Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kayaking Round Lake

We are leaving for a week in NJ tomorrow, so we needed a shortish, close paddle for today so we could get back to camp to pack. So we went to Round Lake. The pickerelweed is in full bloomand you can always count on lots of waterlilies along the inlet from Little Tupper.The bladderworts are also blooming around the inlet at the southwest corner of the lake.Yes, Round Lake has corners. I don't know where they get these names. Round Lake is triangular if anything. The reddish leaves in this photo belong to a carpet of sundews.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I finished this quilt top, and since I won't actually quilt it until I get to NJ where I have more room, I figured I'd show it off now. The pattern is from a book by Evelyn Sloppy (if that were my name, I'd change it, especially if I were a quilter). I'm not sure I like it. The colors were chosen to go with a dusty rose chair, which is very hard to match. But each one is an adventure and a learning experience so I'll go ahead and finish it. My next is a "stack and whack" which I can't wait to try, though I'm sure it will be nerve-racking.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Kayaking the Lower Osgood River

It didn't rain again today - yeah!! - so we did a round-trip paddle of a little over 13 miles on the Lower Osgood, beginning and ending at Meacham Lake. See the description of our 2007 paddle for a map. On the drive there we searched for the put-in upstream off Route 30 hoping that in the future we could do this as a one-way paddle, provided we had a second car or a group of folks. We found the put-in as described in the "Adirondack Paddler's Guide" at about 5.3 miles north of Paul Smiths at the Spring Lake outlet, and marked it on the GPS. We then paddled upstream toward that spot. We couldn't quite get to it (the guide said there would probably be at least one beaver dam in the way), but we got close and that put-in definitely seems doable. At that point we weren't interested in getting out of the boat yet again to investigate further. There are now 2 large trees blocking passage on the river and dragging over them, plus some small beaver dams, was enough. One reason I wanted to get back on the Lower Osgood is the wildflowers and we weren't disappointed. The cardinel flowers were in bloom, especially around Baker Pond, and the purple fringed orchis were beautiful.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kayaking Middle Saranac Lake and Weller Pond

Major announcement: IT DID NOT RAIN TODAY. And there was no wind; a big added bonus. So we put into South Creek again and headed for Middle Saranac Lake. But this time, after stopping by Ship Island to see the eagle, we went to Weller Pond. We stopped at campsite #85 on the far side of the pond, which is the site of the cure camp of Martha Rebentisch.The following is from She "arrived in Saranac Lake in the late 1920's to take the cure for tuberculosis. Bedridden and uncured by 1931, Martha responded to an ad by a local woodsman, Fred Rice of Saranac Lake, to participate in a study he wished to conduct. He wanted to take a patient by boat to Weller Pond, to test his theory that the best cure was the open air. Rice, about 55 at the time and a guideboat builder, did not expect a woman barely 20, but Martha responded quickly to his care and was liberated from her disease. She kept a journal and eventually published several books under the name Martha Ruben, including "The Healing Woods" in 1952 and "The Way of the Wilderness" in 1955."

We found this neat snake at the campsite - note the spooky blue eyes.After leaving Weller Pond we paddled to Bartlett Carry. We walked the carry (about 1/2 mile each way) which is very steep at the Middle Saranac end and then follows the road to Upper Saranac Lake. Then we reluctantly headed back to the car for a total paddle of 8 1/2 miles. The stillness meant beautiful reflections in the water.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Orchids at the VIC

I took a nice long walk at the Paul Smith's VIC (Visitor Interpretive Center) this morning, looking especially for orchids. I got some great photos.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kayaking Piseco Lake

Twelve of us got to mark off Piseco Lake on the Paddle Pursuit today. The weather was actually good for a change, though thunderstorms had been predicted. We put in off Route 10 directly into Big Bay, marked by a red O on the map. I had hoped to be able to go down the outlet for a bit, but there is a spillway under the road and the outlet is very rocky from there. We paddled the length of the bay and then got to a very interesting spot, marked by a red X on the map. I guess there are times when the water is high enough to get around this bend without trouble. But I don't know when that would be. We all got hung up on the rocks and I wouldn't go that way again. We went out onto the lake and across Irondequoit Bay to the Point Comfort campground where we had lunch on the picnic tables, then we returned to the cars. The lake is big and not terribly interesting, so I doubt I would go there again. But it is always nice to paddle in new places.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July So Far One of Coldest on Record

