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After leaving White Pine Camp we headed for Great Camp Sagamore located in Raquette Lake, N.Y. As we drove we just continued to see mile after mile of colorful trees.  We are now in the Adirondack Mountains. There are also lakes all around us.  It makes for some beautiful vistas. Our route took us through several little hamlets.

I just remembered something interesting from last night.  We stopped at a little corner store to get some fruit.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to buy anything to eat there after seeing  on the window they also sold  night crawlers and worms.

But anyway back to today. It looked like it was going to rain all day but when we got here the rain had stopped.  It is cloudy and cool but much better than walking around outside in the rain and juggling an umbrella and a camera.  There is only one tour a day here so we had to time it right.  We got there a little early and went into town for lunch.  By town I mean a very small area, we are really out in the middle of nowhere.  The only thing around was a tap-room. Small place with only four tables and once again the locals come in for lunch and they all know each other.  But a good lunch and then time to get back for the tour.

There are only a few of these great camps left.  We started the tour with a video about how these camps came about.  People living in New York city felt they needed to get away and reconnect with nature.   To refresh the mind and body. In the beginning it was an arduous trip taking 36 hours to reach you destination.  They would come by train, then a boat and maybe another train ride to connect with another boat and then a carriage ride.  Some people complained the ride was so rough it even knocked out their fillings.

Great Camp Sagamore was bought by Alfred Vanderbilt, the great-grandson on Cornelius Vanderbilt. By the time he came here it was a nine-hour trip in his private rail car and then a carriage ride.  Roughing it meant different things to different people.   To the Vanderbilt’s and their contemporaries, it meant heading into the woods and setting up camp in luxurious estates.  They had all the comforts they had in their New York homes.  But the buildings were built in a very rustic looking style to give the illusion of camping. At Sagamore they had a 27 building retreat.  They could accommodate about 24 guest at a time.  The buildings consist of a dining room, entertainment hall, main lodge, game room, guest rooms and even a 2 lane bowling alley.

It was built in a manner that the guest could not see where any of the help lived or anything ,like a laundry and hen house, could be seen. They wanted to believe they were being self sufficient.  It made them think they were roughing it.  However, the amount of help outnumbered the guest. The idea of all the separate buildings was that you would at least get out and walk between buildings. 

It is in a beautiful location on a peninsula so wherever you are you can look out of the lake.  Actually the original builder didn’t think the lake was the pristine lake it should be, it was swampy in places, so he dammed up some areas and changed it to make it the perfect lake.  And today it is a beautiful sight.

Now it is a resort where  you can stay.  Guests are lodged in one of three lodges. There are no telephones in rooms, no cell service, and no TV so that your relaxing is assured.   A bell calls everyone for communal meals. There are 20 miles of hiking trails, you can play lawn games or go canoeing.  According to their brochure they also encourage porch-sitting and relaxing with a book.  Being fall there are leaves covering the ground and the air is heavy with the scent of balsam.

The main lodge is very rustic inside with animal skins hanging on the walls. There is a gigantic stone fireplace.  In the Vanderbilt’s time they wanted it to look like the stones just fell into place there.  They did this by putting moss between the stones, to make it look very natural.  Of course being indoors, by heat, this isn’t the natural environment for moss.  They had the help spray the moss several times a day to keep it alive. Also several of the buildings were covered with the bark from the tree to carry out the rustic theme.

After this we had about a four-hour drive to Henrietta, N.Y. where we have reservations for the night. After a while we drove out of the lovely fall foliage and on a normal interstate where the sights were not as interesting.  At least dad could drive without me constantly saying stop, turn around, I see something I want to take a picture of.

MAIN LODGE

ONE OF THE BUILDINGS AT SAGAMORE

BUILDING AT SAGAMORE

BARK ON EXTERIOR OF BUILDING

GATHERING AREA IN MAIN LODGE

BOWLING ALLEY

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