Monday, August 24, 2015

Paddling Stillwater Reservoir

Friends said they enjoy paddling Stillwater Reservoir and we had never been there before, so we decided to join them, despite the 2 hour drive each way and the fact that in general we would much rather paddle a river than a big lake.  We only paddled a total of 6 miles, but it took much more energy than we expended going twice that far on our last paddle.  We started at the "you are here" point on the map below and paddled across the bay on the right heading up the lake.  The waves were so strong we considered turning back and later were sorry we didn't.  Instead we continued up the southern shore to campsite 7 where we had lunch before heading back to our starting point.
By that time the winds had increased and it took a lot of effort to get back.  It is a good thing I'm such a strong paddler, or I'd still be out there battling the waves.

But it was interesting to be on a reservoir with banks exposed all around.  It was very different from anyplace else we have paddled in the Adirondacks.  These photos were taken in the protected narrow part of the lake so the waves are not apparent.  In the wind and waves there was no way I could stop long enough to take a picture.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Paddling Little Tupper

The forecast today was for mid-70's and "light and variable" winds, a perfect day for paddling Little Tupper even though it is a summer Saturday.  We were in the water by 9 AM and there were few other people around.  By the time we were heading back to the put-in we saw a number of boats headed out, so we planned well.  We paddled a total of 12 miles, including the length of the lake and down the stream toward Rock Pond, turning around after about a mile at the first beaver dam.  It was a beautiful day, perfect for photos.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Paddling Follensby Pond

We had a unique opportunity today to paddle Follensby Pond, currently owned by the Nature Conservancy.  It is the famous site of the 1858 Philosophers' Camp of Ralph Waldo Emerson and others; and also the site where bald eagles were introduced into the Adirondacks in 1980. Since it was the Conservancy's group paddle and they weren't sure of the paddling ability of the participants, we didn't get to paddle much of the pond.  We just put in at the end of the road and paddled to the beach where we had lunch.
But it was nice to get at least that much of a glimpse of it.

At the beach I found something I had never seen before, tracks in the sandy bottom made by mussels.
After lunch we walked the short distance to the outlet of the lake.
We have paddled up to this point from the Raquette River.

It is unclear what the future will be for the pond.  The Conservancy has done a fish study that showed it is a unique habitat for trout, but public access would quickly deplete the supply.  So it probably won't be opened to the public, but instead will be sold privately.  So this may be the only time we get to paddle it.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Paddling the Ausable River

We put into the Ausable River off Route 9 north of Ausable Chasm.  We took the northern fork of the river after paddling under this railroad bridge which was built in 1913 and is still in use.
We had hoped to paddle into Lake Champlain, but it was too rough.
Instead, we explored the marshy area between the two arms of the Ausable then stopped for lunch on the beach.
After lunch some of us paddled most of the way out the southern fork of the river
before turning back to join the rest of the group and heading back to the cars, for a total of about 10 miles of paddling.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Paddling Floodwood to Polliwog

We did one of our favorite paddles today, putting in at Floodwood, paddling down Fish Creek through Fish Creek Ponds, down Spider Creek into Follensby Clear, and then carrying into Polliwog and paddling to the road where a car was spotted.  I took this photo of Polliwog while waiting for the car shuttle.

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Very Lucky Day

Not only did we do a new paddle today, but we really lucked out with the weather.  It is unusual to find somewhere we have never paddled, but most of the group had never paddled the entire length of Upper Saranac Lake.  It is a large lake and can get really rough if the wind is blowing.  Today was perfect - a light wind from the south.  So we put in at the Indian Carry at the southern end of the lake and paddled to the docks at Saranac Inn where we had shuttled the cars, for a total of 8 miles.
The weather was great as we set off.
We paddled past Chapel Island
and stopped at a campsite on Buck Island for lunch.  Placid Boatworks really needs to sign us up as advertisers.
Just as we landed at the north end of the lake, the dark clouds approached.
We quickly loaded the boats, and had just started driving away when the storm hit, nearly obliterating the road through the windshield.  We would have gotten drenched if we were still on the lake.
By the time we got home the sun was shining again.  Typical Adirondack weather.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Paddling to Raquette Falls

Today a group of us did the paddle from Axton Landing to Raquette Falls that was aborted in June due to high water.  At that time the water was up to the bottom of this sign, so paddling upstream did not seem to be a good idea.
Today the current wasn't too bad and we did the 12 mile round trip with no problem.  The "falls" is more like rocky rapids, but is still picturesque.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Paddling Hoel, Turtle, Slang

A group of us did the usual paddle of Hoel, Turtle, and Slang, ending up at our friends' camp for dessert.