Camping Through Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene rolled in with winds pretty early, but the rain didn’t hit until about 7:15 am here in Saranac Lake.  We gathered up our books, rolled up our sleeping bags, (putting them in the middle of the tent), staked out the sides of the fly a little tighter and took off, hoping for the best when we returned, whether tonight or tomorrow.  We’re surrounded by trees here, one dead, so it might be a little dangerous to sleep there if the storm is still going on.

We headed to Lake Placid instead of Saranac Lake just because we didn’t feel like sitting in the McDonald’s in Saranac and Lake Placid has a Starbucks. We stopped at the grocery store first since we couldn’t cook in the rain.  While there, the lights all went out. We stood in pure darkness in the middle of the store until the generator kicked on the auxiliary power.  We didn’t realize that the rest of the town was without power also.

After checking out, we headed to Starbucks but didn’t take notice of any of the other stores on the way there. If we had, we could have saved ourselves the trip… Starbucks was pitch black. We then noticed all the surrounding stores were as well. So much fro driving all the way to Lake Placid! We headed to McDonald’s in Lake Placid; it, too, was closed.

We sat in the car and tried to pick up on unsecured wireless networks that were still up and going.  Not much success. The rain started coming down harder and wind gusted like crazy. All the local roads had flash flood warnings so we had no choice but to stay the rest of the day in that parking lot.

We sat in the car for about 5 hours before getting too uncomfortable and deciding to chance it. We made our way slowly back to Saranac Lake and discovered all the lights in town were on.  We shoulda just stayed at the McDonald’s locally. We could have gotten all the work done we were hoping to do today.

We stayed in the building until they kicked us out at closing and then just transferred our stuff back to the car and used the wifi (McD’s never turns it off) until 2am.  Got some stuff done, but not as much as I hoped… Flickr was not into cooperating.

Came back to camp and walked to camp. Massive puddles everywhere and tons of pine branches and needles everywhere.  It definitely got windy.  But! Our tent held up fine! Even though it was covered in dirt, leaves and pine needles, the interior was bone dry. Ahhhh yeah! There were little rivers cascading underneath the tent but the floor didn’t take in any of it. Dry bags, dry tent. Perfect.

At some point during the night, however, I woke up with the toe box of my sleeping bag pretty wet. There was a puddle of water on the ground next to it.  Couldn’t discover the source and it didn’t seem to have rained in the interim, so I’m not sure what happened.  We don’t have any drinking water in the tent…? Mystery.

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