Weekend at Great Sacandaga Lake

We enjoyed our weekend with the Regans at the cabin they rent every summer on New York’s Great Sacandaga Lake. The cabin is one of 12 located on the north shore of the lake at a family-owned property, Kathan Kamps. The Kathan family owned farmland that was flooded in 1930 when Sacandaga Lake came into being at the completion of the Conklingville Dam. Dr. Dudley Kathan moved the farmhouse and several buildings to higher ground and those buildings became the start of Kathan Kamps.

The Regan family history has deep roots at Kathan Kamps. Brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents, all have great memories of fun times at the gatherings here over the years. Time passes and children grow up and buildings age and in 2012 we no longer saw games being played or children digging in the sand at the lake shore. But it is a beautiful, peaceful location and we appreciated the hospitality of our host and hostess.

Scott in a typical director’s chair pose.
Sun barely visible through morning mist above the trees.
sun on peak
Morning sun touches the peak across the lake.

When we left New York yesterday our plan was to camp last night at a state park in Pennsylvania.  The weather, however, had other plans.  We encountered some very heavy rains driving from Binghamton to Scranton.  By the time we got to Scranton the worst of the rainstorm was over, but it was in the 60’s and gray and drizzly.  We opted for a motel stay and spent a comfortable night.  Today we make the drive to Virginia where we will spend several days at our old home territory visiting friends and taking care of a few items of business.

Travelers in New York

Our travels have brought us to Saratoga Springs, New York, where we are spending several days visiting Lee’s mother. Betty is not part of the digital world and has not been able to follow our adventures through the blog. Over the months, Lee was faithful to keep in touch with phone calls and frequent packages containing photos and travel descriptions. It is a treat now for both of them that they can share in person, as they are doing in this photo with the atlas between them.

To get to Saratoga Springs from Michigan we drove on Sunday across the St. Clair River from Port Huron, Michigan, to Sarnia, Ontario. This was my first visit to Canada, although Lee has traveled there a number of times. Once across the bridge (not a speedy process) we stopped at the Visitor Information for maps and brochures. By this time it was mid-afternoon and we hoped to find a campground before dark. All of the provincial parks in this part of Ontario are on Lake Ontario and would have been somewhat out of the way. But we discovered that there were many private campgrounds along our route.

About 10 miles east of London, Ontario, we stopped for the night at a quiet, very clean place called Casey’s Campground. It was a first for me to camp in Canada. And there was another first for both of us the next morning shortly after breakfast when the electricity went out. As tent campers we don’t require an electric hookup but it did mean no water, restrooms or showers until power was restored. The campground owner assured us that he was doing his best to monitor the situation. And it wasn’t too long before the power came back on and we were able to finish getting ready for our day.

This was the day that we made our visit to Niagara Falls. Now I have another breathtaking wonder of nature that I can add to the list of sights seen on our travels.

After filling up on the awesome beauty of Niagara we drove the length of the 30-mile Niagara Parkway that follows the Niagara River from the falls down to the bridge crossing at Fort Erie. We enjoyed the drive with views of the river on one side and beautiful estates and mansions on the other side. At Fort Erie we crossed the Peace Bridge, coming back into the US at Buffalo, New York.

Our stop for the night Monday was a motel in Canandaigua, a small town on the northern end of the lake with the same name (a name that I had a very hard time pronouncing)! This lake is, practically speaking, the westernmost of the series of lakes in New York called the Finger Lakes. A look at a map of New York state shows why this is a fitting name.

Tuesday before leaving Canandaigua we rode our bikes partway around the lake on a road along the western side of the lake.  The Finger Lakes are in a part of the state that is quite hilly and we did get to stretch our leg muscles on several good-sized hills.

Tuesday night was another camping opportunity, this time at a New York state park next to Caroga Lake at the southern edge of Adirondack Park.  Our tent kept us warm and dry during the night as some heavy rainstorms moved through the area.

We are adjusting now to the northeast, which has not suffered from the heat and drought we experienced for months on our travels in the west and midwest.  It is nice to see green again and flowers gardens that have not wilted or dried up.  We look forward to this weekend where we will be visiting the Regans again, this time at the cottage they have rented on Sacandaga Lake.