Cedar River Flow is a three-mile-long impoundment in the central Adirondacks. Matt and his friend Vinnie met me in Indian Lake Village at 9am. We drove west on NY 28. A few miles outside town, just after crossing the Cedar River, we turned left onto Cedar River Road. We drove 12.3 miles to a large field near Wakely Dam and the put-in. We were on the water at 10am.
We saw a bald eagle, Bitterns and a painted turtle. We heard an unusual bird (for us) which another canoeist identified as a Pie Billed Grebe. Grebes are small brown birds have unusually thick bills that turn silver and black in summer. They inhabit sluggish rivers, freshwater marshes, lakes, and estuaries. They use their chunky bills to kill and eat large crustaceans along with a great variety of fish, amphibians, insects, and other invertebrates. Rarely seen in flight and often hidden amid vegetation, Pied-billed Grebes announce their presence with loud, far-reaching calls. We never saw one, but heard it’s calls repeatedly – a bizarre whinnying, gobbling, cooing noise.
There are several mountains just east of the flow – Blue Ridge, Cellar, Lewey, Snowy, Buell and Panther and to the northwest lies 3,760-foot Wakely Mountain.
The weather was perfect with few clouds and temperatures in the low 80s with minimal wind. We paddled up the flow to the Cedar River and up the Cedar River to the lean-to on the Northville-Lake Placid trail. We found the lean-to occupied and a father and son fishing so we turned around at that point.
We took two breaks to stretch our legs and eat lunch. We returned to our cars without incident by 2:30pm.
The structure once known as Air Force Research Laboratory Building 240 during the days of Griffiss Air Force Base, is in the midst of being demolished at the corner of Floyd Avenue and Hill Road. Ancillary buildings have already come down and asbestos abatement has begun at the site, with the main building expected to be completely cleared by June. Construction of a Stewart’s Shop on two acres at the corner of Floyd Avenue and Hill Road, is slated to begin toward the end of the year and expected be completed some time in 2017 in conjunction with the State Route 825 project.
I worked on Bldg 240 projects from 1981 – 2004 when the building was closed. With the demolition moving at a fast pace there was a call for another reunion.
Thursday I took Stone to Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School (VP-TECH) convocation. Students who will be ninth-graders in September 2015 are eligible to be part of the first class of VP-TECH. VP-TECH enables students to begin their college and professional lives more quickly and with more support than the typical school-to-work pathway. Graduates of VP-TECH earn an associate degree in quality assurance and leave the school with the skills and knowledge in the advanced manufacturing industry.
Eric went to the Middle School dance on Friday night. Saturday we mostly did chores: cleaning out the wood box, the garage, and then finish mowing the pastures. Saturday evening we had Cranes over for dinner. It rained Sunday morning then we had a brief hiatus before the skies opened and it rained and rained and rained. Eric had a soccer game in Hamilton and it rained hard. At least it was warm. HP got crushed, score-wise. But afterwards we went out with some others for dinner and that was fun.
On my way home from work I picked up a truck load of mulch (2 cubic yards) which we spread around the landscaping early Friday morning before it got too hot. Kathryn found an old kitchen broom and a roller and we waterproofed the south deck and two stairways. There wasn’t enough left over to treat the north porch, but that has a roof over it anyway and we waterproofed it last summer.
I planted Kale, yellow wax beans, 13 tomato plants, peas, cucumbers, 15 eggplant, brussel sprouts, and three type of potatoes. Saturday we picked up Eric from an overnight with his friends Andrew and Dakota. We stopped and got flowers for Kathryn which she planted on Sunday. I completed the garden by planting pumpkin, acorn squash, and zucchini squash.
I retrieved an 8′ telephone post from our new property and hooked up the brush hog – removing the draw bar for the 1st time ever. I mowed trails including our two new trails, which need a little more maintenance – removing a couple of stumps from the angle trail and making a turn around on the Kincaid trail. I took a shot at mowing most of the new property before calling it quits at noon. In the evening we went to a picnic at Chris and Jack Skelly’s.
Monday I sprayed Round-up along the fence line, cut willows around the pond and Eric and I re-seated the steps by the pond. The pigeon that was nesting under the lean-to appears to be trying to start a 2nd brood, so I cleaned out the next – it was pretty nasty, but fortunately dry. I got almost all of the new property mowed – cleaning up a lot of wild rose bushes. I also mowed around Kirkland’s field trying to keep the brush from infringing on the field.
Rome Select won their 3 play-in games and final championship game by an average of 20 points. Everyone got plenty of playing time.
The team received medals for finishing in 1st place.
The #1 7th Grade Boys team.
Coach Dell offers final words as the season concludes.
Skip & I rendezvoused at the Stewart’s shop on Route 12 in Mapledale at 7am with the intentions of paddling down the Jessup to Indian Lake to the NYS boat launch. This involves a roughly ten-mile paddle; down 2.5 miles of Jessup River, five miles down the fjord-like arm of Indian Lake, then back south on the lake to the NYS boat launch. We met at 7:15am, drove to the Route 30 bridge over the Jessup, left our canoe at the put-in, left a car at the launch/take-out and were on the water paddling by 9:15.
