The Crooked Canes Journal


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Henderson Lake Paddle ~ Aug 24, 2016

Journal entry by Diane Wisell



Truly a day to remember! After the scenic ride to Upper Works trail head, we thirteen lucky Canes arrived at water's edge to be greeted by the scene shown in the first picture. Could it get any better? Probably not, but it sure seemed better with every passing minute of the day, excepting a short "time out" for a rude, ill-timed breeze right after lunch, strong enough to produce a few white caps and strengthen some arm muscles.

The pre-lunch paddle to the lean-to was a delightful exploration of the shoreline and shallow north end of the lake, ringed by mostly rocky shore and well known Adirondack peaks. Though lunch started and ended on a literally mucky note, we had a great time lounging on rocks in the nearby stream with holes just big, deep, inviting and "refresheningly" cool enough to overcome a couple of folks' temptation. After cheers, jeers, squeals and a Pop Tart for the lean-to occupants we headed south, into the wind. "Hmmm, this is work! What to do?" was on more than one paddler's mind at a point where, with a left turn and a few short minutes, we could be back at the launching point and done with the wind. Just then, or maybe just at that point, the wind dropped and interest in exploration and swimming rose. About half of the group continued south and those with gills, seeking the perfect place for a dip, were drawn to "Cathy's Beach," a location now more important to them than almost any other swimmin' hole.

In an hour or so the group was largely reunited, rafted up, drifting slowly along in the light, warm breeze and living the moment while the thought that "this day is just too perfect to end" crept silently in. After a while, our navigators having finished nameing every surrounding peak (even if some names were imagined), all except 'one' began paddling toward the launch site. That 'one' (who may have written this entry???) urged an innocent bystander to sneakily snake the end of someone's aft mooring line out of their boat, pass it along and who then hung on for a lengthy spell, thoroughly enjoying the easy life and sweet sound carried in the gentle wind that sounded exactly like someone saying "Linda, paddle harder."

Back at the launch point, putting wheels and yokes on our boats and not wanting to leave, the short walk back to our cars was as ominous as a dark stormy sky. But we made it just fine, everyone anticipating "next time..." The day's experience was succinctly summed up by one on a first trip to Henderson Lake as "this is the nicest place I've ever been to..."

Thanks so much for making today special to Pete & Donna, Peter & Linda, Diane & Kurt, Margie, Paul, Fran two Cathies and two Rays (of sunshine, of course!).

8/30/16 - RayB Bouchard added 10 photos.

8/30/16 - RayB Bouchard added 1 photo.

9/3/16 - Wanderer . added 19 photos.

38 photos



Our group at the trail head. Note who was in such high anticipation that being held back was necessary.



Someone's high anticipation was warranted as at the launch site we were met by this inviting view.



"Cathy's Beach" Which one is it named for?



On the left: "Look Ma, no hands or feet!" On the right, "Linda, paddle harder!"



I think I'll just stop and rest my butt on this rock for a couple centuries.



Summer threatens to leave as winter patiently waits.



Since we arrived close to noon, a decision was made to eat near the lean-to at the NW corner of the lake. We had a great view of Wallface Mt. as we approached our destination. - added by RayB



Ray Boucher and Paul Alpert enjoying lunch on a sunny rock. As you can see, Ray was cooperative, but Paul insisted on hiding behind his massive Manwich. - added by RayB



Kurt, on the other hand, was, as Diane would say, just being Kurt. Hmmm, the full moon arrived 6 days earlier, could it have had a residual effect? - added by RayB



Fran enjoying her lunch with a cup-a. - added by RayB



A small waterfall, a few feet behind out lunch spot, serenaded us while we ate. It had the added bonus of providing a refreshing dip for some. Jack & Lenore, you would have loved it. - added by RayB



A "Flag Tree" with character. - added by RayB



One of several nooks & crannies that just had to be explored. - added by RayB



Cotton Grass swayed gracefully with the slightest breeze. - added by RayB



A Bonsai, courtesy of Mother Nature. Like "The Little Engine That Could", no one bothered to tell this plant that it couldn't survive here. Who knows, twenty years from now it may split this boulder as its roots descend into the water. All things are possible for those that try. - added by RayB



Henderson Lake is more than just a destination that can provide you with a quiet, peaceful place to paddle. If one listens carefully, one can almost hear the voices of the children who played less than a mile down the road, in the mining village of Adirondac. In short there's a great deal of history here that some of you may wish to explore some day. Hint- don't wait too long as many of the buildings are in a state of collapse. Fortunately there are several graphics like this one, that have been provided by the Open Space Institute to help preserve the memories of days gone bye. - added by RayB



Here is a picture I took of the MacNaughton Cottage during an ADK trip back on October 7, 2004. See "You Are Here" in the previous photo.



This is the MacNaughton Cottage after it was stabilized. Historical Notes: A small addition (not shown) on the right hand side was used as a bank in 1834. The first Chartered Bank in the Adirondacks. 1848: A Post Office opened & the Settlement became known as the village of Adirondac. 1901: Teddy Roosevelt was staying in this cottage when word came that President McKinley had been shot. Finally, you'll just have to come come here in person if you wish to learn more about this fascinating place.



Last, but certainly not least, one more luncheon photo that I almost forgot to add. Cathy C. and Margie sit patiently waiting for me to take their picture so they can get back to enjoying their lunch. Please forgive me ladies. - added by RayB



Ray providing shelter to Linda and Fran - may come in handy if it rains but not today - added by Wanderer



View from the dam at the outlet of Henderson Lake - Santanoni Mt on the horizon - not to be confused with Santanoni Peak slightly south (I think) - added by Wanderer



End of the carry and start of the paddle at the outlet of Henderson Lake - added by Wanderer



Ray enjoying a bit of sun - added by Wanderer



Reflection on calm water - added by Wanderer



Paul and Cathy G - added by Wanderer



Cathy C and some of our group at the north end of Henderson Lake - added by Wanderer



Kurt, our leader, enjoying the view - and what a view it is! - added by Wanderer



Landing at our lunch spot - added by Wanderer



Plaque located in the lean-to in memory of Marianne Vernon's late husband Larry and his friend and work associate at NYSDEC - added by Wanderer



Having a bite to eat at the small stream adjacent to the lean-to - Kurt, Cathy G, Diane and Fran - added by Wanderer



Small cascade feeding the swimming holes with nice warm water - NOT! - added by Wanderer



Cathy expressing her disbelief with just how cold the water is while Kurt seems totally oblivious and thinks it is a hot spring - added by Wanderer



Lunch with a view! - added by Wanderer



Paul returning from an exploration of Santanoni Brook - added by Wanderer



Looking NE from Santanoni Brook - Mt. Colden, center, and Mt. Adams over Linda's head (I may be wrong about Mt. Adams - please correct me) - added by Wanderer



Fran at Santanoni Brook - added by Wanderer



Just a pic of the shoreline of one of the coves - added by Wanderer



Headed back after a wonderful paddle of Henderson Lake - Thanks Kurt! - added by Wanderer




A slightly more accurate answer to "how long is the carry from the trailhead to the lake?" than "I dunno, not too long, I guess" has been found in a GPS track recently recorded on a decent instrument tracking six good satellites and showing low PDOP over a recording time of between 8 and 9 minutes, on a day with a good SWPC (Space Weather Prediction Center) forecast, starting at the gate and ending at the water's edge showing (not post-processed) distance of 1,705 feet, or 0.3229 miles with a total vertical ascent of 51 feet. Fitbit users traveling this smooth, firm, well graveled path round trip get the highly sought after "Henderson" badge for eleven-ish football fields and thirteen-ish flights of stairs!

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