Earlier this month myself and friend Gary Sharp spent several days camping at the Rollins Pond campground outside of Tupper Lake, NY. That morning as I left my home a light rain was falling however the further north I drove the rain began to dissipate. Over the next several days we were rewarded with blue skies and lots of sunshine. Temperatures would barely top 80 degrees and most importantly little to no bugs. September and October are my two favorite months of the year.
One of those days we would meet up with our friend Kim Wilkes and her pooch “Winnie” for an afternoon pond hopping adventure in the St. Regis Canoe Area of the Adirondacks. I’ve paddled and camped on these ponds before but they never get old.
The weather was sunny and warm with just a slight breeze if any. The water was refreshing and perfect for an afternoon swim. Below is a link to a video from the day.
It was back in 2012 that I spied an Old Town Pack canoe sitting on top of a shed in someones’ backyard as we would pass by it every day at work. Fast forward to 2013 and it had not moved in a year so I stopped and knocked on the door. After chatting with the gentleman for a little he sold me the canoe and that started my love affair with light weight solo canoes.
I loved this boat at 12 feet long and only weighing 33 pounds it was easily handled on and off the water. However my curiosity into lighter, quicker canoes was starting to peak. In 2015 I test paddled several brands of ultra light weight carbon/kevlar pack canoes made by Hornbeck, Adirondack Canoe Company, Slipstream Watercraft and Swift. I eventually purchased a Hornbeck “New Tricks” 12. This boat was 12 feet long, very narrow and only weighed 18 pounds and was extremely quick on the water, I was in love. Once I took delivery of this new boat I thought to myself I’ll never use the Old Town again so I sold it. I have regretted that decision ever since.
I currently own 5 canoes and back in mid November a Craigslist add popped up for an Old Town Pack canoe for sale, as luck would have it literally 10 minutes from my home. Now in today’s market this canoe is hot since Old Town stopped making it several years ago. It is affordable, light weight and pretty much bullet proof. It is made from a material called Royalex which isn’t produced anymore as well. If you didn’t jump on this it would be gone in an instant. I emailed the seller and picked it up the next day.
The weather and my schedule did not permit me a chance to get it out on the water until recently. I ventured out on a foggy but warm December 31st here in the Southern Tier of New York for a little while. The lake I went to was half covered with a thin sheet of ice but the rest was open. I spent an hour just enjoying the new boat and the calm and I was literally in shock that it was so warm this late in the year.
Below you’ll find several images of my Old Town canoe and a recent video from my outing on New Years Eve. I wish you all a Happy & Healthy New Year.
In October 2020 my wife and I along with some family and friends were in Lake Placid, NY for a long weekend enjoying some beautiful mid October weather. In October of this year 2021 I was in Lake Placid with a friend spending time canoeing and just taking in the amazing weather and fall color we were treated to.
Below are two images of the same location taken 361 days apart. I’m fascinated by the difference a year makes!
My Adirondack Fall Frolic would continue as I met my friend Kim who lives in Saranac Lake, NY at the “South Creek” boat launch off of route 3 several miles out of town this morning. Here Kim & I would put our canoes in and paddle across the relatively calm Middle Saranac lake into Weller and Little Weller Ponds. We did notice a few people camping and only one other paddler entering Weller Pond as we were leaving it for Middle Saranac lake. Although the weather was overcast it was still a stellar day on the water, the colors were fabulous and the views amazing!
After returning Kim had to get home so headed over to the Second Pond boat launch and paddled down to the “Lower Locks” between the Saranac Chain and Oseetah Lake. Getting out an exploring the locks was fun! I also came upon a few other paddlers there as well. I had wanted to explore Cold Brook a little but I noticed several people in a boat hunting so I stayed away. I’ll save that for another time possibly?
Later I would wind the day down over at Lake Placid Brewing for dinner and enjoy the last rays of light while sitting on the patio over looking beautiful Mirror Lake before settling in for the night. I could not get over that on October 14th it was just about 70 degrees out.
October 15th: No Miles Recorded
Today would be my day of departure from the Adirondacks. I began the morning at my happy place, a small pond outside of Lake Placid. I had hoped to capture a brilliant sunrise but Mother Nature had other plans. The day was a bit overcast but still utterly peaceful and amazing. As I paddled around sunlight struggled to pierce the thick clouds. But when it did, autumns canvas would briefly come alive.
It is late morning now, packed up a ready to slowly make my way home. As I load my car it starts to rain. I hit a coffee shop in town and do a final drive through to document the construction that is happening in preparation for what I believe is the 2023 Collegiate Games that are coming to the area. As I depart town and head over route 73 the rain has stopped and the sun once again makes a few brief appearances.
These past four days were fun traveling New York’s Adirondacks paddling in the Saranac Lake & Lake Placid areas. I enjoyed catching up with friends, canoeing, beer, brilliant fall color and just being in a place that I love. I feel very fortunate to have these opportunities.
October in the Adirondacks is just amazing, Cheers!