The Crooked Canes Journal


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Hudson River/Feeder Canal Paddle ~ Jul 23, 2015

Journal entry by Wanderer for Tom



I love it when a plan comes together, especially a somewhat complicated one. That was certainly the case with the Hudson River/Feeder Canal Paddle and the success we had in arranging for a thru paddle and getting paddlers and their boats back from the take-out in one trip. Tom knew from the beginning that this would be a challenge and whether it was good planning or just plain luck, the day went along without a hitch!

Those volunteering to drop off vehicles at the take-out for paddler and boat transport met early and dropped off their boats and gear at the Big Boom Rd. put-in at the shore of the Hudson River and caravanned to the take-out at Martindale Basin in Hudson Falls. We completely filled the postage stamp-sized lot with our vehicles and a boat trailer. Jack provided security over the boats and gear during our absence and despite his efforts to make some extra money wasn’t able to sell anything. Thanks to Linda and Diane, who supplied extra vehicles just for passengers, we made it back to the put-in in record time.

Arriving back at the put-in more people were arriving and unloading their boats - a good sign but if too many more showed up we may not be able to accommodate them all on the return. The launch area is large and easy for almost any water craft to use. While the boats were being prepared we were entertained by a playful black Labrador chasing a ball, bounding off the dock and retrieving it for its human playmate. It didn’t take long for everyone to get ready and the twenty paddlers and their sixteen kayaks and two canoes were underway on the mirror-like Hudson.

While there were a few that had done this route in two sections it was the first time that the combination Hudson River-Feeder Canal was to be completed as one trip for the majority of the paddlers. I think they were surprised with the absence of development along this stretch of the Hudson and except for a few camps closer to the Glens Falls dam it was a rather remote feeling. I should qualify that because until we got around the bend of the horseshoe shaped section of the river the noise of the Northway could be heard. We continued at a leisurely pace for slightly over an hour before reaching the dam and had to exit for the short portage to the put-in for the Feeder Canal and a long lunch and lots of visiting. Tom had the group gather around just before we entered the Feeder Canal to announce that this was the last outing that Eric would be joining us – he and his lovely wife, Suzanne, have sold their house and would be moving to Florida where they have a second home. We are going to miss you Eric but if the rumors are true you may visit one more time at the annual Friends Lake Paddle/Picnic in September.

Paddling the Glens Falls Feeder Canal is a unique experience – and one that is difficult to explain. The Canal, originally built in 1824, extends seven miles from Haviland Ave in west Glens Falls to the Champlain Canal, east of the Village of Hudson Falls. It served to provide water to the Champlain Canal and later for boat traffic. Currently, while it continues to provide water to the Champlain Canal and to Finch Pruyn Paper Company it also provides recreation opportunities for paddlers and to walkers, joggers and cyclists along the park/trail that parallels the canal. The paddling section ends at ~5 miles where a series of non-operable locks make it impossible to continue. The first third of the canal passes thru mostly a residential area of Glens Falls; however, the immediate area surrounding the canal is thick with vegetation, providing a buffer between the canal and the houses and the view is rather pleasant. As we get closer to the city the character of the canal changes to an industrial zone where businesses and some heavy industry borders the canal. Access roads, bridges, utility services, conveyors and all types of structures required by the various businesses are in view and many of them had to be paddled under. Still, this is part of the experience of this unique paddle and one that makes it memorable. As we paddle east of the city the character of the canal once again changes back to the almost pristine – lots of trees, some wildflowers even the sound of birds return. People walking or bicycling the trail next to us wave and say hello – all having a wonderful time – just as we were. Too soon though and we have reached our take-out and the challenge of getting everyone back to the put-in faces us. As I indicated at the beginning everything went well – boats loaded, people went their separate ways or were shuttled back to the put-in. The feeder canal is not a paddle that a person returns to frequently – for some it may the first and only time they ever experience it but I can guarantee that the memory will last a lifetime. Peter for Tom


7/27/15 - Diane Wisell added 3 photos.

7/28/15 - Wanderer . added 21 photos.

7/28/15 - Wanderer . added 16 photos.

7/30/15 - RayB Bouchard added 24 photos.

7/30/15 - joy munro added 1 photo.

65 photos



A relaxing lunch at the beginning of the Feeder Canal. - added by Diane



Idyllic scene on an idyllic day. - added by Diane



Out of the water at Martindale Basin, everyone trying to figure out how they and their boats are getting back to Big Boom. And for the most part, not really wanting the day to end. Thanks for a great trip Sir Thomas! - added by Diane



This dog loves to swim! - added by Wanderer



The sweep team - added by Wanderer



Just about ready to get underway - added by Wanderer



Who said that Linda doesn't paddle? - added by Wanderer



Glens Falls Navy - added by Wanderer



Plant life on a pile of rocks - added by Wanderer



Dorothy and "Dapper" Don - added by Wanderer



Newbies - Steve and Mery with Diane looking on - added by Wanderer



Some local residents enjoying a swim - added by Wanderer



Hi Margie! - added by Wanderer



Hi Diane! - added by Wanderer



Dorothy and Don at the lunch spot - added by Wanderer



Kurt having some lunch ......... - added by Wanderer



...... and you thought I was kidding! - added by Wanderer



Steve and Mery - added by Wanderer



Lunch pic - added by Wanderer



Jayne and Linda P - added by Wanderer



Glens Falls dam and the start of the Feeder Canal - added by Wanderer



Lunch at the entrance to the Feeder Canal - added by Wanderer



Best wishes to Eric on the next chapter in his life - the Canes will always be a part of his life just as Eric has been to all that have shared the many outings with him. - added by Wanderer



