kdaanen

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  • in reply to: Through-Paddler Reporting for Duty #188
    kdaanen
    Member

    I think the photo of Mike S. is somewhere along Spencer Rips/Hardscrabble road after Fish Pond. Mack Truax attempted to use the logging roads shown on the maps nearby without success. You can read about his issues here: http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=499361

    There is no water to get around it with ascending the streams to at least Middle Deadwater. There is a way to bug out a little earlier following a logging road right to Spencer Lake, but its not a sanctioned option. It sounds like you are thinking about doing it again???

    in reply to: What model canoe? #376
    kdaanen
    Member

    And I have experience tearing a small hole in a kevlar on the lower Saranac in Plattsburg, near the Catherine Street ledges. It was patched and I made it the rest of the way. Continue to bang it up through all the NFCT rivers except the lower Nulhegan and Sr. Br. Dead River, that were missed due to low water. My friends pretty much nailed the recommendations. As a viable (almost) retiree, I’d still take a kevlar or graphite if I were to do it over again in one trip—primarily for the weight.

    in reply to: Fastest Thru Paddle? FKT #382
    kdaanen
    Member

    Erik: As far as I know, you three are the fastest reported team to date. I reference you as 21 days, 3 hours and 45 minutes in my through-paddler guidebook. There have been a few very fast kayakers, including Mack Truax’s trip this year, but I think Skip Ciccarelli still is the fastest at 25 days.

    in reply to: Section two questions #362
    kdaanen
    Member

    I’m really surprised about your state park comment. I too have stayed in many state parks and found the NYDEC ones to be equivalent to other experiences. Maybe not hot showers, but everything else was on par. Perhaps because you are pre-season? Personally, also being a BWCA camper, I was shocked to find outhouse on the water-accessible campsite on Lower Saranac Lake stocked with toilet paper! I didn’t camp on Forked Lake, but I thought it seemed like a great campground. I would say to expect the same number of “conveniences” or lack there-of on the Saranac Lakes. With the exception of motorboats, these lakes felt like a mini BWCA to me. I’d say it compares to the BWCA, but with picnic tables. I’ve posted a few pics from 2011 and 2012. First one is the lean to at the end of Raquette Carry. Second is the tent site where you turn off to head up Stoney Creek. There is also an adjacent lean-to at this site. As you can see, no picnic table. The overcast sky ones are from Middle Saranac, there is a picnic table at that site, but this just shows the terrain. The last is at Lower Saranac.

    I don’t have an opinion about how much to stretch out the trip. It certainly is scenic and no need to rush through it. The hand-operated locks are in this stretch too, which are a novelty. Fishing might be good?

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    in reply to: Section two questions #361
    kdaanen
    Member

    I would like to reinforce the beauty and remote feeling of this section. You’ll have lots of camping opportunities (including lean-tos) all along this route, but no other services. If you hit headwinds on Long Lake, there are several campsites sprinkled along the eastern shoreline. There is a popular, but nice campsite and lean-to at the end of the Raquette Falls Carry. In hot weather, there is a nice swimming hole at the put-in too. I’ve camped at both Middle Saranac Lake and Lower Saranac Lake state park assigned campsites. Middle Saranac Lake feels more remote and would be my first choice. Lower has an awesome bluff. Both lakes have numbered boat-accessible only sites. I suspect that you won’t have a problem getting a site at that time of year. However, what would be a problem is picking a site first, then paying. You won’t know what’s been reserved upon arrival. The park office is located AFTER passing through most of Lower Saranac Lake, making registering for an open site and then returning to it, really impractical for Middle Saranac. It’s less problematic for Lower, but you’ll still be adding at least two miles paddle to and from the office to a site. I recommend calling the office to discuss where the kind of site you are looking for and then booking it. There are only a handful of sites with lean-tos on either of these two lakes. Most are tent sites only.

    St. Regis Outfitters, located along the Saranac River after portaging around the dam, has a single shower at their store that is available to patrons of their services. If you use them for shuttling, you’d probably be able to use their shower at the end of your trip.Depending how far you’d want to go, you could add the Saranac River section from Saranac Village to Permanent Rapids–about a 3 hour trip with no rapids (until reaching Permanent Rapids.) It meanders through flood plans and a deciduous forest. You could take out here leaving a car here for a few hours; or portage around the rapids and camp at the put-in–where a large, pretty and somewhat popular campsite exists; or paddle to the Franklin Falls take-out where a car can also be left. Saranac Lake to Franklin Falls, with the wheelable portage around Permanent Rapids, would be a day trip. St. Regis can help out with shuttles in this area. Paddling all the way to Union Falls is a VERY long day. Phone service is very sketchy in this area (or was as of two years ago), so I’d make sure I’d have my shuttle plans set before heading out.

