Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dan and Jeff's Canoeing Adventure on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail
Dan and Jeff have been on their canoeing adventure for about 3 weeks now. Section 2 of the trail took them from Long Lake to the Saranac River in upstate New York. They paddled through a unique Silver Maple swamp and century-old hand-operated locks.
Dan in front of the hand operated lock
  In Section 4, Dan and Jeff paddle down the Saranac River. It features old dams and some spots of rapids. To avoid the rapids, Dan and Jeff mostly portage around them to lessen the risk of damage to the hull of the boat and to themselves. The Saranac River empties into Lake Champlain in Plattsburgh, New York. When they paddled into the lake on May 14th, the lake was pristine, smooth and flat. The duo took the advantage of sleeping in a bed and getting a hot shower. The next morning, they awoke to the sound of crashing waves.  Both realized it was not a good day to cross Lake Champlain.  For those of you who know nothing about the Lake, it has 435 square miles of surface water and is 12 miles across at its widest point. The winds tend to follow the length of the lake across the surface of the lake and make the water get choppier as it gets toward Plattsburgh and the islands. So, thus, paddling a canoe across rough water was not an option. So they decided to take a quick respite and come back to Middlebury for a couple of days to wait for the current weather pattern and storms to pass.

Two days later the duo returned to Plattsburgh.  The lake was still too rough, so they took the ferry across the lake to Grand Isle and made the paddle from there into the Missisquoi River to start section 6. This particular river takes them through the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont and up into Canada. Then back down into Vermont through Lake Memphremagog. Next they paddled up the Clyde River toward Lake Salem and onward to Island Pond using the Nulhegan River. The river eventually empties into the Connecticut River on the border of Vermont and New Hampshire. They are currently in Section 7. This part of the trail takes them through the North Woods of New Hampshire up the Ammonoosuc and Androscoggin rivers into Umbagog Lake and then into Maine. This stretch is a lot less populated and offers dense woodlands. To follow their daily progress by GPS click on the link below:


Friday, May 9, 2014

Swift House Inn Innkeepers

It's spring, well kind of here in VT but it is time for another adventure! I have departed on Thursday, May 8 on a 740 mile canoe trip. Jeff Loustaunau, a College mate and lifetime friend will be going with me. We will be paddling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, from Old Forge New York to Fort Kent ME. The trail consists of 22 Rivers and Streams, 55 lakes and ponds, 65 portages/carries of 56 miles. Weather and water conditions could require more carries. There is about 170 miles up river paddling. We will mostly camp with some stays in motels. The route is mostly wilderness and rural but does go through 45 towns. We have a 17.5 foot We No Nah Kevlar canoe weighing only 42 pounds and will have about 25 pounds of personal gear each and another 35 pounds of camp gear to include wheels for the boat, which should work on most of the carries. We are carrying dehydrated meals prepared by Jeff and Susie, plenty of snacks and will grab any meals we can through the towns. Cell phone coverage is spotty and of course internet even less. We are carrying a Spot, which will send out our position every 10 minutes while we are moving. If you would like to follow us and check how we are doing follow the link below. Also Michele through the Swift House will make some posts on the Facebook page and the website. We are very excited to go, have planned and prepared the best we can. Spring weather is improving, the lakes are iced out and there are good levels of water. I know the bugs are waiting for us. We're hoping to complete the trip in less than 5 weeks. 

To follow us click on this link: