Posts for the month of July 2012

Kayaking: Somerset Reservoir #2

It has been almost a full two years since I first went to Somerset Reservoir in Vermont and cut my foot on a rock, forcing me to paddle and drive a great distance home with my heel hastily bandaged. I decided it was high time to show that rock I was no longer afraid.

The drive took almost two hours and ended with a long span of dirt road leading to some camp sites and the lake. Some workers were putting a buoy out on the lake as I put in my kayak. I got volunteered to search for the lost buoy that they were replacing.

From Somerset Reservoir - July 13, 2012

Unlike the last time I was there, where reaching the end of the lake and returning was a feat, I paddled around the entire perimeter of the lake without much trouble.

I didn't see as much wildlife as last time. But I think I did see some loons that I mistook at the time for ducks. And I am kicking myself for it.

MyTracs(7_13_2012 11_37am.csv)

A Quick Survey of Ginger Beverages

Natural Brew Outrageous Ginger Ale
This is my favorite so far.
Saranac Ginger Beer
This is the easiest to find around here. A fine beverage.
Reed's Extra Ginger Brew All Natural Jamaican Style Ginger Beer
This stuff is OK but nothing to write home about.
Blenheim Diet Ginger Ale
I never would have bought this if I realized it was diet. It is the worst thing I've ever tasted.
Professor Java's Ginger White Tea

Kayaking: Mohawk River #4

I went back to the Mohawk River to do the section between locks seven and eight. Measuring on a map, it looked like it would be a bit shorter than my previous trip between locks six and seven, but I was wrong, and my phone announced eleven miles just when I saw the dam that would be my turning-around point.

The weather was beautiful.

I saw a number of interesting birds. The river seemed mostly undeveloped. I know there was some adjacent farmland. There were also some giant industrial-looking buildings. There were also some gigantic houses. I didn't get good pictures of it, but there were some cool shear rock faces which I enjoyed paddling along.

MyTracs(7_6_2012 9_59 AM.csv)

Mohawk River - July 6, 2012

Canoeing: Harriman Reservoir

I didn't go kayaking this weekend. Earlier in the week, a coworker was selling an old fiberglass canoe for a price that I couldn't refuse, so this weekend Lauren and I paddled it around Harriman Reservoir, stopping for lunch on the island nearest where we launched. It was an enjoyable trip.

MyTracs(6_30_2012 11_15 AM.csv)

A few observations:

  • When we arrived at the boat launch, there were Vermont state police officers making sure that everyone had life jackets. I had never seen that before, but we had ours, and they were friendly.
  • We stopped at one of the parks on the side of the lake before going to the boat launch at the north tip. Beside the dirt road approaching it, it was a nice area. On our return, we saw people there jumping into the water from a rope swing. Maybe I should start launching from one of those parks.
  • Canoeing is not as bad as I expected. Lauren and I were able to match my typical kayak speed, 3.8 miles/hour, for the first two miles. I didn't really feel prepared to paddle for long distances, though. It seemed like it stressed completely different muscles from kayaking. Steering was as interesting as I expected.
  • The canoe served its purpose well, but I'm not sure how often I'll use it. It definitely takes two people to get it on or off my car. It's just a bit too big to strap comfortably to my rack as-is with the straps that I have, and my car doesn't seem to have enough mounts to keep it centered the way that I usually see people do. The frame is a little bent out of shape, and I want to try to fix some of the non-essential fiberglass work inside the canoe. We scraped it up a little bit more than I would have hoped.

And that's how I spent my Canada Day Eve.