Today being the official unofficial start of summer, I wanted to go for a longer paddle than I have so far this year.
The weather was great, except for predictions of a chance of thunderstorms in Albany. This was forecast all three days this weekend, even though there has hardly been a cloud in the sky. Regardless, I went far enough north that it wouldn't have mattered.
Stewarts Bridge Reservoir is a nice little sectioned off area off the north end of Great Sacandaga Lake. It was about an hour drive for me, punctuated by some nice windy mountain roads. There are dams at either end, and it zigzags back and forth between them. I entered near a public picnic area, which was predictably busy for the Memorial Day weekend. There are probably about a dozen campsites along the water. There are a handful of houses elsewhere on the reservoir, but it is much less developed than anything like Saratoga Lake while still being nice and small.
The biggest problems I ran into were mosquitos and obnoxious jet-skiers. The answer to both seemed to be to keep moving.
I completely succeeded at tiring myself out.
I had the day off, so I started it off with some kayaking. Saratoga Lake found a new way to disappoint me. I found myself on the wrong side of a bridge closed for construction and had to drive all the way around the lake to get to the boat launch. Happily, the toll booth at the boat lunch was absent, so I could at least park for free...next to the construction workers' vehicles.
I got out of my car by the water and almost headed straight home, it was so windy. I finally decided I would at least try to paddle into the wind, and if I moved forward, I would go out for a trip. If I found myself moving only backward, I would get out quick and call it a day. It wasn't so bad, so I paddled into the wind until I got tired and then turned around. Getting back was predictably much easier. It was pretty quiet out on the water. The water temperature was pretty warm. The air was a little chilly, but as long as I kept moving I stayed warm. Great success.
Went back. Despite being overcast, the weather was beautiful. The water was a bit cold but not much of a problem. There was some kind of rowing regatta that I almost accidentally joined (read: approached too closely).
While in the parking lot of the boat launch, an attendant came over and apologized for its condition. It is apparently going to be renovated but is free until that is complete. The adjacent bridge is also still closed. The toll booth was apparently damaged by a bus and is currently completely missing. Despite all of that, or maybe as a result, the place was completely packed.