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Zach 08-27-2019 07:55 PM

Low's Lake by bicycle with canoe
Another year has gone by and I have gone on another trip and written another report. This one is still almost infinitely long but I did try to put in some paragraph breaks along the way. For pictures please follow this link:

My trip started out on the morning of Monday the 19th at about 6:20 AM, once it was light enough to be safe on the road. I took a new route this year starting out north to Adams, then cross-lots to Carthage where I picked up Route 3. It was cloudy in the morning and drizzled a couple of times but there was no real rain. The first 40 miles or so felt easy, but after the sun came out around noon I began to get too hot and lose some energy. Once I got to where the Oswegatchie flows by the road and was able to cool off in the water a few times I felt better and made better time again.
My plan was to stop for the night on some state land along the Raquette River in Piercefield, but the areas I had seen on my map were either too swampy or too steep to camp, so I decided to push on into Tupper Lake and stay at the Little Wolf Pond campground that is run by the town. This meant my trip for the day was 129 miles, but it felt easier than last year when I did 117 to the Jessup River. I think this was because most of the route was relatively flatter, and I had a good west wind to help me during much of the day.
I arrived about 7:30 and the campground manager was very friendly and didn’t mind coming out from his camper to check me in. I had packed a quart bag with some vegetables and cheese to eat on my first night, but the hot sun had melted the cheese so it was a messier experience than I had intended, but they all still tasted good once I figured out how to eat them.

My plan had been to climb Mount Arab on Tuesday morning before coming into Tupper Lake, so after I got up and ate I unhooked the trailer and rode back into Piercefield. I had gone about 9/10 of a mile when I realized I had forgotten to put on my helmet, so I had to go back and get it out of the canoe. I enjoyed the mountain when I got there, the views were nice and the fire tower had helpful drawings on the underside of the roof to explain what all of the mountains and lakes were.
My next stop was the Raquette River just below Setting Pole Dam to take a swim and freshen up, I had arrived at Little Wolf after the beach was closed for the evening and I didn’t have enough quarters to operate the showers. Then I went back to the campground and packed up and checked out, and spent a while exploring the environs of Tupper Lake and stocking up on a few last food supplies. It seems like a nice town and there was a lot to see. I stopped at Raquette River Outfitters on the way out of town and got a map of the Whitney Wilderness Area since they were sold out of their Low’s Lake map and are not printing any more till they make some revisions.
I checked out Bog River Falls on the way into Low’s and took the customary pictures of the area. I would like to spend more time there someday but that day I had to keep moving. I got to Low’s lower dam a bit later than I had hoped, and of course it took some time to unpack everything and move it down to the water and then ride my bike back uphill with the trailer to where I could hide it in the woods. On the way up I stopped to talk to some people by a car who were heading out and asked questions about my setup and how far I had come with it, and when I came back down they spoke to me again and gave me two bottles of cold water and a bag of pistachios, which was unexpected but very kind of them.
I got on the water about 4:50 and tried to make good time since I was running out of daylight. I got to the upper dam carry trail in just under an hour and met a couple of folks there who were also heading in with a canoe whose gunwales and thwarts had rotted away and were entirely missing along the middle of the hull, and only present in fragments at the bow and stern. I hoped that it was safe for them to be out on the water in it but I didn’t say anything, figuring it wasn’t my business. I got going about 6 from the upper dam and was just around the corner out of sight from the put-in when I heard a very loud crash, but I didn’t go back to see if anything needed to be done, as I perhaps should have done.
I heard someone singing what sounded to my uneducated ear like fragments of opera in a baritone voice from site 11 or 12 as I went by, it was unexpected but quite mellifluous. I missed site 15 entirely, and sites 13, 14 and 16 were all taken, so I was glad to find 17 open. I arrived about 8 and set upmy tent and ate supper. The site was nice but the bottom of the lake there was mucky and covered with sticks, so it wasn’t quite my ideal site for the long term. I didn’t need the rain fly and the moon was pretty later in the night, I could see it through gaps in the trees from inside my tent.

