3 days at Lila

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Not really a trip per se, just a few beautiful days out with my wife on an amazing lake in the central Adirondacks.

I hear a lot of people say Lake Lila is too busy for them. Well, if that is the case then I am sorry to report my finding again being plentiful campsites and few encounters with homo sapiens. If you want none, then definitely don't go here, you will see people. I have every time I've been, but most are as elusive as the wildlife in this area and don't bother you much.

Out of fear of being murdered by it's proponents, I won't say what site I stayed at for two nights but I will say IMO it is the best on the lake. I'll let any further passer-byers or campers decide for themselves. We came in Thursday right after noon and we weren't expecting to have a pick of sites based on the parking lot but it turned out that we had our pick from many - this is where my opinion keeps differing from what I hear people saying. Even on Saturday when we left, anyone would have had their pick from many sites.

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We packed pretty light compared to most people out on the lake. No coolers or beer. Just a couple packs, our sleeping pads, and our boots. The portage is only 3/10 mile so if one desired they could carry a multitude of things out to camp. We were able to carry our boat and gear down in one shot, as we usually do. It didn't much matter because that was our only carry. My wife did splurge and brought a ground cloth and an extra foam pad for her pad.

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The site we ended up staying at had this private, sandy beach for us. The closest site near us was about 1000' around the bay. The point we were on was also home to some monster white pines which provided us shade from the sun and places to hang our food and garbage.

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We spent most of our afternoon sitting on the beach, sipping tea, enjoying the weather and taking turns going out solo in the boat.

After some time of laziness we decided to actually set up our tent, eat lunch and then go for a paddle together. We were on a mission to find some of the elusive bird-life around the lake. We did manage to see many geese, and a couple loons, but other than that it was pretty uneventful.

After our two-hour or so paddle it was getting a bit late so we decided to get a fire going and enjoy the sunset from the beach.

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Later that night we made dinner, tea and waited for the fire to burn down.

The next morning the lake was covered in a dense fog. It even rained a little bit but I'm not sure where it fell from?? The cloud we were in or above...
I was tired and wanted to sleep in but my wife was up and about taking pictures.

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After a while the sun came up, woke me up, and burned off the fog.

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After waking up to this I decided that we must go up Mt Fredrica, a small 'mountain' on the opposite side of the lake to us.

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It is an easy 1 mile or so paddle across the lake, and an easy 1.5 mile hike up to the cliffs at the top. I packed the stove and some lunch and we set off for our hike.

Fredrica rewarded us with great views of the lake and the mountains to the east, south and west. It was no surprise on a day like the one we had that it would be a spectacular picnic spot. We climbed down from the summit to the first open ledge and sat there and the shade of some bushes and enjoyed the views and our food.

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We took our time up top and on the way back, paddling the long way around the shore of the lake looking at rock formations and scanning for birds. Again we only saw geese (who were quite shy) and loons (who were also, not surprisingly, shy).

Back at camp I went on a quest to collect a small widow-maker spruce that I had knocked down the night before. I cut it into manageable chunks and hauled it back to camp. It made for a quick fire which we enjoyed well into the night. I frequently suffer from migraines and my usual remedy is Excedrin (or aspirin, Tylenol and caffeine) - as a sometimes unwelcome side effect I am up for a long time. Such was the case as I found myself taking a couple on the top Fredrica to ward off the start of a pounder. All that wood came in handy at keeping me company as the caffeine kept me wide-eyed late into the night. I heard a critter out in the woods around the camp and worried that it might try to thieve my food. Being paranoid I had brought my bear container and stashed everything in there for the night. No signs of robbers were seen the next morning. My wife and I speculate it was a fox or coyote by it's movements although we were just guessing.

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The next morning we leisurely paddled our way back to the carry and wound up talking to the assistant to the Assistant Ranger who was a nice young kid. We ran into him at Snell Island and talked as the wind carried us almost all the way back to the launch.

He did get one idea in our head, and that was a burger at the Adirondack Hotel in Long Lake. That was not a disappointment nor were the molasses bourbon wings! Highly recommend!

