Saturday, July 18, 2009

Canoeing, Camping, Loon Census - Sand Lake

Every year, the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation conducts a census of common loons on numerous Adirondack Lakes. The census takers are all volunteers, and Holly and I have adopted Sand Lake, in Arietta, NY, as the lake that we visit each year. Everyone on every lake counts loons between 8am and 9am on the same July Saturday, and the results are sent in and tabulated. This morning was the second or third time we've participated.

Normally, the plan is to drive up the night before, carry canoe and gear the .5 mile to the lake, paddle across to a campsite, set up, have dinner, and go to sleep. Then we wake up in the morning, have breakfast, count loons from 8 to 9, pack up, and paddle/hike/drive home. Yesterday when we arrived at the trailhead, the forecast rain had already arrived, and showed no signs of stopping. So we did the sensible thing and set up the tent on a designated legal campsite at the trailhead parking area, had dinner, and settled in for a long wet night.

This morning, we carried only the canoe and paddling necessities to the lake and put in just before 8am. After the rain overnight, it was a sloppy muddy trek. We were rewarded by seeing 2 loons, both adults and presumably a pair, and they regaled us with their wonderful call.

The rain had stopped, and after paddling most of the lake, we headed back out and home to dry everything out.

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