Monday, July 10, 2006

3 Days in the ADKs

The last 3 days were nice ones, so I thought I'd share...I apologize in advance for the "super-sized" nature of this entry...



Saturday was a beautiful and still day, so we took Eileen and her Daughters, Kathleen and Hilary, on one of my favorite canoe trips...Floodwood. Starting at the top of Floodwood Pond, we paddled down through a series of narrow streams and tiny ponds until we got to Upper Saranac Lake. This trip always delivers wonderful paddling and nice wildlife.



The day was very still, and it was a bit like we were paddling between two layers of the same image, one above and one below. It was a quiet day on the little streams between the top and the bottom of our trip, we didn't run into many other paddlers along the way, and you could see everything in the clear water.



Ben and Gail paddled in Gail's Loon, a great boat made by Old Town...slicing through the water with barely a ripple, and often getting close to wildlife along the way...including one of its namesakes.



The narrow parts of the trip are my favorite...the trees close over your head, and the current makes pretty background noise and lighter work while you enjoy the views. The downed trees and ancient rocks are streaked with green and red from unattentive (or inexperienced) boaters who couldn't thread the needle while enjoying their trip through the alternating sun and shade.



At the bottom of the first stream section, I am talking with someone in our party about the fish we saw, and don't notice the ducks in front of me until I've stressed them out a bit...sorry!



I take a picture of a lovely waterlily flower captured by its complexity and the textures of the flower and lilypads nearby, and get sucked into the single flower for a moment, blown away by its beauty...



After fully exploring the single flower, I look up and notice that this perfect and astounding example of natural beauty is just one of a thousand within 100 feet of my canoe...the feeling is a little overwhelming and also makes me break out in a Christmas Morning Smile (CMS). This is an Adirondack Moment for me, and a metaphor for my life up here (or vice versa)...I have lived thousands of perfect (or nearly perfect) days up here, but I mainly notice them one day at a time...the sum total of all of that beauty and joy can be a little intimidating...so I try to take my ADK days, like my waterlilies, one at a time.



After supper, Ben, with Kathleen's help, fed the ducks that make their begging round each night to the camps along the shore (before you get angry at me, let me tell you that I too am vehemently opposed to feeding ducks bread and the like...but Ben likes it...so I'm lost).



After the ducks had gone, some lake trout moved in on the remaining bread like wolves on crippled deer (that had been bleached and over-milled and stripped of any nutritional value)...we watched the show while Gail snuck downstairs to watch, and photograph, us. From the left, you see Muz, Ben, Me, Kathleen, and Hilary.



Amazingly the girls went swimming after the ducks and trout had polished off the bread...at almost 9pm it was still light enough and warm enough,for teenagers, to go swimming.



Sunday was for us, a day of rest (not because or despite its being Sunday, just...because). We read and played in the water around camp and ate and drank and noodled around in boats on the lake and rubbed dog bellies and took short naps.



Ben read with Muz on the boathouse swing...



Zeke came over with us from our house to play in the water (he speciallizes in sticks, but occasionally enjoys a tennis ball as well)...



Gail read and relaxed on the dock...yes, it's Zorro...



Ben heard one of us talking about "toe-jam" once, and now spends more of his spare-time than you would think possible looking for jam between his toes...how could you not love that?!?!?



Marcy, our (literally everyone's...she's a global resource) 15 year-old labrador moved from spot to spot wagging and smiling and lying down with terrific thumping noises. (thanks to Eileen for this shot, which is exactly the picture I wanted, but didn't have...)



Ben and I found lots of freshwater mussels, and corralled them into farms/internment camps before releasing them and watching them...S L O W L Y...dig their way into the sandy bottom of Upper Saranac and away from us with their single feet.



Ben and "D" went on a nice paddle up and down the shore of the lake, looking at the camps and waving and "hello"-ing as they went.



Gail and Ben spent a not-quite-napping quiet time in the hammock overlooking the lake...



Zeke is our 9 year-old lab/border collie mix...he has a great time swimming and making sure that everyone is where they are supposed to be...



Ben and "D" also enjoyed a read on the boathouse swing...



Today, Muz and "D" and I tried a new (to us) trip down Kushaqua Lake. Kushaqua Lake is north of our usual stomping grounds, and a bit more wild. The trip was gorgeous, although a bit short...we'll have to work on lengthening the paddle next time.



Muz was, as ever, in the bow of my parents' canoe, and in the lead while we explored this stunning waterway, which has tons of ancient stumps and tiny islands dotting the water's surface. Like with any new trip, there is a feeling of excitement about what could be around each next turn, and the silence and solitary nature of our paddle on Kushaqua today accentuated the feeling.



We had lunch at a beautiful campsite down at the south end of Kushaqua, very near where it morphs into Rainbow Lake.



Kushaqua is connected to Rainbow Lake by a huge culvert put in place more than 100 years ago by what must have bee titans of contruction and engineering. It was 15 feet wide at the waterline, and about 100 yards long...yes, we made yodelling sounds on the way through...we're only human after all...

2 comments:

Gran said...

As always thank you for sharing your wonderful adventures. The commentary is as beautiful as the photography.

Eileen said...
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