2004 PADDLING TRIP REPORTS

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November 21

Owasco Lake
Well, I was able to convince another crazy kayaker to join me today on my paddle. We had a overcast sky and chilly temperatures but otherwise a enjoyable paddle. We put in at the north end of the lake which has a beautiful park with boat launch sites. Just to the east of the outlet we encountered a reminder of the season......The sound of gunfire as some hunters occupied a nearby duck blind which was surprising close to a residential area and left us with some uneasiness as we paddled out into the lake and possibly into their line of fire....
Once on the lake we paddled approximately 10 miles total and being close to the Montezuma Wildlife area we had a abundance of bird activity. I believe this was the first trip this year that I did not see a Heron of some sorts but we were treated with the presence of a pair of Loons which was very unexpected.
I guess I can feel a sense of accomplishment this year......I have completed my quest of kayaking on each of the Finger Lakes this year. Time to start planning next year's trips!
Trip leader - Charlie Helman.

Nov 10-14

Pine Barrens - New Jersey Pictures
Quicktime Movies - Happy Birthday to Bill - The Dancers
Trip leader - Bill Irwin.

November 7

Otisco Lake - Pictures
Three people, two in a tandem kayak and myself in a solo, ventured out of Rochester to Otisco Lake yesterday 11/7/04. The weather in Rochester was not looking very good but when we got to our destination we were treated to a decent day of 55 degrees with partly sunny to party cloudy skies. The boat launch is towards the southwestern end of the lake. We paddled north with a southwesterly wind helping us along. We were surprised to find that when we turned to head south the wind turned with us and became a northwesterly wind.
Otisco Lake is a short 5 mile lake and is less than a mile wide. The south end is surrounded by high cliffs which leave the lake very protected from most wind conditions. We were treated to our usual Blue Heron sighting, some other bird activity and a special visit from a curious otter!
I found myself having to push alittle harder than normal to keep up with the tandem. When we finished our trip we found the GPS telling us that we averaged between 4 and 4.5 MPH over the 2 to 2.5 hour paddle.
This is a wonderful lake. I am planning on paddling here again, hopefully next fall when the colors are peaking.
Each of the Finger Lakes is quite picturesque and a much different atmosphere than what we paddle locally. We have been blessed with decent weather on each of the paddles except for the Owasco paddle which I cancelled due to high winds and rain.
Charlie "The lonely trip leader"
Trip leader - Charlie Helman.

Oct 31

Halloween Paddle on the Erie Canal - Pictures
As of Sunday morning the forecast winds were still 15-25 mph with gusts to 40. But by 2:10 as twelve of us finally launched, the winds had diminished to being a good breeze to help us on our way. The sky was gray with temperatures in the low 50s. We got a little rain, but still had a delightful paddle. Even with the gray sky it was a good day for autumn color. The main drawback of the weather was that it kept most of the spectators indoors, except for the occasional joggers on the canal path.
We added a car shuttle this year so we could start below the lock at Clover Street and paddle through Pittsford down to Canalside Rentals in Fairport. There were Jim with his wild red hair, Sue the clown, Cheri the pirate (parrot and all), four-eyed Jamie, Luanne the Tiger, Steve's hat turned buzzard, and of course the tandem sea monster, assorted other ragamuffins and a cameo appearance by Slick Willy. We were joined by Steve's nephew Ben from Wisconsin, and, briefly, by Gary's dog. We had nine solo kayaks, one tandem, and Gary in a solo canoe (Steve wimped out and paddled a kayak).
Trip leader - Steve Tryon. Photos by pirate Cheri.

October 23

Skaneateles Lake - Pictures
All I have to say to all you people who did not join us .......it was certainly your loss!
Val and I were the only two people to venture to Skaneateles Lake yesterday. We were greeted with clear skies and apporximately 15-20 mph winds from the south. So of course we headed south into the wind and waves. We found a marina where we stopped for lunch and were surprised to see that the wind died completely once we returned to the water. We crossed the lake and paddled up the eastern side before crossing back to the boat launch. We had a spectacular day of sun, colorful leaves, clear water, window shopping on some of the "cottages" along the shore, some wave jumping and some flat water paddling.
We decided that this is a lake we must return to next summer.
Hopefully I will have weather as good in two weeks when I do the next lake to the east....Otisco. AND HOPEFULLY I WILL HAVE SOME OF YOU ALONG AS WELL!
Trip leader - Charlie Helman.

