Saturday, August 29, 2009

Kayaking the St Regis Lakes

Today we went on a tour and paddle sponsored by the Adirondack Museum and the Wildcenter. We drove to Paul Smith's and took a tour of St. John's-in-the-Wilderness Episcopal Church. It has been a part of the life of the St. Regis community since the 1870's. Since sailboat races have long been a big part of that community, that is reflected in the center of this stained glass window in the church.Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau and some of his descendants are buried in the church graveyard. Trudeau was a pioneer in the wilderness cure of tuberculosis.After leaving the church, we went to Paul Smith's College and saw the location of the old Smith's Hotel and of some of the cottages built for guests. Then we had lunch in the Paul Smith's cafeteria prior to launching our boats on Lower St. Regis Lake. We paddled into Spitfire Lake

and pulled up next to Rabbit Island where we saw this plaque.

It reads: "On this island in 1886 Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau conducted his historic experiment to determine the effect of environment on the incidence and progress of tuberculosis in a colony of rabbits. This plaque was placed by Trudeau Institute, Inc. in commemoration of this pioneering study in experimental epidemiology."
Then we continued into Upper St. Regis and turned west and headed for the esker that encloses Spectacle Ponds. We climbed the esker where the naturalist described its formation by a glacier.
Then we went back along the Upper St. Regis shoreline toward the take-out at the Upper St. Regis boat ramp, for a total paddle of 6 miles, carefully avoiding the course of the sailboat race in progress. The boats were very picturesque, but it was pouring rain by that time so I did not get a photo.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Kayaking Cheney Pond and the Boreas River

We had a great paddle today. Cindy went with us to another of the Paddle Pursuits. We put into Cheney pond, down a rutted gravel road off the Blue Ridge Road, and paddled the 1/2 mile or so to the end. The pond is so small I wasn't going to bother paddling it, until friends told us that you could get to the Boreas River from there. The river is known here as the Lester Flow, since there used to be a dam downstream that flooded a larger area.The entrance to the outlet from Cheney Pond is so shallow we had to get out and pull our boats, carefully avoiding soft spots where others have gone in to their thighs. We paddled the outlet for a bit, then had to get out again to carry around rocks. There is a path through the bushes on the left that made this possible. Definitely a good thing we had our single kayaks. The river itself was very nice.But we did encounter several beaver dams. Going downstream we only had to get out and carry around one dam, with some nice rides through holes in others. But coming back upstream there was another we had to carry around since the current was so strong. At the spot where the dam used to be we got out on the east side and climbed up the rocks to get this view of the high peaks. It was a great place for lunch.The total round trip paddle was about 6 miles, which was plenty given the effort it took. It is also possible to go upstream a 1/2 mile or so from the outlet from Cheney Pond, but we didn't do that.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kayaking Hoel Pond

I guess today's paddle doesn't really count, especially since we paddled much more of Hoel Pond earlier in the season as part of the paddle from Long Pond. But we spent most of the day at a picnic at Bill and Ginger's and had a great time.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Kayaking West and Canada Lakes

Today six of us drove south (a total of about 2 1/2 hours drive for us) to put into West Lake, at the fishing access shown with a red "x" on the map. Note that the Trails Illustrated map is incorrect about the location of the boat ramp. The one on the map is a residents' only put in. But the fishing access closer to Route 10 was quite adequate.We paddled just a bit into Canada Lake then went down the outlet through Lily Lake and all the way down to the dam at Stewart's Landing and then back for a total of 9 miles.We took our single boats. It was the most I have paddled in mine but I managed to keep up pretty well.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Remember that kayak we were building? Well, given that the summer is just about over, we decided maybe we had better do some work on it. Actually, the summer has been so wet and cool there really hasn't been much opportunity for epoxy to set. W has done most of the work, putting the cowling around the cockpits and cutting and gluing supports around the hatches - requiring the use of many clamps.And he has sanded the bottom and one side, which did not take as much time as we had feared.There is a bit more epoxying to do and we still hope to do that soon. And W will try to finish the sanding too. After reading the instructions on the marine varnish (of which we need 5 coats with wet sanding in between) and learning that it should not be applied when it is humid - yeah, right - we decided we will take the boat to NJ to do that part, probably next spring. Maybe we will have a spectacular fall with crystal blue skies and low humidity which would cause us to rethink that decision, but given the weather up until now, that seems highly unlikely. Besides, if the weather were like that, I would want to be paddling every day.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Caution, Racy Content

Looking up text online for playing with Wordle reminded me of a song that I've looked up in the past and think is quite fun. So here it is.

