The Crooked Canes Journal


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West Branch Sacandaga Paddle ~ Sep 4, 2013

Journal entry by Ray Bouchard



Wednesday’s paddle turned out to quite an adventure. It has been many years since there has been any obstruction to the flow of water on this river, including beaver dams. But on September 4th we ran into a doozie. I was somewhat concerned early on, when we paddled over what appeared to be the beginnings of a couple of beaver dams, or else ones that were well covered by the 5’ to 6’ depth of the water. All of a sudden we rounded a bend and there sat the biggest log jam that I have ever seen. Initially it seemed impassible but after stepping from the shore onto the end of the first tree I realized that the weight of a kayak might be just enough to push it under and allow us to get over it with a little bit of hip action and a quick scoot. It worked; I made it over while everyone else waited on the far side to see if I could make it through the rest of the logs blocking our passage. Fortunately they were floating and with a little bit of effort, could be pushed to one side or the other, just enough to allow a kayak to go through. By the time I made my way back to the group, Peter had come up with a plan. He whipped out his folding saw and began cutting the tree close to the narrow end, and then he attached a rope so that the two of us, working in tandem, were able to move the offending log out of the way. Now with the only major obstruction gone, all we had to do was push and shove our way, single file, through a large maze of floating logs. Thankfully, it was the only obstacle we encountered during the nearly 9 mile paddle. Thank you Peter; without your saw and rope someone might have capsized as they tried to get over that first log. Safe and sound once again, we were able to fully enjoy the beauty of the Adirondacks as we continued on our journey to Trout Lake and lunch. The chosen spot was a bit shady and cool but we were treated to Hobble Bush loaded with red berries, Closed (Bottled) Gentian and a few Mushrooms that we might otherwise have missed. Lunch over; it seemed good to be paddling once again in the warm sunshine under a beautiful blue sky. We still had about 5 miles to go so we were glad to be paddling with the current, especially since the wind had recently come up and was slowing us down.
I would like to add a special thanks to Kurt Wisell for getting up in the wee hours on Thursday morning so he could add his pictures before he and Diane flew to Alaska for a few weeks of R & R.
Participants included Peter & Linda F., Rose S., Claire P., Kurt W., Joanne A., Jim and Jan B. and a newcomer and friend of mine, Doug Beers.

Ray Bouchard


9/5/13 - Kurt Wisell added 11 photos.

9/6/13 - Ray Bouchard added 13 photos.

9/12/13 - Wanderer . added 14 photos.

44 photos



Little did we know this bit of brush was a prelude to what was to come. - added by Kurt



The Canes discover an unexpected stream blockage. - added by Kurt



The log clearing effort by Mr. Fedorick, in the background with camo gear, has obviously made a big impression on Clair! - added by Kurt



Thanks to Ray and Peter, a path through the meat and potatoes of the jam was cleared and off we went. - added by Kurt



The path through the jam was a bit of a maze that involved some pushing and shoving on everyones part but we all made it! - added by Kurt



Finally, as Ray had promised us, smooth running amid beautiful scenery. - added by Kurt



Headed for our lunch spot on Trout Lake. - added by Kurt



Leaving our luncheon campsite on Trout Lake, headed back to the Sac. - added by Kurt



Lovely views all day long. - added by Kurt



Jan & Jim approaching the three quarter mark of the trip. - added by Kurt



Kansas has wheat in their fields, we have Mermaid Hair in our water. - added by Kurt



A serious log jam that Peter saws our way out of - added by Joanne



Clair, Peter and Kurt enjoying lunch (by noon as required) - added by Joanne



Kurt in photographer mode - added by Joanne



Our leader Ray is very serious about his photographs! - added by Joanne



Peter actually brings a saw when he goes paddling (and it's a good thing or this trip would have been awfully short!) - added by Joanne



Rose & Jan waiting for Peter to saw our way out of the log jam - added by Joanne



Claire enjoying a warm cup of tea to fend off the cool breeze. - added by Ray



Jan finishing up her lunch. - added by Ray



Doug enjoying the view from the shore of Trout Lake. - added by Ray



Bottled (Closed) Gentian close to our lunch spot on Trout Lake. - added by Ray



A pretty arrangement of mushrooms. - added by Ray



The Hobblebush berries are brilliant red at this time of year. - added by Ray



Thanks to Peter for pointing out the Mountain Ash in a small cove. - added by Ray



They may look like the feet of an elephant standing on a rock but they are 2 tree trunks being supported by it as they reach for the sky trying to survive. - added by Ray



I stayed at the take out spot for a bit after everyone had left and discovered a plant that I had never heard of before, the Carrion Flower. Yes, that is the name of the plant. If you look closely you will see that the cluster of berries is attached to a thin, woody vine that has wrapped itself around a thicker plant stem. I'm basing my ID on the fact that the stem had tendrils to attach itself to other plants but it lacked thorns. I understand that the plant gets its name because the flowers smell like rotting flesh. Apparently this is the plants way of ensuring that it will be pollinated. - added by Ray



A close-up of the cluster of berries on the Carrion Flower plant. - added by Ray



A splash of yellow at the take out thanks to Goldenrod and Black-eyed Susans. - added by Ray



A view from the take out showing where we had just come from. - added by Ray



A view from the take out looking downstream towards Shaker Place. - added by Ray



Put-In - added by Wanderer



Rose - Which way do we go? - added by Wanderer



Just Waitin Around - added by Wanderer



Gentle Bend - added by Wanderer



Jim - The Happy Paddler - added by Wanderer



Entering Trout Lake - added by Wanderer



Claire - providing the group with a "Kodak" moment! - added by Wanderer



Lunch at Trout Lake - added by Wanderer



Just Another Lunch Pic - added by Wanderer



Off Again - added by Wanderer



View from one of my secret campsites - no longer a secret - added by Wanderer



Mountain Ash - added by Wanderer



Abandoned Beaver Lodge - added by Wanderer



Ray - Helping Joanne - added by Wanderer



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