October 16

Sunrise paddle at Braddock Bay
Only the trip leaders (Steve and Peg) made it. Luckily the rain that was threatened all week held off. We even had a good amount of blue sky to the west. The launch we originally planned was not good for kayaks so we put in at Braddock Bay Paddlesports. A brisk tail wind helped us get out to the lake quickly. We went up the east side along Braddock Bay State Park and in maybe a mile -- what a wonderful spot to paddle. Again of course heading back out to the lake was easy and the final leg back upwind was a workout. It's hard to be at the launch at 7AM but it's great to be paddling as the sky is getting lighter and the day is really getting started! Look for more sunrise paddles in the future - the beginning and end of the season allow for the most sleep.
Trip leaders - Peg Warrick and Steve Tryon.

Oct 8-11

Saint Regis Canoe Area - Pictures
Eleven people ventured out to St. Regis Pond at the peak leaf peeping time this Columbus Day weekend. The weekend started out warm, and by the time we pulled out had cooled to normal Fall weather. Five carries on Saturday got us into Upper Saint Regis Lake where we explored the shoreline and had lunch. Other days we checked out St. Regis pond, adjoining ponds and some of the other campsites nearby. This was a low-key weekend with several new canoe camping graduates. A great weekend in all.
Trip leaders - Bill Irwin and Gary DeWitt.

September 25

West River (Canandaigua Lake)
We had six kayaks and one solo canoe paddle the winding river to the point after the road underpass. This is the point where I have always turned around before, but Jim Bird told us of a whole new area that is not explored much. That is all the group needed to here, we found a spot to portage, carry and put back into the river. This new area had a few beaver dams, lots of trees, some birds of prey flying overhead and some green and brown stuff covering the water that I am not sure what it was! We followed the river up torwards Middlesex until we got to a point where the river became more of a swamp( It reminded me of the Bergen swamp paddle earlier this year!) and we finally decided to turn around for the return trip. The weather was beautiful although the sun was constantly in and out of the clouds. We all said our goodbyes near the boat launch as some people went in to Naples to enjoy the Grape Festival, some went to dinner, some went home to paint and some went to visit local friends.
Jim's wife was the only one with a camera so I am at her mercy to provide pictures.....PLEASE!
Trip leader - Charlie Helman.

September 12

Hemlock Lake - Pictures
We had one tandem canoe and 11 kayaks set out on an absolutely beautiful day of paddling. Warm weather and sunshine prevailed throughout the day as we paddled south from the north end boat launch. We paddled a little more than half the length of the lake before stopping for a break and lunch. After lunch we continued paddling south before some of the paddlers convinced me that it was time to head back north. (If no one had said anything i would probably still be paddling!) On the return trip we were treated to what appeared to be either a pair of osprey or possibly golden eagles that were flying around overhead!
After returning to the boat launch we said goodbye to approximately half the group while the other half followed Nancy to her house for one of our patented feasts!
Thanks to all for the company on the paddle, the great food, Nancy for her hospitality, and mother nature for the wonderful weather!
Charlie
Trip leader - Charlie Helman.

September 11

- Owasco Lake makeup
I and three other individuals paddled the east side of Owasco Lake for a total distance of 12.3 miles. The three other participants were Bill Lawton, Frank Cabron and Gordon Robinson. We had a perfect day. The wind speed was minimal and the air temp was approximately 78 degrees F The water temp was approximately 68 degrees F. We launched from a marina at the south end at approximately 9:15 am and and arrived at Emerson Park in Auburn on the north end at 12:30 pm. Our average speed was 3.8 mph.
Trip leader - Gerry Wahl.

September 10

Irondequoit Creek from the Bay -
Nancy Donny, Jamie Brown and I (Steve) closed out the 2004 Thursday evening paddles with a Friday evening paddle on Irondequoit Creek. The water was as high as I have seen it on the creek--the concrete ledge that serves as an informal depth guage was completely submerged--and moving fast. There was a foot and a half wall of water at the flow-control weir with a good foot of water coming over the top of the usual portage route. We didn't go there. We did, however, have a lovely paddle on a crystal clear evening. We explored the side routes and dead ends, but the water was moving quickly even in those. We did get to relax a bit on the (quick!) return leg from the weir to Baycreek. Then it was off to Abbotts to replenish the burned-off calories.
Trip leader - Steve Tryon.

