Thursday, July 26, 2018

While we wait

Pam and John's scheduled return was delayed a bit so Dave and I decided to accept our old friend's invitation to join them for the weekend in the 1000 Islands.   Cindy and Norm spend summers on a small island near Goose Bay in the St. Lawrence River just north of Alexandria Bay (and about 35 miles away from where Pam and John were visiting Pam's mother) and we've been trying to get up there all summer.

Camp Henry as seen from the water

They call the island "Camp Henry" (for Cindy's father) and it has two small old cottages on the river.

the old cottage built on rocks

The three of us had the small, original cottage to ourselves.   I love it, warts and all.    I love the views out the ancient, wiggly glass windows, it's rustic, whitewashed interior, the little bay outside the bathroom window, the old boathouse slowly sinking to it's knees, even the oddly sized bed with it's ridiculously bouncy bedsprings.

inside the old cottage

face to the sun

view from the bathroom!

The downside of all that wiggly old glass and whitewashed rustic interior is that there is no insulation whatsoever.   The perfect location to view riverside sunsets means that the hot afternoon sun beats down on the cottage and the night time bugs swarming over the water have pretty much free access to the inside....if you are brave enough to turn a light on.

  Record breaking heat made sleeping in the small and bouncy bed next to impossible.    Until we found that putting our heads where our feet should go positioned us right in front of a window with the most heavenly breeze.    If we kept all the lights out we didn't invite any of the water bugs and moths inside so, after a good belly laugh at ourselves, we actually got a good night's sleep.   Except for when one of us moved slightly, the other almost bounced right out the nearby window.

Lewis loved being on the island.   He ranged all over on his own,  went into the water for a drink or a swim, chased squirrels and even met and worried a water snake for a bit.

Lew loved the freedom of the island

Saturday we went out in Cindy and Norm's pontoon boat to check out some of the nearby islands.

wind through the curls

We pulled into a calm cove near the magnificent Boldt Castle and Norm cooked hot dogs for lunch on his sea-b-que grill!

Boldt Castle and it's children's play house

hot dogs cooking on the grill

Afterward we cruised around the islands while we waited for the start of the 1000 Island International Charity Poker Run.   Huge power boats race between several checkpoints, accumulating cards at each one.  At the end the best "hand" wins.

The 1000 Islands area is an archipelago of over 1800 islands, some large and some very small. 

these folks own two islands and have built a sweet bridge between them

Some of the islands hold fabulous homes, new or old.   Some are tiny, just a tree or two.    Some are merely rocky shoals uncovered when the water level drops.

check out the boulders used as support pillars

interesting entry door

tiny island

Ironsides Island, home to a Great Blue Heron rookery

some islands are just rock

some are just below the surface......beware boaters!

People get creative with their shoal markers!

Around 2 p.m. Norm piloted our boat out into the shipping channel so we'd have a front row seat to witness the huge and powerful off shore racing boats fly by on their scheduled route.

I can't describe the thunder as they passed.
It made poor Lewis fly right off his seat....

It was difficult to catch them as they roared past us.  The day's wind and the nature of the channel made the water choppy enough but the wake from these boats had us rocking and rolling in our little pontoon boat.  Holding a camera steady and pointing it at a fast moving target proved tricky!

fabulous colors

how can they see through the spray?

Sometimes they'd come by singly and sometimes in groups.   Often a helicopter followed just above them.

And, once in a while,  something much bigger and much slower thrummed past us....

they push a wall of water in front of them

As we sat and watched and rocked the first few Poker Run boats came back from their Ogdensburg stop so we enjoyed their power for a few more minutes before heading back to the cottage for Happy Hour.

heading back to Clayton 

As we got further away from the frenetic action in the channel, the peace of the islands returned.    We passed a small family of Loons taking the chicks for an outing and saw a tree of Cormorants resting after lunch.

Thanks, Cindy and Norm, for a beautiful weekend in our old stomping grounds.

Cindy and Norm K

To top off the weekend, Pam and John were waiting for us when we got home.
Not only were they waiting, but they were waiting with a home made Strawberry Rhubarb pie and a bottle of craft Gin from Clayton!    These are good friends!

So nice to have them back....


  1. What a unique area! We've nothing like that in the south west, all the little islands with private homes on them. Hans could never handle the rocking and rolling...of the bed or the boat!

  2. So interesting that we were both watching the same boats but from different points! Boating among the islands is such fun. I love seeing all the variety in the islands. We loved hearing first hand about your "island adventure."

  3. Oh my, your description of the cottage and especially the bed was great. So cool that Lew had the time to roam and do whatever he pleased and I love the curls in the wind! When we visited Kingston, we did a boat tour of 1000 Islands...your pictures bring back very nice memories! So nice to have Pam and John waiting...not to mention the goodies they brought. enjoy!

  4. Wonderful to see the beauty, and to hear the reality, of island life! The view out that front porch is magic. Having a boat would be a must in that area. So much to explore and enjoy from the water. Love the hobbit house door and the pretty little bridge. The Cormorant tree is great!! Nice to come home to goodies and good friends :-))

  5. That is a great day to spend one summer day, on an island with friends. Those homes are unique and a personality of its own. I thought at first you were watching a Boat Race but was just boats zooming by. I could imagine Lewis jumping on to Dave's lap when those boats roared by!

  6. I love that little cottage, and your description is wonderful. With a new mattress and some good screens, it sounds like paradise. :-)