May 16, 2015
Moose River on Paddlefest Weekend


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Viva la Moose River! May it ever wind and twist and turn with its awesome Adirondack views in all directions. Ten kayakers, from 4 to 73 years old, launched from Rondaxe Rd after shuttling cars to Green Bridge. The black flies made their appearance immediately, so we moved quickly. he kayakers in boats: Bill E, Christine, Mark, Michele, Steve S., Kim, Karin, Eric, Ray and Wesley. The kayakers taunting from the bridge: Sue and Dan.

The current was perfect and the water temperature was a refreshing 60 degrees. We had a nice cloud cover on this 75 degree day and only near the end did we hear a slight rumble of thunder. It sprinkled a bit in town, but not on the Moose. The river was mostly free from downed trees and limbs. There was just one spot. One very tricky spot. The nearby current encouraged your boat to try to make its occupant limbo under the felled tree. Well, it would work if you could scrunch excessively and you did not get hung up on the stubby limbs and try to maneuver … then it was bath time. The good things were that the dumpee did not get trapped by the unseen branches underwater, the life jacket inflated to get her head out of the water fast, and it was a warm enough to dry clothes quickly. After that event, Mark climbed on the tree to help people through. The club did well with the surprise rescue and the dumpee was safely into her water-free boat in no time. Poor Michele. She started off the weekend by forgetting her paddle. Oh wait, that was your brother that forgot the paddle, right? In any case, it was eventful for her.

We paddled the North Branch and the Middle Branch which meant we had a portage around the rapids. It was a pain! Wheels don’t work, the boats seem to get heavier every year and as soon as you sweat, those darn black flies tell their friends. Our strong kayakers (men and woman) who went back and forth more than once are so appreciated!!

I think our youngest paddler had the most fun (and he can paddle!). Armed with a squirt gun, he also has good aim and appreciated anyone who wanted a squirt. Christine brought watermelon and she was definitely his favorite kayaker. After 5 and a half hours he was still saying "I love nature."

There weren’t too many animals along the way (black flies, butterflies, small birds, crows, red frog, and turtles). There were lots of footprints at the river’s edge. Some of those footprints were quite large and I was glad we didn’t run into the animal they belonged to. The mocking jay bird kept us company. We belted out a few notes and he echoed them back perfectly. My best identification guess so far is a white-throated sparrow (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/White-throated_Sparrow/sounds ). Let me know what you think.

Sue and Dan (our best friends on the bridge) tried to get reservations for us at our favorite spot, Billy’s, but the only times they could fit us in were too early or too late. They were able to get a table at the Steak House. Thanks, you two!!! The food was very good and worth the slow service for the 11 of us.

Some stayed a little longer in Old Forge. This sleepy town goes to bed at 9 PM, but we discovered a free parking spot and moved our balcony chairs over payment with the number 11. We chatted until our weary bodies gave in. The paddle was 12.7 – 13.5 miles (according to how much walking you did to carry boats at the portage and who’s GPS you were looking at). A few were saying they might just look around at Paddlefest instead of paddle Kayuta Lake the next day. Aaah, it is always a bit depressing seeing that sign on the route south that says "Leaving Adirondack Park".

Report Images by Kim Wojnowicz and Images by Eric Zhaman

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