Sunday, August 8, 2010

A weekend of Canoeing

I started off on Friday evening with a trip to Rensselaer Lake, which is pretty close to where I live. It's a pretty busy spot, with tons of fishermen along the banks of pretty much the whole lake proper. There are two feeder streams that weren't as busy towards the northwest. I spotted a heron and two big snapping turtles. I was able to get right close to one before he dove. I also spent some time practicing some random canoe strokes.

View Rensaller Reservoir in a larger map

On Saturday Cory and I headed up north to Lonely Lake, a small lake just off Saratoga Lake (a big lake). We went around the lake a bit and then up to the river that led to Saratoga Lake. By the time we got there it was starting to get pretty late, so we headed back (the guy where we parked our car said we should be back by 5:30 when they closed).

View Lonely Lake in a larger map

We saw a couple of herons, a ton of little fish, turtles (unknown type) and a hawk. For more details you can read Cory's impressions and see the pictures I took.

On Sunday, I decided to give a shot exploring another river close to home, and headed over to Johnson road to see if I could find a place to put-in. After looking at the river there for a bit, I decided it would be better to put in from the other bank, but that was private land. I drove to the owners house and asked if I could park and put in from his land, and he said he'd rather I didn't. So, a little dissapointed, I drove off to find another spot. About a kilometer or so up the river there was another bridge with a better place to put it. I had to carry the canoe a bit from the car, but that was OK, it was interesting to say the least.

Here's a video of the portage from my perspective.

After getting down to the water, I headed upstream and almost immedetly had to get out and pull the canoe over some very shallow riffles. It turns out, I was going to repeat this an awful lot.

I came across some nice people and their dog sitting on the river-bank by a park, and the guy said that he thought the river opened up a bit just a little further up. I had to portage over a large expanse of dried riverbed to get to the next bit of water deep enough for the canoe, and along the way I managed to drop my camera in a puddle. :(

There was lots and lots of this

The next little bit of river actually had an impressive sized school of trout, about 15 or so, which made the journey a lot more interested.

Once that bit of river ran shallow again, I pulled up the canoe and scouted ahead a little bit. Things were looking pretty grim at this point, and I was plenty sick of carrying the canoe balanced mostly on my head (I really need to buy a carrying yoke for it). I sat there for a while watching the fish in the deeper parts of the river and then decided to head back.

Thats where I want to go

I'd say Sunday was pretty much the most disappointing trip so far, since I didn't actually get to paddle very much at all. Mostly I was just walking pulling the canoe along behind me. I did get lots of practice hopping in and out though :).

View River in a larger map

I picked up a Tilley hat before the trip after seeing the had Cory had the day before, and it was awesome kept the sun off of me much better than my previous 'no hat' solution.

The rest of the pictures from Sunday are available here.

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