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Old 08-23-2006, 12:19 PM   #1
Kevin
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Kunjamuk River paddle 08-20-06

[Pictures]

Redhawk, Val, and I had been talking about doing this for about 2 months. Val and Redhawk had previously done this paddle (2005), and their report sparked my interest.

After a relaxing Saturday hanging out with Gary (wildernessphoto) and Bob (Cold River Bob) in Caroga, we got up early Sunday to eat, pack, and rush up to Redhawk's in Wells. Much thanks to Gary for coffee and pancakes!

It rained heavily that morning for several hours. I was hoping this would help water levels because of the beaver dams I heard littered this stretch of the river. Unfortunately it wasn't enough rain to make a difference and we still had to portage, push, or pull ourselves over several dams (I counted 8) in the 4.5 mile paddle.

It seemed we all had our own agendas. Mine was to stay as pain free as possible, the maiden voyage of the newly acquired Otters wasn't smooth sailing for me. 6' 3" is a bit tall for these 9.5' recreational yaks. In my spare time at home I'm going to experiment with some padding configurations. Those seats are waaay to hard for my delicate toosh and lower back!

Val was obsessed with flowers, and for good reason. There were a ton. I noticed them in the first minutes of paddling out and across the Sacandaga. Only color I don't remember seeing was orange, but most everything else was represented along the route. Val will hopefully have some pics to share soon. I have about 5 flowers in my photos. Most of them will need idenfication, none of us are botanists but we certain appreciate their simple beauty.




We saw some wildlife, mostly the occassional fish jumping or stirred duck. It went from cloudy to sunny to heavy rain by the end.

Not much else to post really. It's a fun 3+ hour paddle with a wonderful reward at the end (Elm Lake).

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Old 08-23-2006, 01:30 PM   #2
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Kevin, I think that the red flower that val was asking about is a snap dragon.

You need to recount...... Excluding the big tree which we were able to paddle around and which obviously was not a beaver dam, I counted 14 dams on the way back.
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Old 08-23-2006, 03:18 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by redhawk
Kevin, I think that the red flower that val was asking about is a snap dragon.

You need to recount...... Excluding the big tree which we were able to paddle around and which obviously was not a beaver dam, I counted 14 dams on the way back.
I was only counting the ones intact, several of them were broken wide open. I'm glad I wasn't the only one who noticed .
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Old 08-23-2006, 05:34 PM   #4
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The red flowers were cardinal flowers
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Old 08-24-2006, 06:51 AM   #5
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Wildflowers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin
Val was obsessed with flowers, and for good reason. There were a ton. I noticed them in the first minutes of paddling out and across the Sacandaga. Only color I don't remember seeing was orange, but most everything else was represented along the route. Val will hopefully have some pics to share soon. I have about 5 flowers in my photos. Most of them will need idenfication, none of us are botanists but we certain appreciate their simple beauty.
I always love an opportunity to break out the field guide and be a geek. In your pics, #1 is easy-some type of Goldenrod, but as for which one, who knows? There's about a dozen or more types.

#3 (w/ Val in the background) looks almost like some type of laurel, but it's late in the season for that, plus the leaves are alternate in yours, opposite on laurel. Maybe it's some other member of the heath family.

#s 2 and 5 I'm absolutely clueless, but they're interesting. #4 I'll keep trying-I haven't figured it out so far. Once in a while I'll just see something in the field guide that I remember from someone's picture and go back and see if I'm right. That's the nice thing about pics.

So, I'm 1 for 5, sort of.

It's interesting seeing the types of flora in and around water, since I'm so used to the stuff found on the hardwood and boreal forest floor and in the occasional meadow. Another good reason to drag myself out of the woods and into the boat more often.

Where did you guys put in/take out?

Matt
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Old 08-24-2006, 06:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattC
Where did you guys put in/take out?

Matt
Hi Matt, thanks for the help!

There's a parking area (right side) long route 30 just before you enter speculator (maybe .5 miles before you enter the town line?).
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Old 08-24-2006, 08:45 AM   #7
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Great pictures, Kevin. This trip is on my list and now I'm even more motivated to explore the area.

I'll take a stab at identifying the flowers--

1. Definitely a goldenrod. As Matt said, there are many species but this one is probably either Tall Goldenrod or Canada Goldenrod.

2. This looks like Canadian Burnet.

3. My guess is Sweet Pepperbush.

4. This one is Pickerelweed. Kevin's photo is great because it shows a couple of important identifying features of the flower. The flowers have a 3-lobed upper lip, the middle one marked with 2 yellow spots which are clearly visible in Kevin's picture. According to the Audubon Society Fieldguide to North American Wildflowers, the seeds can be eaten like nuts and the young leafstalks cooked as greens.

5. This looks like the aquatic shrub Buttonbush.

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Old 09-05-2006, 08:04 PM   #8
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Pat T, thanks-I sit humbled. I am only just beginning to get a feel for IDing flowers in the mountain forest, let alone in the aquatic areas. Sharp eye w/ that Pickerelweed-it's great when a species has a dead giveaway field mark like those yellow spots. Like the other day when I was working on IDing trees on my local rail trail. I was studying the minutia of what turned out to be an American Basswood-bud scales, etc.-when I noticed the little nut-like fruits underneath the parachute leaves.

Val, I saw some of your red Cardinal Flowers while I was paddling on Black Creek, a little local stream not far from me. That site you linked is a nice resource by the way.

Matt
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