Revised Feb 6th/05  

Tom's Lake George Site  Camping Stories

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Our Eighth camping trip

    1998 was our eighth trip to Lake George, and we were staying for a full week. Our party consisted of my wife, my mother, my daughter, my cousin, and my self. Since there were so many of us that we needed two campsites, we decided to save a bit of money by staying at a public campground. I did some research on the net, and decided that Hearthstone point was the best choice. This cost us nearly $10 less a night for each site than a private campground would, but that wasn't such a bargain after all!
    For starters, even though I looked at a map of the campground online, the map neglected to show Rt9L running through the middle of the campground. Our campsites (I chose the ones I wanted from the map and requested them online) were on the inland side of Rt9L. The ONLY showers in the entire campground were on the lake side of Rt9L. This meant that in order to take a shower we had to load everyone up in the van, and drive down the hill, across the highway, and over to the showers. Needless to say this is far from convenient. While I am on the subject of the showers, they were free, but they use this stupid push button to activate them. It is pretty stiff and hard to push. It only turns the water on for a few seconds (30 or so) and then you have to push it again. This can become a hell of a challenge when your hands are covered with soap suds, and slippery. In addition, there is NO way to adjust the water temperature. What you get is what you get, like it or not, so you either freeze, or roast and enjoy it!
    The sites weren't too bad, though there weren't many trees, which meant there wasn't a lot of shade, and they were a bit on the smallish side. Personally I like a nice big site, with plenty of trees around to tie things to, and to provide protection from the sun. There was a water spigot between our two sites which was convenient, but the handle was spring loaded, so you have to hold it down constantly to keep the water running. It's a bit tricky to hold up a five gallon water carrier with one hand while holding down the faucet handle with the other!
    My next complaint is the rather weak, old, rusty wire fence running along the side of our campsites. It wouldn't bother me except that if I walked into it hard it would collapse under my weight, and there is only one reason to place the fence there. The land around the campground is public land, so the fence isn't to keep campers in the campground. The only other purpose would be to keep animals (I assume large ones, the little ones scurry through the openings in the wire) out. I don't much like the thoughts of that little fence trying to hold back a bear, and I just have to think that the fence wouldn't be there unless bears or some other large animals were a known problem at the campground.
he campground is very poorly lit, if you stay here make sure you bring plenty of flashlights. The only path to the bathrooms was a trail through the woods, and it wasn't lit. This means you are in for a hell of a trip to the potty if you have to go in the middle of the night and don't have a light. Also, while the place is packed on the weekends, if you stay all week you will be pretty much by yourself. This can be kind of eery.
    My final complaint about this stay was the swamp like conditions. Our sites were high and dry, but not too far away there were plenty of low areas that were just full of stagnating water. All that water was just FULL of MOSQUITOES. I have never been bitten so many times in my whole life. Nothing kept these little buggers at bay! We tried Citronella candles, mosquito coils, fires with lots of wet leaves and bug spray. If you know something that actually works in these conditions PLEASE tell me about it! The bugs were THICK, and we spent most of our time at camp swatting them.
    My cousin was 15 during this trip. He's a nice kid, but a bit of a weenie J He was using a trail tent, and the flaps tie. I think the kid was REAL worried about bears or something. He tied himself into the tent with some sort of grannie knot that just couldn't be untied (I guess he wanted to keep the bears out!). Well in the middle of the night he had to go potty J and he couldn't untie the fort knox knot, so he started flipping and flaming. (that is the only way I can describe it.) My mother woke up and tried to help, but she couldn't untie it either, and by now his eye teeth were really seeing yellow. I guess they didn't want to wake me up (I think he was a bit embarrassed, and had to go too bad to wait for me.) So my mother decided to cut the ties with a pair of scissors. This was a brand new tent. Needless to say he didn't stay in it for the rest of the trip. I recently bought a zipper, and sewed it in so this won't happen again!
    Well, as you can probably tell, I'm not going to try to save money by staying at a public campground again. It would probably be fine for a weekend stay, but it isn't going to cut it for a week or more!