Sunday, September 25, 2022

A Visit to Prince Edward Island, Canada


Steve, Cathy, Dave, and Helen visit Prince Edward Island, Canada. 


We strolled the boardwalk of Cavendish Beach in the Prince Edward Island (PEI) National Park.

We spent one evening at a Ceilidh in Stanley Bridge Hall. A Ceilidh (pronounced "Kay Lee") is a celebration of music connecting traditional music from Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton Island. An evening enjoyment of music complete with stories, fiddling, song, and step-dancing.


We visited the lighthouse in North Rustico, one of sixty-one lighthouses on PEI.  We saw the offshore statue in North Rustico harbor celebrating the role of the fishing industry in the lives of the people of PEI.

A must-visit in PEI is the home of  Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green GablesCathy and I had previously watched an Anne of Green Gables movie, and Cathy could not wait to see the homestead of L.M. Montgomery (her author name), as described in the movie and book. We walked the garden enjoyed by her and read the signs with excerpts from her books (most signs in PEI are in English and French.) You will hear Cathy read one of the many meaningful signs along the path.   


The Buzz PEI is Prince Edward Island’s monthly Guide to "What’s Going On" featuring community events and local art, music, theatre, books, food & drink, film and more. https://buzzpei.com

We stayed in a delightful two-bedroom cottage at Cavendish Bosom Buddies Cottages and Suites.

Our visit was shortened because of Hurricane Fiona. We thoroughly enjoyed our two-night stay - originally planned for six nights. We could feel how proud the people felt to be P.E. Islanders. We definitely will return.

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References

Monday, August 15, 2022

Three-Day Canoeing-Camping in Saranac Lakes: Locks-Pizza-Knots


Tim, Dundee, Paul, and I recently returned from a three-day canoe and camping trip on Lower and Middle Saranac Lakes in the Adirondack region of upstate New York. This area includes Section 2 of the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trip described in the below references. The trip was initiated and organized by Paul.


The above map shows our two campsites (82 and 70), Middle and Lower Saranac Lake Locks, and the Registration site. The put-in and takeout are in the same area.

This region is part of the Saranac Lake Islands Public Campground Area. All campsites must be registered. Given the demand for this beautiful area, we did an early campsite registration. Reservations can be made at https://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com/


The weather was perfect for our three-day paddle and two nights of camping, EXCEPT for the return day. Our return four-hour paddle to the take-out started in nice weather, but the last two hours of this loaded canoe paddle were made in torrential rain and rolling waves. All of us had experienced this situation before, and we managed to keep upright but were exhausted from our vigorous and non-stop paddle.

Trip Highlights
  • A five-hour two-car trip from, NH, to Saranac Lakes, NY. The Registration Office is on Second Pond on Route 3 (see map.)
  • A three-day two- night paddling trip. Each morning we packed up our tents and moved to the next assigned site. We cooked all our meals over an open campfire.
  • Our day 1 paddle to our assigned site was 7 ½ miles and took about 5 hours of canoe paddling. This included passing through a lock from Lower Saranac Lake to Middle Saranac Lake. We operated the locks ourselves. Sometimes rangers are there, but this time we did it. A fun thing to do as we went up about five feet to reach the Middle Saranac Lake level. Upon our return in two days, we went through the same locks – this time dropping five feet by the locks.
  • Our day 2 paddle to our new campsite took about three hours. Once there, we set up again our campsite.
  • Our day 3 paddle took about 4 hours and was in the middle of a rainstorm. My son and I, as well as our two friends, had experienced this dramatic type of rain and waves before, so we handled it with no issue, but it certainly required more effort – meaning no leisurely paddling only strong paddling because we wanted to minimize the time to get back, as well as the wind and white caps were a bit challenging.









