We had a fantastic trip this past weekend. A friend of ours invited us up to her family’s cabin in Dexter, NY. Such a beautiful area, right on Lake Ontario. We got to see several parts of the area and take part in all sorts of outdoor activities including: camping out, swimming, boating, fishing (Jacquelyn’s very first time ever), kayaking, and four-wheeling. So I thought I would take some time to share some of our experiences.
We got up there early Friday morning. When we got up, we went on a boat ride on the lake, which was really cool because I hadn’t been on a motorboat in many years. That evening, we headed over to Watertown to watch the city’s Fourth of July Celebration, which included fireworks and a concert by the Syracuse Symphony. It was one of the best Fourth of July shows I had ever been to. They even had an artillery group from nearby Fort Drum there, and they fired off cannons while the symphony was playing “The 1812 Overture.” It was awesome! Jacquelyn and I camped out that night, which I believe was the first time I’d camped in a tent since I was in Boy Scouts (about 12 years ago), and Jacquelyn hadn’t been in one since she was about seven years old.
The next day, we took Jacquelyn fishing for the very first time. Talk about beginner’s luck, she caught three fish right away! She caught a guppy, a bass, and a perch. Unfortunately none of them were big enough to keep, but it was so cool that she caught three on her first try. Sadly, I caught nothing the whole weekend. Later, I got to go swimming in the lake and then did some kayaking. I had only been kayaking once before, and never by myself. That was a lot of fun. We also got to take a tour of their extensive property by taking a ride in the “people mover,” a trailer connected to their big John Deere tractor. We saw a couple of deer while we were out there, but they were too quick for us to get some decent photos.
That evening, we took a boat ride to Sacket’s Harbor, which has a beautiful town right on the lake, and is also the site of a War of 1812 battlefield, to get some ice cream. Then we headed back to watch some fireworks. We fired off a couple (you can see them here), but the neighbors a few cabins down really got into it with a very impressive display (which was really cool at the time but nothing compared to what they had in store of the next night). Later that night, a pretty bad thunderstorm came through the area. We took shelter in the cabin until the storm passed and returned to our tent to find some of our stuff had gotten a little wet. Not a huge deal, we dried it off the next day.
Sunday was our last full day there. I got to go back to Sacket’s Harbor to explore the historic sites. I took a walk around the battlefield and went into a little museum nearby. Apparently this area played a key role in keeping the British from taking control of Lake Ontario during the War of 1812. As a history buff, I loved learning about this stuff. (If you would like to learn a little more about the battle, click here.) We spent the rest of the day back at the cabin doing some more fishing and kayaking. I also got to ride on the back of a four-wheeler for the first time in my life. We took a nice ride through the woods.
That night we got to see more fireworks. Literally everywhere you looked along the lake there were different firework displays and those neighbors came back with an even more impressive show. The only way to describe it was that it was a ridiculous amount of fireworks, especially considering it was a private show in someone’s backyard. You can see a very small piece of it here. The next day, we pretty much just packed up our stuff and hung around the cabin until it was time to head home.
Here are a bunch of photos from the trip: 4th of July Weekend 2011
I can’t say enough about how much fun we had on this trip. Personally, I thought it was by far the best Fourth of July weekend I can remember, and probably ranks up there as one of my favorite trips. So many great experiences, that we never get to do, were packed into this weekend. I hope that we will be given the opportunity to go back sometime. But for now, we may have to look into getting Jacquelyn some of her own fishing gear.