Trip Reports NY, VT, NH and ME Lake Trip

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Adirondacks - Little Tupper/Whitney Wilderness Area

Up as usual before dawn and headed north towards the Adirondacks. A stop at the White House Cabinet Shop in Sherburne to see friend Mad Mike and ogle his custom built furniture and I was soon at the Whitney put in on Little Tupper Lake.

I’ve been to Little Tupper, Rock Pond and, more recently, Round Lake every year since the State purchased the land in the late 90’s. Typically on family trips, starting early on with young bowmen in bow-backwards tandems and eventually progressing to trips with 4 solo boats. Both of my sons paddled their first loaded solo tripper on Little Tupper and I know literally every site (40+ just on those three lakes, not counting another couple dozen on Lake Lila).

The parking lot at the launch is packed on a sunny Monday noon, but I expect many are daytrippers and other trippers will be paddling out in the afternoon after a long weekend.

This proves correct. As I am loading gear a flotilla of various Placid boats comes out, most paddled by folks with a decade or more on me, and I envy them their 20lb boats. As I finish packing other boats are heading back to the landing, including a healthy smattering of Hornbecks. It’s good to see the local builders so well represented.

Packed and heading SW down the lake I am reading the weather. A storm is coming and the prevailing wind is from the west. It is warm, mid-80’s, and I’d like a site with some wind exposure to help keep the skeeters down.

I pass #6 (Rocky Point), my favorite site on the lake and unoccupied. But I’m looking for that wind exposure, and as a solo I don’t require the spaciousness of that site for my minimal tent and tarp needs. The next several sites I would prefer for wind and size needs are all occupied, and at the south end of the lake I turn about and head back to Rocky Point.

It’s hard to beat nabbing my favorite site on the lake, even if I don’t need the space, but it is as predicted unusually wind sheltered and buggy. I race the coming thunderstorm and have tent and tarp secure before the deluge hits.

A brief pause from the thunder and lightning allows for a refreshing swim in the lake and I am ensconced and dry under the parawing when the next storm cells pass. Early to rise and early to bed; I was up before the dawn and the still warm temperature, rain and lack of wind exposure have brought the dusk mosquitoes out in force.

Early to bed and early to rise. I dawdle over a lingering two-cuppa breakfast and as I ready to make for a day paddle a voice calls out “Hello the camp?”. A comely young Ranger lass in a Placid Rapidfire appears at the landing. What can one say but “Please, come ashore”.

The comely lass is Sarah, a new-to-me Ranger at Whitney. I have in the past met Bruce Koons (since retired) and Robert Zurwick (still there, all surname spelling are suspect), both good fellows, but if I have a Ranger visit in store an attractive young woman beats a grizzled old man any day.

I enjoy a fine conversation with Sarah, with an awkward moment when she asks about the foil trash in the firepit. I remark that it isn’t mine, that I habitually leave every site cleaner than I found it and that I have a pet peeve about trash in fire pits and haven’t had a chance to remove it. I am somewhat chagrinned when she reaches down to feel the fire pit for hot coals and I further explain that, since I sometimes cook over an open fire, I abhor burning trash.

A day paddle, a fine swim and a long layabout in the hammock fill my day. I was nearly bereft of new reading material to pack in, and despite the size (1200 pages) and 4 lb heft elected to bring a single hardback; Paul Reid’s completion of William Manchester’s 3 volume Churchill biography (The Last Lion, Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965)

http://www.amazon.com/Last-Lion-Chu...157266&sr=1-1&keywords=the+last+lion+volume+3

Masterful. I now have the previous two volumes on hand via inter-library loan.

The weather was largely pleasant, with overall temperatures dropping agreeable and moderate (to strong) winds keeping the bugs largely at bay. After a 3 night stay I wasn’t ready to hit the road, and paddled back to the truck to resupply from 30-day stash of food I had in barrels in the truck bed.

3 days turned into 6, and 6 turned into 9, and I might have happily stayed in the Adirondacks for weeks, but the allure of the road in my new tripping truck finally beckoned.

Next up: Vermont - DAR State Park and Green River Reservoir State Park
 
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Vermont - DAR State Park and Green River Reservoir State Park

I had nixed an idea of paddling out to Valcour Island, but still wanted to paddle somewhere on Lake Champlain and test out sleeping in the partially outfitted truck bed. I also had it in mind to paddle and camp on the Green River Reservoir in northern Vermont.

