Lewey Lake Camping Trip
The weekend of CNY Kayakers’ last camping trip of the season couldn’t have been better. It was 90 degrees on Friday with an unusually hot night (!) and about 60-70 degrees on Saturday and Sunday with a moderately cold night and NO RAIN. It was wonderful to just enjoy the scenery, kayaking, and good company sans icicles hanging down one’s nose. The turnout for the trip was also remarkable. There were 28 camping enthusiasts: Big Mike and Di, Jim and Mickey, Roger and Anne, Cindy and Rick, Mary and Charles, Tish and Gene, Sue and Dan, Aneta and Robert, Janice with her dog Casey, Patti, Nina, Lynn, Greg, Eric, Dave L., Walt, Bob, Hugh, Kim, and Pam.
First Timer’s Camping Account
Camping has not been one of my life long dreams, but it seems fun enough to give it a try. Despite the persistent rumors that certain someones would be making bear noises outside my tent, my first night out was uneventful. A little noisy because of a creaky tree outside, but all in all a pleasant night. The second and third night, however, were a bit cold. It got down to 40 something, but it felt much colder. However, once in my sleeping bag, all was well. The wonderful company, the talk around the camp fire and the delicious meals make me count the days until next summer when we can do this again.
On Friday, the 24th of September, 2010 a moderate number of paddlers set out in their kayaks to enjoy a beautiful early autumn day on the water in the Adirondacks. We put in at the outlet from Lake Pleasant and continued down the “lazy river” doing our best to avoid the barely submerged rocks and sand bars in the beginning. Once past these minor natural obstacles we proceeded to enjoy the fall colors and an occasional Great Blue Heron as we wound our way through the marsh lands. Soon we came to an open area with a small dwelling on the far shore; this is when we took a left turn to start up the Kunjamuk River towards Elm Lake. Shortly after starting to negotiate the negligible current now coming towards us we encountered a beaver dam which we all got over or around one way or another. The river then started to twist and turn much like the Moose River, and there were a few places where you could go indifferent directions, some converged and came back to the same place while others went off in another direction and turned into a dead end.
Some of the group went exploring, while the rest went on ahead. More beaver dams were encountered and gradually people began to turn around and go back. Finally there were only three left, Walt, Bob and Hugh decided to go all the way to Elm Lake. When we got there we saw three different “cabins” on the lake shore with boats in their respective yards. The lake was small (about ½ mile across we guessed) and quite secluded and quiet. We paddled around the perimeter until we came to an inlet which we proceeded to paddle up until we reached another beaver dam. This one was quite substantial for it was holding back water about two feet higher than where we were. This is where we turned back and finished going around the lake to where we came in, then we paddled back to where we put in. A great day on the water was had by all and we all ended up eating at the Speculator Inn for replenishment and relaxation!
Bob, Hugh, Robert and I paddled the entire length on Indian Lake on Saturday. The sky was overcast, and the wind was stiff with 30 m/h gusts, but the SW-NE position of the lake combined with the surrounding mountains alleviated the effects of the wind enough to make the lake paddleable without monstrous waves (well, at times there were baby monsters) or excessive risk. The first 5 miles was easy surf along the eastern shoreline, pure pleasure and little effort. We were flying! Bob decided to test the conditions of the return trip, and at the 5 mile mark we turned around just to see how bad it was going to paddle against the wind. It wasn’t that bad, so we decided to continue to the end of the lake. We took a brief break. The remaining half of the lake was more difficult to surf because the wind increased, and now more strength and concentration was required to counteract powerful forces attempting to dump you. We reached the tip of the lake at 9.5 miles after only 2 hours and 20 minutes including the break. We took out for lunch and admired the dam. After taking a long break we set out on the return trip, which predictably was a long and strenuous haul. We patiently inched against relentless wind and took only one stop. Luckily, we had a few much needed brief respite periods when we paddled between the western shore and some islands sheltered from powerful gusts. Our progress was slow, so it took us 3.5 hours to cover 10 miles of the western shore. The entire trip was 19.5 miles and took us a little over 6.5 hours to complete. I don’t know about my fellow paddlers, but I had unprecedented severe muscle soreness for the next two days.
Special thanks to Jim and Mickey for providing breakfast and to Patti and Janice for hosting dinner!
Lewey and Indian Lake
Some people wake up to alarm clocks. Early morning paddlers hear the first loon of the morning and hop out of their sleeping bag to experience a lake waking up. Several sleepyheads glided into Lewey Lake at dawn. They explored the marshes, side streams, and waters edge, and were rewarded with multiple loons yodeling, other animal sightings, plus an amazing view as the mist uncovered the magnificent mountains.
Some of those who were leaving packed up their camp and headed off to colorful Indian Lake in groups. Eric, Hugh & Kim paddled about 10 miles down & around the parallel leg on that beautiful lake. I suspect some of the other groups stretched out their last paddle of the weekend as long as they could, like we did. A couple of us stayed an extra night and learned a bit about campfire building. On Monday, just as the last item was thrown in the car, the sprinkling began. It was not going to let up according to the weather persons. The paddle was aborted. A warm breakfast was substituted. Zoo animals were not mentioned. Ha!!
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