I journaled meticulously during my 52 days on the trail - sometimes to log boring details and other times to record my story. What you are reading is my word-for-word account, logged directly from the two notebooks I filled during my time paddling the NFCT. Some days are short, others are lavish and detailed. There are mistakes, it may not always make sense, but it is certainly a true account of the experience. Enjoy!
It was a cold and windy morning - I slept in even though I planned to get up early. After packing up and making breakfast by the water, the sun started coming out and I was feeling good!
I paddled across the head of the lake to the small beach across the way. The book outlined it as a glacial dam, it wasn't overly exciting, but cool none-the-less.
I exited Long Lake via a narrow channel and made my way down the Raquette River with help from the Garmin. The Raquette was beautiful but slow. I took the boat out for the 1.3-mile carry around Upper Falls, Raquette Falls, and Lower Falls. I took all the gear on the first trip - the grocery bags that I snagged from the car before Moose left worked perfectly for this, dropped everything at the end by the river and headed back for the boat. My headphones were blaring to help keep a good attitude during the strenuous trips. The boat was a b**** to carry. I could cover ground effectively, but needed to change holds numerous times. It was a great workout and I was glad to have bought a new seat pad, it worked perfectly tucked into my fanny pack as a hip guard - so necessary! After the boat was portaged sans gear I grabbed my lunch items; bagels, cheese, pepperoni, knife, water, and phone and headed back up the trail to Lower Falls where I proceeded to make and consume lunch. This was the only waterfall I checked out - pretty neat!
The remainder of the Raquette River was just as slow if not slower. I utilized the Garmin a couple of times just to make sure I was where I thought I was. Eventually I took a right turn up Stony Creek which is an UPSTREAM paddle - it wasn't too bad but it was definitely slower going. It seemed like it took forever to get up to the Stony Creek Ponds - damn creek just wouldn’t stop winding.
Once I arrived at the pond it was quitting time. All the on-shore sites were seemingly occupied by rowdy group trips - I had seen many boaters throughout the day so this didn't come as a surprise. I didn’t stop to see if there was room, I just pulled up to the no-name island in the center of the pond and claimed it. It was a small island that was consumed by a hill - on top was a custom made lean-to. It had a nice rock/cliff overlook - which I ate dinner at, and a nice tent spot along the shore - where I camped.
I stocked up a fire, but didn’t light it. I planned to have an early morning and I thought the island was private so I didn't want to draw attention to my being there! I didn’t sleep well as my bed was uncomfortable and I was cold due to my bags partially broken zipper. on my sleeping bag. There was also a gang of coyotes that raised hell throughout the night. Early on there were a lot of lovely loons who were very vocal.