[All photos by Conor Rose]
No matter where I am, whenever I’m away on a trip, I’m always eager to get back to normal life. About the Adirondacks, though – at the end of last weekend’s Wilderness Field Notes, I never wanted to come home.
Hosted by The Billycan, Wilderness Field Notes is essentially a one weekend sleepaway camp in the Adirondacks for adults, where the point is to get out of the city, unplug, and reconnect with nature at the peak of autumn. Held at Morningside Camps & Cottages, a small woodsy resort located in Olmsteadville, NY, we quickly felt at home in the cozy cabins dotting the shoreline of Lake Minerva.
Every cabin had a deck, a view of the lake, plus a working fireplace that came in real handy that first 25-degree night (even though we ended up smoking out the cabin in an attempt to create a cozy atmosphere for our cabinmates Christine and Casey, who we quickly bonded with over post-fanning-out-smoke beers).
For three nights and two days, we were free to participate in various workshops and also enjoy time for exploring and relaxing. Workshops for outdoorsy activities were available, such as fishing, paddling, and even a sawing competition. Calmer souls could partake in watercolor painting, natural dyeing, yoga, or meditation. A Narrative Space tent boasted goods from Upstate Stock, Woolrich, and the like, with a number of prizes being raffled off through the weekend.
Not into group activities? There were kayaks, rowboats, hiking trails, and plenty of room to roam freely throughout the property, with or without companions. As for us – Conor tried his hand at archery (really shooting the fake deer to death by arrows) but we mostly spent time exploring the lake by various vessels (we went out on the water three times!), hiking, and of course, eating and drinking.
We were well-fed through the whole weekend, with meals that were mostly grab and go from the outdoor kitchen, boasting treats such as bacon-egg-and-cheese breakfast sandwiches, Sweetgreen salads, and plenty of Gimme! Coffee. Family dinner included roasted chicken, salmon, and veggies, plus tons of palo santo and crystals to play with.
Both nights ended with a happy hour that stretched through the night, topped by bonfires under the stars, and the final night was capped by music and drinks to keep us warm.
Bulleit flowed freely each night, with a special happy hour the last night. Our bartenders generously served up Boilermakers (your choice of bourbon or rye, paired with Adirondack Brewery beer), Kentucky Mules (rye and ginger beer, garnished with a lime wedge), and BLTs (bourbon, lemon, and tonic). As the night went on, we all became best friends over rounds and rounds of Bulleit shots.
Whatever The Billycan did, it worked – I can’t stop trying to figure out what next outdoorsy adventure we’re headed to next, and I’m definitely planning on heading back up to the Adirondacks the next chance I get.
For more photos from Wilderness Field Notes, click here. To keep up with The Billycan and next year’s Wilderness Field Notes, follow them on Instagram and visit their website. This post has been sponsored by Bulleit, a whiskey we truly love.