Posts for the month of July 2011

Kayaking: Saratoga Lake #4

I wanted to test my endurance, so I went for a loop around Saratoga Lake for the first time this year. I didn't do any research beside checking the weather, but two things immediately worked out in my favor: the bridge providing the shortest drive to the boat launch is no longer closed, and the boat launch is still not charging for parking.

11am was apparently early enough to avoid most people. There were plenty of trailers there, but there was a car parking spot available right by water, so I put my kayak in and paddled away. There were a handful of boats zooming around the lake at any time, but they mostly stayed in the middle, and I stayed to the edge. Plenty of people fished.

I was fairly tired even before I was halfway done. I took breaks and snacked as needed.

Before I knew it, I was on my way back, and I ran into a concert on the lake. There were dozens of boats all parked at it and many bikinis. They played a handful of 90s covers as I paddled past.

From July 30, 2011

Overall, a great success.

MyTracs(2011-07-30 1059.csv)

Kayaking: Harriman Reservoir #4 and #5

Two weeks ago, Lauren and I went kayaking at Harriman Reservoir. Unfortunately I had some trouble with my phone and didn't log any GPS data or take any pictures.

So I went back last week and did approximately the same route.

MyTracs(2011-07-24 1218.csv)

It was a small loop of the top part of the lake, stopping at some islands to relax and have a snack before turning around.

Here are some photos of the island I picked the second time ("Cory Island").

From July 24, 2011
From July 24, 2011
From July 24, 2011

Kayaking: Waterbury Reservoir

This trip was a bit different. Lauren and I drove about three and a half hours to get ice cream at the Ben & Jerry's factory in Waterbury, Vermont. The drive was not all that bad. We passed through several interesting-looking Vermont towns, and despite some congestion near Lake Champlain, traffic was good.

From July 10, 2011

I didn't know what to expect from the factory tour. I feared that the entire place would be too child-oriented for us, and it would be a loss. It wasn't bad. It was free to park and wander around the place. We parked near a playground and the flavor graveyard. There were a number of booths setup outside vending pizza, spin art (yeah), T-shirts, and ice cream.

We quickly found our way to this building:

From July 10, 2011

We payed $3 each for tour tickets and spent the short wait reading about ice cream history on the walls. The tour was lead by a high school student who was the right balance of clearly tired of giving tours all day yet still very enthusiastic about cow puns. While waiting in line later for ice cream, staff kept us occupied watching a frozen T-shirt contest. Two people in line were presented with T-shirts frozen in balls and told the first one to wear the shirt would get a prize. I think it took them almost half an hour before one succeeded.

There was also kayaking! Waterbury Reservoir was about 10 minutes away. It was quite busy. Probably a dozen cars were parked near the dirt road leading to a boat launch by the dam. We got on the water and passed a number of kayaks and canoes while motor boats zoomed around us.

For a change, I took the recreational kayak Lauren had been using out, and she took my Pungo 120. There was a big different in handling, but it didn't seem to affect our speed much.

MyTracs(2011-07-09 1614.csv)

As usual for Vermont, the lake was beautiful and largely unadulterated by nearby development.

From July 10, 2011

Day: seized.

Kayaking: Harriman Reservoir #3

I took Friday off and decided to head toward Harriman Reservoir.

There was something like a 30% chance of rain predicted and a slight chance of thunderstorms. When I started driving, the sky was almost completely clear and blue. By the time I arrived, it was completely overcast, and I feared the worst. The drive took an hour and a half, mostly winding Vermont highway, which is fun, though I managed to get stuck behind a number of campers and trucks that couldn't manage to go the speed limit. I also got a good view of a wind farm whose blades were spinning quite fast despite prediction of only 6-9mph winds. When I got to the parking area, a van pulled in full of a family set to go fishing, and there was another vehicle there already. The weather couldn't be that bad.

It turned out great!

What kind of bird is this? An egret? A stork? I need a better camera for this.

The wind farm from the lake:

My kayak as I was packing up to go home:

MyTracs(2011-07-01 1146.csv)