Saturday, September 16, 2023

The Adirondack Canoe Classic, local plant sale, and roaming moose

90-Miler racers

The 6.8-magnitude earthquake in Morocco has killed over 2,100 people so far, with 2,500 more people injured. It has been hard for many of the mountain villages to get help with recoveries, buried in the rubble. Aftershocks have been happening, which is keeping people out on the streets and in open parks (away from buildings.) Then closer to home, the southern United States ducked a bullet when Category 5 Hurricane Lee turned north. [It stayed] out over the ocean, when it could have slammed the coast a terrible blow. It went from a tropical storm to a Category 5 [hurricane] in less than 24 hours, then swerved north. The wind from this storm will batter the east coastline all the way up into the Canadian Maritime provinces all week, with high waves and strong undertow currents.

Locally, the 90-Miler canoe race got off to a good start Friday morning [September 8] with just a little light rain and no fog. Over 250 canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, and guide boats got off in several waves that morning without a hitch. I believe the rain held off for the first day, as they traveled to Blue Mountain Lake for that day’s finish. [They did] four carries that day which add up to a little more than three miles. [These include] Fifth Lake to Sixth Lake (uphill about half a mile,) Seventh Lake to Eighth Lake (about a mile,) Eight Lake to Browns Tract Stream (a little more than a mile,) and then from Marion River up to Utowana Lake on the old railroad bed (about a half mile.) I’m sure they saw some beaver dams along the way, as they didn’t go away since I was there a month ago…probably even a little higher.


Years ago during the first races, Karen and I would take numbers as they came out of Fifth Lake, and some had never carried a canoe before that time…but they soon learned how. Most canoes were pointed in the wrong direction, so when they put their shoulders under the canoe yolk, they had to do a 180 turn around…taking off heads as they went around. At times, you could see fifty to sixty crafts coming across that little lake all at once. There was some bump-and-grind before they all got free and up the trail. Looking at the weather map, they may have hit a few showers [on] the second day, but got to the finish before the showers hit today [September 10]. It sure was a big crowd at [the Old Forge] lakefront before the start of the race, with people and canoes covering most of the lawn.


Several people asked me if I had ever done [the 90-Miler race.] I said, “No.” I would watch and keep track of canoes, but not race. I would spend my energy in other places, but not that race. The same [goes] for the gravel grinder bike race in the spring. Racers would see some of the fall colors along the route, as lakeshores have mostly turned red with the fall colors. I didn’t mention this last week, but all you had to do was drive from Inlet to Old Forge, and you could see the leaf change is here. We did have rain overnight three nights this week, but some got to see the northern lights on Thursday night [September 7.] I missed that one, but I’ll catch it one of these times.

Annual Old Forge Garden Club Plant Sale

Annual Old Forge Garden Club Plant Sale at the Old Forge Library. Photo by Gary Lee.

My Grandson, Nathan, came up this weekend from his Technical College in Utica to look at Grandpa’s computer. He sped it up a little, but said I really needed a new one and gave me one to look for at Best Buy. I need to get my last free truck service and inspection this month in Utica, so I might take the big plunge. My A and T miss several times as I’m writing… so it may be time to upgrade. While we were out in Yellowstone, he really liked my camera, but he upgraded to a better Canon with more features than mine. I haven’t found half of the ones on mine yet…and I’ve had it for more than two years. Plus, he had a nice lens that I might have to get, which is much less to carry than the big one I have…and the same power.


After I left the canoe race start, I went over to the [Old Forge] Library for the Old Forge Garden Club’s annual Plant Sale. Several members present were putting plants on the tables and marking prices for the plants. These plants were taken from all the local members’ gardens, so many were deer resistant. Some were plants that grow in the shade, and many were sun-loving. There was a great variety of flowering plants and some that just added greenery to your gardens. Sales were fast and the tables were nearly cleaned off by 11:30 a.m. Then sales started happening two-for-one, three-for-one, and I didn’t have to take that many home to plant in my garden…but I did get some new ones. It was a fun time, and we even made a nice pot of cash for our labor. Many new gardeners will be happy next year when some of these plants bloom and the deer don’t eat them.


The moose are starting to roam, and there are some in this area, but that’s another story. See ya.


Photo at top: Third wave of 90-Miler racers leaving Old Forge during the 40th Adirondack Canoe Classic on September 8. Photo by Gary Lee.

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Gary lives with his wife, Karen, at Eight Acre Wood in Inlet where he was the Forest Ranger for 35 years, working in the Moose River Wild Forest Recreation Area and West Canada Lakes Wilderness Area. Now retired, Gary works summers for the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, observing, catching and banding loons. The author of a column Daybreak to Twilight in local papers from 1986 to 2019, he now writes his Outdoor Adventures a weekly blog. In 2008, Gary coauthored a book with John M.C. “Mike” Peterson, "Adirondack Birding- 60 Great Places to Find Birds."

2 Responses

  1. Nina says:

    There is one moose that seems to have rather bizarre behavior near the Moose River Plains.

  2. Jeannette says:

    Nina, Please let the Ranhers in Raybrook know of this Moose. Thankyou!

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