Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Raquette River, Part 3

Finally getting to part 3.  It's been a busy month for me.  But our kayaks have been put away for quite some time.  It is cold and a bit snowy here.  Winter has decided to stay, I think.  (I know, it's a long way from the official start of winter, but in the North Country of New York State, mid-November is a fairly average time for winter to begin!)

When I ended part 2, Brody was looking for chipmunks.  He's still at it in the photo below.  He sure has an adoring look on his face, but it's not for me, it's for the chipmunks!  He can be very still and intent when he is focused on chipmunks and squirrels!

Here is another photo of Brody.  He looks like he posed for this one.  He's such a handsome boy!

Here is a the campsite where we stopped for a break and a picnic lunch.  It was a perfect spot.

After we ate lunch, we relaxed under the trees.  I took some more photos of Brody, including this one, which would have been better without my knee in the shot!

And this is a look at the trees from a different perspective!

I like this one of the dark tree trunk and branches with the bright green needles and the sun shining through with the bright blue sky in the background.

My husband took this one of Brody hanging out with me after lunch:

And I enjoy the patterns made by branches.  These reminded me of the shape of an eye.

And here is one of Mr. Brody's back paws!

Here is another shot of the river below the campsite.  We could have stayed here for hours enjoying the trees, the sun and the gentle flow of the water below us.

Brody and I took a walk along a path in the woods.  The white trunks of this paper birch and the brilliant colors took my breath away.

You can almost see a mountain behind the bright trees in the middle of the photo.

I think I mentioned liking dark trunks and branches, didn't I?  This is a perfect example of the type of scene that catches my eye:

We finally decided it was time to get back on the water and enjoy some paddling along this beautiful river.  Since we'd spent so much time relaxing after lunch, we decided to head back upstream toward Axton Landing. 

The views were just as pretty on the way back, though the angle of the sun and a bit of a breeze meant less reflections to capture.

I believe that is Seward Mountain's point, just above the trees in the middle of the photo.  I've tried to be sure which mountain it is by checking maps, but since the river twists and turns at times, Seward is only a guess!


Here is Brody again.  He's got his gaze on the bank of the river.  Not sure what he saw over there.  Since it was the middle of the day, we didn't see much wildlife at all.  My husband is up ahead, ready to take another bend in the river as we paddle back to the landing.


I paddled past this natural frame and had to turn around and go back to it for the shot.  I like how the mountain is framed with the tree trunks and branches.

We paddled a short way past Axton Landing upstream.  Here you can see the mountain peaking out above the trees.

And here is a zoomed in photo once I got up near the bend in the river:

Brody, in his customary position as navigator:

This is one of my favorites of the day, even though I got some great reflection photos.  I love the colors, the sun shining through the trees, and the bent shapes of the tree branches, especially the tree in the middle of the photo.

I got a few more reflection photos at the end of our paddle when there was a lull in the slight breeze:

We headed back to Axton Landing, having enjoyed one of our best paddling days of the season.

Brody had a pretty good time, too.

I would recommend Raquette River to anyone looking for a nice paddle.  We paddled here in July when it was busy and it was still peaceful for most of the trip.  Paddling here in the fall was even better.  We had a great time and plan to return and hopefully make it upstream to Raquette Falls from Axton Landing.

Join me here in a few weeks for a post on another location.  I still have lots of places to tell you about and lots of photos to help me remember what we saw along the way.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Raquette River, Part 2

Welcome back to the Raquette River!  Here is Brody, watching the riverbank's shadows in case there is a duck to be found.  He's panting just a bit because by the time we got on the water, the sun had warmed the air to a comfortable 72 degrees or so and felt much warmer with the sun's rays beating down on us.

As I mentioned in part one, we're paddling downstream from Axton Landing.  The river has a gentle flow most of the time.  There are lots of twists and turns with some spots that are extremely quiet-- the current is negligent in these areas.

Brody likes to keep an eye on his daddy, as is evident in this photo:

I took so many photos on this trip due to the brilliant colors and the backdrop of the blue sky.  It was not only a perfect day for paddling, but a perfect day for photography!

The tree in the middle of the photo caught my attention as we paddled by.  The large bottom branch/trunk is so sinuous, it's snake-like.

As we passed this grassy area, I imagined the tree standing guard to the entrance of a side-passage.  Some of the branches looked as if they were waiting for someone to enter, at which time the would raise the barrier higher.

This close-up photo gives you a better idea:

I may not have mentioned that we use a paddler's map for some of our kayaking trips.  It is helpful when there are a lot of side-channels or any carries for rapids, etc.  Although we try to plan trips where carries aren't necessary.  It's also nice to know how much progress (or lack of it) we've made on a trip.   We use the Adirondack Paddler's Map for Canoe & Kayak Travel.  It is a detailed waterproof map. It shows the northern areas of the Adirondack Park and its waterways.  It is very handy for finding primitive campsites that are only accessible by water.  We used it on this trip to find an unoccupied campsite.  (Yes, there were people camping here in October. We saw one bow hunter at his campsite.)  The primitive campsites are, well, primitive.  But we like to use them for our picnic lunches.  We had to pass by several occupied sites before we came to the site we where we stopped.  This is the tranquil area just before we stopped for lunch.  The campsite is in the middle of the photo where it's lightest along the water's edge (sandy.)

