Day 12: Knight Island on Lake Champlain to The Swanton Motel, Swanton, VT (26.1 miles)


Hero’s Welcome’s pastries lived up to their reputation and were a great motivator to get us up and on our way early, crossing from our campsite back to North Hero Island.  Peter and I said goodbye to Dan, who was not feeling well, and headed home.  Safe travels and awesome adventures in Alaska, Dan!  By the way, I had a chocolate pastry with coffee, a giant ham and cheese pastry for lunch, and took a peach scone for the road.


Peter signing in at the NFCT kiosk…fun to read who else is paddling and valuable for safety purposes

I learned an incredible amount from Peter in the two days that he carved out of his busy summer Celtic music and fiddle lesson schedule.  One huge discovery is that I am twisting my wrists too much, which is the likely cause of my numbness and pain.  Now to try to unlearn a bad habit.  Relax my hands, don’t have a death grip on the paddle, move my torso…lots to concentrate on as the miles go by.

As we started the 1.5 mile crossing from Stephenson Point to Clark Point, the skies let loose. “This would be the time to head straight for the closest shore,” said Peter. Luckily, we saw no lightning.

Our paddling today proved that we are both a little crazy, as we just kept going and going, warmed in the torrential rain by our exertion and stopping now and then to dump the water out of our boats.  Peter’s car was parked at the Rt. 78 bridge, but he offered to go a little farther, giving me a chance to get some advice on upstream paddling.


I love this photo which captures the spirit of a day of challenges and discovery. Did you know that putting on a warm, dry layer under a soaking wet jacket will really warm you up?


As we entered the Missisquoi River, which I will paddle upstream, we were in a wildlife refuge full of birds.  I was also on the lookout for the threatened Spiny Softshell Turtle, finally seeing and photographing a turtle after I left Peter, but I haven’t identified it yet.

So what did I learn about upstream paddling?  Hug the shore on the inside of curves and I mean HUG IT.  We wove in and out of trees draped over the river and paddled so close to grassy banks that there was barely room for a paddle.  This is also, I have discovered, a great way to see wildlife!

I left Peter at Louie’s Landing after washing my boat at the Clean-Drain-Dry Station that the NFCT installed there to prevent the spread of invasive species.  On to The Swanton Motel, where I don’t expect to leave tomorrow until checkout time.  I was on Lake Champlain only 28 hours!


2 thoughts on “Day 12: Knight Island on Lake Champlain to The Swanton Motel, Swanton, VT (26.1 miles)”

  1. I am really enjoying reading your articles. It was nice of Peter and Dan to accompany you across Lake Champlain. Good luck with the upstream paddling coming up.


    1. I have been thinking of you as I am surviving the upstream and so far haven’t had to walk as much of it as planned. You were an inspiration with your determination to be on the water as much as you could!


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