Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Floodwood Pond Canoe Trip

Earlier this summer, I read a very small blurb in Backpacker about a canoe trip in the Adirondacks that sparked my interest. Growing up on the outskirts of the Daks, I didn’t spend enough time in this enormous playground that was essentially, my backyard. So, now that I’m back on the East Coast, I consciously look for different adventures in this beautiful park.

Backpacker described the trip like this; “Paddle your way to mountain peaks. From the top of 2,530-foot Long Pond Mountain, the St. Regis Canoe Wilderness unfolds in a breathtaking maze of interlocking waterways amid thick green forest. The trail to this rarely hiked peak is accessible only by paddling the Floodwood Pond Loop in the northern part of The Adirondack Park.”

I was intrigued and so the trip planning began. Mike, Charlotte and I stopped in to St. Regis Canoe Outfitters in Saranac Lake to get all the info. Dave Cilley, the owner, is an expert on this area and gave us great beta. He also wrote a guide book for the area that is very comprehensive.

The leaves are pretty much at their peak right now, so the scenery was amazing. We paddled across large ponds, down narrow, shallow channels, under bridges and even pushed our canoe through a culvert under the railroad tracks. I’m not a canoeist by any means. I take about one trip a year. But, it’s a great way to get away into the wilderness via an alternative method, a.k.a, not my legs. It allows you to cover more ground and to bring a few extra items with you. So, we didn’t skimp – we brought the bigger Losi 3P for the two of us and Charlotte, along with the Pawprint™ for the floor. We also splurged and brought more food, like afternoon appetizers, beers and dessert. Of course, when we were portaging almost a mile with the gear and canoe, I was considering leaving the extra food for the chipmunks.

Our camp spot on Long Pond had breathtaking views of forested islands, channels leading to other ponds and our destination for the next day, Long Pond Mountain. The nights were chilly with temps dipping in the low 40’s. Charlotte doesn’t have a very thick coat, so I shared my EMS down vest and in the mornings, she somehow made her way into my sleeping bag. I’m thinking we need to design a packable sleeping pad and bag for our four-legged camping companions.

I love fall in the East!

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