The Lake Titus Camp we stayed at is a few miles outside of Malone, New York, just toward and also outside of the Adirondack Park. There are many camps out on the lake, and we’ve seen them all from the lake (we had a tour of the lake and the camps several years back, when we stayed at another camp owned by the Carkeys, farther down the lake; a friend of my dad and stepmom gave us a boat ride guided tour). In fact, while staying at the Carkeys old camp, it was only accessible by boat—there was no road into it. So my wife and I took this little boat with an outboard on it and had to use it to get there every night—in the dark. It was so cool. And on the 4th of July during that trip the neatest experience happened: as we were boating out to the camp in total darkness (we had no light, but you could actually make your way in the darkness), we came upon all these people just sitting out in the water in their boats!
You read that right.
There were all these people just sitting out in the dark on the lake. We asked what was going on and were told that they were waiting for fireworks! Ha! How cool, we thought, so we stopped and hung out with everyone, also quietly chatting in the dark with these unknown faces all in a happy, joyful mood. It was the coolest thing! And when the fireworks went off, that was incredible…watching them from the lake! This will always remain as one of the neatest experiences of my life….
The camp we stayed at this time around is run by the Harwoods, and it was quite comfortable for the four of us. It has a living room, full kitchen and dining area, two bedrooms, and a bathroom with a shower in it. The living room has a pull-out sleeper couch. The view out the living-room’s windows is great! They also have a small grill out on the porch, and a fire pit in front, but we needed use of neither, since we were at my folks’ place. The camp is nestled on a steep slope of Lake Titus and has a small dock that holds a paddle boat and kayak. There is no “beach,” per se, but the water is shallow enough to get into by stepping on submerged rocks (be careful!), with a sandy bottom. The grade toward deeper water drops off quickly once you get out in. And there are fish! I don’t know what kind, but I saw all manner of them, from some three inches to what looked like (water refraction, you know) maybe six or so inches.
This trip to upstate New York was for my dad’s 80th birthday, and there wasn’t enough room for us all at my dad and stepmom’s place, so the camp was rented. My brother, Greg, his son, Alek, and my wife and I stayed here. Greg and Alek didn’t stay as long, left mid-week, but my wife and I stayed through to the next weekend. We went to my folk’s place and drove around during the day, but at night stayed here. After Greg and Alek left, in the early morning, while my wife still slept, I went down and hung out on the steps leading down to the dock and just…stared…out over the water…let my mind run wild…watched and listened to the two loons that were out there…drifting with the current and bobbing and swimming under the water to pop up somewhere else. Listened to their haunting wails, yodels, and tremolos….
Watched the rising sun sparkle off the still waters…
Looked out over the unknown dark depths and mountains for story inspiration…
This is the part of the country I remain heavily and spiritually tied to. Where I get recharged. I love upstate New York, the Adirondacks. Its mountains and waters and trees. I love the spirit of the land. Had I not gone the route I went in my career, I most certainly would have followed my dad’s path as a Forest Ranger. As a kid I was always in the 40 acres of woods up back behind our Lake Clear home roaming the land, climbing the trees. I loved it there.
Anyway…after Laura would awaken, she’d go swimming (she’s such a fish!) and I’d take out the kayak. It’s a little different than canoeing, but I love it! One day, there was a lot of mist out on the lake (it wasn’t the case every morning), and as I sat there mesmerized by it…I did watch it for a bit…it dawned on me: I have a kayak! I then made it my business to get out in that thing and cross the lake to meet up with the remaining mists before it all evaporated!
I became this Olympic kayaker, powering across Lake Titus….
And I caught up with it!
The mists danced and swirled off the waters, like wraiths evading the sun. There was this seagull on a rock as I came over…then it flew off the rock, low and across the water…it was so cool….
As I floated in among the mists I felt transported into a different world…one of eerie magical enchantment! It was stunningly beautiful and mystical! Absolutely haunting!
On my last kayak, I went down to the far end of the lake to check out the Carkey Camp. I also just wanted to head down that way because I like to go to out-of-the-way corners where not many tread, and on the way back I came across a loon! Knowing how feisty they can be, I kept my distance—maybe about 30 or so feet?—and slowly paddled past it. I was close enough to see its beady little red eyes. Sorry, no pictures, I didn’t bring the camera this time, just wanting to be in the moment without any technology. But, it was so cool!
When I was done kayaking, we’d switch and Laura would kayak and I would “mess around” in the water—I wouldn’t call what I did in the water “swimming,” per se, but I just love being in (or around) lake water. Upstate New York water. So, I’d swim out a little and back, dive under for a few strokes, and otherwise, well, just stand neck-deep in the stuff feeling all-kinds-of contented…again just staring out across the lake from a pond skater’s point of view…with a silly, complacent smile on that face of mine. Enjoying where I was…being totally in the moment. Toes squishing around in the dark lake muck below me…all kinds of fishies playing around at my feet. I’m not familiar enough with what’s in Titus, but here’s a site I found afterward.
Then, one particularly perfect morning as the sun was rising, as I looked down into the water just off the dock, I was utterly captivated by what I saw—hypnotic sun sparkles dancing off the water! They were so happy and joyful in their existence and they called out to me! These sparkles seemed to have a life of their own! This is one of my favorite videos I’ve ever taken, and yes, story idea already percolating! I simply stood there and stared into them…for I don’t know how long! Utterly mesmerized!
But…all things must come to an end…
On our last night there, Friday, the 19th, I tried taking some night shots, the moon so full and bright! No special camera, just using a couple little old, nonsmartphone cameras on various settings. I also tried to capture some of the fireworks going off across the lake, but wasn’t successful there. But…a couple of the night shots did work, you know, for being an nonprofessional. It was an incredible night!
We had an incredible stay…got to play in and on the water…had no real commitments…and just…relaxed. It was…incredible. My friend, Jan C. J. Jones, polished up one of my larger videos I’d taken (at my request) while “chasing the mists,” and turned it into a YouTube video, also adding some really cool music to cover up the scratchiness of whatever was going on when I took this video. Thanks, Jan! It turned out this was the last day I saw mists on the lake….
- Clouds (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- The North Country (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- Upstate New York Vacation 2014 – Part 1 of 4 (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- Ausable Chasm – Upstate New York Vacation 2014 – Part 2 of 4 (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- Boldt Castle – Upstate New York Vacation 2014 – Part 3 of 4 (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- Donnelly’s Corners (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- A Trip Through Time (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- High Falls Park, Chateaugay, New York (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- Donnelly’s Corners 2015 (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)
- Cheese And The Town Of Chateaugay (fpdorchak.wordpress.com)