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Old 05-21-2009, 04:15 PM   #1
protocoldroid
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Trip Report: Osgood River North to Meacham Lake

Did a solo overnight canoe trip down the Osgood River to Meacham Lake, and I figured I'd share with you guys. Bottom line: Fun as heck, really good time, despite being poured on for hours! Heck, I was doing it as a little conditioning trip for another bigger upcoming trip, so, the rain actually added to the conditioning.

I drove to the Hays Brook trailhead, ~3.5 miles north of Paul Smiths, dropped my pack and my canoe, drove my car up 30 about 6 miles to where I'd take out and then rode a bike back to my pack/canoe. Pretty easy carry to the put in from there, .45 miles according to the Discover The Adirondacks guides, easy enough to take all my gear at once *phew*

I'd talked to a guy at a fly shop in Lake Placid about it, and then ran into two fisherman as I was setting up my boat. A couple guys had me a little nervous talking about how many blow downs, and one told me some of his friends had cleared a bunch of blow downs two years back. Turned out to be relatively alright. The fisherman asked if I had done the trip before, which I hadn't, and when I said so, he gave one of those big smiles and said "Oh... You'll have fun" -- and I wasn't sure at first to be scared or psyched -- definitely psyched in the end!

There's at least a dozen blow downs that required me to take my boat out (a 'colorado', it's inflatable canoe that's 30lb, which is really easy solo style and convenient, whatever your preconceptions may be, i like it, very rugged) within the first probably half mile of paddling, but, once the Osgood gets close to 30, like you can see 30 from it -- there's not a single thing I had to take my canoe out for. So that being said -- if you want the hard way, take the same trailhead I did. If you want the easy way, follow thirty north, go past the hays brook trailhead, and keep your eyes to the right -- you'll see the Osgood and it should be public land there, that's a good spot to go in without having the carry in .4 miles and you should miss 99% of the blowdowns. A couple low bridges across from private camps (very low amount of posted areas nearby, the adirondack paddlers map summarizes it very well) that might cause bigger boats a little more grief.

A map or GPS is a must. It's easy enough to follow along the river, but, there are some odd little backwaters and stuff that might trick you if you're not following a map / GPS. No troubles there. Also, the Adirondack Paddler's Guide says "a lot of people miss the turn off for Baker Pond" and I can see why, it's a whisper of a connecting water. So mark it on your GPS, and also... A good tip for spotting it is probably to look for the gap in the esker where the Osgood connects to Baker.

I camped out on Baker Pond, and it's a beautiful site right up on the esker that follows the river to the east. The campsite is in great condition, so it's easy to keep it that way As a kind of side story, I had a really good time making fire. You know, usually I chase good weather, but in conditioning for a trip where I don't have much choice -- it was great to be stuck in some serious down pour. I've got the right gear, but, there's a mental conditioning factor. Welp... My lighter got wet. Never had that one happen before... So it was onto matches. Turns out I -usually- use a rock to strike them against, ummm, doesn't work with wet rocks. So I was down to flint and steel (before it was onto the fire piston [I love fire!]) -- boom! Got it to go right away, I was so excited I wanted to pound my chest and roar -- thanks very much to bringing some char-cloth and keeping it dry.

Kept the fire up and going for a good hour before I tired out from tending it. Ate a couple PB&Js and clif bars and decided I'd hang out in my tent and put on some dry clothes. Plus I was prepared for the worst of the worst conditions...

I had "Beavis and Butthead Do America" on my iPod -- now how's that for enjoying nature?

Ahhh I didn't have to stoop Didn't have to totally camp out in the tent, I organized and cleaned some gear (especially drying out my rain gear) for a good hour or more before the rain finally let up. By this time, I'd figured out how to strike my matches against the file in my multi-pliers, which worked a charm. Lighter wouldn't dry out until the next morning. Re-stoked the fire, and man... The down wood is a little hard earned there, and while wet, even more challenging but, I kept the fire up for a couple more hours, "got a little captain in me" and slept like a baby while the rain pattered down on the tent (yesss! Who doesn't love sleeping like that?)

I woke up to a chilly but sunny morning, had a coffee and oatmeal and wet my fly line a little -- skunked I was. But, the ride out was really quite a joy, aside from some really stiff wind on Meacham. Another couple hours paddle out basking in the sun... totally sublime!

And the local forest ranger (who I so rudely forgot to ask his name) stopped by at the end of the trip while I was packing up and was courteous enough to say and had noticed my car parked up there and was wondering who was doing an overnight. Really nice guy, and I'm always put at ease when you get a chance to run into 'em! Nice to know they're out there.

