Today was to be the final day of our ADK adventure. We wanted a taste of the “wild” part of this “forever wild” park, so we looked for an unpaved logging road to head out on. Almost as soon as we turned onto this one-lane road we encountered a fully-loaded logging truck heading in the opposite direction. We had to back up and eventually get completely off the road in order to give him enough room to get by. That was exciting! I’m glad this happened at the beginning so that I knew to approach blind curves very slowly. About 5 miles out into the wilderness we came to a quarter-mile hike to Barker Pond. This was a beautiful, well-hidden pond, and the trail lead to a small clearing with a campsite.
Our next and final destination was Great Camp Sagamore, where they offer daily tours at 1:30 each afternoon this time of year. I had heard of Adirondack “Great Camps” before, but this 2-hour tour gave me a much deeper understanding of what these facilities were all about. This one was originally the retreat of William Durant, the wealthy son of one of the “robber barons” of the Gilded Age (mid to late 1800’s). For most of the 20th century this camp was owned by the Vanderbilt family and used as a place to entertain the rich and powerful. Since the late 1970’s it has been in the hands of a preservationist, nonprofit organization who uses it to provide educational programming.
We were able to enjoy seeing the buildings (inside and out) on this cloudy fall afternoon. One of the more interesting buildings houses a 2-lane bowling alley. I was privileged to be selected as one of two who were allowed to actually take one swipe at the pins. I scored an 8!
After this it was just driving home. The foliage in the Adirondacks was stunning, but almost as soon as we were out of the park area we were back in mostly green leaves.