Sunday, August 1, 2010

Canoeing - Round Lake Round 2

So I wanted to go to a new place today, but by the time I headed out it was getting on in the day and the forecast called for rain. Looking for a place close by I settled on giving the Colonie reservoir.

After throwing the canoe on the car I headed out. Unfortunety, when I got there I discovered that the water level was way lower than I'd expected. What I thought would be a rather large body of water was pretty much a slow moving stream and a culvert.

Colonie Reservoir

After thinking about it for a minute, I decided to head back to Round Lake where I'd been with a friend of mine earlier in the week. I'd been looking on the map and saw there was an interesting looking river leading out the south side of the lake.

View Round Lake Round 2 in a larger map

It wasn't too busy on the lake, and I paddled across the main body of water pretty quickly, making a beeline for the creek entrance. There were a few kayaks and the odd canoe, one of which had a grumpy looking family in it: father, tired looking mom and two squirming kids sitting in the middle. Both parents didn't seem to know how to hold the paddle and gave the impression that they'd gone a little further than they'd expected.

It turned out the river was more of a winding creek through the middle of a swamp. It was occasionaly pretty thick with duckweed and lilly-pads, but was easy going. There were a few people fishing from kayaks as I went along, though it looked like it was mostly pan-fish they were catching.

Old beaver lodge

There were a few heron nests that could just be made out from the lake proper, one of which actually had a bird in it.

Heron nests

I continued down until a small beaver dam at the far end of the lake, after pulling the canoe over it and down into the creek on the far side (the mud was much deeper than I expected, and I forgot how bad dam-water smells). It was a pretty quick moving little stream, and I paddled up a slower-moving arm just to see how it would go. I had to hop out a few times to get over another tree or two before I decided I should turn back. It was beginning to look like the rain was coming in (it never did) and I knew I didn't have a whole lot of time before it would start getting dark.

First beaver dam

The trip back was pretty uneventful, I spotted an eagle flying overhead which was a nice surprise, but other than the occasional fish jump it was uneventful. Still fantastic though.

Heading out

The gorilla-pod worked extremely well for keeping my camera out of the water (which I had quite a bit of after the beaver pond), and so did the dry-sack. Instead of attaching the camera to the thwart like I'd planned, I ended up standing it up on the bottom of the canoe under my seat. That way, even when I used the kayak paddles, it didn't get wet but it was always close at hand.

A couple more pics here.

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