Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tuesday August 23, 2011 Long Pond to Paul Smiths College

This was our 2nd kayaking trip of our vacation. We missed the trip on Monday as we were in Greenwich for the house inspection on Megan's home that she is purchasing. On Monday night the "planning meeting" took place to determine the paddle on Tuesday.
The Planning Session
We started at the bottom and worked our way up to Paul Smiths

On Tuesday morning we were dropped off at the boat launch for Long Pond. We got the boats ready while Tim & Doug drove to Paul Smith's College to leave a vehicle there for our one way trip.
Megan at the launch at Upper St. Regis Lake

We headed out for our multi-lake trip. The weather was uncertain, so we were prepared with spray skirts and raincoats. There was an island straight ahead of us. It looked so pretty.
The first Island we came across

We headed off to the left edge of Upper St. Regis Lake. We saw some beautiful homes on this Lake. They were so unique and different from each other. This home had logs for the roof rafters and split logs for trim. In my opinion, it was very "adirondack-style".  
Logs for trim and rafters
Just another pretty house

We paddled to the former home of Marjorie Merriweather Post, founder of General Foods. She has quite an autobiography. Her home, Camp Topridge is where she lived with her 2nd husband E.F. Hutton. She considered it a "rustic retreat". there were 68 buildings, with butlers and 207 acres. Topridge is located between The Spectacle Ponds and Upper St. Regis lake. The property was left to the state of New York. Much of the property and buildings were sold and a portion was left to the Adirondack Forest Preserve. The lakeside buildings are currently owned by Harlan Crow,Texas Real Estate.
1st Boathouse at Topridge

2nd Boathouse at Topridge

The front view of the 2nd Boathouse

Close-up of the inside walls and windows

We paddled through a small pass and headed for Rabbit Island. You can read more about Rabbit Island on Google search: Edward Livingston Trudeau. I was unable to post the actual link. The island is Posted - No Trespassing.

After Rabbit Island we paddled in Spitfire Lake. There were more beautiful homes and Boat houses all over these lakes. Many were very unique.

There is a name, Rutjies Camp, woven into the top of the arch

Cruising by

We saw loons along the way. Megan had a lot of fun with them. We were very entertained.

We paddled into Lower St. Regis Lake and headed for Paul Smiths College where we would get out. The view of the campus was very nice. There was a fire pit on the shore. It must be nice to sit by a campfire with a view of the lake.

The college

The fire pit

Sue waits for a ride

Our trip took over 2 hours. It was a really nice paddle! More pictures from the day:


Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 21, 2011 Rollins Pond

We started our camping trip to Rollins Pond. We arrived on Saturday August 20th. Tim and I were delayed a few hours due to an unexpected trip to the Vet. Otis the cat has a bad limp and was given a shot for inflamation.
When we arrived at our campsite, everyone else was there and about 90% set up. They even had our tent set up! What a nice surprise. Megan went ahead of us and met Doug & Cindy and Gary & Sharon. They went out for breakfast before heading to Rollins Pond. Our sites are pretty nice. They are right next to each other and are very easy to get together for meals, etc.
Megan & Sue 
Sunday morning we woke up to a thunderstorm.We had breakfast and decided to go ahead and go kayaking. The lightning had stopped, but we still had some rumbles of thunder.The guys had mapped out our trip for the day. It included portaging our boats across several land areas to paddle a circle that would bring us right back to our campsites.
Rollins Pond to Floodwood Pond to Whey Pond and back To Rollins Pond

Manipulating the rocks

We started out at our beach and headed north. We brought rain gear with us because we were pretty certain that we would get caught in the rain.The water was pretty calm for a potentially rainy day. We paddled into a narrow creek like area. The water was pretty shallow here. Cindy got out of her boat and pulled it through. The rest of us paddled through the best we could, using our hands to push off the rocks in the shallow areas to get through. It worked pretty well. I hate having to get out because the water is too shallow.

We paddled to a section that had some rocks to sort of weave through. It was pretty through there. We paddled under a bridge next. By this time the rain had started and we put our raincoats on.
Raindrops on my kayak
 We headed to the shore to the portage path to Whey Pond. This was the first Portage that we had to do. We put our boats on our wheels and carefully pulled them along the path. There were a lot of exposed roots to navigate over. At one point the roots were big enough to knock my wheels out from under my kayak. Tim re-positioned them and off we went.

Portage to Whey Pond
 Throughout our trip, we had a little fun with the Loons. Megan had found a Loon call on her cell phone. Whenever we saw Loons on the water, she turned it on. It was really funny to watch the Loons respond to the calls on the phone. At first they would look around, and then they would finally answer back. It was if they were saying, "Where are you? I can't find you!"
Loons- looking for Megan's "phone loon"

As we paddled across Whey Pond, Megan & I were busy with the Loons and missed a bald eagle flying towards us. Tim called us and showed us where it landed. It was at the top of a tree. It was magnificent. I just can't get enough of them. It stayed at the top of the tree and just looked out over the water. Perhaps it was looking for some fish for dinner. We paddled away and before too long we noticed that the eagle was gone.
Beautiful Bald Eagle

We had one more carry to get back into Rollins Pond. This one was much shorter & easier. Tim & Megan took Tims kayak across and then came back over to get Megan's and mine It ended up that Doug took the front end of Megans boat while Tim took the back of her boat and the front of my boat and Megan took the back of my boat.It was a regular parade.

We put the boats back in to Rollins Pond near Site # 1 and paddled to our sites (221-223). It was a really nice paddle. We hit a few submerged logs and pushed our way through a few shallow spots, but it didn't rain too hard to ruin the trip!