Aug 27-29

Taughannock Falls State Park (Ithaca) - Pictures
This weekend was a classic example of who or what the ADK club is all about. We had twelve people participate in our adventure weekend down in Ithaca.On Friday we set up camp and headed to the first of three state parks I had put on our itinerary. Buttermilk Falls State Park is unlike most parks in the area in that as soon as you enter the park you are greeted with the site of the waterfalls cascading down to the swimming hole. After some of us went for a swim and others pummeled the bottom of their feet, we went for a hike up the trails around the falls. After the hike we headed to Alan Treman State Park to launch our boats for a paddle up one of the inlets to Cayuga Lake. Then it was off for one of our patented dinner feasts and spending time around the campfire.
Saturday after a good breakfast we headed to Robert Treman State Park. This park is probably one of the biggest secrets in the state. We started with Charlie the "drill sargent" marching everyone up and up and up numerous stairs.( Next time I think I will have to bring oxygen bottles as part of my first aid kit!) According to the park info the elevation changes from 450 feet above sea level to 1050 feet above sea level and most of it is very steep stairs. I think Bob made the statement, "That this was the first hike he has ever gone on where you go up hill to go down hill"! After the hike we had a relaxing late lunch before heading to the lake for a paddle. Mother nature took over here as it was raining to the north and south of us and eventually we had to cancel the paddle due to thunderstorms in the area. After the storms passed some of us went swimming again. Then it was feast time and campfire again.
Sunday after we had breakfast and packed up the campsites we headed to the hike in our host park, Taughannock Falls State Park. Here we split into two groups, one group that wanted to stay dry and the other group that decided to take the wet route through the creek trail. This was definitely the easiest hike of the three parks but it lead us to the most spectacular waterfall. The falls in Taughannock are 215 feet tall in a gorge that is over 400 feet deep. The falls are higher than Niagara Falls! After the hike we headed north to Cayuga Lake State Park for lunch and what was suppose to be our longest paddle of the weekend. Well,mother nature took control again after a short 20 minute paddle...the beginning of the tremendous thunderstorms that rolled through the area, hit and we were forced to cancel the paddle again.
This was a fun trip and I will certainly plan this one again, if not next year certainly in 2006! Until then if you get the chance visit the Ithaca area, there are at least five state parks that all have waterfalls and each with its own history and character!
Thanks to all who participated and brought the great food!
Charlie
Trip leader - Charlie Helman.

Aug 20-22

Twitchell Lake - Pictures
Ten of us made our way to the Adirondacks on Friday to arrive at the Twitchell Lake landing by early afternoon. Access to the cabin by boat gave our paddlers an early warm up to the weekend's paddling adventure. After unloading the boats we took a leisurely paddle around Twitchell Lake. We were greeted by momma and her baby loon; saw the architecture of Earl Covey; and paddled by the 'Woodswoman's' cabin. Dinner was cooked on an open wood fire and after dinner we enjoyed the bonfire before getting some rest.
Saturday we began the day with a great breakfast and headed out for our day's planned activities in the pouring rain. Our hearty group didn't let the rain stop them from hiking up "Billy's Bald Spot". At the top of the mountain we saw the spectacular view of the entire Big Moose Lake. The view enticed us to head over to the put in so we could explore this beautiful lake. A little mishap occurred when one of our eager drivers went a little too close to the water and got stuck as he drove over the cement retaining wall. It took a couple of hours to get the tow truck to come and get him out but after that issue was resolved the group took a great paddle and explored an awesome inlet lined with many beaver houses. We then headed back to camp for a little swim across the lake to rejuvenate our spirits; had another great dinner cooked over the open wood fire; took a little stroll along Twitchell Rd. to see the Twitchell Inn; and relaxed around the camp fire to watch a beautiful star filled sky and a brilliant shooting star which shot across the lake.
Sunday we woke up to a cool 40 degrees and the fog lifting off the lake. We packed and loaded the boats, said "goodbye" to "Billy" our resident bat and headed over to the Moose River for our day's paddle. The sun felt great as we paddled down the river and let the current guide us by the pristine beauty of the Adirondacks. The 11 mile paddle was peaceful and quiet, with no trace of civilization to spoil the natural beauty. We ended the trip with pizza and wings and memories which will last a lifetime. - Sue   (Photos by Cheri.)
Trip leaders - Sue Green and Cheri Lewis.

