What we lacked in numbers we made up for in enthusiasm as Donna Westcott, Donna Wood and I left the parking lot and began our 5 mile ski trip to Camp Santanoni, the only Great Camp owned by the people of NY. Both ladies had skied in a few weeks earlier but this was my first visit of the season. The three of us were motivated primarily by the thought of being able to ski into the backcountry on a sunny, mild day, one day before the rain and freezing rain ruined the snow conditions, at least for the foreseeable future. The weather and skiing conditions turned out to be everything we had hoped for with a bright blue sky and temps close to 30 all day, even at the camp. The peace and quiet of the Adirondacks quickly enveloped us as we headed out single file. Our initial destination was the farm complex located about a mile from the parking lot. The creamery, the ice house and a few homes are all thatís left of the area that supplied the family and their guests with their meat, dairy and vegetables. There are only the skeletal remains of the barn that use to house the milking cows. Along the way we met a rather fit looking gentleman pulling a back country sled, complete with aluminum runners, a harness and loaded with gear essential for several overnight stays. As a matter of fact, to hear him tell it, he has spent a great deal of his time in recent months, backpacking and camping all over the country. He said he hates crowds but he sure seemed eager to chat with us and I have to admit that his Boston accent merely added to his mystique. Clearly younger than us by a few years anyway, because he apparently still works for the government, sort of, we think. He did mention something about suing the government as a way of supporting his outdoor adventures. Anyway, we decided that it was best if we went on our way and let Jack pull his sled, post holing in the ski tracks while his snowshoes remained strapped to the top of his sled. We made it to Newcomb Lake with Camp Santanoni quietly nestled along its shore, just in time for lunch. There was enough of a breeze that we decided to eat inside the Great Room with its massive stone fireplace and birch bark walls and ceiling. One can only imagine what it must have been like back in the early 1900ís with a roaring fire in the fireplace to keep the guests warm on a cold winter day. The trip back to the car was uneventful but filled with memories of days gone by and a wonderful time spent skiing in the Adirondacks with friends.

10 photos

We're off with Donna and Donna leading the way.

Jack and his back country sled loaded to the hilt. We were just as happy not to have to haul that much gear.

We'll have to come back in warmer weather if we wish to picnic here.

A view of Upper Duck Hole from the bridge.

Donna Wood crossing the bridge.

One of many beautiful vistas.

Donna and Donna at the junction of the Moose Pond trail. We decided it was too late in the day to make it to Moose Pond and back before dark. It was downhill to the car instead.

The stone creamery and a farm hand's home. One can almost hear the sounds of children playing in the snow if they were too young to milk the cows or clean up after them. I doubt if they were ever bored nor were they constantly connected, hoping someone, anyone, would text or email them. Life was simpler back then.

If you listen carefully you can hear the mooing of the cows as they were being milked in their stanchions.

Viewing 3 of 57 - 2013


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