For some, overcast with a chance of rain would place a damper on things, but not for us! Both Cindy and I, co-founders of the consulting firm Adirondack Diversity Solutions, decided to do something new: take a guided canoe trip. Our Sunday morning began in Saranac Lake, at Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters, where we met our fantastic guide Tyler. With no prior paddling experience, we had several questions and a bit of learning to do. Knowing this, Tyler created a very informative and entertaining crash-course in proper paddling techniques, while explaining some of the differences between kayaking and canoeing. For beginners like us, this lesson was everything we needed.
Now that we had a firm grasp of technique, it was time to learn about the day's destination. Walking back inside, we spent a few moments browsing the shop, reviewing the map along with learning many interesting facts and figures about the largest wilderness canoe area in the Northeast, the Saint Regis Canoe Area.
With a good understanding of how and where our day would unfold, our only expectations were crystal clear waters and breathtaking scenery. However, as you will soon read, we really underestimated our adventure!
Start your paddles!
Arriving at Little Clear Pond, with a perfect view of St. Regis Mountain to our right, along with calm waters, we were ready to begin our guided trip. Taking only moments to launch our canoes, we briefly practiced our techniques before hitting the water.
Seeing no other canoes on the water, we paused for a few moments, put down our oars and simply absorbed both the silence and natural beauty. To our delight, our silence was short-lived, as we were visited by several common loons who decided to extend a hearty welcome to us. Fascinated by the call of the loon, and loving every minute of our brief conversation, we parted ways and continued our respective journeys. Further energized by this experience, the off and on rain showers were no match for our adventurous spirit, as we paddled farther along Little Clear Pond.
Not fazed by rain, Tyler shared more facts and figures about everything ranging from our canoes to the Seven and Nine Carries canoe routes. Enjoying every moment on the water, we gradually began to develop a stronger command of the canoe and a greater sense of confidence. Paddling farther and for longer periods of time, we became one with the wilderness. Spotting more loons in the distance, though largely engulfed by silence, speaking at a volume above normal conversational tone seemed inappropriate. Observing our surroundings and all its beauty, we truly appreciated the efforts that made this area “forever wild.” Removed from people and places where “leave no trace” is a foreign concept, this made our adventure even more enjoyable.
A perfect paddle
As our paddling adventure came to an end, the excitement of our day far exceeded our expectations and the memories will last forever. And if you’re wondering if we would recommend this adventure to others, absolutely! If we, with no prior paddling experience, had such a great time laughing and learning, just think of what fun awaits you too! All you need is an open mind, a sense of adventure, and a willingness to try something new. Oh, and having a great guide helps too.