It has been an interesting summer in the Adirondacks; where the weather has been mostly fair, the fishing's been fine and the tourists and campers have been quite manageable.
Until the downpours of this past weekend, rain had been almost non-existent for most of the month. However, the weekend certainly ushered in a distinctly autumn-like feel to the weather, with cool temperatures, high winds and a scattering of leaves. If this is any indication of what's to come, fall can't be far behind.
While most local hotels have reported a downturn in guests this season, many of the region's campgrounds have experienced a banner year. Across the country, parks and campgrounds have noted a significant increase in visitors. Sales of tents and camping related gear have also shown a noticeable increase.
Along with all of the new campers in town, it has also been of interest to note a number of high profile, political figures that have enjoyed the Great Northwoods, this season.
In the span of less than a month this summer, the region has hosted the current New York governor for a camping trip and whitewater rafting adventure, while the current attorney general and prospective state governor took his children on a fishing and camping trip in the park. To top it off, a former U.S. president spent his time in camp, hiking, paddling and mountain biking.
Last week, while whitewater rafting with the Lake Placid Rafting Company, I ran into Pete Burns, owner of Beaver Brook Outfitters in Wevertown. Pete, and his wife Dana, were busy running the rapids after spending a night in camp with Gov. David Paterson and his family. The crew consisted of four rafts, in addition to a huge supply raft.
Pete explained that the governor, a regular guest, had enjoyed a "nice weekend on the river full of camping, swimming, fishing and jumping off the rocks. They did a lot of fishing for smallmouth bass, fallfish and one guy even caught a really nice brown trout. There were a lot of comments about getting away from it all."