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!!

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!

Monday, October 7, 2013

West, Canada and Lily Lakes, Part 3

Welcome back to part 3, the last installment of our adventures on West, Canada and Lily Lakes.
 Here is Brody, below, checking out the scenery on pretty Lily Lake.

On the southern bank in one area of Lily Lake, the woods were right up to the water.  I found the bright yellow-green moss growing here intriguing.  I had to investigate to see if the bright color was due to the sunshine in that patch, or if it was really that bright.  Well, the sun IS shining on the moss, but it is still a very vivid, almost neon color.

Dead trees in the water always interest me.  I love trees and hate to seem them down, but their dried "skeletons" have neat shapes.  Sometimes they can even be used to frame other subjects, as in the 2 examples below (sorry-- I know the subject is pretty small-- I actually took both of these without knowing my husband was being framed!)

Brody looks like he has a big head and no body in this shot!  He is also not looking particularly happy.  He really doesn't like to look at me when the camera is hiding my face.  I also did not have a treat handy.  If I had, he would certainly have looked a bit more excited!

There were some pretty marsh areas along the shores of Lily Lake.  Brody is looking for ducks.

Here is another one of Lily Lake when the sun was behind the clouds.  But I love the patterns in the sky, don't you?

The sun is back out in this one, and Brody is looking back at me like I need to get paddling instead of taking more photos!

Going back toward Canada Lake, we cut off some of the corner gong through the reeds.  It's a risky move-- sometimes there is a lot less water than you think!  But this time, we made it with neither one of us getting hung up.

Here is Kane Mountain.  It's tough to see in this photo, but there is a fire tower on top.

I just loved this cloud.  It had such definition from the darker areas.  It looked like someone had taken a cloud sticker and pasted it on the sky.

We've paddled back across a small section of Canada Lake and are now back on West Lake, headed for the put-in.  West Lake's eastern and southern banks are completely wild-- not a camp to be seen.

Yes, I do like clouds.   I couldn't resist taking a photo of them.  As you can see, I was not checking the frame, just trying to get the clouds I wanted a photo of... hence, the tree tops on the bottom.

Below are more of the clouds with the creek flowing into West Lake. 

We enjoyed our time on West, Canada and Lily Lakes.  It was an area we'd never visited by car or kayak.  The mountains in the distance as we paddled back gave us something interesting to look at.  Although it's a busy area with the 3 lakes, we were pleasantly surprised at the quiet and the lack of motor boats in the areas we paddled.  There were speed boats, fishing boats and pontoon boats, but in our few hours of paddling, we encountered only 5 or 6, and once we got on Lily Lake, I think we only encountered a fishing boat and no other motorized ones.

I'll leave you with this last photo of Brody and my husband.  Brody is still searching for ducks and has one eye on his daddy ahead of us.

I hope all of you in the northeast will be able to get in a few more paddles before the weather completely turns.  We managed to get on the water last weekend, but not the one that has just passed-- too rainy. 

Happy Kayaking!