A look at the map revealed a VT State Park just across the southern end of the lake that would do for a layover. DAR State Park

http://www.vtstateparks.com/htm/dar.htm

DAR has little to recommend it beyond easy access to (and across) the southern end of Champlain and a coin-op laundry at the nearby general store, and I was up pre-dawn the next morning and on the road to the Green River Reservoir.

http://www.vtstateparks.com/htm/grriver.htm

I’ve wanted to paddle GRR since the early 90’s when the lake operated with no designated campsites, reservations, fees or facilities. I knew that this had changed considerably over the last 20 years.

It is now a fully operating State Park with fees and reservable sites, and I had read the ominous warning “Parking is extremely limited and is available on a first come, first serve basis. Once the parking areas are full, visitors will not be allowed to enter the park.”
(There is apparently some work around to that)

I had no reservation, other than having reservations about needing a reservation. But it is only a short and pretty drive up to GRR. Why not try.

There was a single parking space available at GRR when I arrived. At 9am on a Wednesday morning. There was also but a single campsite available. I began to hear ominous music in my head, but after speaking at length with the Ranger about places we’d paddle and boats and etc, and expressing my concerns about the potential quality of a site that no one apparently wants, opted to forge ahead given his reassurances.

I was loaded and launched in short order, but not short enough to help but notice that more and more paddlers and boats of every sort continued to appear at the put in. Where they are parking is a mystery. (I believe the local liveries are somehow able trailer in loads of daypaddlers and return later to pick them up)

It is still early, and I decide to circumnavigate the lake before heading up the north arm to site #15. Many of the sites on GRR are beautiful. As I circumnavigate the lake I see more and more boats; sea kayaks, canoes good and bad, even a few paddleboards.

And many, many rec kayaks. Whole flotillas of rec kayaks. Up the northern arm towards site 15 there are far fewer paddlers about and I begin to have a good feeling about this.

That good feeling lasted only until I arrived at site 15. The site was, without question, the worst designated campsite that I have seen in 40 years of paddling. It is tiny, which matters little to me, but it is also beyond soggy. It had been a wet spring and summer in the Cold Hollow Mountains and flowing springs and seeps had appeared along the uphill side of the site. There is one semi-dry area back in the woods where I could squeeze my small tent, but the entire site itself is shoe sucking mud and running water, including a stream flowing through the firepit.

I know there is rain coming and try to imagine any possible reason to camp on the site beyond already being there with my gear. I mutter to myself “Hell, I’d rather sleep in my boat”, and then realized that I’d have to take out my gear first.

I had wanted to paddle Green River Reservoir, and I did. Back to the landing, not dawdling this time, to haul gear, rack boat and get gone to someplace better.

Holy Mother – I like other paddlers, but this is an infestation. When I arrived at the narrow dirt road carry down to the landing it is complete chaos. There must be 30 paddlers waiting to get their boats to the water and more arriving every minute. I scull around offshore waiting for a window of opportunity to land and beat feet, and as I do I overhear one of the waiting paddlers remark “Wow, I’ve never seen it this crowded”.

Help Mr Wizard, get me out of here!

That may have been the fastest I ever racked a boat and randomly threw gear in a vehicle. I didn’t even look at map until I’d made some miles away from that scene.

I would normally have been perturbed or disappointed, but it was so comically bad an experience, and I was so happy to be headed away, that I was laughing about it even as I was fighting my way through the crowd with my boat and gear.

I may have to try GRR again sometime, off-season with some recommendation for a site reservation. It is a beautiful area; I wish I gotten there when it first opened as primitive and, after 20 years on my mind, I’d like that experience not to be my lasting memory of the place.

Next up: New Hampshire - Pillsbury State Park and Penacook
 
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New Hampshire - Pillsbury State Park and Penacook

Down the road a piece I found a quiet and scenic place to have a gander at some highway maps. I need to lay over again to organize the gear that I haphazardly threw into the truck. And I’d like to see my friend DougD in Penacook before heading into Maine.

As changing fortune would have it one of my favorite NH State Parks is only an hour’s drive from Doug’s Humble Hovel in Penacook

Pillsbury State Park

http://www.nhstateparks.org/explore/state-parks/pillsbury-state-park.aspx

Pillsbury truly is a little gem. 40 car camping sites, many of them waterside on Butterfield, May or Mill Pond, as well as a couple of hike in sites on North Pond and even two paddle in sites on the main ponds.

