The Crooked Canes Journal


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Champlain Canal Lock 9 - Lock 8 Paddle ~ Aug 13, 2015

Journal entry by Joanne Armstrong



A great day, a great group of 18 paddlers paddling southbound on the Champlain Canal from Lock 9, and 1 lone paddler (Hi Tom Gibbs) paddling north from Lock 8. This paddle was a "first" for Canes (not only because it was our first on the Champlain Canal), but because it was a "first" time loading from INSIDE the lock. A quick demo on how this was going to roll out (lowering the boat then climbing down the ladder) and the group loaded without incident, with help from our very helpful lock masters Brian and Bill, who are friendly and very helpful. Weather was predicted to be "beautiful" with just a slight chance of showers to the north. The slight chance of showers found us at lunch but the group was a bunch of troopers, especially considering we were hunched on the side of a dirt road at the "Golden Corral" in the rain. Sadly the group was expecting the "Golden Corral" buffet restaurant...and what they found were some graffiti strewn rocks that Joanne spray painted "gold" the night before. It's what you gotta love about CC people...they roll with the punches. Thanks for a great day to southbounders: Lynn, Sam, Joy, Barbara, Fran, Cathy C, Margie, Cathy G, Claire, Jo-Ellen, Karen, Linda, Kurt & Diane, Ray B and Ray B, Pat, and our lone north bounder Tom. Special shout-outs to Ray Bouchard who not only helped scout this trip but really went above and beyond the call of duty helping to "sand bag" the lunch spot landing, and pick up trash with Joanne the day before, and also a shout-out to Mark who comes to help Joy, but is always so willing to help all of us.

8/19/15 - RayB Bouchard added 17 photos.

50 photos



The day before - sand brigade



Ray moves boulders to clear a path for our boats tomorrow



Trash removal from "The Golden Corral" lunch spot



Sand bags added by Ray and Joanne



OK...time to call it quits



Group arrives at Lock 9 and begins unloading boats



Yippee! Margie and her Hornbeck are successfully in the canal



Pat is in with the help of the crew on land



Sam and his long legs are safely in..we're getting there



Claire is in (and our shore helpers are getting fewer as the lock fills with paddlers)



Shore crew dwindling so lock tenders Bill (blue shirt on left) and Brian (blue shirt on right) will help Ray, Linda and Cathy G into their boats



The gang is all here! (inside Lock 9)



And we're off



We aren't the only ones out here...occasional traffic of the larger kind but not a lot and very considerate



Bridge for New Swamp Road



Sam, Cathy G, & Diane...and the weather is still holding



Water front property and it's FOR SALE!!! (you can actually boat right in!)



Location, location, location



Think the home owner must be out looking for lunch



Lunch time for paddlers



Seriously? We thought you said The Golden Corral...why are we sitting on the edge of a dirt road in the rain eating our lunches?



The Golden Corral Outpost (as in maybe this tree will protect us from the rain as we sit in potential poison ivy, maybe amongst ticks)-Lynn, Barbara, Cathy C



What a guy Ray Bouchard... and who is your little hood ornament?



Joy and Kurt solving the world's problems (and while you're at it could you do something about Donald Trump???)



Back on the water after lunch...who goes there?



Want to win a Werner Paddle? $5.00 for a raffle ticket. This man paddled from Buffalo and is heading to the Canadian border. His wife has early onset Alzheimers and he has 2 grandchildren on the Autism Spectrum. See Paddlingforautism.com



Heading up into the Feeder Canal



Under the Amtrak tracks on the Feeder (and hope there isn't a train coming because it is close clearance)



Feeder Canal heading into the Champlain Canal...very gentle, very bucolic



Margie heading under the main road (very spiffy compared to the Amtrak bridge. This one was built by GE for the dredging operation downstream).



The changeable sky was with us all day, but fortunately rain only got us a few times



Karen coming into the take out



The gang all made it back.



We wisely moved to left to make room for the "Big Boys". - added by RayB



Ray Boucher, Kurt and Joy, as they approach the New Swamp Rd. bridge. Notice the bulk of our group in the distance. We weren't slow paddlers; It's just that we liked to poke our noses into every nook and cranny. - added by RayB



This is the pastoral scene that we encountered soon after leaving the Champlain Canal and began paddling up the Glens Falls Feeder Canal. - added by RayB



Kurt watches as Joy attempts to climb the rapids in her kayak. It was a valiant attempt, but... - added by RayB



A Broad-leaved Arrowhead plant growing along the Feeder Canal. - added by RayB



As was the Turtlehead plant. - added by RayB



The last of our group as they are about to re-enter the Champlain Canal once they pass under the bridge that allows vehicles to reach Lock 8 from Rt. 196. Tom Gibbs talked to a gentleman who claimed that there is a serious undertow at the confluence, enough that it claimed the life of a strong swimmer years ago. - added by RayB



This photo and all the remaining ones were taken on June 10th. Joanne had previously asked me if I would join her when she scouted out the canal between Lock 9 and Lock 7 (Fort Edward). It had been on my "Bucket List" for far too long so I jumped at the chance. After completing the journey we decided that the paddle between 8 and 7 was too civilized-industrialized, so it was eliminated it from today's adventure. - added by RayB



Farm lands abut the canal and frequently use the water from it for their livestock and perhaps to water their crops. - added by RayB



A wild Iris. - added by RayB



At first I thought it was a Morning Glory blossom, but if you look closely at the arrowhead shaped leaf you will notice that the tips at the rear end are not pointed. They are blunted instead, characteristic of the Hedge Bindweed. It is however, a member of the Morning Glory family. - added by RayB



This is the entrance to Lock 8 as you head downstream. Most people didn't see it this past Thursday because they took out before reaching it. - added by RayB



Joanne and I, on the other hand, had the pleasure of being lowered down about 10 - 12' on June 10th so we could our journey. Notice the barges on the right, just past the steel gates.- added by RayB



This is the site that greeted us as soon as we left Lock 8. It is river bottom sludge being off-loaded from a barge that had hauled it upstream from the Fort Edward area. Note the protective splash screens that helps contain the sludge/water mix as it drops through the air. From here it is brought to a nearby dewatering plant. - added by RayB



The tug boat operators looked like they are idle, but they had just cut their engines so that the churning of their propellers wouldn't create a problem for the two of us. The tug boat basically keeps the dredging barge pinned against the shore while it is being off-loaded. - added by RayB



As we left the barges behind we soon approached a bridge further on downstream that had protective shrouds around the support piers. I suspect that all bridges between Lock 8 and the dredging operation had similar protection. - added by RayB



Joanne gets a closer look at one of the caissons. The combination of a rock filled steel shell plus the "Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers" should absorb the shock from an errant barge. - added by RayB




Great day!
19 participants, temperature in the high 70's, paddling distance about 6 miles. Actual paddling time (including lunch break) about 4 hours. Departed WCMC 9:30, completely finished (including car spotting times) by 4 pm.

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