CNY Kayakers Paddlefest 2011

Paddlefest Views

    Paddlers began gathering on Friday at Clarks Motel.  Some listened to an expert talk about "understanding boat control", some played volleyball in the pool, shopped, or biked between the scattered rainfall; then all hung out in room 30.  We went to Billys for an awesome meal.  Old Forge has some of the best restaurants anywhere.

    For the breakfast eaters, Saturday began at Keyes where the stuffed French Toast was the most gorgeous creation on a plate.  Then we loaded up and headed off to the Moose River.  What do you need this time of year besides knowing about boat control?  Yep - BUG SPRAY.  The 12 paddlers began with a quarter cup each -  just to launch from Rondaxe Rd.  The black flies congregated mostly on shore, so paddling was okay.  We did not have to paddle with our mouths closed. Nina came prepared with green netting to cover her head.  A light sprinkle at launch was short-lived.  The scenery was fantastic as always.  The high water gave us a little extra space for those 180 degree turns.  Downed trees added an element to the paddle.  We were able to scoot around the end of the first tree. The second was a bit more challenging. Roger sat his boat on the log to lower one side.  Then Dave joined him, so all could pass over it without tipping.  We had been told there were 2 trees, but the person-in-the-know couldn't count.  There was one more.  It required a running start, then a tight grab of the two branches on either side and a tug to get the stern completely over.  Some paddlers needed 2 shots at it, but no one dumped. 

    The water under the North Street bridge was so high, we did not attempt to squeeze under it.  The welcome wagon greeted us - darn black flies!!  The almost 6 miles took a mere 3 hours even though there was a swift current. The threatening black clouds and distant thunder did not spoil the day.  The downpour came later when we were safely on land.  Next stop - dinner on porch of the Old Mill watching the sun go down. It doesn't get any better than that.  

    A few night owls ventured over to Slickers to listen to live music.  There was a one man band with three miles of wire and equipment to make it sound like a full band (eventually).  A guy just happened to show up with his flute and played along as the mood hit him.  Someone else was in a strange mood too, as he ended his call to Dave with a "Love You".  How weird are we!  Oh, did I mention that the night owls were in bed by 10:30?  Tough bunch, huh?

    The twelve Moose River paddlers: Cindy, Rick, Sue, Dan, Roger, Ann, Eric, Kim, Dave, Nina, Tim and Karen. Sunday we learned more about how we should be handling our boats efficiently (among other things), watched the deer, leisurely hung out at the hotel, and paddled a variety of watercraft - little Jacksons, tippy composites, tandems, and (for the more balanced folks) the paddleboards.  We dined on some good food at Tony' Clam Bar and those who had to work on Monday headed for home. 

    Kim, Cindy and Rick stayed an extra night to check out North Lake, South Lake, and Honnedaga.  North Lake was especially pretty and will be a nice paddle when the flies die.

Report & Images by Kim Wojnowicz and Images by Anne Schofield & Roger Harrod

CNY Kayakers Syracuse NY

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