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Epic paddle through the locks

Monday, October 22, 2012

This weekend LESLIELENORE and her brother joined me and two others for what weíd planned to be a 20-mile paddle through the canal from Cayuga Lake to Seneca Lake and then down along the shore of Seneca.

Here's LESLIELENORE's blog post about the trip:

Pics and the gps track here:

Since they live so far away she crashed at my place and after she arrived we used the elliptical and equipment in my basement for our workouts. It was kind of fun having someone else down there, kickiní it too. Usually Iím by myself, rockiní out to rude pop songs.

Then we had protein shakes and played with the cats while waiting for another kayaker to show up, who also lives pretty far away.

Sunday morning we all got up at the crack of doom, dropped my car at the end point and went to the put in where a bridge crosses the canal. We launched at 9am.

The fall colors were stunning. And the temperature was great, and the sunlight felt so good.

Going through the locks was definitely a high point (no pun intended). The first set we did was actually two locks, and raised us 50 feet total.

In one of them the walls were covered with zebra mussels that would squirt and slam themselves shut when I touched them.

So I had fun brushing my fingers over them and making them squirt while the water rose.

We paddled through Seneca Falls (its claim to fame is the site where the the movement to allow women to vote began, and as one of the models for Bedford Falls in "It's a Wonderful Life.")

There is a trail along the canal with interesting sculptures:


The second lock, in Waterloo, was only about 14 ft. Waterloo claims to be where the idea of Memorial Day started.

In both cases we didn't have to radio them or get out and ask them to open the gates, or anything, they must have a motion alarm or something because they opened right up. We were the only craft we saw in any of the locks, and we only saw one other boat going on the canal (it was a big fishing yacht).

There was no danger of us exceeding the 10mph speed limit, even LESLIELENORE's brother, who specializes in paddling Very Fast.

At the beginning of the trip the water was still. But as the day continued the wind kicked up and was almost perfectly lined up with the direction of the canal so there wasn't much of a lee side to paddle on. LOL

By the time we got to the restaurant I was pretty well tired and had switched to my euro paddle from the Greenland stick.

We had lunch there about 2pm and then tried to get out onto Seneca lake.

By the time we got there was good sized chop and whitecaps on our rear quarter. About 2 miles down the lake our weakest paddler capsized and swam so we all hauled out onto shore and I decided it was time to stop. He wanted to keep going but I said no; I've read enough bad stories to know as a group we weren't strong enough to go 6+ more miles in those conditions.

We carried our boats up some steep steps by an empty cottage and around 4pm I walked with one of the other kayakers a mile to the main road where we thumbed a ride back to my car at the takeout. Once I got there what remained was a lot of shuttling of boats and people, trying to connect everyone with their cars and then with their boats. In the end everyone was headed home by 7 or 8.

Although we were about 6-7 miles short of our final destination we definitely had an epic paddle, and I donít regret it one bit, although Iím sore enough to take a rest day today. The only thing I do regret is forgetting to put on my heart rate monitor strap, so I have no idea how many calories I burned. Iím estimating about 1000 total.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
COMPUCATHY 11/10/2012 9:47AM

    Awesome! Loved the pics! Very inspiring. I would love to try kayaking. It looks so fun and I love the water. Thanks for the inspiration and the information! Keep up the good work! Spark on! emoticon emoticon

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TRUCKERWIFE2 11/8/2012 10:29AM

    Sounds like a great way to enjoy a fall day!

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    Wow! What a fun trip!

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COMEONMA 10/30/2012 4:23PM

    Wow, what a trip! I have always wanted to take a kayak along the canal and now that I've seen your photos I have got to do it!
If I'm lucky, the place in town hasn't closed for the season and we will get one more decent day that I can head out in.
thank you for sharing.

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DALID414 10/24/2012 10:16PM


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DDOORN 10/24/2012 11:27AM

    Great pics! It's so SUPER how you get together with fellow SPARKERS to celebrate LIFE together! :-)


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ILOVEMALI 10/24/2012 12:12AM

    Beautiful! Congrats!

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KAYAK-A-MANIAC 10/23/2012 6:39PM

    What an adventure!! Treasure the Moments emoticon

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BLUE42DOWN 10/23/2012 5:13PM

    What a very neat trip - and certainly wise to not push and put anyone in potential danger.

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BOOKWORM27S 10/23/2012 9:56AM

    Amazing scenery!

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BOOKWORM27S 10/23/2012 9:56AM

    Amazing scenery!

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JLPEASE 10/23/2012 9:34AM

    Sounds like a picture perfect day! Thanks so much for sharing.

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NEW-CAZ 10/23/2012 3:00AM

    A fantastic day out, great pics!

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KATHIC2 10/22/2012 5:29PM

  Great adventure!

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LESLIELENORE 10/22/2012 4:23PM

    My abs are sore today. I think paddling against the wind was harder than I originally thought. Thanks for posting the pictures. We will have to do it again sometime!

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SPARKLINGHOPE 10/22/2012 4:11PM

    Beautiful pics!

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BREWMASTERBILL 10/22/2012 3:41PM

    Those are some fantastic pics. Do you use a "real" camera? If so, which one?

"So I had fun brushing my fingers over them and making them squirt while the water rose. "

- 50 Shades of Gray.

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LAWANDMUSIC 10/22/2012 3:30PM

    Wonderful post! Used to kayak the Stanislaus and Kings rivers in northern California.

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WHERERMY62KEYS 10/22/2012 3:28PM

  lOVE THE PICS. Looks like you had a fabulous time out there

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