Go Back John Clare's Personal Website Monday, July 22, 2024
1997 Camping Trip

Some years back it was an annual event to go camping and canoeing with my friend, Brad Hankin. We've canoed the Alagash River at the northern tip of Maine, the Adirondacks, and the Algonquin Provincial Park in Canada.

In 1997 we toned down the pace of our camping trips significantly. For four days, the guys (Brad Hankin, Evan Siegel, Mike Ferrigno, and myself) camped in the Adirondacks. Our only hardship that trip was the weather, which was bitter cold and wet, and a dinner that burned away to nothing.

We all took pictures, and in keeping with the digital age, the pictures were scanned or processed as Photo CD's, e-mailed, or posted on personal Web and FTP sites. At the time I had just bought a new photo scanner from Spot Innoscan, the old FotoTak-6. Then years later, I rescanned them with a much better quality HP ScanJet. And 20 years later... should probably do it again. Enjoy.

I brought this really comfortable, sling-design camp chair with me this time, We also had hammocks strung between the trees, but with the rain and cold, they didn't get much use. The chair, on the other hand - the chair and I were inseparable.
Here we are at the launch point. That's Evan in the back loading the canoe, and Brad in front wearing his African Safari outfit. I said, "Smile, Brad!" - which is why he stuck his tongue out at the camera. Even at 7:00 am, we were all pretty psyched for the trip.
This is a picture of Brad's two-man tent, which was shared with Evan. It's actually a really neat tent, with lots of sit-down room inside. Many a cribbage game has been played inside this tent. Mike and I were in Mike's tent about 50 yards away. (By the way, Mike snores.)
On the second day, Evan surprised everyone by catching a hefty, large mouth bass. Everyone except me was into fishing, as you can see Mike in the background. But Evan was the only one to land one. Nearly 20 inches, (and getting bigger still), that fish was a tasty, welcome part of dinner that night...
...because, (as this picture shows), we had a little bit of trouble with the intended dinner, which was mistakenly left under the coals a bit too long. Brad wanted to check on the roast after 30 minutes, but we convinced him it would take much longer to cook. We were very wrong.
On the third day, after hours of cold, wet, back-breaking effort, we'd finally reached the top of Grass Pond Mountain. Shortly after lunch, it began to hail. Very weird weather that weekend... This is a really great picture of the four of us - although Evan has an apple stuck in his mouth.
Here is an excellent picture of Mike, also on the top of Grass Pond Mountain. There wasn't much greenery in the hills that early in the year, but the view was none-the-less breathtaking. Mike wore this same silly expression throughout the whole trip.
I took this picture on the way out of the lake. That moment, that morning, the weather was the best it had been all weekend. Things are always pretty quiet on the way out. That's Brad and Evan in the canoe far off in the distance.
Although we all thoroughly enjoyed the trip, it just could have been a little more comfortable to suit our tastes. After four solid days of bitter cold and stinging rain, you can well image how we felt towards the end of the vacation. By way of example, just take a look at the expression on Brad's face.
Here we are packing up at the end of the trip. You can see the tail-end of Brad's new Nissan Pathfinder, and the red Volkswagen that Mike and I drove up in. Not a lot of ceremony goes into packing the car at the end of a trip. You just shake hands and head for the nearest restaurant.