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Old 10-17-2017, 12:47 PM   #1
JohnnyVirgil
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Lake Lila, Oct 1-Oct 3

My buddy Greg and I used a couple of vacation days to check out Lake Lila. He's lives down in the Catskills and doesn't get to the Adirondacks as much as he would like to, and this was his first trip to Lake Lila. Our goal was to canoe in Sunday, find a place to camp, then on Monday we'd head over to the west end and climb Frederica mountain, and visit the Nahasane station, a private train station that served William Seward Webb's Lodge. It was of particular interest to Greg, since his brother is an engineer for the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, and currently this section of track is only used for moving equipment, since it's pretty deteriorated.

We pulled into the parking lot at around 11 am, figuring the late start would give some of the weekend campers time to pack up and get out, and we weren't disappointed. There were probably 5 or 6 cars in the lot, and one truck with a canoe carrier trailer. I was a little apprehensive about the carrier, since that usually means a large group of renters, and I wasn't wrong on that count. We were traveling fairly light in comparison to the people we saw unloading -- we only had two packs, a canoe, and a bag of kiln-dried hardwood that we felt ridiculous buying, but we figured it would come in handy if we ended up on an island campsite that had been stripped of downed wood.

We opted to take two trips to the water, because my canoe weighs about 57 lbs, and we're old and lazy. We brought the canoe down first, and the shoreline was a bit of a madhouse. Canoes and kayaks all over, coolers, people milling about on the beach getting their PFDs on, etc. We stuck our canoe off to the side and headed back to the parking lot. On the way back, we heard a squeaking noise coming up the trail and a few seconds later we see a guy with a cement covered wheelbarrow, hauling a cooler, a case of beer and some other junk. As he passed he laughed and said, "We're doing a little construction down there." I replied, "I feel bad for the poor bastard who got stuck hauling the bricks," and we stepped off the trail to let him pass.

We grabbed our packs, hiked back down to the water, and were on our way before the large group even got their boats wet, thinking we'd put as much distance between us and them as possible - and as soon as possible. The water was like glass. The sky was a brilliant blue. It was cool enough so there were no bugs. You couldn't ask for a better day to be out there.



Approximately 5 minutes after we paddled away, the large group got their mojo working and everyone was in the water. As we paddled past the first island, I looked behind me and they were all heading in the same direction we were. They were pretty loud, and we wanted to be as far away from them as we could be, so we stopped paddling until they caught up. "Where are you planning to camp?" I asked the guy in the lead canoe. "We don't know yet," he said. "Why?" I laughed and said, "Well, to be honest, we just wanted to be as far away from you guys as possible." He grinned and said, "You saw the beer, eh?" I laughed. "Yeah, that was my tip off." They were from all over the place, and the guy I was talking to was an Aussie. Apparently, they were planning to do some rock climbing.

They said they heard there was a lean-to on the lake, so I pointed them in the general direction of where they'd need to go, and we peeled off to the right. After a bit more paddling, we decided site number 4 looked pretty good. It was half way down the lake, with possibilities of a good sunset view. It was a neat site and one I hadn't been on before. The site was a center spot carved from blow down that was mostly rotted, and fresh little trees were growing between them, (and sometimes out of them) which gave you kind of a "fenced in" feel. But the ground was level, there was room for two single-man tents, and the fire pit was in good shape. The site was clean and had a thunderbox that was disconcertingly close to where the tents were pitched, and with little privacy, but at least it wasn't full.



Site 4 view, southeast-ish (and Greg's thumb):



There was a bit of a minefield getting the canoe into the site because of barely submerged boulders that were tough to see, and I left a fair amount of gel coat behind.

After exploring a bit and gathering up some firewood for later, we hung our hammocks and had dinner (mountain house, nothing fancy) and then used about half our store-bought wood to get the punkier stuff we had gathered burning well. We headed to bed around ten, hoping to get an early start the next day.

The next morning, we woke to what sounded like rain, but was only dew falling from the trees.

I pulled myself out of my tent and got the stove fired up to boil some water for coffee and oatmeal. Since we had the canoe, I had packed a few extra extravagances, one of which was my home coffee kit -- a hand grinder, an Aeropress and fresh coffee beans. After breakfast, we got out the maps and made our plan. The fog was starting to lift, but the lake was still mostly socked in, and we couldn't see more than maybe 100 yards from shore. It was beautiful though.



We figured we'd paddle to the west shore, drop the boat at a place on the map that was laughingly referred to as "boat launch" and then hike up Frederica to see what there was to see. It was a short 1.5 mile hike up the back side, and we figured by the time we got down it would be time for lunch and we could hike the tracks over to the Nehasane station and have lunch there.

The view from Frederica was nice, but it's not a very high mountain, so you are still relatively close to the lake:



We hung out at the top for a bit, and we noticed quite a few iron or steel eyelets in the rock at regular intervals, like perhaps at one point in time there had been a tower or structure of some kind there. Anyone know?

After that, we hiked back down and followed the tracks to Nehasane station.



It's gone down hill significantly in the last decade, and I doubt if what's left will make it through one more winter. The back wall was bowed out badly, and the side porch was also barely holding its own:








We sat on the porch and had lunch, and the heat plus our location, plus food brought the stable flies out in full force. Luckily, we both had long pants on, and didn't get bitten much.