It was a fairly lazy trip but we just couldn't be bothered to do anything but enjoy the weather and the area. My wife said it was one the best, if not the best outing we have done... EVER! I consider that a success.
 
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Nice pictures, I recognize the site and agree, very beautiful spot, and a nice beach to look for tracks and just sit and enjoy.
Thanks for sharing your trip.
 
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What a great trip! I need to bring my wife on a trip up in that area. I think she would enjoy camping there. She is not so impressed with the swamps and dark tannin stained waters here. You guys know the rule...if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. I'm glad your wife enjoyed herself so much. Thanks for all the pics and a great story.
 
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Aberdeen, MD
I'm pretty sure I recognize that site... my avatar was snapped on that beach after an encounter with brother bear. Glad you had such nice weather too, especially for your Frederica climb (you didn't find the shoes and socks I left on the shore near the old Whitney house once, did you?)

Very nice pictures. Thanks so much for sharing them!

(I'm headed back up to NY next week, and will make a 4-5 day trip to the nearby Bog River/Low's Lake area over the weekend of the 10/11th, +/- a few days. Haven't really decided when/where yet, but this might be worth another visit. I was up there over the 4th of July, and it rained the entire time.)
 
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Oh yeah... the bugs. They were almost non-existent.

The weather was slightly cool (high 60's/low 70's for highs) and breezy so I suspect that helped us. My wife was very concerned about the bugs but it turned out to be almost perfect like the rest of the trip. I had a few deer flies pestering me in the boat on the return paddle... those pesky buggers that stay down near your feet.

We go our rain or shine, but these are the kind of trips that keep me coming back to the Adirondacks. When the weather is nice, it is perfect!
 
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What a great trip! I need to bring my wife on a trip up in that area. I think she would enjoy camping there. She is not so impressed with the swamps and dark tannin stained waters here. You guys know the rule...if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. I'm glad your wife enjoyed herself so much. Thanks for all the pics and a great story.

Momma was very happy! That made it VERY nice.

Nice pictures, I recognize the site and agree, very beautiful spot, and a nice beach to look for tracks and just sit and enjoy.
Thanks for sharing your trip.

We saw a beautiful wood and canvas on the beach when we were leaving (Chestnut maybe?). Made me wonder if you were out there.

I'm pretty sure I recognize that site... my avatar was snapped on that beach after an encounter with brother bear. Glad you had such nice weather too, especially for your Frederica climb (you didn't find the shoes and socks I left on the shore near the old Whitney house once, did you?)

Very nice pictures. Thanks so much for sharing them!

(I'm headed back up to NY next week, and will make a 4-5 day trip to the nearby Bog River/Low's Lake area over the weekend of the 10/11th, +/- a few days. Haven't really decided when/where yet, but this might be worth another visit. I was up there over the 4th of July, and it rained the entire time.)

No we didn't find any shoes or socks (luckily for us, maybe not for you ;)). We had planned on doing the traverse to Lows but decided against it the week before. We haven't spent enough time at Lila let alone Lows to warrant speeding through both of them. There are still many areas of around Lila I haven't explored.

The thing is it is such an easy 'wilderness' trip I would like to take my MIL. I also envision this as a perfect place to start kids when we have them. Right now we are planning on bringing our dog on our next trip here, maybe this fall. Our plan is to camp on the north side of the lake and for my wife to walk in with the dog and for me to paddle in solo with the gear. The dog sucks in the boat!
 
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l'oiseau,
Nice photos, looks like you had a perfect day for the Frederica climb. If you were to bushwhack SE from the ledges maybe you could find my nephews camera, he lost it there in 1995!
And I think I stayed at that site too, but when I was there, MDB and I paddled across to Nehasane Lodge, our friends stayed behind because it was too windy...the next spring, that lodge was removed (it was a non conforming structure in a wilderness area)
Next time you visit Lila, check out Harrington and Rainer Brooks, you'll like them. And there's another overlook at Lila besides Frederica, just N of the roadway (due N of Spruce Island).