August 13

- Canadice Lake
The sky was overcast as eight paddlers (three kayaks, three solo canoes, one tandem) headed out for a "new moon" paddle on Candadice Lake. Other than that, the weather was perfect. We were even treated to someone's fireworks off to the Southeast. Midway we rafted the boats together and Nancy passed around a pan of outstanding frosted(!) brownies. As we headed North on the return leg, the overcast thinned and finally broke. We enjoyed a fine view of the stars and a few leftovers from the Perseids meteor shower. And we were privileged to welcome three paddlers to their first ADK paddle.
Trip leader - Steve Tryon.

August 5

- Salmon Creek
Ten of us, including several new to the group, put in at Braddock Bay Paddlesports [map] and paddled up Salmon Creek on a perfectly lovely evening. The breeze was strong enough to keep the mosquitos away, but not enough to be a problem for paddling. Charlie took the fast group while Steve (in Charlie's spare kayak!) paddled with the "relaxed" group. We concluded with ice cream and a tour of Braddock Bay Paddlesports. A good time was had by all.
Trip leader - Steve Tryon.

August 3

- Tuesdays At The Beach with Charlie - Pictures
Trip leader - Charlie Helman.

July 31

Owasco Lake makeup - PTFL
The PTFL makeup paddle was completed inspite of the dire weather forecast. Three people participated including me. Due to the initial brisk 15-20 mph wind from the southwest, we decided to do the west side of Owasco instead of the east side which is the side I needed to do to catch up to Jennifer. Bill Lawton, however, needed to do the west side so it worked out for him. Aaron Slack was the third paddler who hadn't done either side so he had no preference.
The paddle went off without a hitch and was enjoyed by all inspite of a down pour that was so heavy it looked like it was raining "up", a brief thunderstorm and breezy conditions at the beginning and at the end of the paddle. So, sometime in the future, probably next year, I will try the east side again.
Owasco is a great paddling lake because it is only 11 miles long which makes for a perfect paddle distance. The launch site in Cascade on the southern end is a little difficult to find and primitive but there is a marina just before the gravel drive that goes back to the launch site that would probably be a better place to launch. I would check it out the next time.
We did 11.7 miles in just under three hours averaging 3.9 mph. At times by surfing, which I am not good at, we hit 7+ mph. Water temp 68 F. Air temp 85 F humid, the rain felt great.
Trip leader - Gerry Wahl.

July 30

Hemlock Lake -
After the downpours of the afternoon, we had not a drop of rain at Hemlock lake. We even caught a glimpse of the full moon making a valiant effor to peek through the clouds. We had ten paddlers in eight boats -- a mixture of canoes and kayaks. And supper at the Village Grill in Honeoye was excellent.
Trip leader - Steve Tryon.

Jul 25-Aug 1

Sea Ontario Kayak Tour
Five participants, Gary DeWitt, Luann Mongelli, Mark and Emma Rakestraw, and Marshal Atwell paddled out from Webster on a fair Sunday morning heading toward Westcott Beach State Park. We stayed in a combination of locations, B&B, Hotel and campsites.
The trip was a little more difficult than anticipated because of the strong headwinds we encountered the first three days, and rough seas with 2' to 4' waves most afternoons. We found that we had some strong paddlers by Friday afternoon when we slid into Westcott Beach State Park to be met by four other ADK members who had arrived to paddle with us for the weekend.
Thursday evening we met a young couple camped next to us from Toronto cycling the second leg of their Lake Ontario circumnavigation. We shared desert and photos, and found they were heading to Rochester to take the Fast Ferry home. It was great to be in the company of other travelers using alternative transport means.
On Saturday the Rakestraw's left us for home while the rest of us paddled into Sacketts Harbor for lunch and a stroll around town. The weather turned nasty that afternoon ending a very full week of paddling.
Trip leader - Gary DeWitt.

