Sunday, June 24, 2018

Three Generation Paddling in Saranac Lake


A celebration of high school graduations for Carson and Nicholas on Section 2 of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.  We wish them both success in their academic and outdoor endeavors - Carson at the University of Mississippi, and Nicholas in the United States Navy serving our country.

Preparation
  • 3 canoes and one kayak
  • One van carries two canoes, one kayak, camping gear and 2 people
  • One SUV with one canoe, the food and 5 people
  • Paul and Cheryl did the food for the trip.
  • Dundee has the kitchen stuff
  • Everyone brings their own silverware, drinking cups, flashlights, life jacket, paddle, tent, sleeping bag and other “stuff”
  • We will need to buy firewood in New York
Itinerary


Sunday 6/17 -  leave Sunapee by 9 am.
  • Drive to Saranac NY to Saranac Lake Islands State Park Campground on Route 3 for check-in registration (about 1 pm)
  • Drive to put in at South Creek Fishing Access site, Route 3, Middle Saranac Lake, unload and drive cars to State Park parking on Lower Saranac Lake and end of trip take out.
  • Paddle to Halfway Island on Middle Saranac Lake to set up camp. (at about 4pm) (Camp site Halfway Island #077)
Sunday 6/17 and Monday 6/18 -  explore Middle Saranac Lake and Weller Pond
Tuesday 6/19 -  pack up and paddle down the Saranac river, passing through Upper Lock onto Lower Saranac Lake and set up camp on Larom Island. (#023)
Wednesday 6/20 – pack up and paddle to State Park take out on Lower Saranac Lake, load up cars and drive back to Sunapee by around 6pm.

Trip Highlights
  • For most part, four-day weather was between 60 and 75 degrees - excellent. Exception was Day 1 weather in evening was heavy rain, but we set up tarps over camp table, firepit, and tents. Rain no major issue.
  • We all went swimming at both islands – water a bit chilly, but once immersed we were fine.
  • Day 2 paddling to Weller Pond was very scenic.  We explored camp sites, saw pitcher plants, and geese.
  • Day 2 return paddle to Halfway Island was a bit of a challenge with heavy swells, white caps, and wind.  All accomplished this challenge without incident.  Our two recent high school graduates handled the paddling like experienced paddlers with Carson in stern of our canoe and Steve in bow, and Nicholas in his single kayak.
  • Meals all four days were fabulous – thanks to Paul and Cheryl.  Paul and Tim were our chefs.  Nicholas demonstrated some of his cooking skills.  First day afternoon hors d'oeuvres hit the spot after our paddle. Our dinner was steak-tips and Caesar salad. Breakfast each day a choice of eggs with sausage/bacon, bagels, coffee and tang.  Lunches were sandwiches. 2rd night we had pasta and chicken. Third night was sausage and beans.
  • We sat on Halfway Island overlook ledge for a great sunset. 
  • Carson and Nicholas went cliff jumping.
  • While all three canoes were packed with gear, Paul’s blue 18’ canoe held the most.  Check video pictures of how close the blue canoe’s gunnels (the top edge of the side of a boat) were from waterline.
  • Carson and Nicholas rotated between the kayak and canoes to enjoy each boat's uniqueness.
  • Used flint and steel to start our camp fire.
  • We used the RICE method to treat a sprained ankle
  • We experienced another section of the 740 mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail.
  • Disclaimer - due to the importance of this celebation, the below video is detailed and significantly longer than most of my videos. I will be making smaller excerpts of this video in the near future for those readers inclined to pick and chose components of this celebratory paddling trek into the wilderness.


Cliff Jumping Video


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

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