 




The trip detail is shown in the four below videos:
  1. Trip Summary (minus detail included in Videos 2, 3 and 4)
  2. Detail of going through Locks as we passed through Lower Saranac Lake to Middle Saranac Lake, and on day three a return trip through the same Lock. 
  3. Our campsite cooking experience was highlighted by Paul’s experiment with making a pizza from scratch (hint-it was delicious.) Plus our first dinner was steak and potatoes cooked over an open campfire, followed by breakfast of steak and eggs. 
  4. Paul’s tutorial on Knot Tying. Wilderness camping requires setting up tarps, and tents, and tying canoes and kayaks to the cartop. All necessities require knot tying.
1. Trip Summary Video (Detail included in videos 2, 3 and 4)


2. Passing Through the Saranac Locks

3. Cooking Pizza Over an Open Campfire


4. Knot Tying - Bowline and Truckers Hitch

Fun things we did:
  • Paul provided an instruction class on knot tying – Truckers Knot, clove hitch, etc. Paul usually uses these knots when we put up our tents and campsite tarps. We wanted to learn these knots for ourselves.
  • Paul, very creatively demonstrated and cooked a pizza over our campfire.
  • Went swimming.
  • Campfire evenings of memories and laughs from our many trips of years past.
  • Without assistance from a ranger, we twice took our canoes through locks. These manually-operated locks consist of a watertight basin known as a lock chamber, which is used to raise or lower the water level as required. Our canoes (and us) and other boats are raised or lowered by filling or emptying the lock chamber. Gates at each end of the lock chamber allow the canoes to enter and leave. First, we went from Lower Saranac Lake to Middle Saranac Lake. Upon our return to take-out, we went from Middle Saranac Lake to Lower Saranac Lake. The locks are there to allow boats to by-pass a series of rapids and waterfall which would require a portage and prevent most boats from traveling between the two lakes.
  • Dramatic Campsite Sunset 

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References
  1. Northern Forest Canoe Trail
    https://www.northernforestcanoetrail.org/
  2. Evolution of the locks joining the Saranac River Locks
    https://localwiki.org/hsl/Saranac_River_Locks
  3. How to tie a bowline – a tutorial
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxpIecNDq4A
  4. How to tie a Truckers Hitch - Survival Skills - Knots
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcRqeA9b90o
  5. Two Easy Ways to Tie a Clove Hitch Knot
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUBIvWf-Udc
  6. OutdoorSteve.com
    https://www.outdoorsteve.com
  7. New York State Parks
    https://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com/
  8. Three Generations Paddling in Saranac Lake
    https://outdooradventurers.blogspot.com/2018/06/three-generation-paddling-in-saranac.html
  9. Paddling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail Long Lake to Village of Saranac
    https://outdooradventurers.blogspot.com/2021/02/paddling-northern-forest-canoe-trail.html

    " Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

    ---------------------------------------------------

    Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Amazon's Kindle and hardcopy at Harborside Trading Company, 81 Main St, Sunapee, NHWild Goose Country Store, 77 Main St, Sunapee, NHMorgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Bookstore at Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH, and Village Sports, New London, NH.


      Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email and we can work out the logistics. 




    Additional Sources of Books at:
    Hardcopy at: http://outdoorsteve.com and https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X
    E-book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Hiking Phillips Memorial Preserve New London, NH

 The Phillips Memorial Preserve, New London, NH, is part of the NL Conservation Commission trail system. 

The Shore Loop Trail is on a wooded hillside between Goose Hole Pond and Otter Pond.  The trail is readily marked with a YOU ARE HERE notation map and trapezoid-shaped direction arrows at all intersections.  Trail highlights include a notable view of Mount Sunapee and Lake Sunapee and access to Otter Pond. The trail leaves from the parking area alongside Goose Hole Road, climbs by an old stone quarry, then reaches the top of the hill. Good views toward Lake Sunapee are seen from the trail as it heads down toward Otter Pond. At the trail intersection toward the bottom of the hill, a turn to the right takes one to the edge of the pond and a turn to the left goes back to the parking area. The trail is about a mile in length. Enjoy the below three-minute video.


" Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

---------------------------------------------------


Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Amazon's Kindle and hardcopy at Harborside Trading Company, 81 Main St, Sunapee, NHWild Goose Country Store, 77 Main St, Sunapee, NHMorgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Bookstore at Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH, and Village Sports, New London, NH.


  Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email and we can work out the logistics. 




Additional Sources of Books at:
Hardcopy at: http://outdoorsteve.com and https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X
E-book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X

 

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Sean McDonald, WMUR New Hampshire Chronicle Host, Interviews Skip Hause of ORFS

Seventy-eight years-young Skip Hause made a swim challenge to Helaina Sacco, Head Swimming, Diving Coach & Aquatics Coordinator for Colby-Sawyer College (CSC), New London, NH. For this swim, Helaina will also be joined by two of her collegiate swimmers, Quinn and Kelsey.

