Monday, June 30, 2008

Trip to New Jersey

Today we headed south for a visit to New Jersey, via Pennsylvania. Tonight we are staying at the Glasbern Country Inn in Fogelsville, PA, outside of Allentown. Tomorrow we will go to the Kutztown Festival to see the quilts, then drive to NJ.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Kayaking to Weller Pond

The weather finally cleared up enough today for us to take a nice long paddle - about 8 miles round trip. We put in on South Creek at the southern end of Middle Saranac Lake and paddled up into Weller Pond, with a side trip into Little Weller.This eagle was on one of the small islands in Middle Saranac.We found several painted turtles and lots of neat plants.We stopped for lunch on Tick Island in Weller Pond.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ecological Complexity

I like this comment from Sharon Begley's column in the June 9, 2008 issue of Newsweek:
"Biologists draw an analogy between ecosystems and airplanes. The latter can fly without some of their rivets, and the former can survive without some of their species. But in neither case can you tell how many, or which ones, are dispensable until the thing crashes."

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Paddling the Flow

The sun was actually shining this morning so we went for a paddle around the flow.
Last year's low water doesn't seem to have hurt the plants, including these nice water lilies.
I'd been anxious to explore a spot where a creek comes in. We paddled in as far as we could get
then explored on foot through the alders and the stream to a spot where we could see a beaver dam holding back much of the water.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dinner at Hemlock Hall

Today we celebrated our anniversary by going to Hemlock Hall in Blue Mountain Lake for dinner. I'd heard about it from several people and was determined to get there someday. The original plan was to go kayaking on Blue Mountain Lake and environs and then go to dinner. But the weather has been very uncooperative lately and once the summer season kicks in the dinner is full with guests of the resort. Plus, the menu is the same every week, with roast pork on Tuesday and chicken and biscuits on Wednesday being ones we were particularly interested in. Trying to get our schedule, the weather, and the menu to come together on the same day was seeming impossible, so we skipped the kayaking and just went for dinner.

The food is served family style at big tables. We were seated with 3 other couples, all of whom were staying at the resort. It was sort of strange being the "locals", since folks around here generally don't view us that way since we are part-timers.

The food was good, abundant, and cheap. We started with yummy homemade bread and individual salads. Then they placed big platters of roast pork with gravy, applesauce, broccoli, and decadent candied yams on the table. These were passed, and then they brought refills! So there was plenty of food. For dessert we had rather ordinary vanilla ice cream and the most amazing coconut cookies I have ever tasted. They were chocolate on the outside with a sweet coconut filling reminiscent of Mounds candy bars, but much better. Yum. And all this cost under $40 for the two of us, including tip and tax.

We'll definitely go again sometime. It would be fun to go with a group.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Hiking the Stone Valley Trail

We had a great hike today along part of the Stone Valley Trail along the Raquette River. We picked up the trail off Main St. in Colton and walked down the east side of the river. Last Tuesday's storm caused major destruction in the area. The beginning of the trail was blocked with several massive trees and further along the trail we encountered many areas where we had to bushwack around the blowdown. We finally stopped about a mile in when we got tired of dodging downed trees. But that mile was spectacular with beautiful views of the river and falls.Thanks to W for letting me use his laptop connected to the cell network to publish this post. Our satellite connectivity is flaky at best. A technician has been called.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Boat Building - Again

We began working on our wooden/fiberglass kayak again today. We got ourselves into some strange positions while wiring it together.
But it is beginning to look like a boat.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Kayaking the Floodwood-Rollins Loop

We joined ADK today on the Floodwood-Rollins Loop. We paddled from the put in off Floodwood Road, through Copperas and Whey, and then to Rollins and back to Floodwood. It was a gorgeous sunny day with bright blue sky and temperature about 70 degrees.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Kayak Trip on Long Pond

Today we joined a new group of paddlers called the Wayfarers. The people overlap quite a bit with ADK and are a fun group. We did a leisurely paddle of Long Pond. The water was high enough we were able to go into Pink Pond and Little Pink Pond as well.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


I'm trying to keep track of when the various wildflowers bloom. Here's a list of ones we saw on yesterday's hikes.

Silver Lake Mountain:
Sarsaparilla - Aralia hispida - Araliaceae (Ginseng) family
Lady Slipper Orchid - Cypripedium acaule - Orchidaceae
Bunchberry - Cornus canadensis - Cornaceae
Foamflower - Tiarella cordifolia - Saxifragaceae
Canada Mayflower, Wild Lily-of-the-valley - Maianthemum canadense - Liliaceae
False Solomon's Seal - Smilacina racemosa - Liliaceae
Clintonia - Clintonia borealis - Liliaceae

Silver Lake Bog:
Swamp/Bog/Sheep Laurel - Kalmia angustifolia - Ericaceae
Labrador Tea - Ledum groenlandicum - Ericaeae

Friday, June 6, 2008

Hike up Silver Lake Mountain

Today we hiked with ADK up Silver Lake Mountain and then to Silver Lake Bog. The hike up the mountain was timed to coincide with the blooming of the lady slipper orchids, which we found in abundance.
We also found some neat critters.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Kayak Trip from Hoel Pond

We drove to camp for the summer on Monday. Then yesterday we joined ADK for a paddle starting at the private launch site of our hosts on Hoel Pond, dragged the boats through the culvert under the railroad, then paddled through Turtle and Slang Ponds. We lunched at a campsite on Slang, then retraced our steps and ended at our hosts' camp for dessert. The bugs were in abundance and we got sprinkled on a few times, but not enough to spoil the trip. And I met a quilter who invited me to join a group doing a shop hop next Tuesday. Very cool.