Our boats stacked on the beach

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tim & Nancy's 2011 Kayaking Adventures: July 31, 2100

Tim & Nancy's 2011 Kayaking Adventures: July 31, 2100

July 31, 2100

Back To Sherman Island

A few weeks ago I ran into Megan's Godmother, Linda at Brueggers Bagels. It has been quite a while since we have seen Linda & Rick. We had a nice talk. I knew that they have kayaks so I asked if they had been out recently. As we talked I told her about some of the places that we go. I also said that I would call them to go kayaking with us. So on Friday I called to see if they were interested in going out on Sunday morning. Plans were set to meet at our house at 8 AM on Sunday morning. Megan wanted boats in the water by 8:30!
Tim, Megan & Rick

We decided to take them to Sherman Island. Even if they had never kayaked before, this is the place to go. No waves, few people. You've heard me say it before. Megan was with us- a chance to get reacquainted with her Godparents.
Linda & Rick
Megan & Sue

Linda was relieved to see how calm the water was. When I told her that we were doing a little section of the Hudson River; needless to say, she was a little concerned. We had a great paddle and enjoyed having another couple to go out with.
Tim & Rick (such a tall guy in such a short boat)

Dundee Tim

Rick is such a joker. When we were getting ready to leave he said he was going to have to go shopping if they were going to kayak with us again. Our boats were too new! He's funny.

Nothing more to say in words... just pictures!
Tim, Nance & Megan
Grass under the water

Sunday, July 31, 2011

July 22-24 Little Tupper Lake

On Friday July 22nd we headed to Little Tupper Lake for a camping trip. We launched our boats at the William C. Whitney Wilderness Area in the town of Long Lake, NY. (1 1/2 hour north of Warrensburg)  New York State acquired this property from the Whitney family in 1997 and it became open to the public in 1998. Little Tupper Lake is approximately 1 mile across and 6 miles long. Motors are not allowed on the lake. There are no fees to use the facility. Camping is on designated campsites on a first come, first serve basis. The sites are barely visible from the water and have quite some distance between them.
 After we were welcomed by a Park Ranger and given the rules of the area, we packed our kayaks and headed out.  From the launch area you can see the Whitney home across the lake, This weekend we kayaked and camped with Doug & Cindy, Gary & Sharon & Arvin. The shallowness of the lake and the prevailing winds will often result in large waves. For this reason, we used our spray skirts to keep water out of our boats. We were in the middle of a heat wave, so the temperature was hot! Tim, Gary & I wore bandanas to keep the sweat from running down our faces and to protect the guys from the sun. The waves were larger than we would have liked, so we paddled close to shore.
Ranger gives us the Rules

We paddled about 2 miles to get to our sites. Because our group would end up with 9 of us, we had to get 2 sites. There is a maximum of 8 campers on the campsites. Gary, Sharon & Arvin set up camp on site #4. They would be joined by Sharon's daughter Jessica, her husband Rich and their son Cade. Doug, Cindy, Tim & I were on site # 6. Our site was really nice. Our tents were up on a hill overlooking the lake. We had plenty of room and a beautiful view of the lake. 
Our kayaks

We spent the rest of Friday afternoon setting up our campsite and swimming. Gary, Sharon & Arvin came over for chili & cornbread for dinner. As we sat around talking before dinner we were attacked by flies! They weren't black flies, they were more like HOUSE flies! They really bite too! In spite of the the hot temperature, we ended up putting on long pants to keep them from biting. But that wasn't enough. I had to resort to extreme measures to cover my ankles. Bug spray didn't keep them away, so I used... bandanas!
Bandana Bug Protection
Cindy's Chili & Cornbread!
 When I was swimming, I went around the rocks where we had parked our boats and discovered that we had a nice sandy area. Doug named it "Nancy's Beach".

After dinner I went down and sat on the rocks by the shore while Tim paddled out farther in the lake to purify some water. While he was gone, a beaver swam up to a little cove near where I was sitting. It saw me move, slapped it's tail at me and went under water. When it surfaced again it went back into the cove to chew on some leaves that were on a limb laying in the water. It was fun to watch it swim and eat.
Tim purifies our water

The beaver swims away (upper left)

 On Saturday morning we got up and got moving so we could paddle farther down the Lake. Tim's back was killing him. Between already being sore and then sleeping on the ground... he was hurting. After we had breakfast we started out. There were some waves on the water, so we put our spray skirts on. We hadn't paddled very far when I felt a fly biting my legs! I had trapped one under my cover. I had to stop and open the cover to let him out. Once he was gone, I could enjoy the paddle.

We like to check other campsites as we go around the Lake. One site had some interesting brick columns. It makes you wonder what they were once a part of.
3 Brick columns

We made a rest stop at a nice sandy beach area. There were wild blueberries growing on the shore that we made a snack of. We took a swim and relaxed. Once we finished swimming we got back in our boats and decided to head back. The paddle was going to be a little tougher since the wind and waves had picked up. We decided to head straight across the Lake rather than follow the shore. The paddle back was a little tougher than the paddle out. We parked our boats at "Nancy's Beach" and went back up to camp. A little later we went down for a swim.
Swimming out at the Blueberry beach
Wild Blueberries

Beach grasses

In the evening we had our dinner and a nice "little" fire before going to bed for the night. The loons weren't as loud during the night as they had been on Friday night,
Doug makes a small fire
 Sunday morning we were up early to start breaking down camp before breakfast, Gary was going to grill some rolls and SPAM for a nice breakfast sandwich. We made the sandwices and topped them off with some Cheez Whiz for a tasty treat.
Gary grills breakfast

Time to dish up

We had a pretty easy paddle back to the launch. The waves weren't too big, so we cut straight across the lake again. It was a great trip. We would like to go back for a day trip to paddle the other end of the Lake.

Sunday morning sunrise

Nance & Tim