the best lakefront site in the Adirondacks
Friday, November 8 2013
This summer when we visited the south-central Adirondacks, one of the things we did while there was look at several ugly lakeside cabins on crowded lakes such as Mountain Lake, West Caroga Lake, and both of the Stoner lakes. This gave us a greater appreciation for Lake Edward (aka Vandenburgh Pond), the lake we've been staying on for the past two years. It's not crowded or swampy, and is almost completely undeveloped along its southeastern shoreline.
The best site on all of Lake Edward was a cabin on a penninsula jutting into the the lake from its northeastern end (43.125294N, 74.353688W). The other day, Carol (the weirdo realtor we've been working with) sent us news that this cabin was for sale. The asking price (225 thousand dollars) seemed very high considering that the cabin has no well, septic system, or connection to the power grid. And the cabin itself is only 600 square feet in size. But the site is phenomenal, and it's a generous seven acres in size. As best I can tell, it is the best lakefront site in the entire Adirondacks.
So today we drove up to Fulton County to look at it. We brought the dogs of course, and since we were running early, I let Gretchen, Ramona, and Eleanor out about a half mile away from the cabin's driveway. An unpleasant sleet storm passed through as I walked out to meet up with Gretchen and the dogs.
After Carol arrived, she unlocked the gates and we went in. The dogs had been missing for a few minutes and when we next saw them, Eleanor had a strip of white animal fat with some red muscle tissue attached. It looked exactly like a used Maxi Pad.
On the way out to the cabin we were here to see, there is newer, larger log cabin along the same roadway and it appears to have electricity and a well (evidently there is a buried electrical cable along the roadway). As for the cabin we'd come to see, we could see the mats of artificial moss, tubes, and other hardware for a special type of septic field. There were also a number of things strewn about, including the docks (which had been hauled up onto the shore for the winter). The cabin itself was tiny and set up on blocks. On the inside it consisted of a smallish great room with two separate loft areas for sleeping and a presumably non-functional bathroom (though it had a shower and a toilet). Gretchen soon adopted a very negative attitude regarding the cabin, wanting to know if perhaps the owner could take it away and not include it in the sale. For my part, I thought the cabin was both workable and expandable. I found the prospect of building a new cabin from scatch exhausting. As for the price, Carol seemed to think there was a lot of room for negotiation. Her view of the matter (which I found sensible) is that the seller is going to have to make a profit on the $100 thousand he bought the property for (though the original parcel was over 25 acres in size, and he has since subdivided it), but once we've accounted for that, there's no reason to assign much meaning to the asking price of $225 thousand.
As for the site itself, it is exactly what we want. It's on a wooded penninsula, surrounded on two sides by open water and on a third side by wetland flooded enough to kayak through. The presence of the nearby neighbor (the new log cabin) is really the only possible downside, though (based on what we could see of their tastes by looking through their window) they don't look like horrible people.
On the drive back home, we stopped in Colonie (the municipality outside Albany where the airport and Trader Joes, among other useful establishments, are located). Gretchen had done her research and knew of a Buca di Beppo (a sort of high-class Olive Garden), so that was where we had our lupper of spaghetti & red sauce, green beans, and broccoli. Gretchen ordered some sort of wine bevergae and I had a Peroni beer; beer options weren't very good. Food is delivered "family style," that is, in large portions expected to be shared. Gretchen thought the marinara was very good, though she found the pasta insufficiently al dente. "They have to do it that way," I explained, "Americans don't like it al dente, and they don't want to deal with all the people who would be sending it back if it were that way."
After spending about $350 dollars on groceries at the Trader Joe's across the street, we drove back home. On the way, Gretchen thought out loud about how we'd erect a new cabin on that property should the seller be agreeable to removing the existing one. She had the idea that we could rent "Bette's Place" (that first cabin we stayed in two years ago, which is a little depressing but has lots of bedrooms) early in the Spring, bring up a bunch of strapping youngish vegan men who like to do building construction, and have something of a barn raising, hopefully fueled by lots of vegan noodle bake and a keg of Ithaca Flower Power IPA.
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