I’ve been going up to Stillwater NY for the last 20 years.  I can remember from my early ages of childhood, packing up the old ford pick-up with a cap on the back and heading to Stillwater reservoir for our week or weekend getaways during the summer months. The campfires would be started and the water would be just warm enough to swim, there was a huge rock just a few yards out and I would play all day long. Then we would sleep on a mattress in the back under a truck cap.  And If I was lucky maybe a cousin, a niece or a nephew my age would be coming along.

I remember fondly carrying our Weiner dog, Gizmo out in the water, over her head and watching her swim back to shore. The days we would spend at water safari and Old Forge. Stopping to see my Uncle and Aunt at their camp.

They started putting up the windmills in 2005. It was cool yet almost eerie driving over tug hill and seeing these monstrous statues spinning over the hills.

There are a few public pull offs where you can stop and get out to see how tall these are in person, it’s unbelievable; the structures are truly skyscraping tall.   

Justin and I got together in late 2011; we have spent many summer weekends heading to camp, kayaking the rivers, snowmobiling the winter months on tug hill. From the early ages, Hunter has often skipped out on staying home and would head to camp with his nana and papa, even if we couldn’t join. As he’s gotten older his joy of seeing the windmills on tug hill has grown. Always making sure that if he napped, he would be woken to see them. Knowing camp was approaching his excitement always heightened. He would spend the weekend, playing with the dogs in the creek that runs behind the camp. Eating junk food, and spending way to long in the camp hot tub. Sundays always came too soon, and the long ride home was a dreadful one.  And the next camp trip was always an eternity long.


Because of his love for these windmills, I’ve always had plans to do his photos up there. And things always fell short, either we were on a tight schedule to get home or the weather was terrible, or maybe I forgot my camera a time or two.  It’s been close to two summers since Justin and I have had the time to spend a weekend at camp. So this past weekend I decided I was going to meet my parents and grab Hunter at the pull off on rt 177 and make this dream session a reality. He stood in amazement staring off at them like they were everything and more that he dreamed of. It made my heart melt.

On our ride home, he told me his most favorite part of camp was playing with Kolden, his little cousin. And questioned me as to what his favorite part of the day was… then he spilled with belly laughs and said me taking him to see the windmills up close.


This is a moment I will cherish forever, his snuggles, his laugh, his toothless smile.  Something that changes, every minute that he grows.  And now a moment in time, I can look back on.

Photo credit : My dear friend Dani @ Danitphotography.com

Mindy HulettTUG HILL