Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 117
I don’t have to tell anyone about the rains that came during the last week, as many may have had a boat sunk, lost a dock, boat or Kayak in the high waters that it caused. Other parts of the country had it a lot worse than we did and some locally not that far away.
The Town of McEwen was hit by intense flooding, along with the rest of Middle Tennessee, which shattered the state’s rainfall record with 17.2 inches in a twenty-four-hour time period. 22 reported dead and dozens missing in that area from the flooding. This was as Hurricane Henri was going up the East Coast. It turned into a tropical Storm before making landfall on Long Island. It still had winds up to 70MPH and rains that dropped over five inches of rain in many places. Going through New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine there were many power outages and some local flooding due to the storm.
We missed this storm locally, but the tail end of Hurricane Fred during the week dropped over 9 inches of rain on most of this area. Most of the area lakes are as high as during the spring run off and some maybe higher. The rivers are very high, and it will take a few days for this to run off so use caution if traveling these rivers. The local rafters and those running the Hudson River have been filled with clients taking trips down these rivers, not much paddling needed and some thrills in some class five water for sure. Karen and I went over to Warrensburg Saturday morning and all the rafting companies were traveling north to the put in Indian River at the outlet of Lake Abanakee. After our visit, tour of the west side of the Hudson River and lunch at Trappers in North Creek, it gave most of these rafters time to make it down to the takeout at North River. The moving Hudson River was bobbing with padding rafters trying to make it to shore. I’m sure they had quite a ride down, with a few going swimming along the way the river was moving.
If you had been hiking in the area, there are few places where you would have to cross small streams and in places rivers that didn’t have bridges to cross on. Most of these small streams were rivers and you would be wading neck deep to get across in swift water. I hope you turned around using good judgement and didn’t try to cross these streams.
Remembering back a few years one of the interior caretakers at West Canada Lake Headquarters needed some medications and his wife and son were walking in with them from the Moose River Area via the Brooktrout Lake Trail. We had about as much rain as the last week and they got to the Outlet of Deep Lake, which had no bridge and had to turn around as it was uncrossable as high as it was. They came back out and Don Bird made a mercy flight into Mud Lake to deliver the medications.
If people were walking the east west trail through the Adirondacks during this time and came to the Indian River in the West Canada Wildness Area, they would need a boat to get across, and even that would be tricky at that crossing site. I once went across in the truck when I could still drive in that section of the area. There was a bridge that crossed the Indian River in two places when I came here in 1966 and the Moose River also on the Adirondack League Club. Both bridges on the Indian deteriorated so the Conservation Department put in fords for crossing at both bridges for access. One time I went in with the District Ranger Don Decker to measure culverts beyond the bridge that would need replacing to keep that road open. The water was a little high, but I had been across the ford when it was higher. It was deep on one side, but shallower on the other side. We went in the deep side and water came over the hood some and we went out the shallow side ok and didn’t shut off the truck until it dried out. It rained the whole time we were measuring culverts and when we came back out to cross, Don said, “I’m going to walk across what was left of the old bridge,” and I said, “no you’re not. I need you for weight in here, so we don’t float downstream.” We went from the shallow side into the deep side and the water was way over the hood and part way up his window on the upside of the truck and the truck started to drift a little downstream until the floating tires hit bottom on the ford on the other side of the river. He said I don’t know about you, but I think there may be a little brown stain in my pants. He never did come up to cross that ford again. We never did replace any of those culverts, as that became wilderness on the other side of the river in the first of three UMPs for the Moose River Area.
Fires out west still raging with more acreage burned in California than last year already. The Caldor Fire burned through the community of Grizzly flats, a once wooded area where roughly 1200 people called home, is hardly recognizable now. Nearly 41,00 people have been evacuated from their homes due to wildfires burning across the state.
New wildflowers can be seen along our waterways and ponds this time of the year, but that’s another story. See ya.
Outlet of Big Moose