In the morning I was able to eat outside without bug problems and then I packed up and headed further up the lake. It was very still at first. I liked site 18 when I got there, there was a very large and nice beach and the site itself had big trees around it, but I wanted something a bit further in for later convenience so I kept going. I looked at 20, 21 and 22 but they were all taken, and I missed 26 since it was on the other side of the point from where my map showed it. 27 looked nice and when I got there it looked to me like the occupants were taking down their tent. The thunder was gradually getting louder all this time so I went up to site 28 which was empty and arrived just as the rain began. I put all of my baggage on shore and turned the canoe upside down over it, sat on the ground on my life vest and put on my poncho.
The thunderstorms were not intense but there seemed to be two, one to the south and one close overhead or a bit north. The rain was very heavy for a while and then as the storms passed it gradually tapered off for an hour or two. There is a 40 or more foot wide sort of continental shelf of sand all along the edge of that island where the water is very shallow, so I first went for a walk in the water, up the shore for a ways to where there was another beach and then waded back to where I could just see through the trees and kept an eye on the canoe at 27 to see if the folks there were leaving, and they did after a bit. It seemed odd to be wearing a poncho while wading along the shore of a lake, but that’s life. I waded back to 28, reloaded the canoe and went to 27, which had a much nicer beach and easier access from the water. I got out the tarp and set it up first since the ground was very wet, and out everything else under the tarp in the canoe so the bags wouldn’t get dirty from the wet ground. By sometime in the afternoon the ground under the tarp dried up pretty well and I set up my tent under one side.
In the afternoon the rain stopped and I scouted out the passage between the floating bog and the shore to see if it would be passable the next morning on my trip to Lake Lila. I found that there is a way through, and then went on around the bog and back up to the island where I was camping. I went to the other beach I had found and located some dead fallen wood there which I cut up and took back with me to #27. By this time the sky was clearing out nicely and I decided to try to find the path up Grass Pond Mountain that was shown on my map. It was a quite well trodden herd path except for some steep rock scrambles and very soon I was at the top. The views were very nice and I took a lot of pictures. I found several places where the rock of the mountaintop is breaking off in slabs, and one of them rocked back and forth making an almost musical bass-like sound with each wiggle. There were a lot of nice moss and lichen gardens up there too. I didn’t find a place to set up my tent on grass and I didn’t want to squash the moss, so I decided that instead of trying to camp up there one night as Stripperguy had mentioned in one of his trip reports I would just try to get up early enough one morning to catch the sunrise.
On the way down the mountain I saw a tiny toad by the path, about the size of a dime. He was hopping very industriously but not going very far at a hop, since toads only move one or two times their body length in my experience. He was heading uphill and was about halfway up the mountain as far as I could guess, and I wondered where he had come from. The nearest water I was aware of where he could have been a tadpole was in the swampy area at the end of the arm of the lake where I had left my canoe. I tried to take his picture but he wouldn’t hold still, whenever I got close with the camera he’d hop away so the pictures are a bit blurry.
When I got back to my campsite I got down my food bag from the tree and went across to a rocky island that was about southeast across the lake from my site. It was a very cute little island and I was able to spend the last hour or two of the day soaking up some sun there, taking pictures and eating supper while waiting for the sunset. After sunset I went back across and went to bed pretty soon since I had an early start planned for the next day.

