The most exciting thing – at least from Wren’s perspective - about the paddle we took on Moose Pond in Bloomingdale this week was the tennis ball she found at the boat launch. I unloaded gear while she played with the ball in the sandy gravel, shoveling it between her legs and then chasing it. Once I was unloaded and ready to push off, I gave her a few throws into the water and she happily retrieved the ball.
Canoeing with my dog, Wren
While this was fun, it did not succeed in calming her excitement before having her sit still in a canoe. In fact it took a few attempts to get her to leave the ball on shore where I placed it on top of the roots of an upturned white cedar. There is too much risk on the water that she would drop the ball and then suddenly lunge for it. Eventually she did get into the boat, despite her clear opinion that her time could be better spent chasing the ball and I even forgot her life jacket in the commotion. She is a better swimmer than anyone I know anyway.
Great place to swim and bird
The sun’s low rays were coming over the brim of the hills as we set out onto the calm waters, and Wren sat a little uneasily looking at the shore – perhaps wishing she was still running around. The forested shoreline of Moose Pond is lined with many large rocks and rock faces suitable for jumping off and taking a swim, but I gave these a miss rather than to have to convince Wren to get back in the boat again. I hugged the shoreline and we listened to the evening sounds of Hermit Thrushes singing as small bands of Cedar Waxwings hawked insects from prominent perches along the shoreline. Otherwise songbirds in the evening were quiet save a lone singing Dark-eyed Junco.
Camping on Moose Pond
A few campsites dot the shore of the lake and a large group of people at one of the campsites caught the attention of Wren. She loves to play with children – not to mention the smell of barbecue from the fire - and rather than tempt her to jump overboard and go investigate, I kept my distance from them as she watched intently. As we turned to head south along the lake, I heard them exclaim as one of the kids caught the first fish of the day.
Their voices were soon traded for the wailing calls of a pair of Common Loons which I had seen in the distance across the lake. Now we were closer to them and the loons sat calmly in the middle of the lake, their calls echoing off the surrounding hills. We paddled on through their ambience as the shadows lengthened and the sun began to dip below the horizon. I had to resist the urge to look at its glowing orange disc as it sat beckoning to me for photographs. Turning to look away from it I could see the distant summit of Whiteface Mountain sticking above the close hills and peaks. As we sat there taking in the darkening scenery an Osprey called and flew out from a nearby cove and we watched it fly down the lake.
A relaxing paddle to end the day
We soon followed its flight toward the boat launch, seeing the Osprey again as we neared our take-out. I wanted to be off the water with easy light for loading the boat on the car, and Wren’s patience for sitting still was running out anyway. As we reached shore she turned to look at me and as I gave her the command, “Okay,” and she jumped out of the canoe and went straight to the upturned cedar to find her ball, parading around with it and dropping it at my feet as I carried the gear back to the car. After a few throws in the lake we headed home, Wren gnawing her ball in the back seat the entire way. After all, it’s often the simple things in life which bring us the most joy and it’s not every day that you find a tennis ball which is looking for a good home.
Paddle and Stay in Saranac Lake -- and bring your dog
Saranac Lake has miles of waterways, lakes, ponds, rivers and streams to explore and a variety of lodging options so you can stay and play, plus Saranac Lake is dog friendly too, so bring fido on your next Adirondack outing. Bringing your boat is optional - Saranac Lake has many places to rent a canoe or kayak and will even drop you off & pick you up, plus guides that can show you the way.