July 22

- Erie Canal from Clover Street
Ten of us put in at Canal Park on Clover Street and rode the lock down. We paddled out to Pittsford and back. In spite of the dismal forecast, we did not get a drop of rain. We had one kayak dump as we were getting lined up in the lock on the return trip. Since people reacted appropriately, it was an inconvenience rather than an emergency. Remember, there are two kinds of solo paddlers -- those who have dumped and those who are going to. Ice cream at Schoen's Place afterwards.
Trip leader - Steve Tryon

July 13

- Tuesdays At The Beach with Charlie
Says Charlie, 'We had 16 people show up for my first Tuesday night, "training" paddle at the beach. Everyone took turns getting wet and completing assisted rescues. We then went for a leisurely paddle eastward from the beach before returning to a wonderful sunset.
'Next week (July 20th) we will just paddle and the following week (July 27th) I am planning on working on self-rescues.'
Trip leader - Charlie Helman

July 8

Genesee River from Black Creek -
After a rainy, windy day, four of us drove through sprinkles on the way to the put-in, then paddled in the sunshine until the sun finally dropped below the trees. It clouded over as we were heading in, but not a drop of rain did we see.
We put in at the Black Creek launch and head downsteam on the Genesee River toward Rochester. It seems, however, that yours truly rather mis-remembered the put-in location from when we did the downtown run a year or so ago, with the result that we got as far as the U of R campus before needing to head back. We'll have to try the downtown loop again sometime, but put in at the Waterways Center. As it was, we had a lovely paddle on a stretch of the river that I, at least, had not been on before.
Trip leader - Steve Tryon

July 2

Irondequoit Bay -
There is only one word to describe the events of last night.....
AMAZING! We had a good group of people show up at Luann's for the picnic that had great food and conversation. After everyone was stuffed we headed to the water around 8:30 pm. We paddled out into the lake and floated for awhile before heading into the awesome sunset. Next we witnessed the fast ferry's arrival back to Rochester on what appeared to be a successful trip to Toronto....even moving slow it looks like it kicks up one heck of a wake. On our return trip towards the bay the paddle boat ( I can't seem to remember its name) was leaving the bay on its return trip to the river. The boat was all lit up and looked impressive.
Our main objective was still no where to be found...Were the heck was the moon? The paddle was billed as a moonlit paddle since we were suppose to have a full moon last night.We all headed south in the bay only to be greeted by a onslaught of bugs...still nothing but bugs and darkness everywhere, no moon.. We finally decided to head for home and a few minutes after we had turned around to head for Seabreeze.....the moon finally made its presence known as it peaked over the hills of the eastern shore. As we landed to load up our boats I had some regrets ....I can't talk for all but I was disappointed that we could not paddle for a while longer....As I drove home on Route 590 south I looked to the east and witnessed that man (or woman) on the moon smiling at me... A simply perfect end to a great evening. Thanks to all that participated.
Trip leaders - Charlie Helman, Luann Mongelli

June 29

- Tuesdays At The Beach with Charlie
With another threaten night of weather, most paddlers decided to stay away. We had six paddlers who ventured out into the bay. We had some very strong winds for most of paddle but they were manageable. We paddled approximately 3/4 of the length of Irondequoit Bay and then returned to our start-point. Along the way we encountered other kayakers and...we got to see where Ellen's relatives lived. Again......thats enough for awhile Ellen! By the time we were done with the ice cream ritual, the wind had died down and we witnessed a nice sunset. Thanks to all that showed.
Trip leader - Charlie Helman

June 25-27

Presque Isle (Lake Erie) - Pictures
This is a very unique natural sandbar peninsula that is 13 miles long and extends into Lake Erie, creating inland marsh ponds, several protected bays and Presque Isle Bay between the peninsula and the main shore. There are many miles of sandy beaches, hiking trails, light houses, and a nature center to enjoy.
Friday evening June 25th, 13 happy kayakers met at the R&J Campground in Erie, PA. We enjoyed dessert around a campfire while making plans for Saturday's paddle. Before any paddling could be done, the screen house needed to be set up. So just how many paddlers does it take to set up a screen house?
Saturday we launched at Lagoon boat launch and headed out into Misery Bay, but the storm clouds followed, so back we went to the ponds. We found our way through several ponds and into Marina Bay. The clouds passed us by and we had sunshine the rest of the weekend. We found a nice sandy beach with a "lunch log" or better known as a fallen tree, long enough to seat 13 people for lunch. Saturday afternoon we headed into rougher waters with winds 10-15 knots. Some of the group played in the lake waves and later we took a hike to Gull Point Natural Area. Before leaving, we stopped at the North Pier Lighthouse. Dinner was at a local restaurant, then another campfire with roasted marshmallow and smores. Charlie & Karen stayed awake for the spectacular meteor shower.
Sunday was sunny and windy so we put in at Thompson Bay, went out to Gull Point and into the lake. Lunch was again on a sandy beach with a "lunch log" for us. Those who stayed after lunch were able to explore the coves off Thompson Bay with sightings of turtles & gold fish.. We even found an ice cream stop at the end of the day.
Presque Isle is a must do again place.
Trip leader - Karen Pakulski

