Long Lake – Short Story – By Kent O. Smith Jr

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Boats rafted in the shallows at the north end.

It’s that time of year where Kent O Smith Jr loves to go Woody Boating, and lucky for all of us he can make even a short story look like it was done for some sort of fancy pants magazine. Until then, sadly Kent, there is just us slobs. Thanks for making a Monday seem all that much brighter. These small gatherings are what it’s all about! Take it away Kent.


I wedged myself into the third cockpit of Roger Johnson’s 1934 Chris Craft Custom with my wife, three cameras, five lenses and a cooler of pink lemonade and vodka.

Last Saturday, the Adirondack Chapter had a picnic outing on Long Lake. Nestled in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, the fourteen mile long body of water is actually a glacial widening of the Raquette River which flows from the Fulton Chain to the St Lawrence River.


A view from the third cockpit. No, those aren’t my painted toes, they belong to Marsha

For those familiar with the Adirondacks, the weather can be hit and miss even in summer, and in our case, summer forgot about Long Lake. The chilly temperatures struggled to reach the mid 60s under overcast skies and a persistent breeze. The conditions were certainly the cause of reduced participation despite the efforts to make a fun day of boating by Chapter President Adam Retersdorf.


Adam brings more provisions to shore while Jessica tends to the baby.

After a brief tour of the lake, we arrived at the north end where there is a secluded beach and sandy bottom shallows. Anchoring and rafting up, we floated coolers of provisions to shore for afternoon of picnicking and comradery.


Life is just a rooster tail.

Let’s tell the rest of the story in photos:


We toured the south end first before heading to the picnic spot, passing under the Route 30 bridge twice.


The town of Long Lake has a black bear for a logo. Naturally, there had to be a “BEARBOAT” on the lake. The boat was built by Spencer Boatworks of Saranac Lake.


Adam’s parents and his dog “Lexie” on “Retirement Plan”, a Miss APBA racer that Adam built for himself.


ohn Kovac zips along in his Racing Runabout Replica built by Vintage Marine.


Adam runs Reets Boatworks and built this Chris Craft themed barrelback, “Pippin II”, for Gretchen Jewell.


The front end of “Retirement Plan”


Followed by the back end of “Retirement Plan”


In addition to passengers, a twin engined HackerCraft 30’ carried most of the picnic provisions, a step ladder for disembarking purposes, and a bassinet with Adam & Jessica’s four month old daughter, Savannah.


John brought a batch of Bahama Mamas that helped make it feel more summerish.


The obligatory group shot. I’d like to say we planned the separation of moored boats to partially frame the group, but it was dumb luck…or a subliminal message from the day’s libations.

7 replies
  1. Adam Retersdorf
    Adam Retersdorf says:

    Yes it was a fun time had by all. Thank you for everyone who attended and we hope to do more informal gatherings in the future. After all, we need to get all of us woody boater fans out on the water doing what we do best. Having fun and enjoying our boats.

    And yes Savannah at 4-1/2 months has been on the water for 30+ boating days already

    • Rick
      Rick says:

      Is Savannah the new Lily? Our new Virtual Party Bartender? We get to watch her grow up. Lily you have competition.

  2. mike gruenauer
    mike gruenauer says:

    Speaking of fun, just got back from the Wine Country Chapter’s ACBS show in Hammondsport NY. Serving as announcer, I had the wonderful experience of not only seeing but talking about the 1910 racer DIXIE BABY of Houston Texas, live and in person. They are on a seven city tour with Dixie and we were proud to be one of the seven.
    All of the show attendees we sooooo impressed with the restoration process and results by peter Breen.
    pinch me was i really there. great display and people.

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