We paddled downstream on flatwater for 1.25 miles crossing over a couple of small beaver dams and trees in the stream. Based on previous trip reports we were looking for a set of rapids. In our case the water level was just sufficient for us to pick our way through the rocks and avoid portaging the ¼ – ½ mile rapids along the right bank. Two miles from the start was the scenic Dug Mountain Falls (site of a notorious winter camping prank).
Reaching Indian Lake we paddled north on a narrow arm of Indian Lake. We stopped for lunch at one of the designated NYS campsites at the the northern most extent of our fjord.
After lunch we reversed our direction around Long Island and headed back south to the NYS boat launch to our car. Our total trip time was 3.5 hours including our ~20 lunch break.
Kathryn took the pop up camper up to Port Henry and volunteered at the Crown Point Bird Banding Station for a few days. She said “I’ve been pecked and clawed and pooped on. I saw up close and personal birds I’m familiar with, birds I’ve never seen before and even one I had never heard of. I’ve “picked,” banded, measured, and determined sex and age. The birds were amazing. The people were helpful and patient, interesting and easy to be with. I learned a lot and had a blast at Crown Point Bird Banding station.”
Rome Select played in the Battle for the 315 tournament. Their 1st game (9am game) was vs MV Elite and it was an ugly game. Rome Select trailed throughout the game and managed to put in two offensive rebounds to win 22-19.
They played Elite Performers at 11am and jumped out to an early lead – I think it was close to 20 points at one point. In the 2nd half Elite Performers started a full court press and ran off 12 points vs the Rome Select bench (Eric included). Re-inserting the starters calmed the waters and the final margin of win was ~10 points.
Sunday morning Rome Select played the MV- Elite (Frankfort version) who won the Pool B in the cross over game winning by 25 points.
Rome Select ended up playing Elite Performers in the championship game, but they added a couple of additional players for the championship. Elite Performers jumped out to a 10 point lead, Rome Select tied it before half and then Elite Performers ran off a 10 point lead right before half. That was the story in the 2nd half. Rome Select made a run cut the lead to 10 and then Elite Performers would counter and run it back up. The final margin of victory was in the teens. Overall a good weekend, but I think everyone walked away disappointed because they lost that last game. On to Saratoga and the Adidas Hoop Summit.
For Christmas I got Kathryn a gift certificate for her and a friend to go birding in the Adirondacks with Joan Collins at Adirondack Avian Expeditions. Joan Collins is a New York State licensed bird guide, bird walk leader, writer, and speaker on ornithology topics. She has led walks and made presentations for many organizations including Audubon, the Adirondack Mountain Club, and the New York State Ornithological Association. Joan also belongs to the ranks of the intrepid Adirondack 46ers (having climbed all 46 peaks in the Adirondacks over 4,000 feet). Joan is a serious ear-birder and is fascinated by bird vocalizations/sounds. Bird behavior, migration, and the history of North American Ornithology are among the many topics that interest Joan. She enjoys bushwhacking and camping in the Adirondack wilderness year-round.
Kathryn had a wonderful day birding with long-time friend Jane Moon, guided by Joan Collins of Adirondack Avian Expeditions although Kathryn was still sick with a stomach bug. She and Jane stayed at the Adirondack Hotel in Long Lake….old and quaint. The heat was off (old steam radiators) so Jane asked them to turn it on. Kathryn was messing around with the kindle and heard the radiators – really loud! – and thought “That noise will be hard to sleep through!” A few minutes later the windows look fogged so she got up….steam billowing out of the bathroom. Went downstairs to tell the clerk (fortunately it happened at 9:03 because they all leave at 930) and by the time we got back to the room, steam clouds are flowing into the hall. Apparently there was something wrong with the steam radiators! But she had a nice steam bath for a few minutes. Got moved but didn’t sleep well (had eaten a small supper but was still sick so had cramps all night).
The group got an early start Tuesday but it was darn cold and she got a bit hypothermic. It warmed up by 10:30 and was much more comfortable although the black flies came out but they weren’t really biting. She saw a lot of birds – 62 species by visiting locations in Newcomb, Minerva, Long Lake, and Tupper Lake . While the goal seemed to have been seeing as many black backed woodpeckers, grey jays and boreal chickadees as possible, we also saw a broad winged hawk feeding his mate, eagle, sand hill crane, kinglets, evening grosbeaks, a zillion warblers including pine, palm, nashville, yellow rumped, yellow, blackburnian, and of course all the usual back yard birds.
Canoe trip down Black Creek with Matt Hay, Skip Shoemaker, Jack Bell, Kathryn Skelly Muller, Eric Muller, Dave & Jack Crane, Matt got to initiate his new solo canoe. Skip got to take his new knee canoeing. Jack & Dave got to resurrect an heirloom canoe. We saw a large porcupine and heard a lot of birds. A pair of Canada geese proceeded us for quite a ways. A nice 1st outing for 2016.