In the below video, Sean McDonald interviews Skip after Skip's Swim across Sunapee Harbor.



Other Swim Challenges by Skip
" Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Amazon's Kindle and hardcopy at Harborside Trading Company, 81 Main St, Sunapee, NHWild Goose Country Store, 77 Main St, Sunapee, NHMorgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Bookstore at Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH, and Village Sports, New London, NH.


  Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email and we can work out the logistics. 




Additional Sources of Books at:
Hardcopy at: http://outdoorsteve.com and https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X
E-book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Experience vs. Youth - A swim for the ages



Seventy-eight years-young Skip Hause made a swim challenge to Helaina Sacco, Head Swimming, Diving Coach & Aquatics Coordinator for Colby-Sawyer College (CSC), New London, NH. For this swim, Helaina will also be joined by two of her collegiate swimmers, Quinn and Kelsey.


Skip has challenged a celebrity swimmer in a fund-raiser for the past seven years in a half-mile open water swim from Sunapee Harbor’s Lake Avenue to Dewey Beach. 


Support Crew and CSC Challengers Planning Swim Strategy
The Handicap

Skip and Helaina agreed Skip needed a time handicap.  Helaina and Quinn would wait for a full sixteen minutes before she and Quinn start their swim. Thereafter, two minutes later, Kelsey, the current CSC school record holder in the 400 IM, 200 IM, 200 Fly, and 100 Fly would begin, giving Skip an eighteen-minute start on Kelsey.

The swimmers begin at Skip’s dock in Sunapee Harbor.

These sixteen and eighteen-minute times came from using Skip’s best time last year when he challenged Helaina given a twelve-minute lead and was easily passed by Helaina. Thus Helaina felt comfortable this year that the sixteen and eighteen-minute leads for Skip may result in them reaching the Dewey Beach shoreline simultaneously. 

New Hampshire WMUR TV hosted by Sean McDonald was on-site to film and interview the athletes.  Once the TV show is live, I will provide a link here.  It was my pleasure to see how a professional film crew works and to meet them in person.  Their use of a drone is remarkable. 

The below 16-minute video shares the Challenge with You.

----------------------------------

The stakes for this very sociable race raise funds for the Colby-Sawyer College swim team. 

Make Donations to Colby-Sawyer College

Mail checks payable to Colby-Sawyer College:

Colby-Sawyer College
Attn: Helaina Sacco, Head Swimming, Diving Coach & Aquatics Coordinator
 
541 Main Street
New London, NH 03257
Other Challenges by Skip
" Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

---------------------------------------------------

Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Amazon's Kindle and hardcopy at Harborside Trading Company, 81 Main St, Sunapee, NHWild Goose Country Store, 77 Main St, Sunapee, NHMorgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Bookstore at Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH, and Village Sports, New London, NH.


  Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email and we can work out the logistics. 




Additional Sources of Books at:
Hardcopy at: http://outdoorsteve.com and https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X
E-book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Paddling the Little Manatee River



My friend Mike and I were looking to do a Florida paddle we had not done before. My wife Catherine and I had visited the Little Manatee River State Park, and there I saw a new paddling opportunity, the Little Manatee River. We spoke to rangers at the entrance station about kayaking and canoe put-ins. We were very impressed with the cleanliness of the Park and the staff, who was very helpful with my many questions since I had never paddled the Little Manatee River.

I researched the Little Manatee River and found the article by James Steele referenced below.

The Little Manatee River flows 40-miles from east Fort Lonesome, Fl, into Tampa Bay. It is listed as "Outstanding Florida Water." The Little Manatee River includes a 10-mile designated paddling trail near Ruskin. The Designated Paddle Trail runs from the US 301 bridge nine miles downstream through the Little Manatee River State Park to Wildcat Park Boat Ramp.

Our paddle time would be limited to four hours. We would paddle two miles downstream and then back to our launch area.

We put our kayaks in at the State Park's new boat ramp, some of which are still under construction. The launch ramp is excellent for experienced paddlers, including handicap paddlers.