Ok - pack it up - let's get goin! - added by Wanderer



Start of the Feeder Canal - added by Wanderer



Serene paddle - added by Wanderer



Another part of our group along the canal - added by Wanderer



Snacks for Kurt - added by Wanderer



Where is your life vest Ray? - added by Wanderer



Just some typical obstacles along the way - added by Wanderer



Downtown Glens Falls - added by Wanderer



New paddling position - added by Wanderer



Phew - that was close Tom! - added by Wanderer



Coming up on Finch Pruyn Paper Company - added by Wanderer



Certainly not your ordinary paddle - added by Wanderer



Finch Pruyn Paper Company - added by Wanderer



How about a view of a cement factory? - added by Wanderer



Final tunnel - added by Wanderer



Out of the industrial zone - added by Wanderer



Load 'em up - move 'em out! - added by Wanderer



Gail likes to relax and enjoy herself when she paddles. - added by RayB



Eric leaving the ramp at the Big Boom Rd. launch site. We're all going to miss you Eric. - added by RayB



Peter and Tom wait patiently while Linda primps a bit before launching. After all, one has to look good on a Cane's paddle because you never know when someone will take your picture. - added by RayB



Our group, as they approach 3 islands that were used to create a log boom just upstream from the G.F. dam near Rt. 9. - added by RayB



I borrowed a picture from the Internet in case you had never seen a "Log Boom". Booms like this one were stretched from both shores to each of the islands in the previous picture. According to a source I found, Norman & Alanson Fox began driving logs down the Hudson in 1813. In 1849 the Hudson River Boom Assoc. was formed to help organize the process. Keep in mind that when you have several logging outfits sending their logs down a river they have to be sorted out after they collect in the boom. 1872 was the year that 200,000,000 ft. of logs reached the Big Boom in G.F. By 1904 that number had dwindled to 50,385,000 ft. - added by RayB



This is a close-up of one of the man-made islands with a Purple Loosestrife plant on top. Note the size of the chain the was used to hold the outer string of logs in the Log Boom. - added by RayB



A closeup of the chain. - added by RayB



Notice the steel pins that firmly attach the logs in the Crib to each other and to the river bottom. The Crib was then filled with enough rocks that it could withstand the force of the moving water when the Boom was filled with logs. - added by RayB



Gail, Tom, and Eric enjoy their lunch while Peter chats with them. - added by RayB



Diane and Fran relaxing after lunch. - added by RayB



Margie, Linda, Jack and Lenore. - added by RayB



Joy waiting patiently for the lunch bunch to launch. - added by RayB



Post lunch launch in progress. Some chose the dock, or as you can see, some slid their vessels down the grass. - added by RayB



Much to my surprise, admittedly a very pleasant one, these 3 kind ladies carried my 40# kayak loaded with 60# of gear (OK I exaggerated a little) from the Take Out to the Put In. The trail had to be close to half a mile ;-) . Thank you one and all. I shall be forever in your debt. - added by RayB



Brown Knapweed was a common occurrence along the shoreline. - added by RayB



A very pleasant section of the Feeder Canal. - added by RayB



It's not the greatest photo in the world, but if you look closely, and use a bit of imagination, you might be able to make out the outline of a sunken wooden barge that was used to haul goods on the Feeder Canal. Those items of commerce could then be shipped north or south once the barge reached the Champlain Canal. - added by RayB



This wasn't the prettiest section of the Canal, but it was definitely interesting. Kurt is seen here holding up one of the steel supports for the huge Finch Pruyn pipes. - added by RayB



Jayne checking out some of the Finch Pruyn industrial complex as seen from the canal. - added by RayB



Steam at 200 psi would certainly par boil anyone in its path in an instant if the pipe ever ruptured. - added by RayB



I doubt if Jayne, or anyone else in our group, exceeded the speed limit even with the current pushing us onward. - added by RayB



Seepage created some interesting salt formations along the wall that defined the canal. Just let your imagination go wild. - added by RayB



We had to patiently wait our turn when we reached the takeout at Martindale Ave. in Hudson Falls. - added by RayB



It wasn't the easiest takeout in the world, but Peter is doing a good job of demonstrating the appropriate technique for exiting a canoe. - added by RayB



Another internet pic: this was captioned "logs in boom in Glens falls, ny." No kayaking that day! - added by joy




Attendees: Don M, Dorothy, Mary and Steve, Lenore and Jack, Linda and Peter, Diane and Kurt, Gail, Fran, Ray, Jayne, Joy, Margie, Don Thorn, Linda P, Eric,Tom

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