Monday, July 26, 2010

THE MOST ECONOMICAL AND FUN SUMMER VACATION FOR FAMILIES

In the late 60's a relative suggested we take our small children camping for a wonderful inexpensive adventure and experience. He suggested Lake George, Bolton Landing, where the water was so clean you could drink from it. As a matter of fact, anyone caught using soap in the water would get a big fine. Dogs were allowed on the lake until recently for which they are now banned.

We followed his instructions on renting camping equipment, sleeping bags, etc and where to rent a boat. After the first time, we purchased our own sleeping bags and equipment. A motor boat was needed to get to the camp site  We found a nice mariner where all kinds of boats were available to rent. Motor boats, sail boats, as well as row boats with outboard motors. The mariner had showers and free parking for their customers. I still remember the showers we took at the mariner. We had to insert a coin to start the shower. When the water stopped running we had to take our soapy bodies out of the shower to fetch another coin from our clothes which were laid out on a nearby chair.

At the mariner, we were given a map to the ranger station on Glen Island where we had to register. It was a very interesting site. The ranger station was in the middle of the lake. There was a country store where campers could buy anything from eggs to pots and camping equipment. Rest rooms, telephone booths, and boat docks surrounded the commissary. It was another world to me as I looked at the Appalachian mountains, the beautiful scenery of the trees and little nooks and crannies of different islands on the lake.

Campers were everywhere, however we hardly saw them unless they were out on their boats. The campsites were very private. They were all on different islands, each with their own charm and view. We were given a site that was about an acre or less. The campsite had a platform to pitch a tent, an immaculate well equipped out house, a fireplace, picnic table, and a dock for boats. The campsites were all shady with no mosquitoes or annoying bugs.

Campers were not near us unless we walked through the woods on a man made trail. If we saw campers they were far away from the trail. Most of the neighbors were friendly and respected each others privacy. Occasionally we would acquaint each other by sitting at our campfire or theirs with our children roasting marshmallows, drinking wine, or sharing coffee and cake together.

Every day was glorious. We took our boat and explored the lake. Visiting the little islands and coves were breathtaking. We purchased little rubber boats and explored the coves. The children loved swimming as well. I enjoyed sitting in the little boat sunbathing and watching the kids enjoy themselves.

Every labor day we returned to Glen Island for years to enjoy our camping summer life. We were only allowed to stay on one campsite no more than  four days. After that we would go back to the ranger station to pick another campsite. When our boys were older, we rented speed boats and took them water skiing every day.

Being out in nature all day and evening was exhilerating.  I loved the smell of the tall pine trees, sitting by the campfire with a cup of coffee in my hand, listening to music from our portable radio and staring onto the beautiful lake.

To add to the fun on Lake George, we took our rented boat to the mariner and hopped into our car for the children's paradise. There was Gas Light Village which consisted of amusement rides, plus many other theme amusement parks for the children. The streets on Lake George were always crowded with families. There were many stores and restaurants for all to enjoy.

Lake George was definitely addictive and it always kept us coming back year after year.

Please come back in a few weeks for a continuation of Lake George and our near tragic experience

Where do you take your family on vacation that you enjoy the most?  Please click on the comment box. Lets share some ideas and events!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Iris,
Great story. It sounds like a family vacation paradise. Your description was so vivid, I felt I was roasting marshmallows at your campfire....Joe

Anonymous said...

Is there Wi-Fi at the Ranger Station?

Leonard said...

Is there Wi-Fi at the Ranger station??

Luisa Sherman said...

thanks for these great memories of a wonderful family vacation. Our Lake George Region is full of many things for every taste and age group. However, perhaps one of the best things is to just sit lakeside or atop of Prospect Mountain and take in all that Mother Nature has created.

Thanks for publishing about our area. If your readers would like any assistance planning their trip to our area, our professional staff at the Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce. www.LakeGeorgeChamber.com or 518-668-5755 are always happy to help.
Luisa Sherman
Exec. Director

PS: i will check on the WI FI at ranger station question and be back to you.

Iris Shapiro said...

Thanks Luisa for your comment. We look forward to hearing from you regarding the Wi Fi