Amy wrote: Another beautiful day for a paddle. There were 8 paddlers today: Dave, Kim, Cindy, Amy, Hugh, Joe, Yang and her friend Claudia. We launched from the nice sandy beach at Oneida Shores and headed to the Route 81 bridge and Oneida River. As we left the shore the group broke into 2 groups, the long distance group and the not quite as long distance group.
The Long Distance group was Amy, Hugh and Cindy. They crossed the Oneida River after the 81 bridge came back out for a quick tour of the marina on the Northern side of the Lake then proceeded to battle the wind and waves to reach the elusive Frenchman Island. While we were out there for seemingly days on end, we witnessed some really cool optical illusions. There were a couple of sailboats that passed us going out of the river so we knew their size. However, once they got out to the horizon of the lake they looked really huge. Strange. There were also some trees off in the far distance that Hugh thought were the ships we had seen earlier. We determined that someone was playing pranks on us and putting new things on the lake. The Island kept moving further away or Hughs distance judgement should not be trusted. Amy kept asking, "Are we there yet?" until Hugh was forced to ask if she wanted him to turn the kayak around and or stop. She promptly said, "No, Sir!" Finally after about 20 days of paddling we made it to the island, went around the back and stopped for a much needed stretch and snack. (A kayak with a skeg would have saved a lot of work for Amy.) We came back through a larger than we thought bay and had to cut across to the tip before heading back. We finally made it back to shore in one piece after going 15 miles and only 20 minutes or so after the other group got back, about 5:20 P.M.
Kim added: The larger group of 5 continued under several bridges along the Oneida River to Lock 23 for a total of 10 miles. We stopped to snack (and check phones!!) under the bridge near the lock. Getting out at the lock looked a bit cumbersome. It seemed like there were more camps along the river than I remembered from the last time I paddled the river from this side of the lock, Nov 2008. I did not paddle on the April 2010 trip which looks like Erics first time per the trip report. The park did not have any bathrooms then, just blueboys. We saw cormorants on the water and in trees. A duck family with some little ones were near the beach alongside a heron. A mink scampered on the rocky shore.
Eric, and Joes wife, Sue, joined us for dinner at the Waterfront, which we saw from the water side while paddling. It got a bit cooler and darker as we ate outside, and lights had to be turned on to see our good looking food. Hello autumn nights.
Report by Amy and Kim
Images by Amy, Eric, Kim, Hugh, Joe (10 mile map) and Cindy (15 mile map)