The color in the Adirondacks is gone however the Tamaracks are stunning even on a dreary afternoon.
The color in the Adirondacks is gone however the Tamaracks are stunning even on a dreary afternoon.
Last week the weather was spectacular and I would find myself in the Adirondack Park for a few days. I’ve been wanting to visit Helldiver Pond in the Moose River Plains area for quite some time. Mostly because “Harold” the resident bull moose makes his daily morning appearance, sadly Harold is rumored to have passed.
Moose or not I would make the trip to Helldiver Pond. Helldiver is nestled 10 miles in on a dirt road from the DEC sign in off of Limekiln Lake Road in Inlet, NY. Once at the parking area it is a short 1/4 mile carry to the 15 acre pond. I had the place to myself until I noticed a mountain biker show up with a pair of binoculars and scope the place out. I paddled over for a few minutes to chat.
As I have mentioned this pond had been on my to do list for a while. Although I went mooseless I was not disappointed. Autumn had begun to show its true colors.
This past week my friend Gary and I had planned to canoe camp 3 days in the St. Regis Canoe Area of the Adirondacks. The first day was a bust as it rained cats and dogs all day. By 6PM that evening the rain finally stopped, the clouds parted and the sun shined. However it was to late to get started so we spent the night in Lake Placid beer tasting..
The weather report for the remainder of our time looked sketchy but early Tuesday morning we set out on our adventure under beautiful clear skies. Peering at our paddlers map it was determined we had wanted a lean-to instead of tent camping. Launching off of Keese Mill Rd. in Paul Smith’s we passed two lean-to’s that were in decent locations but didn’t have the esthetics we had envisioned. Shortly we entered Lower St. Regis Lake rounding a point where the Peter’s Rock lean-to stood with it’s panoramic view of the lake. This was it! The downside it wasn’t nearly remote as we had hoped with its view of Paul Smith’s College across the lake. That said it was picture perfect and as it was vacant. Dropping our gear and staking our claim we were back in our canoes and off on the day’s adventure.
We would paddle just a little over 15 miles through some amazing scenery, carry our canoes between several ponds meeting other paddlers on their adventure as well. During the middle of the night the weather would start to change. The winds kicked up and the pitter patter of rain on the lean-to roof was a soothing sound. Lightning flickered in the nights sky like a candle with the soft rumbles of thunder in the distance. It took more than an hour for the first of two storms to finally reach us.
Laying in our sleeping bags we had an amazing view of the show. The rain and storms would be gone by 8Am but the wind was relentless. We waited the wind out until about 1-1:30 that afternoon before calling it as the weather wasn’t going to improve. We packed up our canoes and fought the wind for several miles attempting to reach the launch. Some of the gusts I would say exceeded 20MPH with a steady 15MPH head wind taking us a good 2 hours to get back.
This was my first time camping in a lean-to and I’ll admit it has spoiled me. And although the weather dashed our grand plans we still had a really fun trip and look forward to the next adventure.
Earlier this month I was canoe camping with a friend in the Adirondacks on a lake 30 miles northwest of Lake George. Despite a few day paddlers we had the whole lake to ourselves. The northern end of the lake has a few homes and camps along its shoreline. In the early evening hours we could hear across the lake someone playing a trumpet and as dusk turned to night the milky way painted the sky. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many stars!
The next morning fog rolled across the water while temperatures dipped to around 45 degree, I was cold. Quickly I restarted the campfire for some warmth along with my twig stove in order to boil water for coffee and oatmeal.
It truly was a picture perfect morning!
The gleaming warmth of the sun piercing our office window has me ever so excited that spring has sprung. More importantly some great canoe camping adventures are now in the planning stages. If that wasn’t exciting enough, I’m having two brand new carbon/kevlar canoes built for me by the Adirondack Canoe Company of Minerva, NY. Both canoes are of their “Boreas” design which are 14 feet in length. However one will be a pack canoe (24 pounds) that can be paddled with a kayak paddle and the other a traditional solo canoe (27 pounds). I couldn’t decide which one I wanted so I’m getting both. To be honest I’m a huge fan of the pack canoe and I love the feeling of a double blade kayak paddle. With that said there is just something timeless about a solo canoe that draws me in as well.
Currently our dinning room table is littered with maps of the Adirondack Park and the Connecticut River Valley which straddles the borders of Vermont and New Hampshire.
My first almost completely planned trip which will take place in September has me in Lake George, NY for two days where I’ll be photographing the Lake George Triathlon Festival. After that my adventure brings me further north to the St. Regis Canoe Area for several days of pond hopping and exploring. Another component to this canoe/camp trip is that my friend Gary Sharp will be joining me. Gary is highly entertaining, a wealth of knowledge and just fun to be around. Oh and he likes beer!