See, I wasn't imagining it. That is the headline of a story on NCPR today. And they are predicting the below-average temperatures are going to persist for another 2-3 weeks! But then it should warm up in August and perhaps be above average in September. I hope so. We need a reward for sticking it out through July.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Kayaking Big Moose Lake

We joined Linda and Edward, Pamela and Rick, Patty and Ed paddling Big Moose Lake today. We actually didn't get wet, from the heavens anyway, but it was windy, cloudy, and cold. It never got above 60 degrees today. Very hard to imagine that it is July. We put in at the boat dock off Higby Road and paddled up through the Inlet into the creek until we hit a big beaver dam. We didn't find it until after lunch (at the pull out for the trail to Gull Ponds which was not very satisfactory), but there is a beach where one can stop for lunch on the left before heading into the inlet. There aren't many opportunities to stop since most of the shoreline is private. And for future reference, there are no chances for a pit stop at the boat launch. Better to stop at the picnic area in Inlet before you get there.
Big Moose Lake is one of many on the "Adirondack Paddle Pursuit". Many of our friends are trying to get all the 48 paddles under their belts. You get a patch from ADK if you do them all. We see it more as an opportunity to find new places to paddle. Not sure we will do them all. W is paddling Lewey Lake and the Miami River tomorrow. I'm staying home and taking a long walk. My bursitis is acting up again from sitting too much in the car and boat. I'll join them for another paddle on Thursday.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Kayaking Indian Lake

Edward and Linda invited us to paddle from their place on Indian Lake today. The winds were pretty strong, so we just went about 6 miles round trip, as shown by the red dotted line on the map, then we visited at their camp for a while.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away - Come Back in a Month or So

We had another several inches of rain yesterday. The mosses and lichens love it. The humans, not so much.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Kayaking the Upper Osgood River

We finally had some good weather today - sunny and mid-70's. So we did a 10 mile round-trip paddle up to and on the Upper Osgood River today. We put in on Church Pond, since the water was plenty high enough for us to get through the channel into Osgood Pond. And I wanted to photograph the Rose Pogonia orchids that I remembered seeing in Church Pond in past years.
This part of the Osgood is lined with swamp laurel and other bog plants and tamarak trees, in contrast to the alder-lined lower Osgood which I hope to paddle soon.In addition to paddling to the end of the river, that is to the dam that prevents further navigation from this end, we explored a small tributary and went in about half a mile before encountering a beaver dam. There were good-sized alders growing on it, so clearly it had been there for a while.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


We had a good time at today's picnic at the Hardy camp on the St. Lawrence. There were about 20 of us. A few brought their boats and took short paddles. Because of the rainy forecast we elected not to take ours. But I'd like to next time. The river was much narrower and calmer than I expected and I'm looking forward to exploring it.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Another mostly rainy day. A and I drove to the SunFeather Soap factory store in Parrishville this morning and discovered that a bag sale was in progress - $10 for a bag-full of soap - so we came away with 4 bags! Their marketing leaves something to be desired, since I got no notification of the sale. I even called a couple of weeks ago to ask if they were having a sale soon, and they said no. So this post is to help me remember to call them around the 4th of July next year to see if a sale is going on.
Another note, I need to remember not to use the GPS to get me to the soap store. It led us a merry chase over a couple of dirt roads. But that delayed our arrival enough that we saw this fox across the road from the store.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Kayaks and Wildlife

We had a great family paddle on the flow this afternoon. A and J managed quite well in the double kayak.A great blue heron flew right in front of the boats and we paddled very close to this large snapping turtle.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Trip to the Garnet Mines

AA&J arrived on Thursday, to very rainy weather. It finally let up a bit today so we went to Barton Mines to search for garnets. The site is a pit full of waterwith small garnets all over the ground to be picked up.There are large patches embedded in the surrounding rocks, but they are too fragile to dig out. A frog chorused us most of the time we were there, and we found large tadpoles in the water.Then driving home, what must have been a coyote crossed the road in front of us. Very cool.