A word of caution here. This ramp, straight forward to launch, immediately drops you into deep water, so novice paddlers should put in at the Pavilion launch beach area. I suggest stopping at the entrance Ranger Station for put-in and paddling suggestions.

From the launch, we went river left, meandering downstream for two miles. We then turned back and returned upstream to our launch area.

The Little Manatee River is tannic and usually shallow with a sandy bottom. Rainfall runoff from a watershed of over 140 sq miles determines its clarity, depth, and flow. There is a rich diversity of Flora along this river, which is part of the Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve. Spanish Moss, including many-colored flowers, was seen throughout our paddle. Songbirds and beautiful egrets were seen.

There are turtles galore. And, as the Warning sign specifies at the put-in, there is an abundance of alligators. We saw four gators, ranging in size from a few feet and one over ten feet. Read the warning CAUTION sign

and stay away from riverside and swimming gators.

On the day of our paddle, Mike and I stopped at the Ranger Station, and received maps and advice from the most helpful rangers. We were told we might expect to see a manatee.

Alligators, turtles, manatees, exotic flora - wow - make an exciting trip.

We felt a four-mile paddle would be within our time and distance journey. Our trip would first entail testing the upstream current flow, as we wanted to be sure once we paddled two miles downstream, we could quickly return upstream to our starting launch area. Then we proceeded to paddle two miles downstream, monitored by my iPhone app with GPS and map.

Directions

Located off U.S. 301 five miles south of Sun City Center on Lightfoot Road, and seven miles north of Parrish, FL.

The Little Manatee River is designated an Outstanding Florida Waterway. The river is referred to as a blackwater stream because of its dark, tea-like color caused by the organic debris in the water.

Other Florida Paddles by OutdoorSteve are listed in References.
" Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"
---------------------------------------------------

Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Amazon's Kindle and hardcopy at Harborside Trading Company, 81 Main St, Sunapee, NHWild Goose Country Store, 77 Main St, Sunapee, NHMorgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Bookstore at Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH, and Village Sports, New London, NH.


  Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email and we can work out the logistics. 




Additional Sources of Books at:
Hardcopy at: http://outdoorsteve.com and https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X
E-book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Winter Rowing with the Sarasota County Rowing Club (SCRC)

 


Background

In 2015 I regularly passed a road sign advertising Rowing Lessons by the Lake Sunapee Rowing Club (LSRC). With my wife’s urging and my mantra of “Never say I wish I had…,” I decided to sign up for four weeks of rowing classes. I continued my sessions the following year.

A friend read my Rowing through the eyes of a Beginner blog post and called me. I accepted the offer of his 20-plus year single scull. Since then, my summer morning rowing has included three-plus miles two to three days a week.

Sarasota County Rowing Club

I joined the Sarasota County Rowing Club (SCRC) during my 2022 winter visit to Florida. Under coaching supervision, I rowed the quad scull, doubles scull, single scull, and Sweep 8 plus coxswain. We rowed along the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW) in the Gulf of Mexico.

Racing shells range in overall length from 62-feet for an eight, 44-feet for a quad scull, 34-feet for a double scull, and 27 feet for a single scull. 
The difference between sculling and sweep is that the sculler rower has two oars, whereas the sweep rower has one oar.

My Quest

My quest to join SCRC was to improve my rowing skills and be an SCRC crew member in a competitive race. My goal was to participate with the SCRC in regional and national regattas, specifically when the SCRC hosts the nationally recognized Sarasota Invitational Regatta (SIR) held annually in February at Nathan Benderson Park. My journey was stifled when the SIR was unexpectedly canceled, followed by another local regatta withdrawal due to Covid-19. Further, in late March, I had a medical issue that stopped me from rowing for six weeks.

Leadership

Coach Dragos Alexandru is head coach, and a former Olympian. He is ably assisted by Coach Ray and Coach Joe. In addition, experienced rowers are always available with suggestions and guidance.

One of our quad rows was exciting as four 12' dolphins swam around our scull. Seeing such magnificent and large creatures swim a foot away from our scull was a thrill - and admittedly a bit scary.

The Videos

The below pictures and videos are shared moments I enjoyed with SCRC at their Blackburn Point Road boatyard, Osprey, Fl, and their ERG training center. And of course, I made many new friends.

