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.
Another piece of Roadside America thrives in the north country of New York’s Adirondack Park.
Having read all the rave reviews about Donelly’s Ice Cream in Saranac Lake, my wife and I stopped after paddling Moose pond. It was 3PM on a Monday and the line of cars coming and going was endless. Using the same machine since 1953 they only serve one flavor per day and on this day it was (Vanilla & Butter Pecan Twist).
If you are ever in the Saranac Lake area of New York I highly recommend a pit stop at Donnelly’s, It was delightful!
Recently I purchased two new canoes from the Adirondack Canoe Company of Minerva, NY. Their “Boreas” canoe is a hybrid which can either be built as a pack canoe or a traditional solo canoe. The Boreas is 14′ long, weighs only 27 pounds and is built using a blend of carbon fiber and kevlar. Her gunwales and thwarts are hand crafted from Ash as well.
I’m a pack canoe guy but there was just something intriguing or even romantic about the solo canoe. I’ve never paddled a true solo and let me just say there was a little of a learning curve for me. I’m slowly getting the hang of it but I definitely still need to work on my paddle strokes and even my entrance and exit.
I love how this boat glides effortlessly through the water with each stroke but at the same time seems to slow life down a little. In truth I’ve only been at this for two weeks practicing on our families small lake in Pennsylvania. Come mid July I hope to take the Boreas on a trip along the west branch of the Sacandaga river and into Good Luck lake in the eastern Adirondacks.
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On Thursday May 16th I picked up my new to me Subaru Outback from our local Subaru dealer. This one owner car has super low mileage and is loaded.. On Saturday the 18th my wife and I strapped our boats to the roof and headed north to Old Forge, NY for the annual Adirondack Paddlefest. The car performed flawlessly as did my canoe!
Arriving in Old Forge we could have not asked for better weather. We made the rounds, met up with friends and sat on the deck of Matt’s Draft House “Screaming Eagle” for some sunshine, beers and wings. Peanut butter panic wings to be exact! Later on in the afternoon Julie and I would make our way a few miles north to 7th lake to canoe/kayak for a bit.
Not too far out into the lake from the boat launch is a wonderful island with a sandy beach. This is one of my favorite spots and rightfully so is also very popular. Tucked on the other side of the island there is now a lean t0 as well. Since technically it is “Out of Season” we basically had it all to ourselves, minus the guy camping at said lean to…
As our day drew to a close we finished with more beer and food at Fulton Chain Craft Brewing. We woke the next morning packed up and headed for home. Another successful Adirondack Paddlefest!
If you have any questions about my canoe or the Adirondack Canoe Company please feel free to message me. This 12′ Skylight is super comfortable with amazing secondary stability and is so light it is finger lifting good!