Once I return to civilization I’ll take in the spectacle that is the Adirondack Canoe Classic ( 90 Miler) for three days as a volunteer with the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Originally I had thought that I might want to paddle this event in 2019. After much self reflection I feel its better to be an observer in order to get a feel for it first.
The map below is currently a mock of my trip. I might add to it or even do it in reverse but it is still in the planning stages.
I encourage you to visit the Adirondack Canoe Company’s website at the link above or follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Their boats are stunning!
If you like what you see here please share and follow my blog. “AdirondackJoe” can also be found on Facebook and Instagram as well.
Last week I posted about my first attempt at dehydrating meals for backpacking and canoe camping. I went out this afternoon in order to test the meal. I wanted to see if I could gauge how much water and time I would need to properly rehydrate the 6 ounces of sausage vegetable stew.
You can check out the results in a short video below! Give my blog a follow, you can also find me “Adirondack Joe” on Facebook & Instagram as well.
If you like what you see you can find the recipe in the link to my original post here: https://adirondackjoe.com/2019/03/08/this-is-a-test-and-only-a-test/
Last weekend while camping in the Thousand Islands region of New York I took the opportunity to test out my new Eureka “Solitaire” backpacking tent. Or as my wife calls it my “Dog House Tent”. I don’t backpack but I purchased this tent for canoe/kayak camping because of its size and weight. I bought it locally from Eureka Camping Center for a really great price. As a matter of fact it was extremely cheaper than some other backpacking tents I’ve used.
I wanted to get the feel for it and its size before taking it on a canoe/kayak trip where I might regret not trying out before hand. I did fit very comfortably inside and I’m happy to report that I had two good nights sleep. On the first night I woke about 3AM briefly peering through the roof into the night’s sky which was littered with millions of stars. I stared for a short while watching as some of them streaked across the sky. The second morning I felt so good it was almost better than sleeping in my own bed. I did bring with me my Coleman self inflating sleep pad as well.
Julie and I packed up the car Saturday and headed north to the Thousand Islands region of New York to camp. This would be our first time in the area and it did not disappoint. We could have done without the 20+ MPH winds Saturday and Sunday but hey the sun was shining.
We pitched our tent at Kring Point State Park several miles north of Alexandia Bay. Kring Point is a peninsula that forms Goose Bay from the St. Lawrence River. Most campsites are on the water. Ours however was not. Once camp was setup it was time to explore. We drove to Alexandria Bay only to discover it was Bike weekend. There were literally hundreds and hundreds of motorcycles and every parking space was taken. We decided to head for the town of Clayton instead. While driving we spotted Clayton Distillery and quickly pulled into the parking lot. We sampled some really good moonshine! As a matter of fact we left with a big bottle of cherry moonshine.
Arriving in Clayton we did some shopping, walked along the river trail for a bit, watched a couple at a fancy hotel say “I Do” and had a super fun time tasting wine at Coyote Moon Winery. We even beat the tour boat crowd!
Sunday morning the wind was extremely calm but that would only give us false hope for the day. However we launched our kayaks paddling into the St. Lawrence and Goose Bay. Water levels are extremely high in the area. Many of the island homes are inaccessible because their boat docks are completely submerged. Afterwards we would return to Alexandria Bay to catch the shuttle to Heart Island and Boldt Castle. The castle and its history are just fascinating. The Thousand Island Bridge Authority which owns the Heart Island and Boldt castle is doing a wonderful job of restoring it. Cannot wait to return next year and see the progress continue.
After our tour we ventured over to Wellesley Island and stumbled upon the beautiful Thousand Island Park. All I can say is “The Homes” Beautiful victorian homes, painted ladies, bungalows, etc all nestled along the shores of the St. Lawrence. Julie and I were in awe!
Later Sunday evening the sunset was beginning to take shape. Amazing cloud formations a brewing storm over in Canada and a diminishing wind or so I thought. I hoped into my kayak and off I went. Across the river I could see the rain, I could hear thunder and the sun was tryings its best to drop from the clouds. Quickly the wind picked up and the chop increased. I honestly got a little nervous as I was without a spray skirt. The waves grew as did the wind. I quickly grabbed a few photos and made my way back to shore.
During the night the winds finally died and the temperatures dropped. Morning would come with a crispness in the air, sunshine in the sky and calm waters. After breakfast Julie and I were back out in the kayaks for our final hoorah before packing up camp and heading home. Our time in the Thousand Islands was fun and we look forward to returning next summer.