Over the Sabbath, squirrels got into our peanut butter, chewed through a dry bag, and stole an avocado and the knife we set aside to cut it with. Maybe the knife wasn’t the squirrel’s doing, but that didn’t make it less gone and we did catch the squirrels peanut butter handed.
The Adirondacks overlook Lake Champlain from the west, and a fellow at the campground told us that Split Rock Mountain, just beside the water, would take our breath away. It didn’t, but the woods, hills, rocks, and lake dotted with sailboats and laced with sunshine were enough without some mind blowing escarpment.
We planned to camp on an island for the night, so we needed to fill our water bags. We stopped at a beach beneath an inn, and I caught a fish! I noticed the fish when my line fought back while I pulled it in for the landing.
With a hoot for joy, I dropped the jumping fellow in my cockpit, then pumped lake water into the boat so that he’d stay fresh for dinner.
The folk at the inn were happy to give us water and we were back on our way.
We headed toward Juniper Island just off of Burlington to camp. Landing on the near side was possible but would be difficult, so we paddled around to the far side.
We found a dock, and a July 4th weekend party. We told some of the party goers our story and they found the island’s owner, who said we were welcome to rest, but not stay the night. They owned Juniper island and they drew the line at letting people camp there, no matter how far we had kayaked.
My cockpit full of water for an occasionally antsy fish, we turned back and headed for a beach we could see inland, about three miles out of our way. Tired and disappointed, we arrived on a pebble beach with a view of the setting sun across the lake and a sign that said “Private Beach”.
Through an earthy summer-sweet wood, we found a house under construction above the beach. Nobody was about; we made note of the porta potty. We walked through forest in the other direction and got to a video-camera gate at the end of a driveway. The actual house hid almost out of sight. Nobody answered when we rang the bell, so we returned to the beach and made camp.
Our fish stew simmered when a family climbed down the hill to the beach for Fourth of July fireworks. They assured us that, despite the sign, we wouldn’t have any trouble sleeping there for the night. Their cousin worked on the house above and they came to this beach all the time.
After the fireworks, we slept soundly under the open sky.
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