Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hike to Devil's Pulpit

It's been raining for days so we went on a hike today even though it was still raining and SNOWING. Just wet stuff in the air that didn't stick to anything, but still... It isn't even October yet.

We bushwacked from Route 3 to the large rock called Devil's Pulpit overlooking the Saranac River between the Upper Locks and Lower Saranac Lake. There is a little dot in the river in this photo that is a lone kayaker.Given all the rain, we saw some neat fungi.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Kayaking the Raquette River

We put in at Stoney Creek and paddled up to the falls and returned for a total of 11.5 miles. The lighting was wrong to get a good photo of the falls (I'd call it rapids), but this gives an idea.We also walked the 1.25 mile carry around the falls. It was a nice hike, but can't imagine carrying heavy boats and gear as everyone else was doing. The sign at the top of the falls gives an idea of how treacherous it is - that is the ripped-off bow of a canoe hanging on the sign.The reason for doing the paddle today was to see the maple trees at their peak. But we discovered that most of the trees lining the river are silver maples, which haven't begun to turn yet, instead of red maples. So while it was colorful,later would have been even better. After the paddle and hike we drove into Saranac Lake for dinner at Nonna Fina, which we had been wanting to try. It was not worth the drive; no better than Little Italy. But the sunset over Lower Saranac Lake was great.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kayaking from South Creek to Second Pond

Today we repeated a paddle we did in June, except this time the weather was great. We decided to join the 8-mile ADK paddle through Middle and Lower Saranac Lakes since this is one of our favorite places and you have to have cars at each end to do it. We've never seen Middle Saranac Lake so still.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kayaking Raquette Lake to Hemlock Hall

We paddled with the Wayfarers again today, with the usual collection of boats.We went from Raquette Lake through the Marion River,Utowana Lake, Eagle Lake, and Blue Mountain Lake as we did last year, for a total of 12.5 miles of paddling plus the carry from Raquette Lake to Utowana. The weather was great though it got a bit windy on Blue Mountain Lake. This year, due to road construction, we could not stop at the beach on Blue Mountain Lake for wine and cheese before heading for dinner. So we paddled directly to Hemlock Hall where 17 of us had a nice dinner.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wilmington Notch Falls

It was a beautiful day today and it was about time for some more apples, so I used that as an excuse to drive to Pray's farm market in Keeseville and stopped at the falls on the Ausable River at Wilmington Notch on the way back home. I love the "rocks and roots" at the falls overlook.And the falls were as great as ever.There was a lot less water than there is earlier in the season, but that means there were more rocks to scramble on and it was easier to ford the little streams flowing into the river as I made my way upstream.

Note: I've since been told that Banker's Orchards on Route 3 west of Plattsburgh is a good place to get apples. I'll probably try them next time.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Fungus Among Us

I ran across this in the woods while I was cutting kindling. I have no idea what type it is.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kayaking Lake Lila

Eleven of us paddled Lake Lila and Beaver River today.We had never been on Lake Lila, mostly because of the rough 1/3 mile carry from the parking lot to the lake. Though the 5.6 mile rough dirt road is not much fun either. We took our single kayaks and took 2 trips to carry them down to the lake. So we got plenty of walking in addition to a 9 mile paddle, which included about a mile each way on the river, going down until we hit rapids. The lake has a reputation for rough water so we were glad that though the day turned gray, the water was calm enough not to cause problems. One problem with my paddling my single kayak, particularly while trying to keep up with a group, is that I don't get a chance to take pictures. The leaves are beginning to turn and once they get prettier I'm going to insist on going out more by ourselves so we can get lots of nice photos. Also, we'll need to go back to Lake Lila, probably next fall since it is so crowded in the summer, so we can explore it more fully. Today we made a beeline for the river, stopped for lunch at a campsite, then headed directly back to the carry.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


We are back at camp and hope to relax today after many days of hard work in NJ. S's porch is nearly done. There are just a few "fiddley bits" left for her to do. We didn't finish with the railing until after dark, but this photo shows it off nicely.Here is the before view. Quite a contrast.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Change of Scenery

We left camp for NJ early enough this morning that we were able to walk on the beach this afternoon.

The Culprit

We woke this morning to yet another damaged bird feeder. I don't know why I bother. These little hand-like prints in the dew on the steps identified the culprit.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Kayaking Tupper Lake

I am addicted - to sunshine and quiet waters. We were supposed to stay home today and do some chores and get ready to drive to NJ tomorrow. I was outside hanging clothes early this morning and couldn't get enough of the sunshine and stillness. The weather is wonderful and is supposed to stay this way for days - beautiful blue skies and low 70's. So I dragged W on yet another paddle - not that he objected. We needed something short and close to home, so we put into Tupper Lake at the Route 30 parking area on Rock Island Bay and paddled to the outlet of Bridge Brook Pond. We stopped along the way at Black Point for lunch. We looked for the campsite that shows on the paddlers' map, but couldn't find it so we just lunched on the rocks. We walked along the trail to the pond, which is just to the right of the outlet, and discovered that if we had lightweight boats we could have portaged them easily. The trail is narrow, but fairly flat with few obstacles under foot. There are a couple of wet sections so we were glad we waited until things dried out a bit. After viewing the pond, we headed back home. The total paddling distance was just about 5 1/2 miles.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Kayaking Cedar River Flow

We did another "adventure paddle" with Cindy today. We put into Cedar River Flow at the Wakely Dam end, paddled to the other end, and out into the Cedar River, and back again for a total of about 9 miles.The adventure part is finding the correct channel through the reeds and grasses at the southern end of the flow. We did it right coming back but going from the flow to the river we didn't do so well. Here are W and Cindy saying "there has to be a channel here somewhere". I had the brilliant idea that a recent satellite view would be better than our old maps so I was trying to follow it. But since I didn't know where I was most of the time, that didn't help much. W's instincts were better, but we led him astray. After fighting through narrow channels lined with alders and pulling over a large downed tree, we managed to find the river. We paddled down to the lean-to on the Northville-Lake Placid trail for a relaxing lunch. Then we turned around and headed back. Sometime when we don't spend so much time looking for the channel, I'd like to explore more of the river. Maybe next year.