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Savoy 2002 Camping Trip
August 10th - 17th
by Joel

Photos Savoy 02 Pictures

Every year we go camping with a large group of our friends at Savoy Mountain State Park near North Adams, Massachusetts. In past years, we camped over the 4th of July weekend, but this year we selected a date in mid-August instead. Why those dates? Well, August 12th is the peak of the Perseid meteor shower and we hoped to see a good show far away from the bright city lights. The group camping was the first weekend, but our family (as well as the Kochanski family) stayed for the remainder of the week.

This year was hot. Very hot. Most years we go no a couple of hiking trips and maybe a bike trip. This year we did a bike trip (more later), but it was always too hot to do any serious hiking (although we did one early morning loop around Tyler swamp). We did spend a good amount of time at the beach however, and also lazing around camp.

The group at the bottom of Tannery Falls

On the morning of the 11th, we had a group bike trip to Tannery falls. A bunch of the adults and most of the kids saddled up for the couple of mile ride from the camp site to the falls. I remembered that it was not that far, but I had conviently forgot about the giant hill you had to climb over (that means uphill in both directions). It was a challenge getting all the small kids up the hill.

The falls were not very spectacular this year (for example, see this picture) because the water level was so low. But I had a good time taking pictures (some of which even came out), and the kids liked splashing around in the pool at the bottom of the falls.

On Monday afternoon we also went on a commercial kayak trip. The trip, run by Crab Apple Whitewater was a self guided journey down the Deerfield river in "Funyak" inflatable kayaks. About half the group went on the trip. We started by driving down to Crab Apple's headquarters which was around 35 minutes from the campsite. They told us to get their by 2:30 and we just made it, except for Caroline, who was accidently left behind in a fit of confusion.

Caroline eventually showed up by borrowing another car (which turned out to be a good thing). Then we got fitted with life jackets and helmuts and instructed in the safety rules. Crab Apple shuttled us to the put in which was around 8 miles up river. Then we waited around there until they had all the boats ready. We didn't actually get into the water until around 4:00. (Later I learned that they had to wait for the water release from the upstream dam before we put in.)

The trip downstream took almost four hours as we floated in the mild current in our inflatable kayaks. There were plenty of low spots where you could get stuck and I spent a good amount of the trip helping one or the other of the Coney twins get unstuck. There were some mild rapids, which the younger kids really loved, but otherwise the trip was pretty tame.

There was one stop about two-thirds of the way down river where we had a food and drink break and they took some pictures of us on the river. The camerawoman was using a Nikon D100 digital camera so the pictures were ready for viewing by the time we got back to the Crab Apple headquarters. But they only wanted to sell prints. They would not sell us the JPGs (oh well).

When we finally got back to the headquarters, Jim Bodmer has lost his car keys. We ended up cramming in the remaining cars and heading back for dinner. Later, Debbie went back with her spare keys to pick up the car.

Every year we do one service project. This year the older kids built a new trail from the group camping site to the nature center (not our idea), while the smaller kids did trask pickup around North pond.

The group at the bottom of Tannery Falls

The rest of the trip was much less eventful. Most people left by Tuesday or Wednesday and we were alone with the Kochanski's and their annoying neighbors. (A family staying in the site across the street from the Kochanski's had two children who were lonely for attention, and constantly underfoot.) I read and took some pictures; Daphne and the kids played Dungeons and Dragons.

It only rained once, on Friday evening during dinner (we went out). We ended up leaving on Saturday, a day early because the campsite filled up on Friday night with some noisy campers. Also, the meteor shower was not very interesting (both times we got up at 2:00am we did not see many meteors). But, all in all it was a very relaxing week.

This web page (http://www.gouldhome.com/Savoy02.html) was last updated on August 10, 2002. For any comments or suggestions about the site contact Daphne Gould. Contents copyright © 1999-2003 by Joel and Daphne Gould.