Youngest daughter, Gail, and her husband, David, recently visited a part of the Adirondacks that we camped in many moons ago. It’s called Split Rock, because of a huge rock split down the middle. The rock is usually dry, but is sometimes almost under water during especially heavy rainfall in the area. By hopping rock-to-rock across split rock, we would be able to fish for trout in a large pool in the Deer River.
The Post Card we received had a copy of a lean-to painting from the 1800s, and revived a memory of a trip to a different area in the Adirondacks. The group included Roger Roberts, an Englishman expatriot engineer working at Xerox, my brother Fred, sons Mark and Jamie, and Fred’s son Rick, Jamie‘s friend Mike, and Rick‘s friend also named Mike. We had rented canoes and paddled our way across Raquette Lake to a campsite that consisted of several lean-tos, where we spread our sleeping bags and cooking gear. Along with our food and clothes, we had packed a large supply of worms, which were our preferred bait.
After we set up camp, Roger rigged his fishing rod and headed to the shore. He was an avid fisherman, and had plenty of experience in the lakes and rivers of England. One thing that we didn’t realize about fishing over there is that they chum the water before trying to catch any. When we did wander over to see how he was doing, we found him having a great time catching Sunfish - about 3 or 4 inches long - not big enough to keep for dinner. What was upsetting to us was that he was chumming - throwing handsful of worms into the lake - in order to catch one small fish. Well, we educated him on the spot; the fish were so hungry that only part of a worm was needed to catch those little guys.
We fished a while on Raquette Lake without too much success, so decided to break camp and head to Split Rock. My recollection is that the weather turned dismal on Raquette, so we sought dryer waters at Split Rock. Unfortunately, it was raining at Split Rock, so we decided against setting up camp and drove into St. Regis Falls and camped at the Waverly Inn, a VERY rustic building but with a well-stocked bar. So we dried out on the outside and watered down our insides.
Not too much later, Roger was called back to Rank-Xerox, but sent some pictures of our adventure, including one of the group of us under a tarpaulin during the rainstorm. About ten years after that, I had word that Roger had passed away. But the memory lingers on.