The three videos below are a mixture of my eight weeks of rowing with SCRC:

1. The First Video is an overview of my first SCRC Quad row: the SCRC boatyard storage, boat launch, and intercoastal waterway (ICW) where we did our rowing in a bay of Siesta Key.


2. The Second Video is the importance of caring for the rowing boats after each use.


3. The Third Video is my Sweep 8 plus coxswain rows with Coach Joe.

Summary of Steve's Rows with SCRC Coaches

Scull/Sweep

Coach

Quad

Coach Ray and Coach Dragos

Single

Coach Dragos

Eight plus Coxswain Sweep

Coach Joe

Double

Peter

Casey Key - SCRC Training Location

Casey Key is a barrier island off the coast of Southwest Florida, located south of Siesta Key.

Click this link to SUBSCRIBE to OutdoorSteve's YouTube Channel
References:

Monday, April 4, 2022

Paddling Robinson's Preserve into Tampa Bay

 

Dundee and and Steve kayaked two hours in Robinson Preserve, Manatee County, Bradenton, Florida. The Robinson Preserve borders the mouth of the Manatee River directly across from Emerson Point. This Preserve opens to Tampa Bay and Anna Maria Island.


Robinson Preserve is a 620 preserve with 40 acres of peaceful mangrove-lined waterways and mangrove water tunnel passages for canoeing and kayaking. It offers well-maintained put-ins and take-outs with restrooms, picnic shelters, kayak and canoe wash stations with hoses, and a 40-foot observation tower with a 360-degree view of the Preserve.

Directions to Robinson Preserve

From Bradenton, we take Manatee Road toward Anna Maria Island. A mile before the bridge to Anna Maria, 75th Street Crosses Manatee Road. Take a right on 75th Street. Continue to near the end of the road, and take 17th Avenue on your left. Continue to the end of 17th Avenue, and Robinson Preserve Park is in front of you.

The Robinson Preserve borders the mouth of the Manatee River. The Preserve opens to Tampa Bay, Anna Maria Island, and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, the 2nd longest bridge in Florida.

Our Route.

We see the observation tower after a ten-minute paddle from the kayak put-in. We land our kayaks and climb the tower for a fantastic 360-degree view of the region. In particular, we see Anna Maria Island, Tampa Bay, and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

We paddle across the lagoon from the tower put-in, looking for the mangrove trail under a footbridge. The trail bears left and right under the same footbridge, entering Tampa Bay. We then see clear Bay blue water and the four and a half mile Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

Enjoy the below 4-minute video of kayaking in Robinson Preserve.

------------------------------------------------------------
Below, our New Hampshire neighbors join us in putting together a 1008 Piece Puzzle graciously given to Cathy by Cousin Linwood.  After four days of late-night effort, we (mostly Cathy and Dundee) completed the puzzle that celebrates the Knife Edge Trail hike. L-to R: Paul, Mike, Dundee, Tim, Shaun, and Steve as they celebrate their conquest of one of the most dangerous hikes in New England. We accomplished our goals:

1. Hike to Baxter Peak, the northern terminus of the 2,162 mile Appalachian Trail (AT).
2. Cross the fabled 1.1 mile Knife Edge Trail.
3. Hike five miles on the AT starting at its northern beginning at Baxter Peak.

Our ultimate achievement through endurance and teamwork brought satisfaction because of the challenges and time on the mountain.  Our Mt. Katahdin accomplishment was both physically demanding and mentally 
challenging. I am incredibility proud of my fellow adventurers and how we worked together for this team triumph.



Click this link to SUBSCRIBE to OutdoorSteve's YouTube Channel

" Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"
---------------------------------------------------

Steve’s books are available as hardcopy and e-Books at Amazon's Kindle and hardcopy at Harborside Trading Company, 81 Main St, Sunapee, NHWild Goose Country Store, 77 Main St, Sunapee, NHMorgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH, Bookstore at Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Gift Shop, Lebanon, NH, and Village Sports, New London, NH.


  Outdoor Play has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. The book will motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life. If you want 5 or more books signed, send Steve an email and we can work out the logistics. 




Additional Sources of Books at:
Hardcopy at: http://outdoorsteve.com and https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X
E-book at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098503842X