Google earth files showing my GPS tracks / etc (many thanks to awetcanoe who let me know my original attachment wasn't working!)

Google earth KMZ: http://www.speedmodeling.org/osgood/osgood.kmz
Google earth KML: http://www.speedmodeling.org/osgood/osgood.kml

(Going to the KMZ will bring up a save-as dialog box, whereas the KML will be a XML file which you will have to go to file->save as [at least in firefox])
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Last edited by protocoldroid; 05-22-2009 at 09:47 AM.. Reason: attachment didn't work, added links to google earth KMZ file
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:29 PM   #2
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GPS is like a miracle, isn't it. When I was an NCO all we had was a compass and the Geographic societies maps
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:29 AM   #3
Awetcanoe
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Has anyone gotten this KMZ file to open? It did not work on my system yesterday and today when unzipping it I get a notice that it is password protected.
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I am beginning to realize how hard it is to hold an umbrella while paddling in the driving rain on a windy lake.
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:54 AM   #4
protocoldroid
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Awetcanoe [et al!] (I just added a couple links to the KMZ file, should be good to go!)

mrbrklyn: Yessss, I have some respect for that! Navigating with a map and compass isn't easy, and what a killer skill. GPS makes life so easy I originally got into one when the signals were first decrypted because I had been doing some orienteering at summer camp as a teenager, and they were decrypted shortly after -- needless to say the idea of having all the work navigating done for you, pretty nice!
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:57 AM   #5
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KMZ File

Quote:
Originally Posted by Awetcanoe View Post
Has anyone gotten this KMZ file to open? It did not work on my system yesterday and today when unzipping it I get a notice that it is password protected.
The file worked fine for me and opened with google earth. If you don't have google earth you should get it, you can waste lots of otherwise productive hours looking at canoe routes in the ADKs or anywhere else in the world.
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Old 05-22-2009, 11:22 AM   #6
Awetcanoe
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Thank you, those open fine.
This looks like a nice area to paddle. I have had my eye on the Osgood but just not gone there to play yet.
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I am beginning to realize how hard it is to hold an umbrella while paddling in the driving rain on a windy lake.
Cheers,
Charlie North
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:13 AM   #7
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I loved reading about your trip from Osgood River to Meacham Lake. Sounds like you had a great time. Do you know if I can Paddle from Osgood Pond threw the Upper Osgood River to Grass Pond? There is a Lean-to there at Grass Pond. I have never been on Osgood River, just Osgood Pond.

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Old 05-26-2009, 06:40 AM   #8
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Excelllent trip and report!
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Old 05-26-2009, 11:46 AM   #9
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Thanks guys, it was actually awesome!

Giff, I'd read the Adirondack Paddler's Guide for the Upper Osgood before I went onto the Osgood River, and I do remember seeing that lean-to in #9 of Discover the Adirondacks -- however I haven't been back there tbh. I remember that they recommend the Upper Osgood as an out-and-back from Osgood Pond, following the Osgood Down for 3-4 miles and then paddling against it on the way back. I took a quick peek at the map (I'm not in front of my books at the moment, dag nabbit) and it looks like the 3-4 miles in would get you -close- to where Grass Pond is. However, I also remember googling Osgood before I went out too and remember seeing someone on this forum saying that there's some middle section of the Osgood which is pretty hard to navigate from blowdowns/sweepers/whatever-you-like-call-these-obstacles, and the river got a little wider, deeper and easier to maneuver around as it got closer to Meacham, so the other direction, I might venture to guess it would get pretty cramped. In fact just upstream from where I put in there was a handful of smaller blowdowns. The river is pretty flat though, so, it's not like you're putting yourself in major danger to try it, it just might not be ideal. I'm -almost- certain that the bridge I crossed is on the trail that eventually leads to hays brook and grass pond, but, I'd definitely defer that to good ole Barbara and Bob in the Discover Series, cause I didn't hike it further than to the bridge.

...That hays brook access looks like it gets you into some cool territory, definitely worth some more exploring!

Oh yeah! Another note while I'm thinking about it... See, I forgot to bring waders. I kind of was thinking I'd like them after I got there, but, I didn't bring them cause I figured I'd mainly be sticking to the canoe for fishing. On second thought -- they would've been excellent for hauling the boat over those blow downs, the river is relatively slow moving.
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Old 07-09-2009, 05:03 PM   #10
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I was hoping to do something similar. North Flow says the Osgood disappears into a hole in the ground. I was wondering with all the rain if it might be doable to get to that point in the river this season?
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:09 PM   #11
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I've never used GPS and don't think I ever will on a river. Allow yourself enough time to get lost
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