Paddling up the Kunjamuk with Matt and Chris

Matt wanted to paddle the Kunjamuk and show it to Chris, so we set out at 10am on a perfect day.  We have made this trip many times before but this was the 1st time we stopped and hiked to see the famous Kunjamuk Cave.

The water level was slightly lower than when we had paddled the Kunjamuk with the Helmers a few weeks prior.  We paddled up the the southern tip of Elm Lake.

Fish Creek

Skip, Don and I did a day trip on the lower 9 miles of Fish Creek from the Oswego Road Bridge to the Ta-Ga-Soke Campground in Sylvan Beach.

The lower sections of Fish Creek is meandering flat water as evident from the image below.  From the Oswego Road bridge to the Route 49 Bridge was ~4 miles with a few small riffles to pick through and strainers to avoid. It was 5 miles further to the take out in Sylvan Beach

The put-in at Oswego Road bridge has a small parking lot – mainly for local fishing access.  It is a short portage cutting the corner of a corn field and a small steep bank that leads to a launch site.

Most of the section from Oswego Rd to Rt 49 bridge is a winding channel surrounded by high dirt banks and lined by eroded trees – forming strainers.  We probably saw half dozen trees broken off into the creek from the thunderstorm the prior night. The high water levels resulting from spring run-off and ice jam flooding is evident throughout.  Due to the dirt banks there weren’t many places to pull out, shade up and stretch our legs. It took us a little over an hour to paddle to the Route 49 bridge where one could hydrate, snack and stretch.

We were paddling a fiberglass Wenonah Jensen 18 and a solo Nova Craft Trapper.

The lower section of Fish Creek from the Route 49 bridge to the take-out was broad, flat and subject to wind.

We wanted to avoid Sylvan Beach and the boat traffic leading to Oneida Lake so we scouted potential take out sites near the Ta-Ga-Soke Campground.  The campground manager gave us permission to leave a shuttle vehicle at their driving range and use the adjoining hay field for our take-out.  Getting from creek level to the field required a scramble up a 12 foot dirt bank, but there weren’t a lot of options.

Overnight on Cedar River Flow

Matt, Skip, Steve and I took an overnight canoe camping trip to Cedar River Flow on Sunday – Monday.  The threat of rain and beginning of the work week combined such that we only saw one other canoe as we paddled in on Sunday afternoon.  The black flies swarmed us as we loaded our boats so we sought a campsite with lots of exposure to wind.  We lucked out with the weather with only slight showers and no rain while we set up camp and cooked dinner.

Eric’s Tonsils

Eric finished up his Freshman year with various end-of-school get-togethers, including one he had here.  On Tuesday he had his tonsils removed.   He had some minor issues, so we didn’t get discharged when we anticipated.  One issue was nausea, probably from the anesthesia and pain medication.  The other  issue was his uvula was so swollen that when he fell asleep, it would rest on the back of his tongue, dry out and get stuck which then when he woke up his gagging reflex was activated and he also felt like he couldn’t breathe.  So we stayed in hospital long enough for two doses of steroids and some anti-nausea medication.   It was a long day.  He has been feeling pretty miserable.  He is on a very strict diet, basically cool fluids and baby food (which tastes awful) but his throat hurts so much he is taking in very little beside ice water.  An occasional popsicle, which colors his scar tissue as seen below.

For a while we could coerce him into taking  a few tablespoons of pediasure or pudding or yogurt or ice cream, in order to get his medication down  but he says milk products cause too much phlegm, and he is not allowed to hack it up, so he has refused all milk products.  He ran a little fever, which they do forewarn you about, but it is still disconcerting.  So, getting up to give him his pain med every 4 hours and monitor his temperature has kept Kathryn from a good night’s sleep.  And tending to him  and trying to keep him hydrated has kept us housebound in the daytime.

His follow-up doctor’s appointment revealed everything to be normal and he could begin eating soft foods, e.g the noodles in chicken noodle soup.  Next week he should be able to live a more normal life.

Cullen Blowing his Coat

It only took about 20 minutes of brushing to get this amount hair out of Cullen.

Looking Rather Pastoral Out Our Backyard

Paddling the Kunjamuk with the Helmers

We took advantage of the nice weather and did a day trip up & back the Kunjamuk.

Transition To Summer Vacation

Eric had two regents tests to finish up his school year.  He feels he aced the math.  He says he thinks he “didn’t do too bad” on the science.  The last week of school, we got emails from photography and English that he missed assignments so his grade was in the 50s for both.  He says he rectified the situation – we are holding our breath.

Eric’s tonsillectomy is Tuesday, so he will be on injured-reserve for pretty much everything.   Let’s hope the surgery goes as pleasantly.  We were told there is a 2 week recovery period.  Because they use lasers not scalpels, there is increased scabbing so for 2 weeks, he gets no real food.  Broth, jello, popsicles, etc.   They said he will probably drop 5-10 pounds. Then in July 23 Eric gets his wisdom teeth out.  That is a 4 day recovery period.

We had all been sick with a nasty cold for a week.  Jim’s fatigue never went away.   He couldn’t do anything, barely walk down to the pond etc.   After a while, he began to sense he was in atrial fib again, which a trip to the ER confirmed.  He was very bummed.  The doctors kept saying “People live with atrial fib!”  and Jim kept saying “But I can’t do anything I want to do!”  Jim had an ablation 12 years ago, and has been symptom free.  It was a huge disappointment that it returned.  The ER doctor said “With the human body, no cure is a forever cure.”   Anyway, a  week later, they did the cardioconversion, which worked right off and his heart has stayed in rhythm since.  The cardiologist gives it a 50-50 chance of sticking for any length of time, but there are other treatments and they have come a long way with ablations.  Meanwhile, in the testing the discovered a leak with his mitral valve, but it is something that only needs monitoring so that is sort of the silver lining, they found that.

Kathryn’s Empire State Senior Games were last weekend.  She had a lot of fun, a whole building full of old women playing good volleyball.   I think it was about as much fun as I have had in a long time.  We (“Volleyball Chicks”) did great.  We played 12 games over the course of the day.   They took Gold in our age bracket (65+).  The event organizers  had us play in the 60+ bracket so we could get more games in and they won more games against the “youngsters” than they lost.  Taking gold qualifies this iteration of “Volleyball Chicks” to participate in the national tournament in Albuquerque next June.  Kathryn was introduced to another team who said to me “We aren’t very good.  We don’t expect to win anything.  We want to take 8 players, because some of our regulars have physical problems (knees) so you might not play the whole time.  But we need a setter so would you come to Utah with us” so Kathryn said Sure!


King of the Mountain AAU Tournament

Eric played in what was likely his last 2018 AAU tournament with his Mohawk Valley Elite team.  They lost a close game to a much large Coast-to-Coast team, won their 2nd game by ~30 points and lost their final game to the Connecticut Titans by 30 points.  Eric played well; mainly playing good defense, passing and rebounding.  He scored 2 points in each of his games.

Empire State Senior Games

Kathyrn joined a team of women from Syracuse and Rochester to compete in the 65+ Division at the Empire State Senior Games in Cortland.  She had a fabulous time at the Empire State Senior Games and played some great volleyball. Their team won most of the games they played against the next-younger age bracket teams and took Gold in our own age bracket. After 12 games of volleyball, it was a long full day.  Below are the “Volleyball Chicks” wearing their gold medals from the 2018 Empire State Senior Games.