Brown Tract Camping Trip Aug 30 - Sept 3, 2012

Thursday Aug 30

Just me. I took the shorter route recommended by Eric. That dirt road was much easier. Thanks for posting the information. My site was on a hill by the water with a lovely warm breeze and very big trees. The campground was quite full, but peaceful

Friday Aug 31

Rick, Rick2, Eric, Kathy, Gene and Tish arrived at various times. It was too windy to paddle so our exercise choice was hiking around the campgrounds. Many of the campers from Thursday had packed up and the grounds were quieter. Three of us went to the Woods Inn in Inlet for dinner. It was excellent. The remaining four cooked at camp and I am sure that was good too. We gathered around the campfire at Rick & Rick2's.

Saturday Sept 1

Doughnut man made his rounds. Kayakers gathered for coffee. Rick2 cooked up some bacon and eggs. It is a wonderful camp smell. A friendly chipmunk hopped onto my fingers to grab some of Rick's wheat chex to stuff into his cheeks. What a funny sight to see those square cheeks. He scurried off to drop off the chex, then came back looking for more.

After breakfast we started our paddle at the Raquette Lake boat launch. Our boats were inspected as we unloaded. We found out that the early morning siren was sounded because an invasive was found on a boat. We made our way across Raquette to the Marion River. Fall colors dotted the mountains and shoreline. There is a great view of Blue Mountain from the Marion. We stopped at the carry to Utowana to eat our lunch. A pair of new canoe paddles were left by the path. We wondered why they were left. On the way back we passed speeding canoeists probably practicing for the 90-mile race (or racing for lost paddles), as well as a boat towing 3 empty kayaks - another curious sight. A few intertwined sticks of the beaver damn we conquered on the way down, trapped Gene's rudder on the way back. A quick hop out of the boat and a tug on both ends eventually set it free. The church goers were gathering at St Williams on Long Point. Kayakers needed to be careful because the parishioners boats were pointed toward the church and they would run over anything in the way. The days paddle was a total 13 miles and we worked up an appetite. Eric hosted the dinner and there was more than enough good tasting food to share. Several campers filled the empty sites while we were gone. The site next to me freed up and we were able to convince them to allow Gene & Tish to move away from the crying baby and barking dogs that ruined their sleep the night before. We also made a trip to nearby Golden Beach to use their showers because Brown Tract doesn't have any (no electricity). We were welcomed with a big smile. That campground was swarming with people and I was glad to clean up and head back to a less populated area.

Sunday Sept 2

After the morning rituals, we either scooted down the hill or drove to the little boat launch to start our paddle on Brown Tract pond. It's a pretty Adirondack lake with no motor boats. We tried to paddle the marshy path from upper to lower Brown Tract, but it was too shallow. Instead we took the route from Brown Tract Inlet to Raquette Lake. The first carry was easily maneuvered by passing our boats through the culvert. The second carry over a bridge was a bit trickier, but a short one. Beaver damns were passable. Those numerous V-turns kept our core muscles extremely busy. We passed the dock at the end of the trail we hiked from Eighth Lake to Brown Tract on our last camping trip. I became a leech host somewhere along the way. He was pretty stuck on and a bit hard to separate from his meal (the vein on my ankle). Nasty bloodsucker. The skies were darkening so we turned back before reaching Raquette. It will be a nice paddle to finish another day.

Since the paddle started early, there was time to hike the trail to Shallow Lake before dinner. It was a nice wooded walk up and down small hills to the lake only accessible by foot. A canoe was sitting at the end of the path with some handmade paddles. Eric and I hopped in; watching for leaks in case that repair kit left on shore was needed. The Adirondack view was great and there were no houses, campsites, cars or people anywhere along the lake shore. So peaceful - until we got to the middle where we were attached by black flies. It was a quick paddle back. The trail sign said it was 1.4 miles, but the GPS read 3.4.

Back at our sites, some traveled to the Old Barn and some finished off what was left in their refrig. We stopped to look at the full moon over Raquette, then settled in front of the warm fire at Gene and Tish's site. It was going to dip down to 49 degrees that night, a bit warmer than the 44 degrees the night before.

Monday Sept 3

We had left our boats down the hill on the shore of Brown Tract, so when the loons woke us up, some crawled out from their cozy covers, grabbed a paddle and headed out into the mist. We didn't find the loons, but the view of that full moon over the misty mountain made the effort well worth it. We packed up, and then made our ways back home with detours of our choice - shopping, or relaxing somewhere. Another great weekend!!

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