Saturday, July 7, 2012

Inflatable boating, and another bike ride

On a hot summer day when the wind is right, Holly and I sometimes pack up my inflatable 2-man boat and head for an Adirondack pond to just float the afternoon away.  We've learned that this thing is pretty hard to steer, or even to make forward progress without spinning in circles, so the wind direction is a crucial factor.  In the past, we've gone to Nine-Corner Lake, north of Caroga Lake, which is basically oriented west-east, and offers a nice long float when the wind is from the west.  The idea is to somehow get to the west end of the lake, inflate the boat, put in, and relax and let the wind do the work.  So that was yesterday's plan.

When we arrived at Nine-Corner Lake's parking areas, we found 20-30 carloads of people with that same destination in mind.  Not appealing at all.  So, just up NY-10 a mile or two is a trailhead for Broomstick Lake, a much smaller body of water, but also oriented correctly for the day's winds.  

Nine-Corner and Broomstick Lakes
While Nine-Corner has a snowmobile trail running along almost its entire length, providing easy access to the far end of the lake from the hiking trail, Broomstick has no such luxury.  But we were the only car in the parking area!  We just had to give this a try, since at worst it would be a short bushwhack along the lake from the end of the 0.7-mile trail at its east end.

Arriving at the end of the trail, we were fortunate to find an unofficial path along the south shore.  Most of Broomstick's shoreline is marshy, but we saw a reasonable put-in off in the distance, at exactly the right place, at the west end of the lake.  As the path petered out, we continued along the shore until we found our spot.  15 minutes later, the boat was inflated and ready to go.

After drifting back and forth across the lake a couple of time, on more of a southwesterly wind, we saw what looked like a sandy bottom on the northern shore.  Holly tried it, but sunk in up to her knees in mushy mud, taking a while to extricate not only her water shoe but her leg.  After that, she swam across the lake while I manned the oars and tried to keep up.  After that, we stayed in the boat and just drifted with the wind on a hot afternoon.  Two people and a dry bag in this boat is a somewhat tight squeeze, but having the entire lake to ourselves more than made up for it.

Finally reaching the east end of the lake and the trail we'd come in on. we got the boat deflated pretty quickly and headed back to the car.  Next up - ice cream at Udderly Delicious in Johnstown/Gloversville to cap off the day.

This morning, I got out for another bike ride, before the poor excuse for rain showed up later in the morning.  I only did 21 miles, and it was a relatively easy ride, aside from throwing in the short climb up Grant Hill Road to keep it interesting.

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