On Thursday I got up about 5:30 and was on the water by 6, heading for the floating bog passage. It was a bit cloudy and windy but not bad, and I had a pretty easy trip through the south arm of the lake and over to the Bog Lake outlet. Once I got there it was a bit heavier going since the water was sort of like soup with all of the weeds in it, but the scenery was still nice. There weren’t many beaver dams but one of them had lots of branches on top that still had green leaves on them so they must have been pretty recently installed, I think. The wind was a bit rough on Bog Lake but it’s small enough that the waves weren’t too big.
I got a bit tangled up the first time I tried to get my canoe up onto my backpack but once I remembered the right order of operations it went better. The waist high plants were rather cold and damp along the trail, but pretty soon I came out onto a dirt road that was very easy going. There was a nice set of ledges at the put-in at Clear Pond. The take-out at the other end of the pond was a bit steep and eroded, but I was able to get up, and then the carry trail was very nice and easy to follow. Once I got to the railroad tracks I was able to move along quite quickly, though I found the irregular spacing of the ties made my gait more than usually jerky. I got to the put-in at Rainier Brook as the sun was finally coming out, and from then on it came and went often as the clouds went by. I enjoyed the paddle down Rainier and Harrington brooks, the scenery was nice and the winding channel was fun. The trail from Harrington to Lake Lila was sort of like rock-hopping across a stream in places, but without the water, and in other places it was muddy to a depth of a foot or so.
Once I got to Lila I put the canoe in and went over to Canada Island, where the campsite was unoccupied. I looked around and decided that it may be the nicest campsite I have ever seen, with a very nice beach, a protected bay and the site itself surrounded by huge pine and hemlock trees. I would like to stay there someday, it was a very special spot. I took some pictures and then paddled over to the shore in the direction of Mount Federica. I lifted the canoe up on the rocks on the shoreline since there was no softer landing to be had along that shore, and headed over to the dirt road. There were very few sticks on it, so I took the first three I found and laid them next to each other pointing toward the canoe, since otherwise I wouldn’t have recognized the right bit of road.
I walked along the road toward Federica and stopped at the lean-to on the way, which was also empty. The pine tree in front of the lean-to, by the lake, may be the biggest I have seen. I think it must be close to four feet through one way, and five the other. I took a picture but there’s nothing in it to give a sense of scale. I took the trail to the mountain and the deer flies were terrible. At one point I counted and it was never more than 5 seconds between when I would swat one or two deer flies on the top of my head and when the next one or two would land there. A few bolder spirits bit me in other places, but most went for the same spot. I didn’t always get one when I swatted them, but more than half of the time I did. Once the trail turned off the dirt road they weren’t bad at all. The views from the top were very nice.
When I was ready to head down I decided to take a short cut and head down the east end of the cliffy area and then head south till I got to the railroad tracks and the road. I got back to the road in under 20 minutes, and only ran into a few mosquitoes along the way. I found some interesting (to me, anyway) mushrooms and a drooping birch tree on the way down. I came out to the dirt road thinking I would have a ways to walk but it was just 200 yards or so before I found my patteran and turned off to go to the canoe. I couldn’t have come out that close to it if I had tried, I had been thinking I was keeping further to the west of that spot. I went back to Canada Island and had some lunch, and thought about going further around the lake to explore but the wind was strong and I didn’t want to use up too much energy knowing I still had to get all the way back to Low’s before dark.
On the way back I met a couple of folks at the upstream end of the Harrington Brook carry who were taking a break after carrying their canoe in from Lila. They let me get by and launch my canoe, and asked about it as I was leaving. I had seen them from the top of Federica, I only saw one boat on the water while I was up there and it must have been them from the time and the direction it was going. I took a swim at the ledges at Clear Pond and stopped to check out the small rocky point at Bog Lake. I had seen a frog in the shallows at the put-in and not paid it much mind, but while I was out on the point it swam over and sat at the edge of the water near me, so I took some pictures of it. The wind was still strong and the waves outside the point were getting higher, and where the frog was sitting was sheltered but the water was still going up and down an inch or two. It would go almost over the frog’s head and then almost leave it high and dry. I tried to get pictures of the whole process but my camera does not have a very fast reaction time so I kept missing the high point of the waves. When I stood up to go a wasp stung me on the elbow and I was momentarily distracted, and when I got back to the water by my canoe the frog swam over to me again from where I’d left it. It seemed very friendly, perhaps it thought I was some sort of frog too. I took a couple more pictures of it, said goodbye politely and left.
On the way back from the Bog Lake outlet to the floating bog the wind was very strong and dead against me, so I had to paddle very hard to get anywhere. Once I got to the floating bog I had a brief respite from the wind and took the chance to get out of the canoe and stretch and to tie all the things in the canoe together and put on my PFD before crossing the main lake. The waves were biggish but not unmanageable on the way back over, and when I got to camp at about 4:30 I stayed put for the rest of the day. I made a fire in the evening as it was getting a bit chilly, and rested and read my book.

