Tuesday, October 12, 2010


click on pictures to enlarge
 I'm sitting at a campsite I like to use occasionally when camping on Calderwood Lake.  I see that a previous occupant has attempted to modernize it by adding clothes line and a plastic chair of sorts as an additional comfort accessory.  Before I leave I will destroy the entire lot of it.  There is no place for this junk here on this wilderness lake.  As I stated before in a previous blog entry;  the construction of these campsites by the Forest Service will invite the lazy, trashy people who belong in modern, along the highway campsites where clean up crews can pick up after them.  Along with the lazy, one weekend a year camper comes all the trash imaginable including a damn plastic chair.  The chair is an unwanted piece of junky trash that even the lazy camper didn't want and their inconsideration for the beauty of this place is evident as they are too lazy or dumb or both to take it back home with them.  OK;  I'll let it go.  I'm trying to move into another more pleasant course of thought but, now I see fishing line hanging from the bushes and even tree limbs overhanging the lake in front of the campsite.  What ignorant dolts!!  My work is cut out for me.  I must and will remove it all somehow.   Would you believe that Henry Thoreau is my favorite writer?
The day is dead calm and the reflective quality of the water is superb.  The colors of Fall are starting to appear on this mountain lake.
I had worked seven straight days without a break and was looking forward to a canoe paddle on Calderwood with excitement.
This camp spot is about a half mile from the "put in" and I paddled to it using the least energy imaginable.  The paddle strokes were gentle with very slight effort applied;  the paddle placed into the water softly and slowly.  I savored the resistance of the water on the paddle blade and delighted in the easy, long glide of the Champlain as she moved across the water.

My gaze moved from shoreline to cliff side as I tried to locate critters undertaking their daily activities.  I could see none.  That's all fine.  I'm surrounded by beautiful color on and near the water I love best.  The only thing missing is Douglas.  I had hoped to sneak upon an otter or beaver this morning but no photographic opportunities have presented themselves.  Dogs and wild critters are not a good combination when attempting wild life photography so I owe him something special when I get back.

The Champlain is a narrow canoe and can feel unstable with Douglas aboard.  I have stabilizers but the boat just simply loses its rustic appearance.  I have my eye on a 17.5 foot Esquif made of Twin Tex (a light weight material) that would carry both Douglas and Shade at the same time.  Whether I could paddle such a large boat solo is yet to be determined.  I believe I can.

I like to glide under limbs with the canoe.  Don't know why.  I guess it's got something to do with the "sneak up on em" effect a canoe provides.  Then again;  it's great to be surrounded by the beauty of a quiet, Fall lake.   
I soon come upon Otter Branch.  Oh, that's not the real name of this little trickle.  This is the small mountain run off where I saw a group of otter playing last year.  I've never seen them again.  I believe they will become more bold when the motor boats leave the lake because of the cold of Winter.  I'll be there though.
I just have to cross the lake to look at the tunnel.  I've explained the train tunnel in a previous blog and won't repeat myself here.  But, I always do a drive by when on the lake.  It's an interesting creation and a link to the past.
The reflective qualities of the water are excellent.  Sometimes the reflections resemble a tapestry of colors as might appear on a fine hand made quilt.
At other times the reflections create a feeling that the bottom of the lake is metallic and the mottled texture appearing on the surface is of colorful metal hand pounded into a fantastic colorful sculptured finish by a master craftsman.  In reality it is.  Mother Nature is the artist.
The thunder is louder now and the threat of rain is increasing.  I better get back.  The Champlain is pointed toward the apex of the curves in the lake thereby creating the shortest route home;  much like a motorcyclist negotiating the curves in the road.
Just two more photos.  Below is the tail end of a Bald Eagle.  Really it is.  Not too many people can say they saw a Bald Eagle's ass.  Now you can.  Thanks for going along today.  Enjoy Fall and be nice to those who can not speak for themselves.  You know who I mean.
Rather good eagle photographs if I do say so myself