Thursday, August 9, 2012

Canoeing - Mason Lake

Yesterday, Holly and I loaded up the canoe and headed for Mason Lake, along NY-30 between Speculator and Indian Lake.  We'd been here once or twice before, and despite its proximity to the road, found it a pleasant place to paddle.

The put-in is along the road to Perkins Clearing, which leaves NY-30 just beyond the picnic pull-off.  There are several free primitive campsites along the lake on this road, and just beyond them, the road meets the lake's outlet, with an easy launch right at roadside.  These southern fingers of the lake are far from the highway and felt quiet and serene.

Heading up the outlet to the main part of the lake
Once out into the main body of the lake, there was some occasional passing traffic noise from NY-30, and the picnic pull-off was visible in the distance, but it was pleasant paddling nonetheless.  Off in the distance, we saw two loons, an adult and a grey-colored juvenile.  And then, right in front of the boat, up popped Papa Loon, loudly warning us away from his family in the distance.  We were still pretty far away from them, but he made it very clear that this entire lake was his territory.

Papa Loon

After circling the lake, we pulled up to a small island near the outlet for lunch, and for Holly, a swim.  I'm not big into swimming, but she'll get in the water almost anywhere.  She circled the island while I watched Papa Loon still hovering and keeping an eye on us.

Our island lunch spot.  Snowy Mountain is in the distance at upper left, the NY-30 picnic pull-off at upper right, and Papa Loon quietly watching our every move.

After lunch, we paddled down the outlet as far as we could go, disturbing a family of ducks along the way.  After loading up the car, we headed home, stopping, as always, for ice cream to top off the day.

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