A Postcard From The Adirondacks – 2014 ACBS International Pre-Events


Bea Bay, Old Forge, NYToday we have a fun story from fellow Woody Boaters Chris & Julie Bullen, who traveled from Ontario, Canada to New York’s beautiful Adirondack Mountains to participate in the recent ACBS International Pre-Events. With their V-8 powered Clarion gentleman’s race boat in tow and the GPS set on “Big Moose Lake” – the adventure begins! – Texx

A Postcard From The Adirondacks
2014 ACBS International Pre-Events
Photos & Story by Julie Bullen

I look forward to the ACBS International Pre-Events in September every year. I have yet to be disappointed. They always involve classic boating in a new area, traveling with many other classic boats and a ticket to places you might never otherwise see.

Big Moose Lake Postcard 1
This year’s event was held in the Adirondack Mountains in Old Forge, NY. The group arrives on Sunday to start the event on Monday morning. We set the new GPS built into our Ford truck and no worries – we were confident it will find us the fastest route and get us there without any stress. HA! By the time it got dark we started to veer off the main roads in upper NY. Hmm – that’s odd we are not that close yet.

We had printed a Google map, but that was too small and did not help as we were now too far off the planned route. That’s OK – we’ll just follow the GPS. No choice really. No stores, no towns and now the road gets narrow, the asphalt has turned to gravel – 50 miles to go, at 5 to 10 miles per hour! We are up and down and around the bend on the longest cottage road I have ever seen, towing a 30 ft. trailer.

Big Moose Lake Map

All roads lead to Big Moose Lake – eventually…

Our biggest concern – does this road end? How do we turn around? Not a relaxed drive. On the bright side (positive thinking) we had “Riot” – our 1993 Clarion built gentleman’s racer and not our fragile 1940’s WJ Johnston as the bumps would have shook her seams loose.

We did eventually come out onto a nice paved road at the end of Big Moose. Never will we be without a map again. 5 minutes on the paved road we arrived at The Big Moose Inn, with a warm welcome from the proprietor and friends – our much anticipated fun finally started.

Big Moose Lake Inn

Sunset in the Adirondacks – Photo courtesy Big Moose Lake Inn

In the morning it was off to Old Forge to the coolest theater, with the biggest collection of everything Photographic. Old cameras, video cameras, projectors of every kind, it would take hours to see them all and they were on the walls as you walked the hall into the theater, very cool.

We were greeted by many familiar faces to see a slideshow about a mystery. Now I had no expectations that this was a good idea, but it turned out to be quite a story – A murder back in 1906 that inspired the book “American Tragedy” and the film “A Place in the Sun”. The author (Craig Brandon) of the true story was on hand for today’s show and he walked us through the facts and speculations of this great tale.

A Place In The Sun Poster

A Vintage poster from the 1951 film “A Place In The Sun” shot in the Adirondacks. (Wilson Wright will remember this movie – Texx)

Afterwards, we all went up to the Big Moose Inn for a fabulous lunch. The Big Moose Inn is 111 years old, one of the last remaining Adirondack lodges with access to Big Moose Lake, built in 1902. A perfect spot to enjoy lunch and set out on a ride (on a steel platform party boat) to go out on Big Moose Lake to the scene of the crime and other points of interest. Turned out to be a great day. Yummy food, great friends – new and old, out on the water.

Big moose lake woody, really - Copy

The Big Moose Lake Woody – Really!

Day 2 started again in Old Forge and the Fulton Chain of Lakes. There are 4 of them, all connected by narrow areas and rivers.

1956 22' Stan-Craft Torpedo

ACBS Director Terry Fiest (from Orlando, Florida) and our host Doug Adams in Terry’s 1956 22′ Stan-Craft Torpedo “Glacier Girl”

We were split into 2 groups – an early and late start – we started in the town on Lake 1 and headed up to Lake 4 for lunch. No I did not forget the names – that’s the names.