June 24

Irondequoit Creek from the Bay -
Six of us in a pair of solo canoes, two kayaks, and one tandem canoe headed out on a glorious evening. We were bucking a stiff breeze as we started, but we were soon sheltered by the valley and reeds. We paddled up past the Browncroft Boulevard bridge before heading back. The sun was shining brightly as we put in. We watched the towering cumulus build as we paddled. It was darkening up for a storm by time we got back.
Trip leader - Steve Tryon

June 19

Black Creek from Churchville to Black Creek Park - Pictures
Trip leader - Don Welch

June 17

Black Creek from the Genesee - - Pictures
Trip leader - Karola Jones

June 15

- Tuesdays At The Beach with Charlie
We had 9 paddlers, 8 kayakers and one brave canoeist who ventured out into the lake on a absolutely beautiful evening. Clear skies and extremely calm water. We had a few newcomers to our normal group but everyone was in a mood for a brisk paddle. We paddled almost to Webster Park and back and then watched as Mark practiced his rolls in the bay.
Next week and the following week we are at the same place at Seabreeze park..... Please note...I will make the shift to Durand starting on July 6th.
Contact Charlie Helman, 585-266-0424, chelman(at)rochester.rr.com.

June 10

Cranberry Pond in Greece (Map) -
Doug led seven of us on a quiet tour of Cranberry Pond. After a cloudy day, the skies cleared and the wind dropped to a whisper. The shores on the northern half of the pond are dotted with homes; on the southern half the marsh prevails. Ice cream afterwards by Schallers.
Trip leader - Doug Smith

June 8

- Tuesdays At The Beach with Charlie
We had 11 kayakers who paddled from the Sea Breeze boat launch way down to the Newport House to complete a paddle wave to fellow paddler Karola who was at a business dinner and could not join us.
Gordon invited a new paddler who did a wonderful job of paddling considering it was her first time in a kayak.
We then proceeded back up to the lake where 8 paddlers ventured through the busy outlet into the lake. We paddled into the sunset until it was time to turn around and head for home, and ice cream for some...... A beautiful night on the water.......
Thanks everyone, Charlie
Trip leader - Charlie Helman

June 5

Howland Island - Pictures
Photos by Karola Jones and Bill Irwin and Cheri Lewis
Trip leader - Gary DeWitt

June 3

Erie Canal from Ayrault Road -
The forecast said partly cloudy, but I couldn't see a cloud in the sky as we launched the 2004 evening paddles. We had a total of eighteen paddlers, seventeen each way - one paddler gave up her seat and walked back along the canal path so that one of the latecomers could paddle back with the group. 'Twas a lovely evening for either paddling or walking; this is one of the prettier stretches of the Erie Canal in the Rochester area.
This evening's outing was a joint venture of Waterways and Younger Members. We had a good range of ages and skill levels, including one first-timer who acquitted herself quite acceptably in the bow seat of a tandem canoe.
Back at the Ayrault Road launch, we spread out the picnic blanket and enjoyed ice cream sundaes. Thanks to Cheri for providing the assorted toppings!
Trip leader - Steve Tryon

June 1

- It was a dark and stormy night
Approximately 7 people showed up for what looked like a very trying paddling experience. Mother nature again was telling us who was boss. Dark clouds loomed to the north and we had winds gusting from 25 to 30 MPH. A few people decided that this was not going to be fun so they departed for warmer & dryer ground. The remaining brave individuals surveyed the situation.....and navigated themselves across the parking lot to Vic & Irv's to consume dinner and discuss other paddling adventures either past or future events. We all survived to paddle again!
Trip leader - Charlie Helman

May 26

- Tuesday Comes on a Wednesday This Week
We had five or six kayakers who ventured out into the lake and paddled towards the first visible point in Webster. Along the way we investigated numerous pieces of driftwood and one lone paddler that thought it was mid-summer, no shirt, PFD, sit-upon kayak and a canoe paddle ( Not a part of our group!). I know this will come as a shock to our group....but it rained and we moved the group into the north end of the bay. After paddling for a while we headed for home and dryness!
Trip leader - Charlie Helman

