Spring Fling

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Perfect weekend in the ADKs.

Didn't get much done Saturday - drove around the southern and central portions scoping out road-side campsites and looking for a place to put the boat in and go overnight. We passed up the good stuff because I wasn't feeling that well. We wound up in the Fox Lair on the side of Rte 8. The site we stayed at was pretty nice being a roadside site and all - nice view of the Sacandaga and the edge of Siamese Ponds Wilderness.

Sunday was even better than Saturday. Well for one it was a nicer day, for two; we got a boat into the water.

I had been wanting to paddle up Fall Stream for sometime. Last time I was in the area it was on my radar but I was unsure where the put in was. I recall seeing a truck parked down where I thought it was but the rapids and snowmobile bridge threw me off. Sure enough, that is the spot - private land but legal to park and launch.

Things didn't go so smoothly getting onto the water though...

Mainly it was these roller contraptions and docks that someone (I think the Irondequoit Club - their name was on the signage) put down at the launch. Being curious and expecting chilly water I decided to give them a try. Bad idea!

First off the last set of rollers that actually went in the water was at such a steep angle it wasn't of much use. To us, no use actually! A detriment in fact... rolling down the rollers as soon as the center of the boat hit the water and was off we managed to kick sideways and roll over, the stem skidding when it hit the steep angle. My wife jumped out but I was caught off guard and fell right in... haha - I can laugh now, but I was mad then. Good thing is the water was warmish.

So anyway, after that fiasco we decided to take a more traditional approach to our launch and we were off!

What a day. It was windy but it was really warm with blue bird skies. It was totally worth the roll.

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Sounds like fun, mostly. What's the boat? Looks like a Bell or a Hemlock.
 
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Thanks. It's the Hemlock Eagle. Our Swift is getting a bit of repair work done from an off-water incident.
 
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My wife wrote a journal about today. She was kind enough to let me put it here... might be funny to see our different perspectives.

Fall Stream to Vly Lake. Swamped the canoe at the put in. Laughed like a madwoman but Mike was steaming mad. I blame the rollers--death traps that shoot your boat in exactly the wrong direction towards downstream rapids. "Why don't you try paddling!" Mike hollered once we were finally (soaked) upright. Some kayakers were struggling with the same thing on our way out, so I won't beat myself up about it. In all, 10 miles of beautiful winding stream, punctuated by two lakes; first Fall Lake, then three beaver dams to Vly. No bugs, just a perfect blue sky, sun, and strong wind that makes you feel like you really earned it. Awesome day.


Found a campsite off Rt 8. Overlooking the Sacandaga. Beautiful spot, even though it's right next to the road. Region is called "Fox Lair," but the only wildlife we encountered was a house cat that somebody dropped off at the campsite. Tried the hammock for the first time and swung in it for a bit until I got chilly. Beautiful, clear night.
 
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I can't imagine what the rollers look like. Could you post a pic?
 
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Gavia,

Imagine sets of rollers from some automated factory line...ever watch "How It's Made"?
Or maybe infeed or outfeed rollers that you might see in a well equipped wood working shop.
 
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Didn't take a picture but SG is exactly right - they are ugly and out of place where they were.

I'd recommend staying off them.
 
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Gavia,

Imagine sets of rollers from some automated factory line...ever watch "How It's Made"?
Or maybe infeed or outfeed rollers that you might see in a well equipped wood working shop.

I can imagine the rollers, but not quite how they're placed. Do they form a kind of conveyor set up on an angle with one end submerged? That would be fine for a motorboat but dangerous for a canoe because as soon as the first end hit the water it would immediately destabilize. Is that how it works and what happened?
 
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I can imagine the rollers, but not quite how they're placed. Do they form a kind of conveyor set up on an angle with one end submerged? That would be fine for a motorboat but dangerous for a canoe because as soon as the first end hit the water it would immediately destabilize. Is that how it works and what happened?

Yes it was exactly like that. And that is exactly how it happened. It was actually more when the center of the boat hit, but I'm sure there was an air gap between the rollers and the boat where I was... I'm pretty sure I was balancing on the stem on the rollers (hard to say because I couldn't see).

