Saturday, May 31, 2008

Day 9


Cold and shady morning at Franklin Falls Pond = slow to get moving...but eventually, we did hit the water - hey, we're on vacation! High winds were a blowin' in towards where we wanted to go. Sailed basically from camp all the way to a portage around the dam.

Short portage to the Saranac River and then a short paddle out into Union Falls Pond - which is basically a dam-flooded river. Lots of tree stumps poking up out of the water like snaggly teeth waiting to chew on our boat - tricky maneuvering!

After a bit we made it out into the middle of the pond where the wind was really whipping (and there were no tree stumps!) raised the tarp and sailed on. The wind was so strong we had to drop the sail from time to time in order to avoid hauling over onto our side and swamping! It was about all we could do to hold on! It was a lot of fun!

Thus we found ourselves at Union Falls Dam and looking hard at the map. We had heard from the friendly folks at St. Regis Canoe Outfitters ( - if paddling the NFCT, go here for info, supplies, and help, they are excellent!) that the water below Union Falls Dam was low - on top of that, we also noticed that the next stretch was very technical (ranging up to Class V whitewater) and in a wood/canvas canoe loaded down with gear we felt it prudent to search out a shuttle.
So we made our way over to a local campground and tried to phone people in Plattsburgh, NY. This search proved to be futile as no one was interested in driving out to Union Falls, picking us up, and then driving back to Plattsburgh. Eventually, we ended up meeting some amazing local folks - Peter and Dennis.
Peter hooked us up with a place to stay at his cabin down on the waterfront as well as offering to take us into P-burgh in the morning. And so it was that we found ourselves crashing in this cozy cabin right on Union Falls Pond with a ride arranged for the morning! Peter even took us around the dam and gave us a personal tour of the whole facility - wow...Always depend on the kindness of strangers!
Weather: Sun and profuse ammounts of wind...
Wildlife: Half submerged tree stumps...
"Remember this advice: It's easy to keep your head above water. Empty things float." ~Tillie Olsen

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