Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Raquette Lake, New York

Raquette Lake is a big lake, but a small, small town. The town itself has not much more than a post office and a church. There is a little general store that has nothing more than bare necessities and some twiggy Adirondack gifts. The challenge of Raquette Lake is not just its size, but the fact that many, if not most, homes on the lake have no road access. Accordingly, residents must boat all provisions to their homes in the summer. In the winter, if the homes are even winterized, the options are more limited. We toured Camp Pine Knot, now known as Camp Huntington, one of the original Great Camps owned by Collis P. Huntington and now by the State University of New York at Cortland. We learned that enough fuel, food and provisions are stocked for the caretaker to make it through the long, cold winter. During that time, the lake is passable by snowmobile and truck for only part of the time. As the ice melts, there is no way to get to or from the camp. We think that this is roughing it to the extreme. Another great camp is located nearby. Sagamore was the Vanderbilt family camp and is almost as secluded as those Raquette Lake houses with no driveways. Fortunately for Sagamore, it has a long driveway, but even that becomes difficult to navigate in the winter and especially during mud season.

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