Settling into a camp cabin on an early summer’s rainy evening reaches maximum coziness. Though I have captured images of Camp Canaras before, those were typically exterior shots, rather than the charming interiors of its cabins.
“Cabin” is more an aesthetic style than a humble building in the North Country. At St. Lawrence’s Camp Canaras, the cabins are large structures with complicated architectural flourishes; at midnight, they take on a Tolkeinesque vibe.
Camp Canaras has a central lodge, a merry place of varnished wood and Scotch served neat. Late at night, long after the campers are tucked in, the place takes on a ghostly, abandoned vibe.
Inside, the minor remnants of the party still remain, along with the major remnants of large animals.
Camp Canaras has some remarkable views during day and night, but especially in the morning. There’s a weird collision of action-movie-preparation scene with rustic vibe to a boathouse; the scene captures the sense of possibility for the rest of the day.
As a youth, I read tales of “wandering islands” on the backs of giant sea creatures. As the fog burned off at Camp Canaras, I couldn’t shake the illusion that the island was drifting closer. (Of course, Saranac Lake might make for a disappointingly small range to wander.)
Rainy, early-summer mornings in the Adirondacks seem to go on forever. That first step into tremendously cold water, on the other hand, is anything but foggy.
I spent the early part of this week at St. Lawrence University’s Camp Canaras (like Saranac Lake spelled backwards) for a retreat. Cold and rain tamped down expectations of canoeing; instead, I had an early morning hike in the sound-dampened world of fog.
At night, the camp took on the otherworldly quiet of the Adirondacks after dark.