Well a Scotsman clad in kilt left a bar one evening fair
And one could tell by how he walked that he drunk more than his share
He fumbled round until he could no longer keep his feet
Then he stumbled off into the grass to sleep beside the street
Ring ding diddle diddle I de oh ring di diddly I oh
He stumbled off into the grass to sleep beside the street

About that time two young and lovely girls just happened by
And one says to the other with a twinkle in her eye
See yon sleeping Scotsman so strong and handsome built
I wonder if it's true what they don't wear beneath the kilt
Ring ding diddle diddle I de oh ring di diddly I oh
I wonder if it's true what they don't wear beneath the kilt

They crept up on that sleeping Scotsman quiet as could be
Lifted up his kilt about an inch so they could see
And there behold, for them to see, beneath his Scottish skirt
Was nothing more than God had graced him with upon his birth
Ring ding diddle diddle I de oh ring di diddly I oh
Was nothing more than God had graced him with upon his birth

They marveled for a moment, then one said we must be gone
Let's leave a present for our friend, before we move along
As a gift they left a blue silk ribbon, tied into a bow
Around the bonnie star, the Scots kilt did lift and show
Ring ding diddle diddle I de oh ring di diddly I oh
Around the bonnie star, the Scots kilt did lift and show

Now the Scotsman woke to nature's call and stumbled towards a tree
Behind a bush, he lift his kilt and gawks at what he sees
And in a startled voice he says to what's before his eyes.
O lad I don't know where you been but I see you won first prize
Ring ding diddle diddle I de oh ring di diddly I oh
O lad I don't know where you been but I see you won first prize

And I "wordled" it of course - do you suppose that is already a word?


This is really cool. We were at a talk at the Wildcenter today where the authors of a new book about the Adirondacks used the program found at to produce slides showing the topics in each section of the book. Wordle takes any text and creates a graphic that "gives greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text". And you have lots of control over the results, choosing fonts, colors, shape, etc. Here is what I created for "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe. Here is another one. Can you guess what it is?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


We were awakened last night by the sound of a bear trying to get into our trashcan. The bear-proof strap that holds the lid on earned its name, but the can is definitely the worse for wear this morning. When we heard the loud noise, W jumped out of bed and got the high-powered light he keeps in his closet for just such an occasion and we watched the very large bear roll the can around a few more times, then give up and saunter away up the driveway. Definitely glad we were sleeping inside four solid walls and not a tent.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Deck Refinishing

We've been playing hard. Now time to get some work done around camp. We've spent the last couple of days refinishing the deck and back porch. Actually, the porch isn't finished yet; we realized if we did both at the same time, we would not be able to get in and out of the house. W washed down the surfaces with a cleaner and power washer. Then we applied Sikkens, using the teak color this time. Hopefully it will last longer than the last finish did. This post is mostly so we can look back and see when we did the work. I will also note that 2 gallons was just barely enough.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


We heard a loon calling closeby early this morning, so we went down to the lake to see it. Instead, our attention was grabbed by 4 otters swimming toward the point. We knew they were in the lake but rarely see them, so it was a real treat.

And a couple nights ago while walking back from Rose and Kay's we saw bats flying overhead along the driveway. Because of the white nose disease that is killing them off, I had wanted to go out and look for them, but hadn't gotten around to it. So it was great to see them still around.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Kayaking Lake Placid

Another calm day and another lake. We went on an ADK paddle on Lake Placid today. There were only 6 of us in 3 boats. We did an 8 mile circumference of the lake. Here is a view from Echo Bay where we stopped for lunch.
We have paddled about 27 miles in 3 days. Time to stay home tomorrow and get some chores done.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Kayaking Lake Champlain

Another great day today. Since the weather was again forecast to be calm we headed for Lake Champlain, where we have wanted to paddle since the ADK fall outing last September. We put in to the Ausable River where Route 9 crosses it and paddled out the northern route shown in this aerial photo.Then we paddled out into the lake, which was fairly calm considering its size; but we were glad we had our spray skirts on.We hauled up on this sand bar and had lunch facing the lake with the Green Mountains of Vermont in the distance. Then we pulled the boat over the bar (the shortest portage we have ever taken) and traveled on the other branch of the river back to our starting point for a total of about 5 miles of paddling.

Then we drove the short distance to Plattsburgh where we did some shopping (naturally) and saw the movie "Julie and Julia", which was fun.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kayaking Cranberry Lake

What a beautiful day. And the next 5 days are to be sunny as well - finally. The winds were forecast to be "light and variable", which is the closest we get to "calm", so we headed for Cranberry Lake, another of the Paddle Pursuit goals. We put in just past the Pine Cone Restaurant along the road to the Ranger School in Wanakena. Then we paddled the length of Dead Creek Flow and back for a total of 13 3/4 miles, as shown on the map. We also stopped at several nice campsites to break up the trip.We got an early start and since it was very foggy this morning, we saw scenes like this.And all the spider webs were covered with dew. The fog burned off quickly and we were left with scenes like this.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Jersey

Today we drive back to camp after a busy week in NJ. Over the weekend we worked on S's porch. During the week we visited AA&J, where A and I picked some blueberries and peaches; I picked blackberries at the Berry Farm in Colts Neck; we walked on the beach; we participated in the MCC sing of Bach's B Minor Mass; we did lots of shopping, including buying yummy corn-on-the-cob to take back; and last evening we went to an organ concert in Ocean Grove. So we got to do lots of the things I've been missing since we aren't in NJ during the summer.

When I was looking to see if there would be an organ concert we could attend, I looked up the schedule online and saw that yesterday's recital included "The Storm" but gave no more information. So I googled it and this is what I found. Check out the link - it proves you can find anything on the web. It is a NY Times article reporting that Ocean Grove residents complained that "The Storm", an organ piece which we now know is by Jacques Lemmens and is otherwise known as "Grand Fantasia in E Minor", is so loud it "disturbs their afternoon naps and annoys them at tea time". The article was published July 16, 1909.