On Friday I got up at about 5:10 and quickly got myself together to go back up Grass Pond Mountain. I wore my warm clothes and my poncho even though it wasn’t raining, since I had to walk through waist high dewy plants and bushes. I had my headlamp on and my camera in a bag, so I had both hands free for the rock scrambles. I got to the top about 6 and enjoyed the sunrise, though it wasn’t very spectacular from a color point of view. On this trip all of the sunrises and sunsets I saw were a bit muted, but I still liked to see them. I also watched a cloud forming over the lake, somewhere toward the floating bog. It was right about on my level and seemed to be gradually drifting toward the mountain but it might have been an illusion. The dew was ver pretty in the moss and lichen gardens on the stone areas, but I wasn’t able to really capture it in the pictures.
I got back to camp about 7:40 and ate some breakfast on the beach since the sun had begun to shine nicely and the beach faced south and east. I lay on the beach and soaked up the sun for most of the morning, but about 11 it began to cloud up and the north wind picked up, so I decided to pay a visit to Grass Pond itself. I stopped at an island at the mouth of the pond with a nice cliff that faced south which ha a bench shaped area at the bottom where I could sit and have lunch. It was nice because I was out of the wind and was in the sun when it shone between the clouds. I took a swim from the cliff after lunch and then headed up into Grass Pond itself.
None of the campsites were occupied, and it looked like a very nice area. There was a cliff on a mountain to the north that looked like it had a horizontal crack that must have been several feet high and quite wide, since I was able to easily see it from the water. I was quite sure it would be far too technical of a climb for me to even attempt to reach it, but I wondered if anyone with more skills had been up there and what it was like up close. The cliffs on the west end of Grass Pond Mountain were spectacular and I was thinking of climbing the slope up to them to see if I could get a view, but the clouds began to have dark bottom sides and the wind kicked up more, so I decided to head for the campsite before it got too unpleasant. I stopped at a larger beach when I was most of the way back and spent a little time, but the sand fleas (if that’s what they’re called) were very aggressive so I didn’t stay long. I thought about returning to the rocky island later in the day but it stayed cloudy, windy and a bit cold so I stayed in camp and made another fire, but this one was not successful since the wind at the site shifted every minute or less and I couldn’t find a side where I could be out of the smoke for very long. A lot of folks went by looking for campsites, and I hope some of the found them. I think most of the sites on the lake must have been full that night.
In the evening I went across to the floating bog to get sunset pictures since my site faced the other way. I found a channel into an almost square area of open water inside the bog, about 30 feet across. The water was almost still in there, so it was easier to take pictures. I don’t understand how the floating bog stays in place, if it’s stuck on an area of shallow bottom or anchored by dead logs that stick down from it to the bottom or what. I also am curious about how it was formed, whether there was already a bog there that floated away when the dam was built, and whether it’s growing or shrinking over time.

Saturday I got up about 5:10 again and had eaten my breakfast and packed all my gear by 6. I headed down the north shore toward the dam. There was still a north wind blowing but I was close enough inshore that it didn’t affect me much except in a couple of places near the start of my trip where it blew between islands. On the way up I had crossed the small floating bog on the south side, which was muddy to my knees, so on the way back I tried the north side and was able to get about halfway through when the channel ended but there was a side channel that floated me to the south side and let me miss the worst half of that route.
I wanted to climb Low’s Ridge but when I got to the trailhead I saw that it was over a mile by the trail so I decided to bushwhack to the part right above me. I went up and around the west end of a large open rock area, and then along the top heading east to the end of the open part where I headed down and picked up the gated dirt road that comes in from Horseshoe Lake. I didn’t have far to go to on it to get back to the dam area. I liked the views a lot, and the shape of the rock slope was nice, almost like part of an amphitheater. From one point I was able to look right down at the canoe and gear I had left by the side of the road by the dam.
When I got back I carried my stuff down to the Hitchins Pond put-in and took a little time to explore the rock foundations and found a nice stairway along one side that was almost hidden in the bushes. I’m impressed that the rocks have held together so well for so long, the quality of the mortar work was about the level that I could do, rather messy, but all of the rocks are still in place. On the way out in Hitchins I somehow bumped the button on my camera in such a way that I reset it from ‘auto’ mode to ‘magic’ mode, which seems to make everything look rather flourescent and horrible. I didn’t realize till later on, so my pictures from the last part of the pond are not good.
Once I got back to the lower dam and put the canoe on the trailer and packed everything it was well after 11, so I decided that if I could get back out to Route 30 by noon I would take time to climb either Goodman or Coney. I made it just in time and decided on Coney based on my map which showed it having a 1/2 mile trail. When I got there I found the trail was over a mile, since it has been rerouted, but I went ahead up anyway. The mountain was crowded, there must have been 30 people on top. All of my other mountains had been solitary this trip, so it was a bit of a contrast but at midday on a Saturday in August I knew it was to be expected. Unfortunately I still hadn’t noticed my camera error so none of my pictures form up there came out either. The views are really nice up there and I definitely want to go again. On the way down I stopped to take a picture of another cute little yellow mushroom by the trail and noticed that my flash went off, which is what gave me a clue that something was wrong with the camera since I normally keep the flash turned off.
I got back on the road at 1 and headed south toward Long Lake and the rest of the day was spent along the road. I got to Inlet at 6, filled my water bottles and got a little more food and went along South Shore Rd to Old Forge. It was a relief to be off 28 as the traffic had been very heavy all afternoon. In Old Forge I took the road that leads to Nick’s Lake and went in along the trail that leads to the lock and dam. As I was getting the trailer past the gate by the road I broke the front tongue tube, the only part of the original trailer that I am still using. I decided to fix it in the morning as it was almost 8 and I had been on the move all day since 5:30. I went up the trail 200 yards or so and then headed left till I was at least 150 feet from the trail and set up camp.

