Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Day 6


Happy Memorial Day! At the end of today we have traveled 90 miles so far!

Left Upper Saranac Lake and had a short paddle to Bartlett Carry. A short carry, but the start is directly uphill for the first half - in addition to this fun fact, it was horrifically buggy. Luckily we had a couple of baseball bats with us - after about 10 minutes of beat down on the blackflies and misquitos, we were ready to continue.

Put in on Middle Saranac Lake and paddle across to the Saranac River. Not only is this a beautiful waterway, but it has a series of locks on it - sort of like a mini Panama Canal. We paddled into them, water was released, lowering us down to the height of the water on the other side, then we paddled out and continued on our merry way. Very slick.

This brought us out to the Lower Saranac Lake where we sailed up to a boat put in and talked with folks at the Campground Headquarters. They foretold of rain and cold. Good times.

Bean and I decided to try to bust on through to the town of Saranac, NY to get a jump on our rest day and re-supply. Paddled out through Osseetah Lake where we got caught in a heavy rain - it sounded really neat on the water though. We made great time and managed to make it into Saranac by 3pm. Rolled up to a marina where the guy directed us to a local Bed and Breakfast - who just happened to have excellent rates, plus we get food in the morning. Bonus.

A bit of a culture shock paddling up into a town, but we are looking forward to resting our bodies and re-provisioning. Another 20 mile day - we are ready to take it easy a bit.

Weather: Sunny and warm, PM showers

Wildlife: 2 bald eagles, 3 loons, great blue heron (flew right over us!)

"No servant brought them meals; they got their meat out of the river, or went without. No traffic cop whistled them off the hidden rock in the next rapids. No friendly roof kept them dry when they misguessed whether or not to pitch the tent. No guide showed them which camping spots offered a nightlong breeze, and which a nightlong misery of misquitos; which firewood made clean coals; and which only smoke...The elemental simpicities of wilderness travel were thrills not only because of their novelty, but because they represented complete freedom to make mistakes. The wilderness gave them their first taste of those rewards and penalties for wise and foolish acts which every woods-person faces daily, but against which civilization has built a thousand buffers. These folks were on their own in this particular sense." ~ Aldo Leopold

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