So much to do
I just love winter and sometimes I feel like there are not enough days to do everything I want to do: downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and ice skating. It is also hard to squeeze in the not-so-fun things that I must do, such as laundry, cleanin,g and filing income tax! On this particular Sunday I had promised myself to do laundry and file my income tax.
While gathering my paperwork to prepare for filing I received a text from my friend Trisa, she wanted to XC ski. Oh well, filing could wait another day and promises to one's self can be broken. We discussed where to go on the phone, being neither one of us wanted to travel far we decided to meet at the Fish Creek Campground entrance. It would be a 20-minute drive for Trisa from Saranac Lake and a 20-minute drive for me from Tupper Lake. Perfect for both of us!
We met at the entrance and once on the grounds we turned right after passing the ticket booth. We both saw trails, but had to continue down the road for a parking area. Across from campsite number 36, we found an area that could accommodate 3 or 4 cars.
As we mounted into our bindings we talked about how everything looked like a winter wonderland, we also discussed skiing the main road as it was plowed but still had a nice layer of snow coverage and no sand. However, both of us had a great desire to be in the woods!
Finding the trail
We skied back toward the ticket booth to find the trail we had passed as we entered. Two ladies were skiing the road, so we stopped to chat for a bit and admire their Golden Retriever. The trail we saw was actually a side road with slightly visible tire tracks from a truck. We decided to ski this road to see where it led. It was slow going as I was breaking trail and it was slightly sticky. Within no time at all we came to a blue trail marker on our right. The snow seemed so deep on that trail, we decided to stay on the road.
We continued on and came to a few camping sites where we had to stop to admire the view! We spotted a red trail marker and headed to that trail, it was gorgeous. I carried my oldest, smallest, camera and my cell phone in my jacket pocket. In my waist pack I had water, a couple of treats for us, Maxiglide, a cork, and a cloth.
Maxiglide is used when the snow is wet and sticky. I have heard people say, if you are out on a day when you need Maxiglide just stay home. It is messy stuff, so I carry a cloth to wipe off my hands after applying the wax with the sponge applicator, and I use the cork on the skis after applying the wax, as that is what we did years ago!
Walking not skiing
Thankfully, Trisa was patient with me as I stopped often to take pics. Getting the camera out of the pocket near my waist pack was not an easy task - so I ended up tucking it in a higher pocket.
It began to feel like I was walking instead of skiing as it was so sticky. Trisa was sticking as well, but it was so beautiful we didn’t want to turn around and go back on the main road, which was not sticky. There is nothing like skiing in forest — it's so peaceful and beautiful!
The red trail which prohibits motorized vehicles was well marked. On our right there was a snowmobile trail indicated by orange markers. We did not encounter any other people, or even traces of people, however we did see many animal tracks!
When we could feel inches of snow clinging to the bottom of our skis we stopped to check the time, Trisa had to be home by 3pm so we decided to head back. Because we were now on our previous tracks and still sticking, I stopped to apply the glide. While opening my pack, I recalled the treats. We shared the fresh orange which I had picked up at Tops in Saranac Lake, a refreshing trail food. Then I handed Trisa a chocolate cookie a friend had made, it was wonderfully rich, just what we needed!
There was no sense in both of us getting messy so I applied the wax and used the cork on our skis. Upon packing things up, I realized I lost my camera. We searched the extra short distance I had gone ahead of Trisa, and then Trisa stated it probably fell out when I took my pack off. We went back to that area and she spotted it — just as I skied over it! I wiped it off the best I could and tried it - luckily, it worked. We were happy that the camera was working and we were extremely happy that the Maxiglide worked! The ski out was fast and wonderful, so much more enjoyable than the way in. In no time at all we were back at the picnic area.
Once back near our vehicles I started to take pics and Trisa took off down the main road. Well, I couldn’t have that — she was getting more distance than myself so off I went! Way out on the lake we saw a couple of snowmobiles zooming. As we skied down the road we noticed where they accessed the lake and we soon saw a parking area near the pavillion filled with trucks and snowmobile trailers.
Jordan and Jesse
A couple had apparently been there a few days as they were removing the snow from their truck and trailer. We learned that Jordan and Jesse, from Saratoga, were visiting their aunt on Upper Saranac. They come to this area often to snowmobile, snowshoe, downhill ski, and paddle. They were familiar with Charlie's Inn and have stopped for food and drink on their outings. Tricia and I told them about the Shamrock, and gave them driving directions, however, they would have to ask other snowmobile enthausiasts how to get there via a sled!
Heading back to our vehicle we talked about Fish Creek and the being a year-round recreational center! Summer fun includes camping, biking, swimming, paddling, and much more. In the winter you can snowshoe, walk, cross-country ski, and ride - if you happen to have a fat tire bike. It is truly an all-season area!