Last weekend while camping in the Thousand Islands region of New York I took the opportunity to test out my new Eureka “Solitaire” backpacking tent. Or as my wife calls it my “Dog House Tent”. I don’t backpack but I purchased this tent for canoe/kayak camping because of its size and weight. I bought it locally from Eureka Camping Center for a really great price. As a matter of fact it was extremely cheaper than some other backpacking tents I’ve used.
I wanted to get the feel for it and its size before taking it on a canoe/kayak trip where I might regret not trying out before hand. I did fit very comfortably inside and I’m happy to report that I had two good nights sleep. On the first night I woke about 3AM briefly peering through the roof into the night’s sky which was littered with millions of stars. I stared for a short while watching as some of them streaked across the sky. The second morning I felt so good it was almost better than sleeping in my own bed. I did bring with me my Coleman self inflating sleep pad as well.
Julie and I packed up the car Saturday and headed north to the Thousand Islands region of New York to camp. This would be our first time in the area and it did not disappoint. We could have done without the 20+ MPH winds Saturday and Sunday but hey the sun was shining.
We pitched our tent at Kring Point State Park several miles north of Alexandia Bay. Kring Point is a peninsula that forms Goose Bay from the St. Lawrence River. Most campsites are on the water. Ours however was not. Once camp was setup it was time to explore. We drove to Alexandria Bay only to discover it was Bike weekend. There were literally hundreds and hundreds of motorcycles and every parking space was taken. We decided to head for the town of Clayton instead. While driving we spotted Clayton Distillery and quickly pulled into the parking lot. We sampled some really good moonshine! As a matter of fact we left with a big bottle of cherry moonshine.
Arriving in Clayton we did some shopping, walked along the river trail for a bit, watched a couple at a fancy hotel say “I Do” and had a super fun time tasting wine at Coyote Moon Winery. We even beat the tour boat crowd!
Sunday morning the wind was extremely calm but that would only give us false hope for the day. However we launched our kayaks paddling into the St. Lawrence and Goose Bay. Water levels are extremely high in the area. Many of the island homes are inaccessible because their boat docks are completely submerged. Afterwards we would return to Alexandria Bay to catch the shuttle to Heart Island and Boldt Castle. The castle and its history are just fascinating. The Thousand Island Bridge Authority which owns the Heart Island and Boldt castle is doing a wonderful job of restoring it. Cannot wait to return next year and see the progress continue.
After our tour we ventured over to Wellesley Island and stumbled upon the beautiful Thousand Island Park. All I can say is “The Homes” Beautiful victorian homes, painted ladies, bungalows, etc all nestled along the shores of the St. Lawrence. Julie and I were in awe!
Later Sunday evening the sunset was beginning to take shape. Amazing cloud formations a brewing storm over in Canada and a diminishing wind or so I thought. I hoped into my kayak and off I went. Across the river I could see the rain, I could hear thunder and the sun was tryings its best to drop from the clouds. Quickly the wind picked up and the chop increased. I honestly got a little nervous as I was without a spray skirt. The waves grew as did the wind. I quickly grabbed a few photos and made my way back to shore.
During the night the winds finally died and the temperatures dropped. Morning would come with a crispness in the air, sunshine in the sky and calm waters. After breakfast Julie and I were back out in the kayaks for our final hoorah before packing up camp and heading home. Our time in the Thousand Islands was fun and we look forward to returning next summer.