On Sunday morning I got up later, around 7, and didn’t get packed up till 8 or so. It only took about 10 minutes to jury rig the trailer, I had only broken off about the last 6 inches of the tube so I removed the pin and took out the broken piece and then put the now shorter tongue back in and duct taped it, and used a 4 foot tarp strap I had picked up the day before on the side of the road in Blue Mountain Lake to make sure it couldn’t slide out. In some ways I am glad it broke when it did, since if it had happened on the road the whole trailer and canoe would have been disconnected from the bike and might have gone anywhere, with no control. I will make a stronger piece to replace the broken one. The original trailer frame was thin steel tubing with holes for adjustability, and I made the new trailer with much heavier walled aluminum tubing and angle in 2016, but I kept the bent part of the tongue since I didn’t have a good way to make it. I may have to buy or borrow a heavier tubing bender than I have now, but that can wait till I have time to figure it out this fall, as the trailer is still usable for the moment and I will only be using it for local trips.
I had 74 more miles to go to get home and I arrived a little after 4. I met forum member Swamp Booger along the road just east of Swancott Mill, he was also heading home from a trip and spotted me as he was driving by, and we talked for a while on the roadside. I found on this trip that my energy level didn’t bounce back as fast as it used to after a long day, but I am getting older so it’s not surprising. This trip is 10 years since my first Adirondack bicycle camping trip, and while my understanding of what to pack and how to plan has improved somewhat, I have also gotten a little less energetic than I used to be.

Overall I had a very good trip, and I enjoyed Low’s Lake. This was my first time camping on a large motorless lake, and it was very nice and quiet. It was nice to be able to hear the loons from the mountain. I don’t mind the motorboats enough to make me not want to go to Indian Lake or Stillwater, but their absence is nice too. A few times there were numbers of people traveling by in Low’s, but mostly there was no one around at all as far as I could see or hear.
This year I traveled a total of 317.5 miles by bicycle, but 21 or so of them were without the trailer. Usually my highest daily average speed is on the last leg of the trip home when I am going downhill overall, but this year I went fastest on the first day, either because of the wind or the smoother topography of the northern route.

Tick Magnet 08-27-2019 09:04 PM

What an adventure!

I love your bike/canoe trips reports. They're fantastic.

Photos were suburb. I especially like the little details (frogs, wasps, etc.).

Thanks for sharing.

chaser 08-27-2019 10:20 PM

Great trip Zach!!!! I saw you peddling on Saturday on I believe Rt. 30?? Regardless, thanks for sharing.

webby459 08-28-2019 09:43 AM

Zach, wow, excellent adventure and writeup!

Your writing itself is really fabulous as well, really sparse in the best possible way while still being as descriptive as it needs to be.

Zach 08-28-2019 01:22 PM

You're all very kind. Chaser, it's very likely that you saw me on Route 3 on Saturday, I was briefly traveling south from 421 just after noon and then from 1 to 3:15 or so I was traveling from the Coney Mountain trailhead south through Long Lake to Blue Mountain Lake. After that I was on 28 for most of the rest of that day.

Lucky13 08-28-2019 01:45 PM

28 south on a Saturday afternoon on a bicycle towing a canoe. That must have been an adventure in itself! ;)

As always, great story, of a great trip. One of these days I'll have to stop in and see those banjos!

Zach 08-28-2019 05:55 PM

Yes, 28 can be busy on the weekends. The most unusual part of this year's riding was the first 5 miles or so west out of Blue Mountain Lake where the road is being paved and they've put orange cones on the center of the paved shoulder about every 100 yards to warn motorists that the dirt shoulder hasn't been filled in yet. Having to dodge out into the travel lane that often to go around them was a little scary but I've been lucky so far and have never been hit by a vehicle while bicycling, and I am trying to be careful and help keep it that way. You're welcome to stop in, just let me know if you'll be in the area. I'm usually here but occasionally I go somewhere else.

Woodly 08-28-2019 06:38 PM

Well written story, great adventure and beautiful pics...hard to beat that.

stripperguy 08-28-2019 08:35 PM

Very cool, as always. I love the way you follow your own path. And what? Getting slower? C'mon, how many guys your age would even consider a trip like that? Just reading your write up I'm feeling younger.
I liked your trip report so much, I'm gonna read it again right now!
Haven't looked at your pics yet, but I know from previous years that your unique perspective yields some really nice stuff.
Will there be a Zack ADK bike/paddle trip in 2020?

