The Dog ( Paddling) Days of August !

We’ve been quite busy on the water lately…we’ve tried out a few different ponds and lakes, all within 45 minutes from our home.  The dogs get quite excited when they see the paddling gear get put in the car!  We’ve continued to see quite a collection of wildlife on our paddling trips…still lots of loons, but also osprey, eagles, geese, kingfishers, deer, beavers…the dogs express appropriate levels of curiosity at these critters, but thankfully do not get agitated, nor try to jump out of the boat.

At Wolcott Pond, lots of flowering lily pads, and LOTS of Canada Geese!

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At Zach Woods Pond, we watched, but did not harass, the loon parents and their baby.

We’ve paddled quite a bit on our local large reservoir, and camped on one of the remote sites that are on a “first come, first served” basis. We were fortunate to have 2 mid-week days available, so we could avoid the weekend crush. With only about 20 sites, it is risky to load up the boat, paddle a few miles, and find out that someone else has already staked out the site. These sites have traditionally been renegade sites, unregulated, and not monitored by the state parks system. This means there have been issues with sanitation, trash, loud parties, and folks fighting over the sites…this year, there is a “floating ranger” from the nearby state park, who is monitoring the remote sites. We have definitely noted an improvement in the condition of these sites, some of which are really great spots for a short camping trip. After making camp, we spent a few hours paddling north. We had a nice on-water chat with Terry, the floating ranger..we then headed north to check out some great potential sites for our next trip.

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The heavy rain stayed just far enough south…we had a nice sunset, and after a miniscule little shower, we had a nice rainbow.

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Edgar would really prefer to be sitting in his dad’s lap ( but no, not when we are in the Helinox chair!)

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Paddling up the northern arm of the reservoir…checking out a potential site for our next trip!

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Edgar has the most amazing canoe entry technique…he is so smooth, when he lands, the boat barely moves!

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Our campsite…high above the peaceful water

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Thanks to the dogs, we were up early enough to catch a lovely pink sunrise

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Loaded up, and ready to head home….

Then, of course, I have been excited to do quite a bit of paddling, in order to get used to my new paddle…an early birthday present ( so it could be used during paddling season!). I am the proud owner of a Bending Branches Limited Edition A paddle…not just an ergonomically designed, lightweight, smooth paddle, but an absolute work of art!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy bow-paddler (aka husband) knew that I would much prefer such a paddle over fancy jewelry or other gifts, which are often used to mark such a “momentous” birthday….

We have had over 25 paddle excursions this year…last season, we did not hit that mark until mid-September. We have a few more trips planned, and if the weather cooperates, we will paddle until the end of October. Everyone ( human and canine) in our crew really seem to enjoy canoeing…what fun we have had!

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