I've talked to some people that claim they are successful but at a very shallow angle into the water. Some people don't like to get wet I guess. I'll take my chances with the water from now on.

I did see motor boats on the first part of the stream but I think they came from private camps and not this put in - they could only go to the first lake because of beaver dams from there on in but even then there were some shallow, rocky spots... so I don't know? Technically they are legal in this area.
 
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I'm actually thinking there is a hidden camera there somewhere and the Irondequoit club is laughing at all the people wiping out on those rollers and being shot into the rapids. We got caught up on some rocks broadside to the current and almost got swept away. I saw another guy struggling to take off there and his wife said she almost bit it on the rollers.
 
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Yes it was exactly like that. And that is exactly how it happened. It was actually more when the center of the boat hit, but I'm sure there was an air gap between the rollers and the boat where I was... I'm pretty sure I was balancing on the stem on the rollers (hard to say because I couldn't see).

So what you experienced was basically the same as a canoe getting caught in a trough between two closely-spaced waves. I'll be you never do that again!
Thanks for sharing an important lesson.
 
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For whatever reason I usually learn the hard way.

Looking back it was obviously a bad idea.
 
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Only 4 hours from me, maybe I can convince my wife to go on another adventure. Was this a down and back trip? Can you make it all the way back, without having to set up camp?
 
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Only 4 hours from me, maybe I can convince my wife to go on another adventure. Was this a down and back trip? Can you make it all the way back, without having to set up camp?

It's an easy one. It took us about 4 hours out and back. There are beaver dams to go over from Fall to Vly and the current is not strong at all. Coming down is much, much faster though. You shouldn't have to stop at the dams; the spring flows have breeched them in spots so you can crash thru going with the current.

If you are a slow paddler or want to stop a lot, I'd add an hour or two to the trip. It could be done as an overnight if you like, no need though. There are two sites on Vly lake - neither are legal but it seems to be a trend in this part of the Adirondacks - I've noticed the same thing on neighboring Fawn lake. DEC is supposed to mark and maintain some in this area but it's yet to be done.

Anyway either site on Vly is on a steep and rocky shore. Not good for a tent. I'd go back 150' from the water and find a couple hammock trees or a flat enough spot and pitch a tarp.

If you do want to stay the night to get an early start or don't feel like driving back there are some sites on nearby G-lake road and Mountain Home Road. The G-lake road sites are far better (as is the road). Mountain Home road gets pretty rough where it turns to state land. There is one large, open site right before the creek crossing. The other sites are small or uneven. No outhouses that I saw at any of these sites except maybe the large one on MH road... might have been an outhouse near the site on the other side of the road.

Also there are a couple state campgrounds nearby if you need more amenities. Or a hotel...
 
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Lockport, NY
Nice, Thanks man. I asked last night, and she said.... I'd rather be hiking, than stuck in a canoe. I guess that's better than nothing. So, If we paddle the above mentioned route, is there a peak near by we can climb as well? Maybe I can get her to do both. I'll try and google the area, but thought I would ask too.
Thanks.
 
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Nice, Thanks man. I asked last night, and she said.... I'd rather be hiking, than stuck in a canoe. I guess that's better than nothing. So, If we paddle the above mentioned route, is there a peak near by we can climb as well? Maybe I can get her to do both. I'll try and google the area, but thought I would ask too.
Thanks.

That's odd. Most people would prefer the canoe I would think.

Anyway there is Echo Cliffs on Panther Mountain right there overlooking Piseco Lake. It's a pretty short hike, I've never done it so I can't comment much except to say it is there.

T-lake falls also comes to mind. Another one I haven't done. I think you can get to the bottom from Mountain Home Rd trailhead (right where those sites I was talking about are).

I know you can get to the top from the T-lake lean-to trail (which happens to be right near the Echo Cliffs trail) but I think past the lean-to may be un-marked, un-maintained. Also the top is very dangerous (many deaths) and it's a bit hairy to get to the bottom from there.

I've only read all this, so I can't tell you first hand.

That should get you going.
 
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HAH - my wife is most certainly not, most people. haha Thanks buddy - this is a great start, and I really appreciate it. Keep the pics coming too!
 
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