Gypsy me something with these four items…

31 05 2011

We made it to Plattsburgh, and a good thing too.  The weather is fine, and the mighty Saranac decided it has had enough of us for the moment.  Let’s hope things keep going smoothly as we head onto the fourth of our 14 maps.

We left off on day 5 so lets continue the story there.  We stopped in Saranac for about three hours, and then did a couple “class V” bridge tucks to get out of dodge.  The water was running high and we wanted to be on our way to the rapids and camp.  In whole, the 26 mile day ended with us camping at an official campsite that was more like a forgotten dirt boat launch.  We stayed just above the Permanent Rapids and made a meal that we can’t remember eating.

We woke to a day that was a challenge in more ways than one.  After running and portaging some class III-IV rapids, we collected ourselves and made several more carries and rapid runs.  Despite our big push the day before, we quickly realized that our goal of getting to Baker’s Acres was ill-conceived.  It all ended with a portage to remember.

A couple of sections of easy rapids finished with class IV drop, so we decided to carry past the whole set.  We knew we had passed the drop a half mile later, but the bushwhacking was unbearable.  Wes had 20 mosquitoes on his knee at one break, and the woods were both swamped and hot.  We decided to ferry across a relatively placid section of river, and we pulled our boats up 30 or 40 feet of embankment into someones backyard (after asking permission).  Thence began a 2.5 mile portage to Clayburn, at five pm, that we finished around eight.  Plus a camp at an overnight parking lot.  The last section of Alex’s journal entry is replicated here (with the subtraction of expletives):

Bugs all day, I got a sunburn.  It’s hot, and it’s about to rain, and I was wet all day, and the tent is wet and smells like (poo)!

Obviously a long and trying canoe.  Nevertheless, day seven came and went, and it was good.  A shorter day at about 20 miles, we ended camping at the Ox-bow in Cadyville.  The water was fast, but safe, and the portages were manageable.  Alex realized that our final portage was under a bridge that his girlfriend in high-school had taken him to.  We all jumped and made celebratory pudding at the end of the day!

Day eight put us in Class I-II swift-water all morning, and we covered eight miles in 50 minutes.  A few short carries later we ran the Class II rapids in Plattsburgh, and pulled into the Samuel De Champlain Monument park.  The Rapids were swift and fun, we had a great end of the day on them.  A beautiful day that, so far, has let us restock food and sip a couple cold ones in celebration.  The Saranac is finished, as is the first leg of our journey.  We can see the lake from where we stopped, and our campsite is a mile or two away.

A few tid-bits to keep reader’s interested…  So far we have seen an amazing amount of wildlife living close and far from civilization.  A short list includes cormorants, Loons, Hummingbirds, Woodpeckers, Osprey, Eagles, Turtles, and a Muskrat.  We’ve also been pondering the difference between romance novels and cook books.  There are few photo’s to add this time, we’ve been pushing hard, and doing late nights, but Evan’s brother Grant has offered to upload a few pictures of our glorious entry to Plattsburgh later.

Thanks Louis and Jani for the food, and the hospitality.  I think its safe to say that we have learned a few lessons thus far:

  • We are hungry all day, despite snacking preventative measures
  • We don’t like staying in parking lots, but it can be better than buggy campsites
  • We can handle the bugs
  • We need to drink more water
  • Evan crushes bushwhacky portages, and Silas destroys all the other ones
  • Wes can make a mean “Japaty” (some kind of Kenyan savory pancake)
  • Alex doesn’t talk when he doesn’t eat enough
  • Juice from cans may be the best thing you taste all day
  • Using the pronoun “we” is boring to write and read
  • That’s all…

P.S. We crushed it to Plattsburgh in six days and 20 hours!




One response

31 05 2011

How funny… ironic… co-inky?
So I guess WP lists “possibly related posts” under a blog’s post… I clicked thinking it was y’all’s… look what was there:

WE CAN DO IT!!!! (icky, dude?)

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