What I did this weekend on the Adirondack Coast…….. Saranac Lake and Lake Champlain Islands

I can visit the Islands of Saranac Lake and Lake Champlain hundreds of times and never have the same experience twice. That’s part of the beauty of the Adirondack Coast. Live here, or visit here, and each and every adventure brings some new experiences. This weekend I had set up for two separate adventures with two groups of people to both paddle and camp in the Lower Saranac Lake, and to take a paddle out to Schuyler Island in Lake Champlain.

The placid morning waters of the Lower Saranac Lake
The incredible waters of Lake Champlain.

On this trip to the Lower Saranac Lake camp sites, I was greeted with an abundance of wildlife that I didn’t see during my last trip. The waters were calm as they usually are, Boat traffic was up, wildlife was abundant, flowers were in bloom, and the sky was perfectly blue. I have always had a knack for choosing perfect days on the water and this was no exception. I’m going to leave it up to you to read a bit about camping on the Lower Saranac Lake  here, https://exploreadkcoast.wordpress.com/2012/06/30/what-i-did-the-weekend-on-the-adirondack-coast-camp-out-on-the-saranac-lake-islands/.

The highlight of this trip was the wildlife. I was greeted by a Golden eagle, Bald Eagle, Mink, numerous ducks, Muskrat, and a Loon. The flowers in the slow-moving switchbacks were in full bloom. I can spend hours at each stop watching the birds or taking in the sweet smells of the flowers, and I did. Floating calmly along the placid waters my camera was at a constant shutter.

Keep reading after the slideshow……………

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What I did this weekend take two! (please forgive me for the lack of photos….. I have an excuse)

an action packed paddle on Lake Champlain. With kayak loaded, I left Saranac lake hurriedly to be in Port Kent to meet up with two fellow paddlers for a planned trip around Schuyler Island. While closing in on Plattsburgh I was greeted with a torrent of rain that was making all three of us re-consider a paddle to the Island. Tossing inhibition aside for a moment, we agreed to meet and assess the situation at Port Kent before cancelling our plan. I’m pretty sure that we are all agreed that our choice to go ahead and go was the best choice we could have made.

The torrent of rain stayed to the north, skies were clear over Port Kent, light breeze, and no sign of rain in the near future. How did we manipulate Mother Nature in such a way is still a mystery. The paddle to Schuyler was at a fair pace, three across, bobbing in the waves. We had this part of the lake all to ourselves. Schuyler Island is a few miles from the Port Kent beach. We stopped on the pebble rock shore of the south-east corner of the island to stroll along and take on nutrients and water. The waves on the lake around to the south shore were looking incredible. We looked at each other, then the waves, and back to exclaim “this is going to be fun”. The tightly packed 3-4′ waves were begging us to play.

By fun I mean extremely exhilarating! We hopped into our kayaks and power paddled straight through the waves, crashing over the top of one and dipping our noses into the next. We paddled far off shore into the highest of the waves, waited for just the right timing, and “kayak surfed” the waves as far as we could. The three of us bobbed and splashed around the south shore of Schuyler Island for over an hour playing in the waves. All three smiling ear to ear each time we slowed down and headed back for more. I’m certain none of us will forget the fun we had this day on south shore of Schuyler Island.

The paddle back to Port Kent was quick with the much smaller waves shoving us along. We were all still sporting permanent smiles that I still feel today.

So what’s my excuse for less photos? you try photographing from a kayak in 4 foot waves!

read about Schuyler Island here…..https://exploreadkcoast.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/what-i-did-this-weekend-on-the-adirondack-coast-paddle-around-schuyler-island/

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