Chris Smith & Family

From the iconic Chris-Craft family, our friend Chris Smith from Holland, Michigan and his crew on board his amazing 1962 Chris-Craft 27′ Sea Skiff “Odeyssea”

On our way up the lake chain we meet the gang from the Antique Boat Museum who were there touring with the friends of the Museum.

passing ABM tour - Copy

“Teal” from the Antique Boat Museum fleet is a 1989 28′ Garwood Custom / Turcotte Brothers triple, today on tour duty.

Again a great lunch, this time at the Woods Inn in the town of Inlet, NY with a great view down the lake. It was nice to get out of the cool weather and rain drops for a while. After lunch back down lakes 4,3,2,1, the sun tried to peek out and show off the beauty of the Adirondacks and some impressive boat houses.

lake 4 small retreat - Copy

Like they say – “You can never have enough classic boats, as long as you have somewhere to store them.”

lake1 boathouse - Copy

fascination - Copy

It’s always great to see “Fascination” from Lake Okoboji, Iowa – Mike Hagen’s 1929 28′ Chris-Craft Triple. The top came in handy during our lake tour.

maggiemay,  look its a lapstrake - Copy

And last but certainly not least, “Maggie May” the mighty lapstrake right at home on Lake 1 or 2 or 3 or 4… as the sun peeks through the clouds.

Another great day on the water and off we headed for Skaneateles and the 2014 ACBS International AGM and boat show. This was a very entertaining 2 days and thanks to Doug Adams and his team of volunteers for putting on a great and memorable event.

Julie Bullen

Special thanks to Chris & Julie Bullen for sharing their story with us today. Another area of the country where classic boating is alive and well, that we don’t know much about (like northern Wisconsin) and, based on those boat houses, requires further investigation.


10 replies
    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Adirondak guide boats are canoe like row boats (or perhaps row boat like canoes?) that were and still are popular in the area.

  1. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Texx: A place in the Sun—That’s when I fell in love with Elizabeth Taylor….But it was pulling Shelley Winters on water Skiis that really got my attention…If I were only as good looking as Montgomery Clift…But at least I’ve never been arrested…

    Wish I’d been back there vor this years ACBS Meeting pre-events…

    • Al Benton
      Al Benton says:

      Wilson, that must have been prior to meeting Pat to admit such affection for Liz at the time. I was only 8 or 9 years old in 1951 and wouldn’t have paid much thought, but being my senior by 13 years I can relate to how you felt back then.

      I too regret not going to the big ACBS week this year.

      Enjoyed the story today, especially the GPS adventure. Been there, done that! Not “there” but…

  2. Wilson
    Wilson says:


    But then you are a little younger than I….I had recently given up on Shirley Temple as our relationship just never seemed to click….Then I saw Liz here and then the next year I saw her in National Velvet and knew I was in love. I guess I was a little fickle then because Pat came along a year later. Pat looked better in a boat than Liz did on a horse and then it was over with Liz and for 59 years…it’s been all Pat…Remember, I even put Pat’s name on that postwar racer.

  3. matt
    matt says:

    OK, for those of us that are younger. We are talking about the same Shelly Winters that was in The Posiden Adventure? Or the BW version about 100 lbs earlier? Not that there is anything wrong with it.. Just need to picture this.

  4. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    These pre-event trips are really better than the event itself IMHO. Gotta make more of these myself – looks very memorable. Thanks for covering the trip Chris and Julie

  5. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    They ( the pre events) usually are better than the main event…at least the ones I have attended were the highlight of the week.

    I can’t remember them all…but at Couer d’ Alene 1 it was a week on Lake Roosevelt on five 55 foot houseboats with woodie tenders. For Couer d’ Alene 2 it was almost a week on beautiful Priest lake.

    At Clayton it was a 2 or 3 days of River cruising.

    At Mackinac 1 it was a night in Petowski followed by a couple of days of cruising the islands

    At N. Georgia ( Lake Lanier ?) It was 2 days of cruising the lake and a lunch at somebody’s fancy estate.

    and…more I’ve long since forgotten.

    I don’t recall much pre-eventing at Lake Tahoe…But even if you just get there a day early, the drive around the lake is beautiful.


    Hard to imagine the current model Shelly Winters pictured here on water skiis….For me…I like the 1941 model much better.

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