    Another thing to keep in mind for your next section paddle is still consider using shuttles to get around the next section. Save Saranac Village to Union Falls for a two-day trip. Yes, the next section of the Saranac River between Union Falls and Clayburg is technical. You can shuttle (or portage) this 9 mile section following roads and resume from Clayburg. Water levels will determine how technical the next section is between here and Plattsburg, but you have several options of where and how far to paddle. Clayburg to Treadwell Mills Dam, just outside of Plattsburg is an interesting stretch of river with some faster sections and some portaging. I could see you checking off the river as another trip over a few days too. But yes, you’ll most likely want to consider cobbling this section together with the use of some shuttling help. Paddling through Plattsburg is another topic altogether best left for another time.

    But I digress! You are certain to enjoy section two. Interesting scenery and good campsites are to be found throughout your trip.

    in reply to: canoe carts #346
    kdaanen
    Member

    Do not let anyone tell you that a cheap stern cart will be okay.

    in reply to: Gear search for my ’14 thru-paddle… #336
    kdaanen
    Member

    Boats can take a beating on the rivers some borrowing one could be problematic–especially for an entire summer. You may be able to buy a used one in NY and then try to sell it in Fort Kent, but there’s not a huge market there. A few other paddlers have tried or given their canoes away at the end of the trip.

    A cart will be essential paddling this late in the summer. Expect some rivers to be low and the possibility of additional portaging high.

    in reply to: New Through-Paddling Companion Guidebook #328
    kdaanen
    Member

    Good luck on your through paddle 50LittleBirds! I know of another couple launching around the 15th too.

    in reply to: New Through-Paddling Companion Guidebook #327
    kdaanen
    Member

    It shows what kinds of services are available in trail resupply towns, populations of each town, how far away from the NFCT kiosk or other take-out point they are located, address, websites and/or phone numbers, but I did not include hours of operation as those can quickly change and date the material (or worse, mislead the reader.) I did not include distances between the towns–which is an interesting question. I’m sure I overlooked things and welcome feedback from anyone who uses it!

    in reply to: When can I expect ice out- #320
    kdaanen
    Member

    @Chris Gill 301 wrote:

    a) A good guess would be that you will have plenty of water on the Saranac, perhaps too much. The 2 feet of snow predicted for tomorrow won’t help. I would plan on maybe having to do some long carrys if the water is too high, bring good wheels. The Saranac is generaly pretty high into June, last spring we had snow over memorial day (last weekend in May)and had to cancel our trip on the lower river. There is the possibility you will have perfect levels, I doubt it will be to low. I can give you more detail on what sections you can still paddle in high water if you want them.
    b) The odds of having lots of bugs in mid June is about 98%
    c) The water will be cold in June, dress appropriately, hopefully you will have warm weather.
    Bugs will happen about 4 weeks after ice-out depending on the weather. When you get to Saranac lake stop at Rauette River Outfitters and ask about current conditions on the river, they are very knowledgable and friendly.

    Or St. Regis Outfitters. They are right along the river. They also have a shower you can use as a Through-Paddler, and will stash your boat and gear while you are in town.

    in reply to: Northeast Carry? #292
    kdaanen
    Member

    I think Raymond’s General Store charges $20 or $25–that was for one canoe. Perhaps he’d offer a volume discount, but don’t bet on it. The gravel road is flat from Moosehead Lake until nearing the end, after crossing the intersection. In 2011 there was active beaver activity and standing water.

    kdaanen
    Member

    Good luck Larry! You sure started during some wild weather and returning in June should be better with the river levels, which were at flood stage last week after you left. I think you will still need to pick your way carefully or avoid some rivers altogether to keep from damaging your kayak again. The Saranac River between Union Falls and Separator Rapids by Redford is boulder-strewn. And from Cadyville to Plattsburg. If the water is high enough yet in early June, Clayburg to Plattsburg may be a fun ride. I just did Clayburg to Cadyville on May 29 and the water was flowing over 99% of the boulders–compared to July 2011, when I was constantly getting in and out and walking over gravel bars or avoiding boulders when I could paddle within the same section. The lower Nulhegan and the S. Br. of the Dead River will be other tricky rivers to run. Make sure to stop in at St. Regis in Saranac Lake and other outfitters along the way to get river advice. Good luck! Please post a trip report when you are done!

    in reply to: May section 1 trip #258
    kdaanen
    Member

    No. I stayed at a lakeside motel near the Visitor Center. A visit to the Hardware Store in Old Forge is rather fun. Hardware is only one thing that is sold there.

    in reply to: Black Flies #281
    kdaanen
    Member

    @kdaanen 241 wrote:

    Perhaps sleeping in the open in the lean-tos may be out. Have you paddled the BWCA during black fly season? I wouldn’t expect it to be much different. Open water and breezy points will be fine. Wet trails, not so much. I wouldn’t cancel a trip over it. Just make sure to carry a little 100% Deet and headnets in your packs.

    Just to clarify–I haven’t paddled this section in May, but have been in the BWCA when black flies were out.

    in reply to: Black Flies #280
    kdaanen
    Member

    Perhaps sleeping in the open in the lean-tos may be out. Have you paddled the BWCA during black fly season? I wouldn’t expect it to be much different. Open water and breezy points will be fine. Wet trails, not so much. I wouldn’t cancel a trip over it. Just make sure to carry a little 100% Deet and headnets in your packs.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 28 total)