Sunday, September 28, 2008

Leaving the North Country

We leave camp tomorrow on our way to New Jersey, via Maine. Here is W saying goodbye to the lake. W has a conference in Auburn, ME for a few days and I've found a number of quilt shops in the area that should keep me busy while he is working. Then we are going to the Spruce Point Inn in Boothbay Harbor for a few days of R&R, arriving back in NJ on October 5th. The autumn colors here are spectacular, though gray and rainy weather means few photo opportunities. But the weather is supposed to clear tomorrow so the drive should be beautiful. We are going via Burlington, VT, which means a one hour ferry ride across Lake Champlain which should break up the drive.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kayaking from Raquette Lake to Blue Mountain Lake

On today's wayfarers paddle we finally completed the portion of the Raquette River from Blue Mountain Lake to Raquette Lake. Though we reversed the route due to prevailing winds, starting at Raquette Lake village, going through the Marion River into Utowana and Eagle Lakes and then into Blue Mountain Lake with a carry into Utowana over the old railroad bed. Here is a view of Blue Mountain showing what a beautiful day it was for a paddle.
After the paddle we all (14 of us) went to Hemlock Hall for dinner. It was a wonderful day.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

ADK Fall Outing

We spent the weekend at the Adirondack Mountain Club fall outing, headquartered at the Wilmington KOA campground, where we stayed in a nice cabin. A group of about 100 ADK members from all over the state took part in organized hikes, paddles, bike rides throughout the weekend. On Friday we took a short paddle on Lake Everest, a wide section of the West Branch of the Ausable River near Wilmington. The paddle included maneuvering over 2 beaver dams which added to the excitement. We saw this osprey and the remains of his/her nest. Most of the nest plus some of its supporting branches were destroyed by the remnants of hurricane Ike that came through recently.
On Saturday we paddled the Ausable River from the bridge on Route 9 out to Lake Champlain via the northern route shown on the map. The lake was very windy, so we paddled into a quiet side channel and walked out to the lake. Someday when the wind isn't so strong we want to go back and paddle out one branch of the river and in the other, paddling the section of the lake in between.
On Sunday the weather wasn't nearly as nice, with low misty clouds. But we decided to go on a hike anyway. We climbed Cobble Hill, behind Northwoods School in Lake Placid. We are told there are usually nice views of Mirror Lake and Lake Placid from the top, but we saw very little. There is a nice rock scramble to get to the top that J would like. We'll have to take him there sometime, if we can find the path again. The entrance and exit (via a walk along Echo Lake) are off a private drive.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rest In Peace

As part of today's paddle we stopped on Pine Island in Rollins Pond to spread Pop's ashes. W's mothers ashes were placed there too, many years ago. It is a place they both loved.

Kayaking the Rollins-Floodwood Loop

We woke this morning to a temperature of 40 degrees, meaning neat fog on the lake.It turned into a gorgeous day so we did one of our favorite kayak trips, the loop from the Rollins Pond boat launch. We stopped at Pine Island (see the next post), lunched on Slide Rock, then went through Floodwood Pond, down Fish Creek, and across Square Pond. We left the boat in a vacant campsite (we can only do this trip after the summer season is over) and walked the 1.25 miles back to pick up the car. We like this method because it avoids portages and gives us a chance to stretch our legs after the paddle.
We saw and heard loons and came across a "flotilla" of mergansers.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Kayaking Summary

We're only going to be here 2 more weeks and we want to get in as many paddles as possible. Here is a summary of the paddles we've done this year and the list from last year to help in our planning.

Stony Creek
Hoel, Turtle, Slang Ponds
Long Pond
Floodwood-Rollins Loop
Middle Saranac Lake to Weller Pond
Raquette River - Moody boat launch to home
Middle Branch of St Regis River
Round Lake
Upper Osgood River
Oswegatchie River
Floodwood to Follensby Clear
Raquette River crusher to Lake Simon

Stony Creek
Upper Osgood River
Lower Osgood River
Bog River to Hitchens Pond
Little Tupper Lake
Deer River Flow
Raquette River - Carry Falls Res. to Jamestown Falls
Marion River from Raquette Lake
Lower Saranac Lake from Ampersand Bay
Middle to Lower Saranac Lake - one way
Raquette River upstream from crusher and back
Lower Tupper Lake
Round Lake
Lower Saranac Lake
Floodwood-Rollins loop

And here are some we haven't done yet:
Second Pond to Lake Flower - did this a while back and want to do it again
Henderson Lake
Lake Lila
Saranac River
Rock Island Bay on Tupper Lake to Bridge Brook Pond
Lower Long Lake
East Branch St Regis River

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kayaking Blue Mountain Lake

Today I joined a group from the Adirondack Museum and the Wild Center on a human and natural history exploration of beautiful Blue Mountain Lake. It was especially nice since I hadn't yet paddled on that lake. There was a group of 30 people, including our leaders, in a wide variety of boats.We made several stops, including the Church of the Transfiguration, built in 1885 and containing some beautiful windows, and the steamboat Tuscarora built in 1900 and awaiting restoration. The tour ended with a wonderful lunch at the Hedges .

Monday, September 8, 2008

Kayaking the Raquette River

I paddled with the Wayfarers again today. We did a 7 mile section of the Raquette River, putting in at the "crusher" and taking out at Bill's house near Raquette Pond. We decided not to go out onto Simond Pond since the wind had strengthened. The group was not as big as last week, but still consisted of 18 people. I've signed up for the next two weeks as well. I'm really enjoying getting to know these folks and exploring new places.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Kayaking from Floodwood to Follensby Clear

W had a rental car for an extra day again (I can't believe they are not open weekends) so we did a one-way kayak trip. We put in on Floodwood and paddled through Fish Creek to Follensby Clear. See the map from last year - though we didn't start at Rollins this time. It was quite windy so we reduced the trip. Plus, we didn't want to have to drive into the Rollins boat dock again. Today's trip was nice and it left us enough time to put a final coat of epoxy on the boat when we got home.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Equipment Lust

We got to play with some new toys today. They aren't ours - we are renting them from a neighbor. W finally got to drive a tractor and we both used the attached chipper. It made quick work of getting rid of all the downed branches from last winter's ice storm. What an awesome machine.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Kayaking the Oswegatchie River

Today we joined the Wayfarers for a 10-mile round trip paddle on the Oswegatchie River. We put in at Inlet - at the top of the map. We stopped at High Rock for lunch. Then some of us went upstream farther to Griffin Rapids, which was nothing but a few rocks in the river, before paddling back downstream.
The weather was great so there were 27 of us!
But we soon spread out and many times we could see no one else on the river. This was helped of course by the many twists and turns.