Because it is a “primitive” State Park (vault toilets, no showers or electric, etc) Pillsbury has had wonderfully scenic sites available both times I’ve stayed there. Although what little traffic enters the park drives past, site #2 is off by itself at the very edge of Butterfield Pond and has easy canoe access from the site.

Idyllic, and just what the doctor ordered to rearrange truck, gear and plans.

I called DougD and left a message, telling him I might call again tomorrow.

I awake in the morning, cap window view facing Butterfield Pond 30 feet away and am enjoying a morning cuppa when a small and vaguely familiar car drives past my sight.”That” I sez to myself “sure looked a lot like Doug D”.

I linger near the road having a sip and back he comes, once again driving past me. I stop him with a shout and we hang by the lake briefly before motoring New Hampshire back roads along the Contoocook, with a stop for breakfast and more coffee.

My first visit to the Humble Hovel left me wishing I had such an array out outbuildings; barn, workshops and sheds, including a wood frame structure in open-front Baker Tent style set out of sight in the back 40, facing a large firepit. DougD’s wood supply should last through the winter; I think he had 10 cords stacked under cover near the house.

We putter away the day, waking and sitting outside, talking boats and outfitting and various gear projects, and I got to meet DougD’s better half, Karen. And Simon the cat.

And Tara the maillady.

The absolute highlight of the visit was meeting Tara. I have mailed DougD a half dozen packages of boat supplies over the years, and each one has had a large make-believe company logo and photos covering the back of the box.

A sizable box bearing the large font inscription “YOUR SUBSCRIPTION TO GAY TIMES AND TOYS HAS ARRIVED – YOUR COMPLIMENNTARY GIFT IS ENCLOSED” (with photos of well-oiled young studs). That was the first package, and Doug reported that Tara was somewhat taciturn on delivery, and left more quickly than usual.

That was followed by others: In package spanning letters “ALL NATURAL MALE ENHANCEMENT” (and in 2-point font below “Discrete packaging optional”).

“RUSSIAN BRIDE CALALOG – SENIOR EDITION” (with photos of various toothless Babushkas festooned around the text).

“INFLATABLE DOLL REPAIR KIT” (with a photo of a male inflatable doll). And similar packages I can not mention in a family forum. Doug has explained the true nature of these packages to Tara. Repeatedly.

When all was revealed she told me “We love that kind of stuff”. That explains why the ladies at my rural post office start laughing as soon as I walk in the door with any package. I promised Tara I would mail DougD another very special package soon.

I had been thinking of an Umbagog trip, but had concerns about the reservability of sites and the well-known aspect of the locale. The West Branch Penobscot, Lobster and Chesuncook also appealed, but I wanted to paddle somewhere new.

Doug suggested Aziscohos Lake in the Rangeleys of western Maine. Still reservable sites (ugh), but far lesser known than Umbagog.

http://bit.ly/11ZDg51

Yeah, that’ll do.
 
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Maine – Aziscohos Lake (getting there)

Remember how DougD and I had been deep in gear discussions for hours at the Humble Hovel?

In pulling one thing and another from the truck bed during our discussions (including at minimum one beer per hour from the cooler) I had left the cap door and tailgate open all day. There is a reason you don’t leave your tent - or other sleeping quarters - open all day. That reason is known as mosquitoes.

For some reason the skeeters trapped under the cap were somnolent until 3am, when they began one-at-a-time dive bombing assaults at my ears. I swatted one. Two. Three. Twelve. I finally turned my LED reading light and chased one into the corner where I swung blindly at him (OK, her).

I missed, but a dozen more suddenly took flight from that recess where they had been awaiting their turn for a brazen solo attack.

Yeaaah, 3:30am seems a good time to hit the road north, especially if I want to paddle in early before the winds kick up.

(I told Doug I’d be up and out early, and he came out with a cup of coffee for me at 4:30am to find me gone)

DougD had kindly printed out the coming week’s weather forecast for the Rangeleys, and provided a hand-drawn map of the back roads from his place to I-93 north. And printed Google Driving Directions for the rest of the route to the put in. DougD is a good man.

Pause - At this point I need to again address the need for a Retired Paddler’s Network; some affiliation of folks with an affection for occasional paddler company and a willingness to put up a traveler for the night in tent, truck or van. I’m in – I’ve got ample parking, rural lawn space and some good paddling venues nearby.