May 22

Genesee River from Wellsville to Belmont - Pictures
It is not difficult to find the Waterways group on paddling days! When I arrived at Wellsvilles Modern Diner at 8 AM, many of the cars in the nearby parking spaces on Main St. already sported colorful kayaks. Luann, Charlie and others had camped nearby overnight, and having endured a good rain, were ready early for breakfast. Introductions, a review of the map, and a nice plate of pancakes and eggs had me ready for a day on the river. A short briefing on the sidewalk prompted by scouting from the bridges, and reports of high water from a local ADKer and the USGS web site, and we were off to the Tops plaza for our launch. We spotted 2 cars at the take-out in Belmont, and left my truck at Scio (half-way) just in case. By 10 oclock we were ready.
The launch bank is mowed grass but quite steep, and was lubricated by an occasionally sprinkling rain. So, at the urging of some of his compadres, Charlie did a slide-in launch, successfully, with his separated paddle halves serving as ski poles. Having waited until the last to get a picture of Charlie, I slid off the bank before getting into my boat, becoming the days first casualty. I nestled my cold muddy butt into the seat and we were off! Not to worry - I would be well rinsed off before the day was through!
The Genesee at Wellsville seems only a little bigger than Black Creek, but the water was really moving. For many of our group of eleven, this was a first experience with a fast moving river. It was a challenge that all met, but not without some learning experiences along the way! As experienced boaters, all of us were prepared for a capsize with dry bags, pumps, waterproof clothes and painter ropes. It wasn't long before we got to try them out. Some of the currents were tricky, and down trees formed strainers on some of the many bends. Fortunately the high water had covered virtually all the rocks, so our boats were washed, but not battered. By days end, I think over half of our brave band had swum the river, which thankfully was surprisingly warm for spring. One of the best things about boating with the Waterways group is the way people come prepared, and then willingly share and care for each other. When any of us was in trouble, others were there to help. Gear which floated away from a tipped boat was captured just about every time by others downstream. I think we lost one hat, but all paddles and boats made the take-out.
Even though the river flows through partly populated areas, farms, yards and a golf course, we saw quite a bit of wildlife. A mama mallard sheparded her tiny ducklings into a hiding place under the bank while we passed. Several pairs of Canada geese guarded their territories, and mergansers, kingfishers and herons were sighted. The highlight of the day for most of us came around a wide sweeping bend north of Scio. Not a hundred feet from shore, a huge bald eagle flew up from the brushy bar inside the bend, frantically bombarded by a redwinged blackbird. It had perhaps been robbing nests in the weeds. Its head was massive, the white feathers and bony yellow beak clearly visible, it was so close!
Too soon for me, we rounded the point next to the dam at Belmont, and pulled each others boats up onto the sunny lawn to drain and dry. Dry clothes felt good and we chatted in the sun while the cars in Wellsville were retrieved. An ice cream just up the road was a great finish. For some of us, there were times of, shall we say, uncertainty. But I hope everyone had at least half as good a time as I did!
Trip leader - Don Welch

May 15
Saturday

Irondequoit Creek from Penfield Road
Why should a little rain keep anyone from going out and playing in the water? It was raining steadily as we put in behind Panorama Plaza (good spot - due West of the Southwest corner of the lot behind Tops). The water is fast as you go around the quarry, then slows as you get into Ellison Park. The rain let up about time we went under the Browncroft bridge. We even got to rescue a lost dog along the way and reunite it with its owner. The wind picked up later as the temperatures dropped, but by that time we were enjoying our picnic at Luann's. We had 16 paddlers in one solo canoe, two tandems, and a flotilla of kayaks.
Trip leader - Steve Tryon

April 24
Saturday

Black Creek from Churchville - Pictures
Photos by Karola Jones
Eleven of us in seven kayaks and a pair of tandem canoes enjoyed a beautiful afternoon on the water. We put in at the boat launch in Churchvill Park and paddled up Black Creek into the swamp and back. The temperature was in the low 50s with bright skies and a fair NW breeze which settled as the afternoon wore on. Water levels were still high, making it tricky (at best!) to keep track of the main channel once we got up into the swamp proper. All in all, a delightful afternoon with some new paddlers.
Trip leader - Luann Mongelli