Independence Day 2012. Warm apple pie, hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, parades, fireworks, and some time on Lake Champlain. Every year on this day one only needs to open the windows of their car to begin the experience. The air fills with that one quintessential smell of barbecue hanging in the air as families get together to honor their independence over all-American fare. For aquahollics like myself, Independence Day marks a day out on the water by any means necessary.
My blog post today is not that stimulating photographic tour as I have done in the past. I didn’t have my camera for some of my ventures, and in one case, it would have been for no reason. This Independence Day was all play on the Adirondack Coast.
Independence Day take one: I started my Independence Day right around midnight. The plan was a SUP under the light of the full moon. That light was hiding behind clouds that rolled in a few hours before our planned trip, but did not deter us from getting out on the SUP. I’m not fortunate enough to have my own paddleboard yet, so I called on my friends at the Kayak Shack in Plattsburgh. Heres my plug. The Kayak Shack specializes in sales and rental of all things kayak and paddleboard on the shores of Lake Champlain. If you’re looking to get into kayaking or stand up paddleboards but don’t want to make the financial decision to purchase, or don’t see yourself using them much, call on the Kayak Shack to just rent one! You can find their rental rates, hours, and locations here http://kayak-shack.com/index.php/rentals/.
With rented paddleboards in hand we put in along a nice sandy stretch of beach in Peru. The gently rolling swells and light through the cloud cover was relaxing. The only sounds beyond nature were those of some campers singing around their fire on shore. Fourth of July, 2012, has begun!
Independence Day take two: While standing on the gently rolling swells around 1:00 am, we anticipated waking in a few hours to go out for the morning sunrise on the Adirondack Coast. Our plan was thwarted by heavy showers, but getting back out on the SUP was a must! We skipped the sunrise paddle, but were out at the Port Kent beach a few hours later, coffee in hand, looking out over Lake Champlain with the sand in our toes and paddleboards ready. The breeze was strong, the waters were calm enough to stand on, and the sun was still showing signs of a beautiful Independence Day ahead. We Paddled ourselves over to South Beach to scour the shores in search of sea glass and unique stones to add to our collection. We had the beach to ourselves this early July 4th morning.
One hour later we loaded our boards and headed our separate ways. Of course, that wasn’t enough. So after unloading our boards at our homes and filling up with some much needed breakfast I receive a text, “Want to put in the jet ski?” Of course I replied without hesitation with “when and where?”
Independence Day take 3: A fifteen mile trip on the jet ski from Port Kent to Cumberland head. The lake had changed its mind about how choppy it needed to be. The jet ski was a perfect fit for these conditions. Riding the jet ski doesn;t allow for as much photo time as a nice kayak paddle, but I did manage to capture some people enjoying a sport I must try! Kite surfers were buzzing about enjoying the stiff breeze and waves in the shallows of Ausable Point. There is no public launch site at Port Kent. One would need to launch from the Peru Dock to the north or the Port Douglas launch from the south in order to do this trip.
Soaking wet and soaking up the sun, we traveled these 15 miles in a few hours before once again parting ways. the parade in Plattsburgh and the fireworks were not far off. As with any Independence Day celebration, the downtown of Plattsburgh was stirring with activity. I didn’t make it in time for the parade, but I could hear the sounds of music, horns honking, and the cheer from the crowds from my balcony looking over Cumberland Bay.
With fireworks booming and people shouting, the Independence Day celebrations were coming to a close. One more for the history books for life on the Adirondack Coast. The sun is set, the crowds have left, and the smell of the fireworks and barbecue still hanging in the air. Happy Independence Day.