Local knowledge, information and a place to layover is a wonderful thing. Especially when shared with likeminded folk.

Google Driving directions are less wonderful. Soon after turning off Rte 16 onto the dirt I saw the Black Brook Cove Campground. But my directions continued for another 17 miles.

Trust Google and keep going, it’s still early. The directions contained many turns onto unnamed roads; “Go 1.7 mile to a slight left”….Go 4.6 miles and bear right at the fork”….go 3.3 miles and turn sharp left”.

Sure enough at each and every one of those mileages there was another dirt road turn exactly as indicated. But the dirt roads kept getting smaller and narrower until they were barely a truck width wide.

There was no place to pull over, and I pondered what I would do if I met a logging truck. Eventually the dirt road became a goat path and I saw some camps on a lakeshore ahead. I deduced that I was now approaching Parachenee Lake. Aziscohos was somewhere south back down the Magalloway stream between.

Oops. Back to Black Brook to inquire. A good test – the 2WD Tacoma does fine on bad dirt roads if driven slowly and carefully. And I discovered that the gap around the tailgate sucks in dust on dirt roads. I’ll weather strip gap when I get home to keep my unde-cap sleeping quarters clean.
 
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Maine, Lake Aziscohos

Once back at the Black Brook Cove I swallowed my fears about reservable sites and queried the proprietors about possibilities. A suggestion of site 6 as “My favorite on the lake” was good enough for me.

The cove is quite sheltered, but I could see the wind whipping the hemlock tops, and knew the open lake would be choppy.

Aziscohos is 19-mile long, linear lake with a pinched waist in the middle.

http://www.lakesofmaine.org/lake-overview.html?m=3290

Sites below the waist are managed by the Black Cove Campground

http://www.blackbrookcove.com/

Sites above the waist are managed by a retired Maine Ranger, Charlie Atkins, whose accurate contact information is hard to come by.

Exiting the shelter of the cove the wind was pounding straight down lake with steep waves and whitecaps on the long fetch. Straight into the wind is good. I like straight into the wind.

Well, I prefer a gentle tailwind with a sail up, but if I have to deal with big waves I’d rather see them coming. If the Monarch has one paddling performance flaw, it is steep waves quartering from the stern.

I aimed for the back of Beaver Island, think that would provide some shelter, but all it afforded as some disconcerting clapotis-like waves hitting the Monarch from either side until I came nearly alongside the island.

I paddled around the west side of Beaver Island to find that any landing near camp is fully exposed to the fury of the north wind. The best I can do is to drift the Monarch in slowly sideways in the widest rock gap and hop out on the deep side, lest the crashing waves steamroll the vacated hull (and me) into the granite.

I muscle the Monarch parallel to the waves as it is being beaten ashore and there’s nothing to do but drag the fully loaded hull partway onto the rocks before starting to toss out gear.

The Monarch was pristine with nary so much as a scratchwhen I bought it as a 20 year old used boat, and it quickly became a battle scarred veteran. After some windy Aziscohos boulder launches and landing I don’t even want to inspect the bottom.

Gear out and pants not peed in getting ashore I walk up to the site. My first thought is “THIS is your favorite site on the lake? Seriously?” It is, again, tiny. There is one place I can set up a small tent, provided I don’t fully stake out one vestibule. There is one possible location for the parawing, provided I stake out one low corner over the firepit. In a fairly dense forest there is one place I can string my day-hammock.

But I’m digging the view and there isn’t a bug or another party in sight. It’ll have to do.

And serendipitously, it did just fine. The orientation of the tiny tent space provided a fine view up lake through an open vestibule door. That only position for the parawing provided similar views, and the low side offered shelter from the wind (and later blowing rain).

Doubling over the wing into a <| shape still provided wind and rain protection and opened use of the firepit, and the view from the sole hammock stand was unobstructed uplake outstanding.

I have never before camped in the North Woods with so few bugs. I may have seen 12 mosquitoes in the course of 6 days on Aziscohos, and I killed 10 of them. Zero flies. The only thing buzzing was the occasional sweat bee and I find them charming and easily dissuaded, kind of like miniature hummingbirds.

The swimming was magnificent; the lake was clear and surprisingly not chilly, with a steep drop off and a rocky outcropping out in the lake as a target sunny spot.