As we were just about to start hiking back toward the canoe, we heard what sounded like a dirt bike, far away but coming our way quick. I walked back up to the tracks, and tried to see if I could spot it, but there was nothing. When it didn't seem to get much louder, Greg said, "Is that a drone?" And it was. My first experience with a drone in the wilderness, and I didn't care for it much. I told him I didn't think it was legal to be flying it in that area, but there wasn't much we could do. From what we could tell, I am pretty sure they were flying it around the cliffs at the base of Frederica. My guess is that it was one of the rock climbers.

After that, we paddled back to our site, fishing a little on the way but got skunked. Later that afternoon, we tried again from shore, but Greg was the only one that got a hit. We dined well that night, my friends:



Just kidding. There wasn't enough for both of us.

A bit later, around dinner time, we heard the familiar buzzing whine, and part of the original group we came in with stopped in the middle of the lake for another drone go-round. They brought it back in after a few minutes, and then continued heading out with all their stuff. I never did find out where they stashed the wheelbarrow.

After that, we enjoyed another quiet night with a nice fire and some good conversation, and the next morning we packed up early and headed out. We made a single trip on the way out, carrying our packs and the canoe. I can confirm that we made the right decision on the way in by making two trips. It seemed like our packs were twice as heavy with the wet tents and gear.

It was a great trip, and I was glad to see that no birch trees were peeled, no garbage was left in the fire pit, and the site was clean of any metal grates or other junk. The way it should be!

A couple more pics to finish up:



Last edited by JohnnyVirgil; 10-17-2017 at 03:36 PM..
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Old 10-17-2017, 05:46 PM   #2
geogymn
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Nice pics! Nice report!
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Old 10-17-2017, 05:58 PM   #3
Justin
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Great report and photos, thanks for sharing.
Looks like a gorgeous couple of days to be out for sure!
No need to feel ridiculous for bringing kiln dried hardwood. I almost always bring a few bags from Stewarts when canoe camping.
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Old 10-17-2017, 07:36 PM   #4
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Great TR. looks like you had great weather and barely a breeze.
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Old 10-17-2017, 09:15 PM   #5
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Thanks for the great report and photos!
Really too bad about the old train station, we were in the 2nd floor way back when, I hate to see it crumbling like that. I think you would have liked a paddle up Harrington and Rainer brooks...
As for the metal stuff on the top of Frederica, I thought there was some mention of that in the Discover series?
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Old 10-17-2017, 09:40 PM   #6
JohnnyVirgil
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Originally Posted by stripperguy View Post
Thanks for the great report and photos!
Really too bad about the old train station, we were in the 2nd floor way back when, I hate to see it crumbling like that. I think you would have liked a paddle up Harrington and Rainer brooks...
As for the metal stuff on the top of Frederica, I thought there was some mention of that in the Discover series?
Greg was walking around back, and the basement door was open. I asked him if anything was in it, and he said, "Yeah, most of the first floor."
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Old 10-17-2017, 11:12 PM   #7
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Thanks for posting, great report!
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:01 AM   #8
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A great report, and spectacular photos! (Even the thumb )

Also love the idea of fresh ground coffee and Aeropress - sweet!
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:28 AM   #9
Schip
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Thanks for the trip report. Sounds like a nice trip. Photos were especially nice.
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:41 AM   #10
JohnnyVirgil
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A great report, and spectacular photos! (Even the thumb )

Also love the idea of fresh ground coffee and Aeropress - sweet!
This grinder: http://a.co/cF995zo

Fits right into the plunger of the aeropress if you take off the silicone sleeve: http://a.co/5eiSNOv

It's a pretty compact solution for traveling and/or camping.
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Old 10-20-2017, 08:33 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by JohnnyVirgil View Post
This grinder: http://a.co/cF995zo

Fits right into the plunger of the aeropress if you take off the silicone sleeve: http://a.co/5eiSNOv

It's a pretty compact solution for traveling and/or camping.
Cool, thanks. I love my Aeropress, but it's too bulky for me to take on a backpack trip (my weekend pack is 40L). But this setup would be great for our trail crew projects, where we are car camping most of the time.
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Old 10-20-2017, 08:37 AM   #12
JohnnyVirgil
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Cool, thanks. I love my Aeropress, but it's too bulky for me to take on a backpack trip (my weekend pack is 40L). But this setup would be great for our trail crew projects, where we are car camping most of the time.
yep, I usually make do with the starbucks instant if I don't have the canoe...
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Old 10-20-2017, 08:49 AM   #13
Deb dePeyster
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Wonderful, thanks for sharing. Sounds pretty close to perfect.
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Old 10-20-2017, 12:51 PM   #14
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Is the train station East or West of campsite 7 where you begin the hike to ascend Frederica? How far from there?
Thanks.
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Old 10-20-2017, 02:05 PM   #15
JohnnyVirgil
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Is the train station East or West of campsite 7 where you begin the hike to ascend Frederica? How far from there?
Thanks.
Northeast? Not very far -- This map shows the location -- almost directly up from the little beach area where you can leave your canoe.

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