Monday, June 28, 2010

Stillwater

I had never heard of this place until this summer. I went there camping with RB and met a bunch of his friends - that are becoming my friends as we get to know each other better. I had been told (warned) - this is not camping like Sampson where I had access to toilets that flush and showers with hot water - there would be a box (maybe) with a seat on it (more like a hole) and no showers - just the lake. I was game for it...why not? 

Some facts about Stillwater - 
"The Reservoir was originally flooded in 1876 to facilitate the logging industry by allowing logs to be floated down the Beaver River. There were three takings here by the state, the second in 1882 and the last in 1922 which is when the current dam was built. Presently the primary purpose for the reservoir is flood control for the Black River Valley. The dam houses a hydro electric facility which runs based on water supply. The reservoir has been managed by The Hudson River Black River Regulating Authority since 1922.
The reservoir currently has about 128 miles of shoreline and 6,700 lake acres. There are many islands but camping is permitted only on a selected few in order to preserve the pristine beauty of the area. There are a total of 46 designated campsites. However, camping is permitted elsewhere provided you are 150 feet off the high water mark. The water depth varies greatly with many stumps and shoals hidden slightly under the surface of the water so boaters beware but fisherman's delight.

Our trip from the boat launch to the campsite was an adventure for sure. We had a small boat and had to put our stuff in a canoe and tow it - the wind and waves were not our friends. But RB is strong and knows what he is doing and got us where we needed to go with a small detour. 
The campsite was on an island - there were 3 sites on this particular island, two were being used by people that all know each other - our group and another - but the third was empty. This was fantastic because the dogs were able to run and roam and enjoy the woods without dealing with leashes. We had a little beach too - which as of today was a lot smaller - they had so much rain last night that the lake rose a foot.  That's a lot in one night. 

I learned how to fish this past weekend too - I didn't think I would enjoy it as much as I did but it was pretty awesome. I didn't keep anything I caught. We let them go to get a little bigger.  On Saturday night though we did have a fresh fish fry - it was fantastic - they guys do the cooking. They clean and coat the fish and fry them up - so good. And they made fresh french fries - nice and crispy. Really good food. 

RB and I explored a lot of areas - places that we want to try camping at up there some time this summer - it's such a beautiful and unspoiled place. 
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