The day paddling was excellent, even including one empty-boat explore in high winds that saw the Monarch surfing waves back to camp and me thinking “Uh, maybe this wasn’t such a great idea…” The Monarch is definitely better in following waves with a gear load, and even empty the landing back at camp was another adventure in gel coat abuse.

The winds eventually calmed a few days later, though camp remained oddly bug free. The calmer conditions finally brought out some canoeists headed down the lake, whom I suspect had opted not to tackle an Aziscohos paddle-out in high winds. I would not have wanted to be out there for the first few days in an open canoe and on the windiest afternoons I was content to repose hammocked in camp with a good book. Or an unread (and few days old) Boston Globe.

I love a good newspaper. I’ll savor every word, from the unknown-to-me local Metro section to the Sox/Patriots/Celtics/Bruins/whoever sports section to the Obituaries.

Maybe especially the obits; you can learn a lot about history and life’s opportunities from reading the obituaries.

A group of Keewaydin boys paddled past one calm day as I swayed in the wind and read the no-longer-exactly news but still news to me. Keewaydin groups are always a heartening site, and I seem to encounter them frequently on trips north.

I awoke on the 6[SUP]th[/SUP] day to find the lake dead calm and shrouded in dense fog. Debating whether to linger and pack a dry camp, or take the opportunity for a pea soup compass heading return to my truck I opted for the later. I need to be home within a few days, and in any case I habitually hang everything to dry after trips.

And, to be honest, I’m really digging the new Tacoma pickup as a road tripping vehicle, and want to spend at least one more night car camping under the cap to further cogitate truck bed outfitting accessibility and comfort.
 
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Who says you can’t go home again? Especially if it is just for a few weeks to dry and organize gear, pay bills, cut grass and play with truck bed outfitting in the shop.

The route home was more road trip joy; across NH and VT on back roads, onto empty inter-States into southern Vermont and more secondaries west to Albany and Binghamton, avoiding the east coast megalopolis sprawling out from Boston, NYC and New Jersey.

A layover at Molly Stark State Park in southern Vermont provided the opportunity to ponder further truck bed outfitting.

http://www.vtstateparks.com/htm/mollystark.htm

Molly Stark made for a fine truck camper stop. The park is immaculately maintained by a husband and wife ranger team and was little populated, although the road noise from Rte 9 was occasionally discernable when trucks labored through the mountains.

My route to, and next morning from, Molly Stark led me to two classic backcountry diners. Not past, to.

I was sick of my own cooking, and especially tired of oatmeal and grits. I love a good diner breakfast, at any time of day, especially if the menu contains something called “The Logger” or “The Mountain Man” or “The Eye Opener”.

Give me “The Gut Buster” eggs over easy, pancakes, sausage and home fries, keep the coffee coming and put what I can’t eat of the taters or cakes in a to-go box for lunch later. Oh yeah.

Home again, home again, with a list of truck outfitting ideas and a hankering to hit the road again in a few weeks. Life is good.

I took very few photographs. A brief slideshow:

http://s1285.photobucket.com/user/CooperMcCrea/slideshow/NY%20VT%20NH%20and%20ME%20Lake%20Trip
 
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Sep 2, 2011
Messages
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Raymond, ME
Thanks especially for the TR for Aziscohos..its going to be my fall outing..!

My 22 year old "virgin" Monarch is now longer not so much either.. But it is the quintessinal Lake Superior boat! After 200 miles it wants to go back..

Mike...here's a granola bar to ye! (I have some 24 left and if I NEVER eat another trail bar this year I will NOT miss them!)

Yes I can agree that the Monarch is better in following seas with a gear load though with seat on the lowest setting, it was just like a kayak. My kayaking hubby was having more problems in stern seas than I was. ( we did a couple of day trips in the Slate Islands with four footer seas)
 
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How do you like your hanging water system in the photos?

That is a (discontinued) Kelty Isotainer 10-L dromedary bag. REI outlet online screwed up the discount on them about 10 years ago, pricing them at three bucks and change. I bought 10 and gave 6 away.

Their sole flaw is that there are two threaded rings on the fill top and you need to make sure the inner ring is tightly screwed on first or the bag may leak when laid flat.

The real DUH revelation was that after 10 years of using those bags I finally figured out where to hang the little zippered bag that holds Bronners, Camp Suds, bleach and scrubbie. I was always misplacing that bag (green may not have been a good color choice). But it hangs perfectly from one of the ladderlocks on the dromedary and is accessible without taking it down.