Zach 08-29-2019 01:12 PM

That's very nice of you. I'm not nearly as old yet as I plan to be in the future, but I do notice that when I get tired it seems to take longer to bounce back to full energy than I remember from 10 or 20 years ago. I am not sure about 2020, if time permits I'd like to make a bicycle/canoe trip then but it will depend on what else may be going on.

montcalm 08-29-2019 05:17 PM

Great trip, as usual.

I've been meaning to ask, but do you own a car?

Edb 46 er 08-29-2019 05:47 PM

Hey Zach, you didn't happen to be biking on the Moose River Rd. outside of Oldforge lately were you?

Zach 08-29-2019 06:18 PM

montcalm, I don't own a car, the farm where I live and work owns a car which I can use but if I took it away for a week it would leave the others here in the proverbial lurch, whatever that may be. I haven't needed a car of my own often enough for it to make financial sense to own one as of yet. I've thought about renting a car for my trips but I figure I might as well bicycle while I am still able to, as I like bicycling and it's good exercise and relatively cheap.

Edb 46 er, I was on the Moose River Rd on Sunday morning, I got on it at the McKeever end sometime around 9:30 and then took the fork that leads to Boonville, which I reached by 11:30 as I recall. I met a lot of cars in there, usually it's been a bit quieter when I've gone through there before as I recall. Once I turned off toward Boonville the traffic let up quite a lot, though. It's not like Port Leyden is a really big place, so I wonder where all those cars are coming from or going to.

Edb 46 er 08-29-2019 08:38 PM

Not often we see a cyclist with a canoe on the road. Well done.

montcalm 08-29-2019 08:43 PM

Zach - no that's cool. I was hoping you would say you didn't. I'd love to have the time and energy to take trips by bike. Looks like a lot of fun, except for perhaps dealing with motor vehicles. I'd probably take as many back roads as possible.

Banjoe 08-30-2019 12:43 PM

Love it. I get why you take a canoe, but why not a banjo?

Zach 08-30-2019 06:55 PM

The banjos I build are made largely from wood and are not waterproof, so I wouldn't want to take one of those. There are some old banjos made from bakelite or metal, and some new ones made from carbon fiber that would be relatively safe from the water, but I don't have one. I also try to keep the weight of the load down for these trips, not so much for the canoeing part as for the bicycling part. Another problem would be the violence with which the bicycle and trailer bounce over bumps, which would require good padding and a strong case. George Wilson is a great fiddler and his fiddle is made of carbon fiber and sounds very good. I think one of those would be a handier size for bike/canoe travel but I'm not that good of a fiddle player and I think the CF ones are quite expensive, or were last I knew. I did take a harmonica with me on a trip years ago, in the pre-canoe days, but I never ended up using it so I didn't take it again. I could always whistle or sing if I got desperate for some musical diversion. Do you take a banjo with you when you go camping? I seem to remember reading something about that in something you posted a few years ago, but I have forgotten the details.

Banjoe 09-02-2019 09:26 AM

Thread drift alert.
I have two banjos that are pretty light I'm willing to take on biking and hiking trips when the weather and load are manageable. Both are over a 100 years old so I probably should be more cautious, but I do love playing while camping or at the end of a long day of riding. One has a wooden pot and plastic head that can stand changes in weather and sounds great, I have garbage bags I use to enclose the gig bag. The other is a Lyon-Healy pony banjo that has friction pegs and a skin pot that is impossible to tune so I usually go with the bigger one when space/weight is under control. It gets its own pannier on bike trips with several bungees holding it in place.
The good thing about having a banjo on a canoe trip is you always have a backup paddle. On winter camping trips it comes in handy as a snow shovel. Once at Pharaoh on a winter trip I walked out on the ice into the warm sun and played as I walked around until I got across the lake. My friend sitting in the lean-to later remarked, "The farther away you got, the better it sounded."
Better than an accordion.

Conk 09-02-2019 11:44 AM

I was only a few days behind you and saw your name in the register at Lower Dam, so I knew to anticipate this report. A most enjoyable read having just experienced many of the same things.
A banjo might have been a useful tool in hastening the departure of the folks from sight 27.

Lucky13 09-02-2019 01:11 PM

Nothing beats a fiddle for driving people away. Or an accordion! ;)

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