Friday, July 13, 2007

A Canoe Day!

After too long a time with clouds and rain and yuck and locusts (not really, but you get the idea), we had a perfect day, and as luck would have it, we took a perfect canoe trip...we did Middle to Lower Saranac, a longish trip that involves lake and river paddling, and takes you through some beautiful country and through a set of locks (twice, the way that we did the trip)...



This is a picture of a beaver dam at the put-in at Marcy Bridge, which reminded us all that this was the first time in 15 summers that we were doing this trip without Marcy...



D was riding with Maggie-moo in his Loon, and although nervous at times, she was great...


We crossed Middle Saranac together, and both Moo and Ben (the pirate pictured in the bow of the red Loon) settled into the swing of things shortly...shockingly, we had a tail wind on the way to the locks, and eventually but importantly, our lunch spot...


We stopped off for a quick running around and pee-break at the end of Middle Saranac Lake, where there is a nice little beach and a short carry that shaves a minute bit of paddling off of our trip...Ben and Maggie had a great time chasing and exploring (and one of them ate a very dead catfish...I'll never tell which one though)...


Gail and Pirate-Ben made good time in the river, although Ben sometimes experiments with the effects of dragging his hands or his paddle in the water, which doesn't speed things up...


We stopped for lunch at our Favorite Lunch Spot Ever, just above the river and at the beginning of Lower Saranac...I did the time honored "shutter-delay runaround" picture, which always seems to work out better than it should, given the no-zoom, no tripod nature of my camera...


D took this picture of us, which shows a bit of our picnic, and the awesome vantage point from which we watch the river and occasional boats pass by, and consider throwing fruit at motorboats which exceed the speed limit...


Ben found a cool rock near our lunch spot, and showed considerable skill climbing all of its faces in his water shoes while we tried to remain un-scared-looking...he "Yarrrrghed" at us from the top...


After lunch, Maggie settled quite quickly into the boat again, as we turned around and headed back to our cars...

Editorial Note: we have often paddled all the way down to the boat launch about halfway down Lower Saranac Lake, but didn't opt for this choice today for a number of reasons:
  • the paddling on Lower Saranac is less interesting
  • we don't have to shuttle cars between the top and bottom of the trip
  • we like the river portion of the trip and the locks...a lot


The locks are an awesome part of the trip, necessary due to the water-level differential between Middle and Lower Saranac Lake. There was nobody on duty at the locks, so I got out and worked them going down and then back up again...fun levers and gates and rushing water and water-levels going up and down...


We saw more wildlife on the way out than on the way in, and had a great time in the river, being able to look at it from the upstream and the downstream perspective really does give you a look at 2 completely different rivers...


These beautiful lilies and pads were everywhere, and the little bugs snacking on them from the inside were a reminder of the constant struggle in nature between beauty and corruption, life and death, bugs and everything else (or not, I could have been hypo-glycemic at that point in the paddle due to a lack of cookie dough)...


We stopped on one of the gazillion islands on Middle Saranac to rest and stretch for a bit, and it was a delight...the wind had picked up, and what was a tailwind in the morning was now a headwind, complete with some whitecaps...so a short break was welcome...


Ben and I went for a swim...he is getting very confident, and offered to swim back to the cars...an offer which we declined, although we toyed briefly with the idea of towing him back...


He likes it when I use my waterproof camera underwater, so I took a picture of his legs in Middle Saranac...


He giggled like crazy when one of my water-shoes came off and started sailing away, so we played the "Bobbing Water-Shoe" game for a while, with him shrieking with laughter every time the show exploded onto the surface...


After the swimming, everyone took advantage of the warmth the rocks had stored up on this sunny day...Gail figured it out...



I took this picture a short while after we got home, click on the picture above to see it full-sized...it was a gorgeous moment in a similarly gorgeous day...we did nothing special to deserve such a perfect day...maybe nobody could...but we enjoyed it and are thankful for the perfect canoe day...

1 comment:

Gran said...

These are the moments to be treasured for a life time...how fortunate that you can share them together.