As we all awoke on our last day, we were all eager to go home. The night before we figured out that we needed to get on the water earlier than normal, so that we could hit our destination between 10am & 11am. It was still cloudy and cool and early in the morning getting in the water was not “fun”. The only other living mammals up at that hour were the loons! Now we know where the phrase “crazy as a loon” came from.
After studying our lake map the night before, we fully expected a short paddle to our pick-up point. The paddling route seemed very straightforward, we had a short, easy route along the “right” edge of the lake to a river that would lead us up to Saranac Village–our final destination. Or, so we thought…
As we slowly made our way towards our desired location, we kept heading into coves instead of the targeted river. We cut across what appeared to be cove inlets on the belief that the river entrance was “around the corner”.
A couple of interesting houses diverted our growing weariness as the morning wind began to pick up. We made our way through the lake, passing by many islands.
After several stops, it was clear that we were unsure as to where we were and where we were supposed to go. It was a bit shocking that our confident guide Kelly, whom claimed this lake area as his “home”, was so lost on the water. After over an hour of paddling, we suddenly realized that we had traveled in a giant circle and were near the canal, where we had entered the lake the afternoon before! We ended up paddling back and forth for about two hours before figuring out where to go.
Finally, to get back on track, the adult leaders asked a motor boat driver for direction, while cross-checking their paddling maps & GPS. The solution? Follow the easily marked boat lanes…back across the lake…ugghh!
The whole morning, the clouds were threatening and as we got across the lake into the beginning of the river channel, we were forced to stop at somebody’s lake garage due to some thunder that was heard. So, we all took a break, grabbed a snack, and played some more cards.
After a 45 minute wait, we were cleared to start canoeing again, so we all made the final push to arrive at our pick-up point. The next portion of paddling seemed to take forever, as we all saw civilization, but could not stop until we arrived at the exact pickup location. We passed many houses and camps.
Finally, we reached the pick-up point and though we were over an hour late, we didn’t care, as we could finally stop paddling and this concluded the trip!
Before we made our way back to Summit Base, we stopped for a quick lunch. During the long car ride many of us were able to enjoy a well-earned nap. Upon arriving at Summit Base, we were welcomed with a nice lunch & took hot showers before we headed out on our 4-hour drive back home.
In conclusion, the entire experience of this High Adventure Trip was extremely rewarding because of the mileage we were able to accomplish. Even though we did not travel enough to earn the 50-Miler Award, it still gave us an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment. Not only had we traveled a vast distance in such a short period of time, we had also learned so much more and experienced what “real” camping was like. Despite the many challenges, it was an awesome and extremely memorable trip for us all!