These are my experiences in maps, photos, and stories.

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Good afternoon. 78 degrees and partly sunny at Grout Pond. Even more clearing expected for later. Not a half bad day for Memorial Day. Spending a few more minutes as a beach bum,  enjoying as much of the sun and water before I have to go home.

Last night was pretty foggy and cool but for the most part I missed most of the rain until morning. The one advantage of the cooler weather was there were no black flies. Black flies were back for the morning, so I took another bath in DEET. Burgers and coleslaw last night and started a campfire and read until 10 pm. I was tired, so I went to bed early.

Figured out why the propane splitter wasn’t working all the time. Based on reading on the Internet, I learned it’s important to turn off all the valves on the stove and lantern before turning on the tank slowly to properly pressurize the propane lanes. Now things working perfectly now. I’m happy about that.

Now I’m heading home to unpack. I’ll upload photos over the next few days.

Map: Klondike State Forest

Map: Klondike State Forest

Klondike State Forest is comprised of mature natural hardwood and northern hardwood-hemlock cover types. The predominant species include red maple, black cherry, white ash, sugar maple and hemlock. There are also conifer plantations throughout the forest consisting of mainly white pine, red pine, larch and spruce plantations that were planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps between the 1930's and the 1950's.

A portion of the property bounds North Pond and leads into a naturally occurring bog. This area provides excellent habitat for many different species of rare and common plants and animals. Water fowl and insects can often be observed in great numbers. Another large wetland complex which boasts some rare and endangered species of both plants and animals lies just to the south North Pond. This diverse and beautiful area further adds to the value of this natural resource.

71 degrees on Forest Road 71. Stopping up here as I know I have good cellphone service and I needed to check my phone for work email. Parked by a swamp along the upper end of the road and based on my observations out of the truck windows, the black flies are intense.

Today the water and sun was nice at Grout Pond until the front pushed in and brought thick low clouds that look like fog in the mountains. The pond seemed warmer than yesterday but it varied a lot as there still a fair amount of cold water still cycling up. Still I’m glad it’s warm and nice. I’m tired of winter.

Went down to West Westboro to buy some ice at a very traditional general store. By the time I reached West Westboro, I think I would have been better off going to Arlington. Would have had better cellphone reception there. That said, I remembered the place on Forest Road 71 with the good reception.

Never got to use the kayak. I really should have explored Grout Pond or Branch Pond yesterday, when I had the boat on my roof. Oh well. I’ve done it before. It would have been choppy on the lake today.

Heavy rain or thunderstorms is coming my way, so I should probably head back to camp, so I’m not driving through it.

Map: Falls Pond

Map: Falls Pond

A less visited pond in the Moose River Plains complex, it is usually accessed from Indian Lake Road, one mile past the Otter Brook bridge, at the field where the Brookhouse Trailhead is. From there, you hike the Brookhouse Trail for 1.5 miles, which is an old logging road, before turning right at sign to Falls Pond. The Falls Pond trail is a bit rough to follow in parts, it crosses a stream and goes through some brambles, before you get to this delightful little wilderness lake.

Good afternoon. Definitely summer out there, with temperatures around 75 degrees here off of Branch Pond Road in the Green Mountain National Forest. A warm but nice afternoon. Black flies are pretty bad but with ample DEET soaking my clothes, cowboy hat and to a lesser extent skin, they are manageable. I strung up a tarp to block out the sun and provide some protection when the inevitable thunderstorms come with the summer heat of recent.

I found a decent way to get out to the Green Mountain National Forest, by taking NY 43 out to Sand Lake, then NY 357 to Brunswick, then NY 2 out to NY 22 then North to NY 7. There are probably a few more small towns you have to go through this way but my trip out here was congestion free and most of the route was posted 55 mph. In contrast, NY 7 is constant stop and go on the weekends from left turning cars, Hoosick Street is awful, and there often are crashes. Kelly Stand Road is open although no camping along the reconstructed area, but then again, there never was much good camping up there.

Today I’m going for a hike back to Stratton Pond but I’m not sure if I will go all the way back. I’m watching the weather. Like yesterday, I want to spend some time in the truly frigid waters of Grout Pond cooling off. Then maybe go for a paddle, assuming that the thunderstorms hold off. I have firewood stored under the tarp for later in case we get rain.

All and all, it’s been a somewhat buggy and hot weekend but it sure beats being stuck home in the heat.

Map: Otter Lake

Map: Otter Lake

Otter Lake is a 282 acre, class A lake found in the Town of Forestport in Oneida County, in the
southwestern Adirondack region of New York State. It is located off of NY 28 and is near the hamlet of Otter Lake on your way up to Old Forge. There is a public parking area and car top boat launch on the south-eastern tip of the lake.

To access it, you must go north of the lake on NY 28 to Lake View Road, and drive all the way around the lake on Lake View Road, until you reach the southern tip.

May 2016
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