Misc Liisa

Random musings

Day 9- Paddling About on Echo Lake

For breakfast, more blueberry pancakes! The mix we got at the health food store makes great batter, the Maine blueberries are tasty and they are simple to make on the camp stove. Not to mention the fresh Maine maple syrup, which makes the blood sugar spike something crazy mad, but is worth a little extra bolus of insulin to cover.

The plan for today is to kayak at Echo Lake. It’s a decent sized lake, with a nice swimming beach, surrounded by woods and with mountain views, and close to our camp with a reasonable parking situation. It’s a gorgeous sunny, cool day and perfect for being out on the lake. We get breakfast and get going without bothering to shower- we’ll be covered in lake water soon enough and can get clean when we get back!

We kayak with an Advanced Elements tandem inflatable kayak- yes, a blow up boat. It’s great because it’s big enough for Tom and Ten and I and it packs up easily for storage and transport. We clear the air, roll it up, break down the paddles and throw it and all the PFDs into it’s bag and shove it in the car. We’ve got the boat, Tom’s bike and all our clothes and cooler (one electric and a little one for ice) in the car for the trip. When we get to where we’re going, we pull out the boat, pump it up with the foot pump, put the paddles back together, put the dog in his PFD, throw him in the boat and carry it down to the wherever and jump in the water.

Today we deliberate over how much air to put in the boat. It’s a tricky thing. Too much air and the boat is tight to sit in, too little and you, well, risk sinking. Particularly if you put too much in and then think you want to let a little out while on the water (we’ve never had it happen, but we can imagine it). We went with a bit less air than our last trip and the boat bent a little while trying to carry it. We did have the dog in the boat and he is around 17 lbs. so I wasn’t too worried. Tom was worried.

We got the usual oohs and aahs as we put into the water with the dog in his lifejacket- “Oh, my gosh! How cute! What kind of dog?” He loves the attention and he loves to kayak (adventure with no effort and it looks like mom and dad are slaves working for you to row you around).

We got in and got a nice start paddling down the lake toward the beach. There were camps along the banks with the kind of tents they had when I was at girl scout camp as a kid- the ones with the canvas buildings up on platforms and cots to sleep on. We weren’t sure at the time what all these camps were and later figured out that the first one we saw was the Appalachian Mountain Club’s camp and some others were sleepaway camps.

There was a beach at one end of the lake with several people swimming and a few small sailboats. After turning away from this, we were below a high cliff of a small mountain. We continued paddling north and struggled a bit to make sense of the wind that seemed to both be with and against us. We like to putter when we paddle and look at the dragonflies and houses along the edges of the water. There were several nice houses here in addition to the camps and many had private docks and boats. And there were both blue and red dragonflies.

At the northern end of the lake there is a small island away from the shore where there was a little house. We debated whether that was the type of seclusion we would like or hate. While discussing it and paddling past the island, we hit a rock. We were a little shocked, but no worse for the wear.

Tenzin had been sitting through most of our trip on top of my PFD (I wasn’t wearing it- it was hot and the lake was pretty calm) on the middle of the kayak. He was pretty happy and relaxed. After a bit, he got annoyed about being splashed and he decided to move to sit with Tom in front. But Tom couldn’t paddle and hold him, so he came back to sit with me. I was able to get him settled so that I could paddle, but he continued to squirm around and the waves picked up a bit, so we continued to splash him more than he liked.

It wasn’t until we got to the shore and got out of the boat that we realized why exactly he’d been squirming so much- he had to pee! He ran straight over to the first tree he saw and relieved himself. We wondered whether we should have dipped him in the lake and whether he would have peed in the lake or held it.

Once we got back to camp, we were anxious to get a shower since we were reeking of lake water and had wet shorts from the water that got into the boat. The men’s bath was closed for cleaning, so Tom waited it out while I got a shower and pulled together some curried lentils for a late lunch.

We decided that we should go into Bar Harbor later and have dinner in town since it was starting to look a little gloomy and it’s never fun to try to cook outdoors in the rain. Besides, we had a few things we needed to pick up before the next leg of our trip and we figured we could get some of them in Bar Harbor. We needed more poo bags for the dog, needlenose pliers so we could try to fix the camper leg and some postcards to replace the ones that got bacon grease on them. We wandered through town looking into all the little cutesy shops and found what we were looking for (and a few other things, like Tenzin’s cool tag holder that keeps the tags on his collar from making noise on his bowl).

We decided to go to Rosalie’s for pizza since we had read that it was the best pizza on the East Coast. It was an interesting place because you essentially had to figure out how to seat yourself. Nab a table, then order or order and hope a table would be ready when they brought the food out? It was pretty good pizza, but I don’t think they can really say it’s the “best.” Afterwards, even though we were full, we wanted to get some ice cream and I ended up with a kiddie sized portion.

We got back to camp and all was dark except the few fires that people were sitting around. It was peaceful and quiet and followed by a good night’s sleep in the rain.

Pics for today can be found here- http://bit.ly/c4aaHi

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