At Summer’s End……

green river fog 2015 quoteWhat a great few weeks it has been! Summer temperatures and sunshine have lingered, making for some great paddling trips. Our favorite local spot, Green River Reservoir, has transitioned from a very busy, often crowded, (though still delightful) lake, to a place of increasing solitude and peace.  Recent temperature swings downward have brought us the first real “feel” of autumn, but for us, that means it is time for some of the best canoeing ( and kayaking) of the year….

We invited a few family members to join us for one of our planned September canoe camping trips to GRRSP….we had selected one of our favorite sites, which just happens to have adequate tent space for a group of 5 or 6. Well, we had 6 campers, if you include the 2 Paddle Pups!

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Paddling out to site 9

The weather was great…not too cool, but also not hot. We saw plenty of loons, and beavers near the campsite ( which had Edgar all in a tizzy). We had a sunset paddle up into Heron Bay, a section of the water which is closed from “ice out” until August 1, as it is a nesting area.  In the past, to get into the bay with the tandem canoe, we had to disembark, and make a short 100 foot carry around the small snowmobile bridge over the bay entrance. This trip, we had the kayak, my solo boat, and our companions had a tandem. We discovered that the water under the bridge was not so low as to prevent safe passage, but was low enough to give us (barely) enough headroom to duck under the bridge while paddling.

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In Heron Bay

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Stay down, Griff!

It is always fun to have a new experience, even though we paddle here quite frequently. We also took our very first GoPro “selfie”, and the dogs cooperated brilliantly!

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Happy to see each other!

We took the boats out for a dawn foggy paddle…this was great fun, and absolutely quiet, except for the calls of the loons. These foggy paddles surely provide some of the most peaceful times on the water.

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It was nice to have some company on one of our trips….and out dogs really love the extra attention!

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On a sunny Saturday morning, we headed out to the Waterbury Reservoir, for a late ( for us, as it was 8 am before we were on the water) paddling session. The forecast was for wet weather coming in, so we wanted to get out and enjoy the sun….

We had a great time on the water, saw a few other paddlers, and saw quite a few of the remote campsites in use…the weather has been so warm, that even in mid-September, folks are continuing to use this resource.

The coolest thing we saw was an osprey, who was “treading air” for extended periods of time, before missiling down to the water to snatch a fish. We often see ospreys perched in high trees, but this hunting behavior is a rare treat to see. No photos of this, of course….but we did get some nice summery shots.

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Well, the wet weather did come in as forecast…accompanied by quite the drop in degrees. On a cold, rainy, and very windy Sunday, we decided to explore some remote areas conserved by the Nature Conservancy. These areas are located in a part of he state only an hour away from us, but an area we rarely explore. So it was fun to get lost a few times ( thanks, GPS) , but to discover a truly hidden pond, accessible only by hike…and a small hill, with fabulous views. Certainly this was a change of pace for us,and I think we, and the dogs, really enjoyed it.

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Gryphon and I have had to do a bit of traveling, for family business…to break up the routine, we try to get out for some hiking during these trips. We stopped by at French’s Ledges in NH…we hiked here last winter, when it required MicroSpikes to negotiate the trails. This time, no such traction needed…the trails were dry, the sun was shining, and the wind was blowing enough to keep the air cool. A great day for a hike, to a small section of rock, with huge views!

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On a trip to Western NY state, Griff and I visited Letchworth State Park…My husband and I had hiked here a bit last fall, at the peak of foliage, and were astounded by the beauty of this park. On that trip, we did not have the dogs with us…so here was my chance to share this great spot with Griff.

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Letchworth State Park

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Hiking the Finger Lakes Trail

So…how do we celebrate the end of summer? Griff and I headed out to Green River, for a solo canoe camping overnight trip. The weather forecast was for clear skies,and temperatures possible down into the 30’s. I packed my woollies, Griff’s new Ruffwear Highlands Sleeping bag and Pad ( that we will be reviewing for backcountryk9.com), fixins’ for nice hot meals…and off we went. This was also going to be the first opportunity to use the Eureka Midori 2 tent that I had won from trailspace.com…and we also carried along the Trail Dog First Aid kit that we won from EXP adventures!

This was a great overnight trip! The foliage is starting to show , the weather was never really that cold, and my new gear worked out great….Of the 34 sites, only 4 were in use, so it actually seemed as though we had a private lake. We did a lot of paddling…paddle out and in to the site, paddled both at sunset and sunrise, and had a great afternoon excursion that gave us a nice view of the young loons…3 months ago they were little balls of brown fluff…now they are nearly as big as adults, though without the distinct coloration. There was one young ‘un, still staying close to mama….making a funny squeaky little loon cry, and not diving for nearly as long as the parent. We saw this pair at quite a few locations on this 600 acre body of water. We also enjoyed watching an osprey who was diving for fish near our site…at night we heard the nearby barred owl, and coyotes as they passed through the woods behind us.

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Love the tent…a review will be forthcoming

We had such a  good time, that I plan to return next week, for another overnight…if the weather continues to cooperate! We have to play “moving men” this weekend, so our outdoor activities will be limited…we do hope to get out Sunday evening to see the blood moon/lunar eclipse.  There is still another solid month of canoeing, and definitely some more camping to be had. I plan to share some amazing fall foliage photos on my next blog post. I will also be reviewing the new gear, once I have had a chance to put  it to more testing!

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Keep Warm, and Paddle On!

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