Last night, I took the advice of a neighboring camper and searched out the showers by the beach. The facilities are across the road from our camp site and the shower turned out to be a longer walk than expected. Now, I did get a little lost, and relied on assistance from other campers, but I found the shower facilities to be clean and well lit. I have found, there is a certain amount of Scout Camp in the State Park facilities. The structures are very similar and both parties must use the same type of soap, its perfume prevalent in both camps' bath houses. The buildings at the State Parks would be at home teaching merit badges while the State Park buildings would blend seamlessly on a Scout Camp. Maybe we don’t realize just how influential the CCC style of architecture really was.
I am staying a second day so I can catch up on the blog and see Fort Ticonderoga. It will be nice to avoid packing up and I am looking forward to doing something touristy. I talked to the park attendant earlier to pay for a second night of camping. He told me the park is open through Columbus Day but attendance dwindles after school starts and official closing is when the water lines are blown out for the winter. People use the rest of the park year-round but camping stops. He stays on for a while then transfers to a maintenance station to prepare for next season. I was surprised by his full-time nature, not sure why, and thought he was temporary for the summer. It sounds like a neat schedule and the winter view must be beautiful. There must be relief after the summer season is over and the staff can concentrate on less stressful duties. He did advise that the schedule and his job are yearly up in the air and depend on budget approvals. I told him Minnesota has a surplus and asked how the budget is for New York. He shrugged, “not bad" he replied and left it at that.
We needed supplies so planned on a Walmart run after cruising Ticonderoga’s Main Street. For some reason, Mabel felt the need to exit through the passenger window while we were driving down Main Street. Thankfully I was creeping along and there was no traffic on the road. She came running to me and checked out okay after an inspection of her limbs and torso. I have no idea why she did it.
The skies opened up just before I finished checking out at Walmart. It was a torrential downpour and the rain was supposed to last most of the day according to the kayak couple from New Jersey. Their plan was to kayak to Roger's Rock and climb to the top but this weather was holding them up. They were in a tent, actually the car as we spoke, last night’s rain making it damp for them. Mabel and I retreated to the camper, happy to be snug and dry, to do some writing and watch Harry Potter.
Around 2:00 we see sun so off to Fort Ticonderoga we trek, no rides down Main Street. They do an amazing job at preserving the Fort’s history. It is very impactful to read the names of those that have passed through the tunnel, a who’s who of America’s birth. I walked where George Washington walked. The Fort is dog friendly for everywhere but inside the buildings so Mabel could tour with me. Artifacts are displayed in a manner which tells the multi-period history of the Fort and the view of the lake is breath taking. Re-enactors explain the history and demonstrate soldiery. I would like to learn more about the Fort and its impact on the American experience. Maybe I will read more books and watch less TV when I get home. What do you think Sheri?
I think a lot about familiarity on the trip. It’s because every day is unfamiliar and new to us. But that is what this trip is supposed to provide; an avenue for me to get out of the rut. Ruts are familiar, ruts are routine, and so far, my routine has changed from what it has been for the last 18 years. I had wondered before leaving how I would cope with not having a work necessitated routine. One where someone else told me the day’s requirements. Would this free-flowing lifestyle cause anxiety, as one with few deadlines and responsibilities is foreign to me? I don’t think I have fully embraced the new structure as we still have a routine, different from anything I have experienced in the past, but routine none the less. Deadlines are less important now, we pack up and leave when we see fit; sometimes taking an extra hour after check out time. Talk about rebels.
The toaster oven can warm up food…. so we do.
After dinner, we tour the beach and the lake’s view is beautiful. Ringed by the mountains, Lake George’s blue waters contrast deeply with the tree’s green. The beach is busy with kids, some flying drones and we watch boats cross the water. As we walk back, the two boat launch attendants walk towards us and ask to see Mabel. There was a young man just out of high school that had heard from his Supervisor about “the dog”. The other gentleman was my age and hung back, content to listen. The younger man leaves for college next week to study mechanical engineering on an Army ROTC scholarship. His application to the Coast Guard Academy didn’t work out. He displayed a quiet optimism, his voice in low gear like an old tractor torquing its way up a hill. No flash with this kid but a lot of purpose and looking down a long runway of opportunity. The other man, former Navy, and I silently knowing what was ahead for him even if he didn’t, and both a little envious.
Our side of camp was noisier tonight, maybe since it wasn’t raining and the young-ins wanted to have some fun. The group next to us had quite the mouths on them and I could have bought multiple tanks of gas if every F-bomb cost the speaker a dollar. Thankfully Arabella protects us from the riff-raff as well as the noise so we slept peacefully.