We got a chance to scout out Cedarlands for our upcoming trip with the Wild Center. Although we've been to this area before we wanted to check out the conditions before we left for our three week trip to the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. (Doug has already left and I leave tomorrow.) As should be expected the water levels were very low but we managed to get to the carry to McRorie Lake without too much trouble.
This is a beautiful area and the fall colors should be gorgeous September 22nd. For information on how to register for the trip go HERE. For more photos see below.
Sat, 22 Sep, 2012 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Mark you calendar and register HERE.
In partnership with The Wild Center, the veteran guides from Broadwing Adventures will lead you on this one day paddling trip of discovery and exploration in a little known corner of the Adirondacks. On your guided exploration you will learn about the history, ecology and conservation of the Cedarlands. This paddle/hike is on lands that are part of the Cedarlands Boy Scout Camp, a property with restricted summer access. Most summer visitors to the Adirondacks do not have the opportunity to travel here. During this full day trip, you will enjoy at least 3 miles of paddling on Mud Pond and McRorie Lake, have some short canoe carries, and hike 0.8 mile up Mud Pond Mountain. The views from Mud Pond Mountain look to the northwest along the expanse of Long Lake and to the summits of the Western High Peaks, a view rarely seen by others.
The group will travel at a gentle pace that will accommodate everybody’s abilities. Weather permitting we will eat lunch at the overlook on Mud Pond Mountain while enjoying the panoramic views of the Adirondack Fall foliage. After the hike we will return to our boats and explore as much of McRorie Lake as time and conditions permits, with the possibility of 2-4 miles of additional paddling. This is a quiet, secluded area with wonderful opportunities for discovery.
For more information visit: http://my.wildcenter.org/page.aspx?pid=299&cid=1&ceid=235&cerid=0&cdt=9%2F22%2F2012
Part 3 – The philosophical stuff; wilderness travel, how we did, what it felt like being out there, coming back to civilization; you know, all that idealistic stuff.
There is so much more to a trip like this than what is seen and done. How you feel about the trip while it is happening and what you are left with when the trip is over are more likely to determine whether the experience is considered a success of not. In my final blog about the NPT I will attempt to convey some idea of these intangibles.
Traveling in the wild places of North America has captivated me for years; there is little that can compare to it. After a few days of travel, you fall into the elemental simplicity of a trip like this. Life becomes easy as you get into the rhythm of the daily routine. Between adventures I tend to forget about this aspect of wilderness travel, but it comes back to me once I am out there and moving.
In the wilderness nature reins supreme and being engulf by it is an extraordinary feeling.
The places that the NPT passes through had a great effect on our experience. I had never been in the Silver Lake or West Canada Lake Wilderness Areas. I expected these areas to be special and they were. Exploring new territory is always exciting and I was not disappointed on this trip. Without a doubt, the last section of the trip was the most spectacular. For this reason alone I would recommend hiking the trail from south to north. Finishing up the trail by hiking along the Cold River and through the Western High Peaks left us with a remarkable final impression.
In this section we stopped for lunch at the site of Duck Hole Dam, which was washed out during Hurricane Irene last year. I had been to Duck Hole three times by canoe from Henderson Lake, twice before the dam was breached and a month after it happened. When I was there in September it was amazing to see, but the water was still draining out of the exposed lake bottom. This time the once drowned lands were still brown, but dry. The vista here has always been amazing and the contrast of browns and greens with a stream flowing through the center and the mountains in the background is truly striking now. I look forward to watching this area as forest succession starts anew.
Probably the most beautiful place we visited along the trail was Wanaka Falls.
I was so struck by the beauty of the place that I felt like I was in Eden.
Expedition Behavior aka Group Dynamics
Unless you travel alone, group dynamics has an affect on every trip, even those in the front country. In the backcountry how members of a group interacts with each other plays an even bigger role. When living and traveling in close proximity to others it is easy to key in on their actions and attitudes, thus letting the little things bother you. The best trip to the most magnificent place can be ruined if people don’t get along. No trip is immune to this, but experienced outdoor travelers know that it can be controlled. In the backcountry the term we use for this is “Expedition Behavior”. Working to make a trip successful starts well before heading out, good route planning and communication are essential. Understanding other people’s expectations for a trip is important, so it helps if all members of the group know each other before hand. Sometimes that is not the case, so the pre-trip work is even more critical. Good food planning is vital as everyone has
likes, dislikes and unique dietary requirements. This issue alone has a huge impact on a trip.
Leo and I have known each other for 39 years. We met on the first day of school at Paul Smith’s College. We have traveled together on numerous occasions, so we have an advantage over most wilderness travelers. Even so, we communicated often before this trip and had a well thought out plan of travel with reasonable expectations. We developed a menu plan that both of us were pleased with and we shared the load of group equipment, not duplicating gear that could be shared. Along the way we enjoyed each others company and also enjoyed the solitude that the wilderness provides. I previously mentioned that we used solo tents. This allowed each of us our own space to relax and recharge. Sometimes we would hike close to each other and chat, other times we would have some distance between us and get into the rhythm of the trail and beauty surrounding us. It just happened for us without much thought. We are fortunate to have a friendship that works so well. From my experience many wilderness travelers are not as lucky.
I have a friend that claims there is no real wilderness in the Adirondacks. The claim is that in the Adirondacks you are never more than eight miles from a highway or other form of civilization. When you compare this to travel in the Far North where you are hundreds of miles from civilization, then the claim is true. Other people believe wilderness is in the eye (or mind) of the beholder. I certainly experienced the feeling of wilderness on this hike, but it is impossible to escape the contacts with civilization along this trail. Instead of viewing this as a negative aspect of the trip, we embraced the opportunities it provided. We enjoyed the contrast between these two worlds along the trail. We easily flowed from one to the other.
Towards the end of any trip the thoughts of returning to civilization start to creep into the mind. We always try to keep this to a minimum and practice “staying on the trip” until it is actually over. This also plays a role in expedition behavior. The last night of a trip has always been a conflict for me. I look forward to seeing family and friends and to enjoying the creature comforts of home, but I also don’t want to leave the backcountry. I want to keep hiking or paddling; I want to see what is around the next bend
or over the next hill. Having been on many trips in the past I feel like I am finally coming to terms with the feelings I experience during the last days. If the trip has been successful, it is a time for reflection and celebration. Fortunately, on this trip that is how it ended for me.
Once we were back to civilization Leo and I continued the celebration by stopping at the Waterhole #3 for a cold beverage. This was the site of many evenings during our college days and it is still special to be there together. After showers and a little rest we had a nice dinner with Jan and her sister at the Shamrock, another establishment that was operating during our college days.
It is now over a month since we left the trail. The experience has left us with a different perspective of the Adirondacks and a stronger friendship. I am still enjoying the benefits of being in better shape and hope I can stay that way for awhile. This trip has left its mark on us and we will build on it for future adventures.
After a trip like this people often ask what’s next. There is always a short answer that satisfies the question, but the longer answer is usually a little mysterious. In this case, for me, in a few weeks I’ll be headed to the Boundary
Water Canoe Wilderness Area in Minnesota with Jan and other friends. Leo has returned to Connecticut and adventures with his grandchildren, he and wife Linda will travel to Yosemite next month. The two of us have not fixed ours sights on a future adventure, but there are ideas floating around and it won’t be long before we get something on the books. In the meantime we will savor the NPT for awhile and dream of what might come.
To the blog readers
I have received so much positive feedback on these blogs. The encouragement has kept me motivated to continue writing. Sharing a trip with others by writing about it or giving a presentation helps keep it alive for me. Thanks for reading; I look forward to sharing my future adventures with you.
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