Monday, August 17, 2009

Brown Tract Pond - Camping

This weekend, we packed up our van, threw the kids in the car, and headed up into the Adirondack Mountains for our first ever family camping trip (with our friends, the LaPlant/Ogden family). Let me just say, I. Don't. Camp. Every camping experience I have ever had has been miserable. From being kept up by exit signs while sleeping on a big cabin floor during girl scouts, to a family trip to Massachusetts when I was 12ish where the state received a record rain fall while were we there camping for my uncle's wedding. It just never works out. LOL.

With encouraging from Ron and our family friends, I agreed to give it another go. The Ls picked the place, Brown Tract Pond (near Raquette Lake) and as fate would have it... I had been there before. In June of 1977, my parents and my dad's best friend Harold (Uncle Harold to me) went to the same park. And... Mom was pregnant with me. I had seen there photo album from the trip dozens of time, but never noticed the name of the place they had stayed. My Dad dug the album out of storage for me and I thought it would be fun to do a side by side of then and now. I set out to retake the same photos that my Mom did back then. Better then the usual look-at-all-the-fun-things-we-did photos, right?

My Dad wrote me this note to go with the photos of their trip...

Kerry -

Looking back, this was a very exciting & adventurous weekend for us (as for you) - but no kids - except the excitement of you on the way - - -

We were the only ones at the campsite. We had to assess the Island to see if we could jump. We had a raft that leaked air & we left the pump on the Island. Had to race back to get it.

When you blog ?!!**? Make sure you mention the 1967 Super Sport Impala Convertible I bought for $3, there is a pic.

camping in 1977 a
camping 54

Looks like the took off the governor's name and added a distance marker instead. The road leading into the site is a rocky dirt road all curvy and hilly.

camping in 1977 b
camping 24

I think their tent would have been harder to put together then ours. Those poles all go at funny angles! Ours sleeps 6 and we got it on clearance at Target a few years back. This is the first time it has left our yard. I am sure my parents' tent has seen a few more places then ours too.

camping in 1977 c
camping 9

Dad said they had to "assess" the water to see if it was deep enough to jump into. My boys were fearless and just jumped in. Though Andrew did have to check things out from this higher location. There was 4 spots you could jump from... small, medium, large, and extra large heights. This spot the boys are on is the large one. Comparing the rock forms now... I think that Dad and Uncle Harold were on a different rock completely.

camping in 1977 d
camping 58

That is my Mom sitting in a tiny raft behind Uncle Harold. She was about 18 at the time. My parents married when she was 17... and she was 19 when I was born. On Saturday, the boys decided they would row us out to the island for our second day of rock jumping. A huge thanks to my friend Lindsey's Dad (who actually went to school with my Dad, small world) for lending us his canoe. I don't think we would have made it on a leaky raft, lol.

camping in 1977 e
camping 59
camping 61

Yep, that is my Dad in the top photo... and Jacob in the middle one... then, me in the bottom one. Crazy huh? I couldn't get the canoe to hold still long enough to get the exact same shot, but I think these turned out very cool.

camping in 1977 f
camping 4

How they rolled... and how we roll...

camping in 1977 g
camping 55

The kids are very curious to know who paints this rock.

camping in 1977 h
camping 53

It was funny, when I took the photo of Dad's picture for this post, the back of the picture said "Browns Pond Mall". Dad was convinced it wouldn't still be there, but it was. It has been painted and boarded up... the gas stations are gone and the stairs too. It still has the same shell though.

If I was to write a note to my Dad about our trip I would say...

Dad -

I know I said I didn't want to go on this trip about 100 times, but I am glad I did. It is so cool to think that you and Mom and me walked on the same beach and the same rocks 32 years apart.

The kids loved every minute of the trip and couldn't wait to get on the phone to tell you about jumping off the rocks, just like you did. We let the kids row us to shore the first day and Andrew said "This is wonderful... isn't it wonderful?" And there was true wonder in the tone of his voice. I am glad they got to experience it.

Make sure Mom shows you all the other pictures!!

Love, Kerry

As for the "other pictures"... the look-at-all-the-cool-things-we-did ones... I'll share those ones tomorrow.


perlerouge said...

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I hope you play the game
Kiss Nati

lori g said...

Great post Kerry! Even if you might not have enjoyed it I bet it was all worth it for the kids to create such great memories. Maybe someday they'll be taking the third generation of pictures with their new Nikon in 3D. :o) Your photos look great!

The Joy of Nesting said...

Congratulations Kerry!!!!

Your little family has created the most wonderful memories that will remain for a life time!!! They are priceless teasures and the only things any of us "gets to take with us" :)

Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mexico

mairedodd said...

this is so awesome -
so glad you went along, had fun, and took the same shots over... so very special...

Nonie said...

ok..I have to say ..I cried.
I loved this post. So sweet.

Cindy said...

What a great photo journal!! As far as blogging goes, you have done something I've never seen before! How incredible it was to see the "before" and "after" pictures...what a creative slant. Just amazing that your parents still have the old photos (so organized), and that you could recreate where they were. That photo of you jumping off the're one brave woman! Look at that smile on Ron's face! And your parent's retro tent...boy that looked complicated! Can't wait to see more pictures.

rosebud101 said...

Memories! They will have wonderful memories of this trip!

Jennifer Cameron said...

One of the coolest posts ever. Thanks for sharing the before and after.

I, like you, hate camping. So to compromise, we stay in a "rustic" cabin every year at a state park in southern Indiana. It doesn't matter what kind of fancy trip we have gone on or have planned, the kids love our yearly trips to the state park more than anything-even Disney.

Kerry said...

Thanks everyone!

I made my Mom cry too with this post. LOL, I didn't mean to! I swear!!

I LOVE BEING IN THE WATER! And I jumped off those rocks at least a dozen times.

Gardanne said...

Very creative, now I want to scan all my old photos. What a great way to preserve those memories.

Card Poker said...

The remarkable answer :)

Karen said...

Just stumbled on your post. Love the before and after pictures. My stepfather use to take us camping here in the late 60s, early 70s. Glad to know it's still a dirt road to get in. I remember the Indian rock. Must say I like the old one better. Thank you so much for the memories. Thank your Dad for the old pics!