Other kitchen revelations: The little Sea to Summit sink is terrific. The circular spring ring at the top twists into 3 loops, so the 5L version ends up like a 6” wide flat disk. The 5L worked well for a variety of solo uses, but for a multi-person trip I’d want a rinse bucket in which I could use a little bleach.

http://www.seatosummit.com/products/display/13

The best of the new gear ideas was the folding tabletop for the 30L barrel.

http://www.canoetripping.net/forums/showthread.php?517-Blue-Barrel-Folding-Tabletop

That thing is awesome. I WILL figure out how to make a lightweight version with composite materials. The flush, washable top is absolutely the way to go; I didn’t realize how messy I was until I had a shiny cooking surface on which to see my spills and dribbles. Add to which I managed to dump an entire package of oatmeal on the table one morning when I missed my cup. I need my coffee before tackling such an elaborate breakfast.

I removed the stupid-idea hanging utensil cord the first day. The top surface is plenty big enough for everything I need handy and the cord loops were ugly and awkward.

The little mesh bag that hangs off two J-hooks on the side is invaluable. It’s my trash receptacle while cooking or eating, and I no longer have to chase windblown trash or manage those tiny tear-off scraps of packaging. Everything just goes into the little mesh bag and I empty that into the trash bag when I’m done.

My search goes on for the perfect material for the beta version. Preferably something very stiff, very light and fully synthetic, so washing it is dunk-in-the-lake simple.

http://s1285.photobucket.com/user/C...Trip/P7261159_zpsdfcfff5d.jpg.html?sort=2&o=2
 
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Thanks especially for the TR for Aziscohos..its going to be my fall outing..!

Yes I can agree that the Monarch is better in following seas with a gear load though with seat on the lowest setting, it was just like a kayak. My kayaking hubby was having more problems in stern seas than I was. ( we did a couple of day trips in the Slate Islands with four footer seas)

I thoroughly enjoyed Aziscohos, and thank my Yankee friends DD and SB for steering me in that direction. I may have simply hit a particularly windy stretch blowing hard in the perfect long-fetch direction, but for most of the first three or four days I was there I wouldn’t have wanted to be on the southern end of Aziscohos in an open boat (and none were out).

In choppy following waves I wish the OEM rudder on the Monarch retracted onto the back deck as in most modern rudder systems. In some conditions having the retracted rudder still hanging out 12” behind the hull produced a lot of slap and whap.

On the other hand you can feel what’s coming through the rudder pedals before the wave even gets to the hull, and that rudder system is simple, fairly rugged and easily field repairable.
 
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Consider making the rudder system separate from the footpegs. If my rudder is retracted and hanging out, my feet are not on the rudder controls, but merely the footpegs. Any slap and whap is not transmitted to my feet. The boat is on the car now. I need to illustrate what I mean.
 
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Consider making the rudder system separate from the footpegs. If my rudder is retracted and hanging out, my feet are not on the rudder controls, but merely the footpegs. Any slap and whap is not transmitted to my feet. The boat is on the car now. I need to illustrate what I mean.

For folks unfamiliar – The Monarch (or at least most) have two sets of pedals, one mounted low as solid foot pedals and one higher on the sides as sliding rudder control pedals.

With the rudder “retracted” I keep my feet solidly on the foot pegs (those, in combination with a back band and knee bumpers keep me locked in the boat). But I also keep my toes lightly on the rudder controls, so the protruding rudder isn’t getting slapped around when paddling in stern waves.

Without keeping some minimal pressure on the rudder controls it will get cocked more sideways than I’d prefer, especially on a broad reach.
 
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Rudder sometimes got sand grains stuck in the fittings.. We did store it upside down and it was all beach camping. We didn't want the rudder to imbed in the sand so we deployed it down ( actually up!) overnight.

The places I did not use a rudder were specifically with reflecting waves or clapotis..where waves come from two or three directions. I found it better not to have the rudder in the water and merely be able to brace.
 
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Kim, I’ve found that the storage cover for a Pamlico 145T fits the Monarch perfectly; the cockpits are almost identical in size (90” x 23”). The storage cover will sag with pooled water, but with the back band left in place I haven’t yet awoken to find it implode from accumulated water weight. It helps if I store the hull tipped slightly sideways with the cover on.

http://s1285.photobucket.com/user/CooperMcCrea/media/NY%20VT%20NH%20and%20ME%20Lake%20Trip/P7261162_zps0d9daa64.jpg.html?sort=2&o=4


I like leaving the boat upright, with all of my paddling gear stored dry (and out of sight) inside and ready to go.

