PADDLER’S NOTE: The Saranac River in flood stage was much more powerful and the rapids on the Moose River trickier with less water than Chase Rapids. I was glad I decided to keep my gear, which gave my boat the same feel that it has had for hundreds of miles. The first mile of Chase Rapids has all of the Class II rapids, with a chance to catch your breath between each.
What an awesome day, what an awesome place, the icing on the cake of this incredible journey!
Only 7.5 miles, you say? Well…let me tell you our story. Violent thunderstorms with heavy rain had continued off and on for hours in the night, turning the difficult portage trail into a treacherous one. Hardest was the rushing stream that now crossed the trail at a point with no boardwalk. Ominous rumbling continued as I carried both boats (very carefully) and Dad the rest of the boat gear. His stamina has been impressive. Left camp about 10 a.m., already having done quite a bit!
We called home and Mom reported that the escaped convicts were far away, riding the rails in PA, a huge relief. (Also ultimately not true, but we had peace of mind for a day or two).
The wind had picked up more and on we sailed, torn between hugging the shore for safety or flying free down the middle. Then there was that delicate point where fun becomes a bit scary. Was it a blessing of prayer that there was a lean-to exactly there? The waves carried us in and deposited us firmly on shore for an early camp.
An afternoon in camp is always a gift, for drying, washing, and relaxing. Just remember to put a large rock on anything you set down or it will blow away! And when you are done washing yourself and the laundry, you will need to pick little leaf bits out of all the crevices. This was some serious wind and stirring up of an already- flooded shore. Hot dogs and beans for supper on the campfire and Dad’s new twig stove.