First paddle of the 2015 CNY Kayak Club season April 26, 2015
Sterling Creek from Fairhaven to Sterling Nature Center Canoe Launch

It was a cool 40 degrees on land, but warm enough in the boat for 9 brave kayakers. The ice has finally melted after a torturously long winter. We suspected that we may have to pay to enter the park this year, because the lovely park workers’ collected their $7 last week at the Taughannock Falls Park hike. But, luckily no one was manning the booth. We saw some cabin campers and one valiant kayaker (and pups) spent the night in a tent. Well, if you remember, it is as warm as our late September camping.

We took the early spring route along the northern shore as a huge white cloud moved over us from Lake Ontario. The graceful swans greeted us. At least none of them landed on the back of a kayak today, like the flapping crazy one did on Bill’s Seneca River paddle last week. There was very little evidence that spring was in the air. The aquatic and forest plants hadn’t started blooming and there was just a tad bit of yellow on some trees. Again this year we noted the pungent smell by the cabins and the green substance on the water’s surface which colored our boats. The large turtle families were staying inside. We did however see pesky flying sand insects, muskrat, heron, hawks, bright blue jays, skipping fish, a snake, turkey vultures, geese (one flat on her nest), some very small adult ducks and other unidentifiable and most likely migrating birds. We listened to the sound of the many woodpeckers, and the red winged black birds alerted all the wild life in the area that we were coming. The vegetation was quite beaten down. We wondered whether the large snowfall and ice this year had produced it. It seemed to be much more that just animal activity and wind causing it.

Over half the group paddled through two culverts, the double barrel under Mcintyre Rd and the single under Farden Rd just past the Sterling Renaissance Festival buildings. The remainder made it to the first culvert then turned around to accompany a leaking boat. The back end of Mary’s boat kept getting lower and lower in the creek. A small hole was all it took to provide an entrance for uninvited water. A few bilges were needed to get back to the cabin area for a hike to the launch parking lot and a kayak pick up. Some lucky fellow will have a new project to work on this week.

The break time take-out was very muddy and those brown-caked kayakers bathed their boots when back at the launch. It was an exhilarating paddle. The paddle distance was 10.34 miles.

Six hungry paddlers tried out a new restaurant, The Red Brick Pub in Fulton. The sandwiches and entrees were delightfully delicious. Those who had dessert wanted to lick their plates. We recommend the homemade bread pudding and apple streusel cheese cake. Oh yes, we are going to eat there again!

The kayakers: Gene & Tish, Charles & Mary, Christine, Bill E, Mark, Eric and Kim (that’s me).

See you on the water for another grand paddling season!

Report Images by Kim Wojnowicz Images by Eric Zhaman

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