Friday, August 24, 2007

Back to NJ

Yesterday, we drove back to NJ to visit with family before heading for Alaska. Today we drove to Wildwood to spend the day on the beach with AA&J. A good time was had by all.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Kayaking from Middle to Lower Saranac

Today we had a nice one-way paddle from Middle to Lower Saranac with Nancy and Larry. We put in at South Creek where the water was very low, paddled through Middle Saranac Lake, down the river and through the locks into Lower Saranac and out through First and Second Ponds. We stopped and walked around on Bluff Island which is always fun.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


The evidence, as shown in these photos, definitely suggests we have a bear. That post the birdfeeder was on is cast iron. And those holes were made by very large teeth or claws. So the poor birds will have to do without seed for the rest of the year. Has anyone ever heard of a bear-proof bird feeder?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Hike to Moody Falls

Today was one of those spectacular clear days with low humidity that we love here. As part of our ongoing search for the course of the Raquette River, we hiked the short canoe carry from Route 56 to Moody Falls. The carry is quite steep - not one we would attempt with a boat. Plus, it is only .8 miles until you hit Jamestown Falls so hardy worth the paddle. The carry ends downstream of the falls, so we followed a narrow trail along the river to the falls.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hike to Jamestown Falls

Today we hiked again to Jamestown Falls from the woods road off Route 56. J enjoyed climbing on the rocks and found a green frog in one of the pools.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hiking Coney Mountain

Today we all hiked to the top of Coney Mountain for a gorgeous view.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


AA&J arrived Friday. This morning we went dragonfly and damselfly hunting along the edge of the lake. The low water made it easy to explore. We caught then released a Twelve Spotted Skimmer, a male and a female Yellow-legged Meadowhawk, and a Bluet of some sort.

This afternoon we went to the beach at Lake Clear. The "boys" had a great time swimming and playing in the water. What a great spot.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Kayaking Lower Saranac Lake

Today the weather was very calm so we did a relaxing 6 mile paddle of the eastern end of Lower Saranac Lake. We put in at Ampersand Bay and paddled up Fish Creek until we got to the road at which point it becomes a rocky, shallow, stream. Then we paddled back down the stream and stopped at campsite 34 (marked in red on the map) for a relaxing lunch sitting on a big rock at the water's edge.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Kayaking the Raquette River

We have grand plans to eventually kayak all navigable portions of the 170 mile Raquette River that starts in Blue Mountain Lake and ends in the St. Lawrence. Yesterday's paddle got us a bit closer to our goal.

The colors on the following maps are:
Red - parts we have already paddled
Blue - parts yet to paddle
Unmarked sections are not navigable, at least not by our definition.

The following map shows Blue Mountain Lake on the lower right, Raquette Lake on the left and Forked Lake at the top. Sometime soon we'll paddle through Blue Mountain, Eagle, and Utowana Lakes, thus finishing the first section.
The river goes over Buttermilk Falls as it leaves Forked Lake and then enters the aptly named Long Lake. We'll have to camp overnight in order to do this portion.
After the river leaves Long Lake it goes over Raquette Falls and then meanders all the way to Tupper Lake.
We have paddled from Raquette Falls to Tupper Lake and also from Raquette Pond (the north end of Tupper Lake) to Piercefield Dam.Earlier this week we paddled from Carry Falls Reservoir to Jamestown Falls. There are many falls and rapids between Piercefield Dam and Jamestown Falls so it is not clear how much of that portion we will be able to paddle, if any.
Some other time I'll describe the rest of the river on its way to the St. Lawrence.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Kayaking the Marion River

Today we paddled 15 miles from the campground on Raquette Lake around Long Point and up the Marion River and back again. The Marion River is actually part of the Raquette River, which doesn't take on that name until it leaves Raquette Lake.

This is the size of the river near the upstream end.
We saw this neat church on Long Point. It is reachable only by boat.
And we saw this strange shrub I had never seen before. It is called the buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis in the Rubiaceae).

We saw the usual great blue herons and think we saw an immature or female eagle as well. We also saw mallards and a merganser.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

More on Kayaking the Raquette River

More sights from our paddle today.

We investigated a side stream and found a very impressive, two-tiered beaver dam.
Saw a lot of female mallards resting on a rock. Saw beautiful cardinal flowers.And also saw our usual great blue herons and a bald eagle.

Kayaking the Raquette River

We had a great explore today. I took so many neat pictures that I'll make two blog entries.

We put the kayak in at the campground on Carry Falls Reservoir (red circle on the map), intending to paddle just to the rapids on the incoming Raquette River and then go back towards the body of the reservoir for more exploring.

But we found that initial set of rapids was passable (with a bit of trepidation on my part) so we kept on going all the way to Jamestown Falls. We landed at the spot we'd driven to before (red x on the map) and picked up the trail to the falls and beyond. The trail was wet and rough going a few places but well worth it.

We saw the falls - a big rapid really

And the view downstream from the falls

And artsy lines of foam on the water. W says this picture looks like one S would have taken .

More falls upstream of the main ones

And beautiful flat water at the end of the trail.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Kayaking Deer River Flow

Today we kayaked Deer River Flow and up to Horseshoe Pond with a group from ADK. If you head north on Route 30, it is the last significant body of water before you hit the blue line. We put in on Cold Brook Road right off Route 30 and paddled a total of about 9.5 miles. There were beautiful, huge, white water lilies at the entry point. We paddled up to the dam and there were new posted signs all around so we could not land there. But the view back from the dam was very picturesque. I'll have to always take the camera from now on. We lunched at a state forest preserve campsite at the entrance to the creek up to Horseshoe Pond.We saw what was probably a muskrat swimming in the water, several great blue herons, and a huge bald eagle that was sitting in a large white pine next to the water.