Not just on decked boats; I like the center storage cover on my CCS partials.

http://s1285.photobucket.com/user/C...013/P2190709_zps2d0f336c.jpg.html?sort=2&o=19

http://s1285.photobucket.com/user/C...013/P3070814_zpsc5a88763.jpg.html?sort=2&o=71
 
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Oct 5, 2012
Messages
197
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Genesee Valley, Western NY
Twizzle Twazzle Druzzle Drome... I recently found myself in a very tricky situation; it never dawned on me to elicit the assistance of Mr. Wizard. Thanks for the reminder; you've just gotten me out of my next tight spot.
 
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Sep 2, 2011
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Raymond, ME
I prefer to store the boat upside down or on edge. Both ends of the boat are tied if there are trees.

I really leave nothing else in the boat. Bears in Ontario are known to play with boats with stuff in them.
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
152
Location
North Creek NY
Wonderful report. We stayed at #6 on Little Tupper the weekend after you. Thanks for leaving it so nice. My GF said she'd seen a large garter snake near the stump. After seeing your photo, I understand what she meant. We too had a nice visit from Sarah, on her way back from delivering a thunder box further up the lake. It's nice to know there are people like her keeping an eye on things.
 
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Sep 2, 2011
Messages
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Raymond, ME
Six is one of my favorite sites..the other being at the other end and I forget the number. My hammocking partner got goosed in the middle of the night by something with four feet.
 
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Raymond, ME
Maine, Lake Aziscohos

Once back at the Black Brook Cove I swallowed my fears about reservable sites and queried the proprietors about possibilities. A suggestion of site 6 as “My favorite on the lake” was good enough for me.

The cove is quite sheltered, but I could see the wind whipping the hemlock tops, and knew the open lake would be choppy.

Aziscohos is 19-mile long, linear lake with a pinched waist in the middle.

http://www.lakesofmaine.org/lake-overview.html?m=3290

Sites below the waist are managed by the Black Cove Campground

http://www.blackbrookcove.com/

Sites above the waist are managed by a retired Maine Ranger, Charlie Atkins, whose accurate contact information is hard to come by.

Exiting the shelter of the cove the wind was pounding straight down lake with steep waves and whitecaps on the long fetch. Straight into the wind is good. I like straight into the wind.

Well, I prefer a gentle tailwind with a sail up, but if I have to deal with big waves I’d rather see them coming. If the Monarch has one paddling performance flaw, it is steep waves quartering from the stern.

I aimed for the back of Beaver Island, think that would provide some shelter, but all it afforded as some disconcerting clapotis-like waves hitting the Monarch from either side until I came nearly alongside the island.

I paddled around the west side of Beaver Island to find that any landing near camp is fully exposed to the fury of the north wind. The best I can do is to drift the Monarch in slowly sideways in the widest rock gap and hop out on the deep side, lest the crashing waves steamroll the vacated hull (and me) into the granite.

I muscle the Monarch parallel to the waves as it is being beaten ashore and there’s nothing to do but drag the fully loaded hull partway onto the rocks before starting to toss out gear.

The Monarch was pristine with nary so much as a scratchwhen I bought it as a 20 year old used boat, and it quickly became a battle scarred veteran. After some windy Aziscohos boulder launches and landing I don’t even want to inspect the bottom.

Gear out and pants not peed in getting ashore I walk up to the site. My first thought is “THIS is your favorite site on the lake? Seriously?” It is, again, tiny. There is one place I can set up a small tent, provided I don’t fully stake out one vestibule. There is one possible location for the parawing, provided I stake out one low corner over the firepit. In a fairly dense forest there is one place I can string my day-hammock.

Did you find any other nicer campsites? We might go up there soon.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Did you find any other nicer campsites? We might go up there soon.

Kim, I did not investigate the sites as usual. May of the nicer looking ones (at least from a water perspective) were occupied, and on those that were not I didn’t want to do additional high wind and wave boulder landings just to investigate.

There were a couple of sites that looked good on the south and east side of Beaver Island, and others on the east shore of the lake itself. Some of the sites further north on Aziscohos also looked good, with landings that were more forgiving and less wave worn bouldery.

I suspect that after schools are back in session you might have your choice of sites, albeit still with the need to make blind reservations.
 
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