Drilling for water at the lake

Herman and I were driving home the other day, and we saw an Adirondack Drilling rig at his daughter’s house in Caroga Lake. These large drilling rigs are hard to miss and bring back a lot of memories for me. I had my own experiences with Adirondack Drilling, both at the camp and here at our beach house on the lake.

Let me give you guys some history here at the camp. When Herman first brought me to his seasonal camp in Caroga Lake, he informed me that it had been in his family for many years, since 1949. He shared many stories from his childhood growing up at the camp. The camp was very rustic, with clapboard over studs with no sheetrock. There were no closets. I remember Herman’s clothes were hanging on a pole made out of a tree branch and nails in between two walls. The furniture was very sparse, to say the least.

I remember having to go to the bathroom, and I entered this room with no door, just a curtain for privacy. I was still walking with a cane and I very gingerly placed myself on the toilet, only to find myself rocking back and forward with Herman yelling through the camp to be careful because the toilet wasn’t bolted down.

Oh my God, I’m a long way from civilization, I was thinking, as the toilet wobbled back and forward. My balance wasn’t the greatest, and there was no wall to hold on to. It definitely wasn’t set up for anyone that was handicapped. The next thing I knew, I was trying to flush the toilet and realized the flusher wasn’t working. So I yelled to Herman. He came with a bucket of water and said, “We flush with a pail here.” And Herman informed me the water was rainwater gathered in a barrel behind the house.

Once I was out of the bathroom, I informed Herman, “I don’t know much about country life, but I know this, Herman. I’m not coming to this camp until it’s renovated with proper walls and running water.”

I spoke to some friends and did some research, and found out Herman would have to drill a well. Herman agreed to do that and we called Adirondack Drilling after several recommendations from friends. Dick Smith, also known as “Smitty,” and his son, “Sonny,” came out in a pickup truck to check out the site. The camp driveway is uphill, then down and very narrow, so they said there was only one place that the drilling rig would fit and that’s where they had to drill.

Fas-forward eight years, and Herman and I had moved to the beach here at the lake. The first thing we had to do here was clear out about a dozen pine trees from the property so that there was room to build. After drilling the well, once again with Sonny and Adirondack Drilling, and clearing the trees, we had the septic put in. Then came pouring the slab, since this is a basement-less house.

The pouring of the slab has its own little story, but I won’t get into that now. Suffice it to say, we had a great experience with Adirondack Drilling and would recommend them to anyone who needs their service. Just tell them I sent you. Don’t worry, no gratuities involved. I enclose a picture of their drilling rig at work on Route 29A on Tuesday.

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in New York City and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns and contact information may be accessed at her website, www.kathrynskorner.com.