Drought conditions, and the hottest July on record…facing these conditions, we have made sure we get out paddling early in the morning, and we avoid the lakes where the low water levels are making paddling problematic. But wait…we have had some rain. In fact, some pretty torrential downpours. When? Whenever I have been camping! Yes, as I test out a Big Agnes tent for Trailspace.com, I have encountered perfect conditions to evaluate its weather-resistance.
Dogs staying out of the rain!
Our camping plans, as those of many others, were tossed upside down due to the pandemic. Our scheduled trip to Algonquin Provincial Park in September is all but cancelled, due to border closures…we are keeping paddles crossed that we will still be able to take part in Plan B, a week in the Adirondacks. Our local camping area trips have been limited by record breaking attendance; gone are the days when you could just show up and get a spot. We tend to avoid crowds, so lots of sunrise day paddling has taken the place of early mornings at a campsite. We have managed to get in a few GO camper trips, and a few overnight canoe camping outings, but not nearly as many as in a “normal” season.
We continue to test gear for Trailspace, serve on two boards for lake advocacy groups, participate in Vermont Loon watch activities, and monitor water quality for the state DEC. Our social media presence is growing, and our Instagram page is getting more and more followers each week. People love dog photos…put a human in the picture, and the number of likes drops!
Our nature watching has been quite productive…for us, a record number of eagle sightings (26 to date), and also the highest number of green herons seen. There are fewer loon chicks this year on the lakes we frequent, and we have seen ( and recovered) some abandoned eggs. No moose yet this year, but a bear was seen on the shore as I paddled out to a campsite.
We used our tandem canoe one weekend, and the dogs seemed to enjoy the change of pace…they do have a bit more room in the Swift “big boat”, especially during day paddles w/o any camping gear. Edgar has become quite the accomplished canoeist ( vs. riding in his kayak) from all his outings in my solo boat.
However, I still think they each prefer to be in a solo boat!
On our outings, we have been able to take the dogs on hikes, seeking out cool,shaded trails with lots of water. We have also visited state historical sites, providing the dogs with some interesting locations to explore.
So we are off into August, with 2 camping trips planned, one a local canoe camping trip, and one a GO trip to a state park in the Northeast Kingdom. More canoeing adventures await, and we anticipate even more eagle sightings! Nearly 100 days on the water so far this season, so I guess we cannot complain too much about weather and camping difficulties!
Eagles of Vermont….(though one was banded in MA)