I'm not sure how I got a photo of Brody NOT looking at his daddy!  There had to be something quite interesting to our right-- but I don't remember what.

 This photo of my husband shows the nice gradual sandy bank at the campsite. 


The site itself was up from the river bank.  Isn't it a pretty spot?

We spread our "Neat Sheet" on the pine needles and opened up our cooler for our lunch.  You'd think Brody was looking for a treat from our sandwiches in the photo below, but he wasn't.  He heard chipmunks all around us in the pine trees.  His attention was more focused on them than our food!  BUT that doesn't mean he didn't take a bite of chicken when it was offered!!

I'll end this post with another tranquil shot of the river from the campsite.

Join me soon for part 3 of Raquette River.  And happy kayaking to those of you in the south!  Most  of us in the northern areas (unless we have dry suits and like being out in the cold) have resigned ourselves to the fact that kayaking season is over and winter is on its way.  (Our temp. 2 mornings ago was 18 degrees!)  I'll be continuing to blog over the long, cold winter months.  I have tons of photos and many locations that I haven't yet blogged about.  I am looking forward to sharing them with you.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Raquette River, Part 1


Hi everyone!  Welcome back to my blog about kayaking in NY state.  I usually start my posts off with photos that are chronologically from the beginning of our paddle, but I decided to post this pretty photo of Brody to give you all an idea of the GORGEOUS day and beautiful Raquette River.  Don't be fooled by the photo above-- our paddle here was 3 weeks ago-- the brilliant leaves have all fallen in this area.  But it was a great day to be on the river that Saturday.

We paddled the Raquette River a few years ago and I have some great photos of the reflections from that summer day.  The river was lazy and very still in many spots as it twists and turns and contorts back on itself.  That trip was taken from the state boat launch just north of the village of Tupper Lake.

This time, we decided to put-in further upstream at Axton Landing.  Below are 2 photos taken from that put-in.  The first is looking upstream from the creek which is only 50 yards or less from the river.
The second photo is  looking downstream, with the Raquette in the background on the left.

Once on the river, the yellow leaves were so bright, they were almost neon!

We headed downstream from Axton Landing.  Here are my husband and Brody just a few minutes after starting our paddle.

There was enough current to float us along, but it was sometimes almost non-existent.  Brody is checking the banks, just in case a duck is hiding there somewhere.

As I mentioned, the day was just gorgeous.  The sky was a perfect blue, there was a barely detectable breeze, and the sun warmed us up nicely.

Here is one of my favorites photos from our paddle that day:

I love reflections and love taking photos of them.  I also love how usually the reflections in the water are more vibrant that the actual objects!

I took this photo as I was floating by these leaves in the water.  The resulting photo reminded me a bit of a Monet watercolor-- not in composition or technique-- just the general "feel" of it.

As I am looking over the photos for this blog post, I am realizing that most of my favorites were taken during the first half of our paddle.  I think there are 3 reasons for this:  One, morning light (even late morning light) is better for photos than afternoon light.  Two, we paddled downstream when we started and it's much easier to float and take photos while going downstream rather than up. And three, a breeze began in the afternoon which makes the water ripple, so reflections aren't as clear.

At any rate, another of my favorite photos from this trip is below.  In fact, I think it is THE favorite:
*NEWS: The photo below just won Photo of the Week on Adirondack.net!!

This next photo, as we paddle downstream, shows just how little current there was in some spots.  It looks like a lake, doesn't it?

And, what do you suppose this is, hanging out on the bank of the Raquette River?

We really got a kick out of it.  My husband spotted it first and I snapped a shot for posterity!

Brody in his red dfd (doggy floatation device) and my yellow kayak fit right in with the colors of fall, don't you think?

I actually got one of his face!  He's such a sweet boy.

If you're looking for a place to paddle that allows you to get out and stretch your legs, this one should be on your list.  I'm sure in the middle of the summer, and/or especially on weekends in the summer, there are a lot of people on this river, including motor boats. But in the fall, there are less people around  AND the primitive campsites along the river are great for a picnic lunch.  They can be used as long as no one is already occupying them.  A big plus is that they are, naturally, made for boating campers so the sites are easy to get to-- gradual sandy banks.

This was such a relaxing paddle.  It's exactly what we're looking for when we plan a trip.  Here is another photo showing the stunning yellows with the bright blue sky as a backdrop.

We're about a third of the way through our trip, so I'll end this post now and pick up here next time.
I hope you are all enjoying the fall season and have been able to get in a few more paddles if you're in the northeast.  Those of you further south, keep on paddling!