A Dilly of a Camp

I have a predilection with Sacandaga Lake in the Adirondacks in upstate New York.  If you have ever been here you share this addiction. This lake is only about 30 minutes from where I grew up and this close proximity made the lake seem as though it was right in my back yard.  What is cool about this lake is that it is a man made reservoir.  In 1929, five farm villages were evacuated and subsequently flooded to create this lake.  This fact tantalizes the imagination of anyone who visits.   Legends of graveyards that were never adequately removed were a subject of great ghost stories by camp fires.  For years I believed that on a sunny day, if you knew where to look you could see the old steeple of a church at the bottom of the lake. 

Each year my aunt and uncle would rent a cabin for a week or two and my girlfriend and I would be invited to come up and share the camp with her.  These were old fashioned camps that could have been built in the 1950’s that had each their own character.  We’d sleep on cots on the porches after a great camp day.  One year we found an abandoned old camp with a sign that said, “This is a DILLY of a camp”.  What a hoot.  We pretended that this meant it was haunted and had some difficulty sleeping at night with a ghost so close. 

When you think of how short a week is it is hard to believe how one week can be so influential on a person’s life.  Whenever I visit Sacandaga Lake time becomes altered, in the very best possible way.  It stretches out.  The first thing that hits you when you come here is the smell of the air.  It is clean and has a permeation of suntan lotion, lush greenery, pine sap and camp fires.  That right there slows you down, and you stop to notice the beautiful trees that grow so high and sway back and forth in the slightest breeze.

When we spent the week our schedule went like this:  we’d get up obnoxiously early to go fishing and then spend the remainder of the day swimming and basking in the sun.  You would end the day with hot dogs by the fire and then watching an amazing sunset while fishing again. 

Occasionally you would find yourself in a local town getting needed supplies and feeling as if you were taking a step back in time, you would tour all of the mom and pop shops in that town.    

It is no surprise then that early on it became the mission of my husband and I to have a camp of our own one day.  My husband and his dad built ours just a few years ago – right down the road from my other Aunt.  It is a work in progress.  Despite this, we have had such good times with our friends and family here.  Each day I hope that my son looks upon this place with the same nostalgia that I have for camp and for Sacandaga Lake.  My camp is a dilly of a camp – and I love it because it brings me close to this lake.   

The Great Sacandaga Lake is simply part of my soul.  Being here restores my faith in a way that no Cathedral could produce. 


Filed under adult education, No Adult Left Behind, Summer vacation

4 responses to “A Dilly of a Camp

  1. Melissa

    Thank you for that! I sit here typing with tears in my eyes…many reasons why really. I love that your childhood at camp is so memorable to you and I think I love even more that you are creating wonderful memories for your son. Thank you ….this was a special one Alicia.

  2. Thanks Melissa. I have some good memories with you too. I remember childhood family reunions with the Snow family. It may be time to get together by a camp fire to reminisce together.

  3. Bev

    You are a dilly of a person. I too will always remember our summers at Sacandaga. Don’t forget about those bats at sundown swooping down to get in your hair. I still laugh about that one. Love you guys.

  4. Well Aunt Bev, this entry was aimed right for you like a smart missle! 🙂 Glad you are following along – this was a test and you passed! You started quite a tradtion of summer festivities at this lake and I think about you all the time I am here. Seems like a fishing trip is long overdue. Our third partner in crime will be here in August! Sounds like a plan for a reunion. Love you too Aunt Bev.

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