Stuck in a Soggy Stick Season

As the rain continues to fall, so does the likelihood of my getting any more canoe camping trips this season. Edgar was promised one more solo trip, but the weather has not been cooperating!

After 6 month of paddling in drought conditions, we entered October not really knowing what to expect in terms of foliage, but looking forward to ending this very challenging paddling year on an “up” note. In early October we found some pretty spectacular foliage, but then suddenly, stick season was upon us…in our northern paddling areas, the leaves dropped quickly, leaving muted tones of yellow and rust.

Daily paddling has become problematic, since we have entered a period of rainy weather,with wind and often cold temperatures. We’ve even had some thunderstorms, unusual for us this late in the season.

We have been lucky enough to have some nice late-season paddling, though, especially if we head out early in the morning.

After morning paddling,we like to get the dogs out for a hike…usually on local trails, scoping out some of our favorite snowshoeing trails in anticipation of the upcoming winter! We will once again be serving as Tubbs Snowshoe Ambassadors…all the indications are that this will be a crazy busy winter for back country winter activities, given the new restrictions at ski areas.

We did manage to get out for our annual Closing Weekend canoe camping trip, at Green River Reservoir State Park. Closing weekend used to be a quiet one at the park…leaves are usually past peak, and the weather is iffy, so the park is not booked to its usual capacity. However, this year the park has seen incredible usage, breaking all records…so I feared it might be too busy for the pure enjoyment of October solitude. However, apparently the cool fall forecast kept a lot of campers away.

We did actually delay our departure for one day, since the forecast for our planned fist night was for high winds, thunderstorms, heavy rain,and hail.

Instead, we headed out early Sunday morning, in brisk and sunny conditions. Edgar and my husband paddled out with us, to join us for breakfast while we set up camp.

After Edgar and his Dad left, Griff and I went for a nice paddle, had a hot lunch at the campsite, and then enjoyed a drop in the wind so we could paddle up the far end of the lake.

Late season paddle camping is marked by darkness arriving quite early, especially when the sun sets behind the woods of your campsite. A nice fire kept us warm, dinner was hot and filling, and our tent provided a cozy escape from the dropping temperatures.

And,we have news…a new arrival to our fleet!

Duncan was able to find a beautiful used 2020 Souris River Tranquility solo Kevlar canoe, priced at a very reasonable cost, from a northern NY outfitter. Lucky for us,the outfitter is located in a “green Covid zone” county, so we were able to take a day trip over to pick it up.

Of course, we had to take it out for a maiden voyage…it performed beautifully, and I may just consider it for my next canoe. We will have the forward thwart moved forward next spring, to permit more room for Edgar, and for Griff when I decide to use this canoe. But it has been fun to try out a Kevlar light, and a delight to paddle!

So now we are dodging a spell of crappy weather…wind, rain, and unsettled temperatures. I hope to break my record of 166 days paddled in a year, and it is looking quite possible. It may mean paddling in some rainy conditions, on grey days, but I hope the sun makes a few more appearances!

And so October wanes…with a forecast for more rain next week, and then dropping temperatures, it seems unlikely Edgar will get his final camping trip. We’ll have to stick to day paddle trips, as we transition into November, and the soon-to-arrive winter season.

3 thoughts on “Stuck in a Soggy Stick Season

  1. Out paddling today in central VT, t-ahirt and bare feet (and PFD, although I soon unzipped as it was too hot!), and the only reason I didn’t go out in similar weather yesterday was the long list of errands. Not tomorrow, either. And then we’ll see what the weather brings. I’m surprised you still have loons – I’ve not seen one for a couple of weeks now. Eagle, yes – cormorant, yes, even a great blue heron. But no loons. Sigh.

    I’ve been known to paddle until there’s ice along the edges of the water, usually until about Thanksgiving, but every year is different. Congrats on new member of the fleet!

  2. Be careful! Water temperature on Waterbury Rez is 46 degrees, and 49 at GRRSP…survival time is brief w/o thermal protection…remember, dress for water temperature, not air temp! Would hate to lose you!

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