Oh, and those flies biting your feet (or trying to) are stable flies. Deer flies will circle your head for hours...
 
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Oh, and those flies biting your feet (or trying to) are stable flies. Deer flies will circle your head for hours...

I thought they looked small for deer flies. They looked more like a house fly to me.

I've never noticed them except in the boat. In the woods it always seems to be the deer flies (yes the ones who get tangled in your hair).
 
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...the next spring, that lodge was removed (it was a non conforming structure in a wilderness area)
I visited the lodge when it was still active and working with lots of activity going on. I had hiked through from Stillwater from the west, and viewed the lodge after hiking from the slopes of Mt Frederica, it was sometime in the middle 1970's.

The state acquired the property in 1979. Shortly after, my wife became interested in the Great Camps of the Adirondacks, and thought Nehasane would be a good one to see. We planned to visit in the spring of 1984... but we delayed just a couple of weeks too long. Just before we left I found out that the state razed the entire estate, burning it to the ground barely two weeks prior to our trip. We decided to go anyway. At the time the gate was still closed at the Sabattis road, so we hiked in on the 5 mile access road. The entire site was in freshly burned ashes and bent metal. I especially remember several multi-story brick and stone chimneys still standing, with a fireplace on each "floor". It was a spooky scene, but we camped right there. All night long my wife kept waking me to say: "someone is throwing boulders in the water next to us." That was her introduction to beaver tail slaps.

Here is a photo of the lodge before it was burned. Note the tall chimneys. At least 7 can be seen in the photo, I am sure there are more hidden behind the roof.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2100881
 
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Western Adirondacks
I thought they looked small for deer flies. They looked more like a house fly to me.

I've never noticed them except in the boat. In the woods it always seems to be the deer flies (yes the ones who get tangled in your hair).
Here's a good description of biting flies:
http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/pcbitingflies.htm

When carrying my canoe overhead on long carries, I initially worried about deer flies on hot days getting around my head inside the boat. My trek from Boonville to Plattsburgh (165 miles, including 62 miles of carries) was done in a particularly hot and deer fly active July. I was surprised and relieved to hear them banging on the outside of the boat, not inside. The silly things go the the highest point to attack. But down at the levels below my shoulders it was a different story.
 
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Thanks. I knew about all those buggers except the stable fly. Like I said, I was confused because the things that were biting my ankles looked like house flies! I've had them pester me before and for whatever reason I had assumed they were deer flies. I've noticed the bite is much less painful from the stable fly... I thought they were just small, wimpy deer flies... good to know what is eating me!
 
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So when are you going back?

To Lila? Most likely in the fall sometime. We are going to be in back in the Saranac area doing mostly day tripping with my Brother-In-Law in a few weeks... I suspect he will rent a pack canoe (or god forbid a kayak) and just plug around with us. We wanted to take him on the Follensby/Fish Creek Loop, Turtle/Slang/Long Pond Loop, Middle/Lower Saranac, etc. All stuff that can be done in a day. He isn't interested in carrying gear with him nor does he have it (although he could rent that too or borrow from me).

Trying to get my MIL to go to Lila with us (or Lows, Long Pond, Follensby, Cedar River Flow, whatever). Something easy. She has been complaining about wanting to camp and be out in a kayak (bleh, but whatever). I think she is scared to do a 'wilderness' trip but I don't think she really knows how easy it is. If the car isn't involved she gets nervous. I have an extra set of gear (sleeping bag, pad, pack, etc.) that she could use. I think once she actually does it she will love it but she doesn't think she can - thinks she's too old and decrepit.

Oh well. More for us I guess.

Next trip I'd really like to do is from Little Tupper to Lows - that won't happen until I get my yoke situation sorted out (my current yoke kills me for more than 1/2 mile carry). We could crank it do it in 3 days/2 nights I'm sure but I'd like to do it over 5 or 6 days and take time to explore some more. Problem is finding the time off work to do that.

I have a request in via Dave Curtis to Conk for a new cherry yoke. So Conk if you are lurking, that yoke is for me!
 
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