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Over the Muddy Ravine

Sunday didn’t look that good for a paddle. It was gray, cold, and rainy. However, since the season officially started the previous week, there was no excuse not to go. As we set out into the Adirondacks Park, the weather started to clear. By the time our kayaks reached the water, the sky was bright and beautiful with no trace of rain.

Bob, Dave F., David L., Walt, Kim W., Robert and Aneta drove up to enjoy the day, the last two disgracefully late as they took perfectly good directions off the website and randomly “improved” them on the go, which resulted in getting horribly lost several times before getting bailed out by Walt. Good thing there was cell phone reception. The launch site provided a challenge, because the steep, bumpy, rocky, and muddy embankment required some agility and thought to maneuver over. Most people brought their plastic boats and joyfully sent them down the hill and into the water. The shore was treacherous, but with each other’s help everybody made it into their boats without taking a swim. The water was chilly at 40 degrees. Still, some people slipped and fell a few times and looked as if they pig-wrestled in the mud.

We paddled upstream first. It was pleasant and scenic but oddly quiet as there were no living creatures along the way. No fish, no waterfowl, no birds. Perhaps it was due to booming sounds of gun shots that we heard periodically in the vicinity. The trees had barely started to bud, so it was still more brown than green. The end of the paddle was marked by a rapid, which became an inviting challenge for a few paddlers who managed to kayak through it just for fun. The paddle back was much faster. The round trip was about 6.5 miles.

Getting out was even trickier than putting in, but we managed. Unfortunately, the boats were not at all inclined to self-lift up the hill as they had been to slide down, so manual force had to be applied to haul them up. Six of us went to Joel’s Front Yard Steak House in Verona for dinner, where we enjoyed a good meal, great company, and exceptionally cozy ambience.

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