Day 10 – Oneida Lake to Syracuse/Clay

photo-8These days I’m waking up before my alarm goes off at 4am. Unlike winter when all I want to do is sleep after consuming a big meal, the paddling is revving up the metabolism and creating an energy all it’s own.

Despite a bunch of setbacks and weather concerns, I’m eager to get on the water. Ideally I’d love to paddle to Oak Orchard Campground, but because of storms and car issues, the shorter paddle might be the most prudent. But who knows-low and grey keeps the boomers away (talking bout the clouds here).

Yesterday I got up typically early but decided there was no need to hit Oneida Lake super early. So Lindsy and I could relax a little out of the gate. Once I was on the water and out of the little bay that Oneida Lake Marina is on, I fairly blew right across the lake to the river on the other side.

From there it was an easy paddle, wind and current behind me, to Pirates Cove, where Taylor Pratt kindly let me keep my boat. I had met the owner’s brother at lock 15, and was super stoked he was able to call her and tell her about me. The folks along the canal have been fantastic. This particular stretch is lined with homes, so it makes me think of the ICW ( intra coastal waterway) from Florida to NJ. Especially now that summer is approaching, it has a fun and festive atmosphere. Life is slowing down and these are miles to enjoy.

I had a nice chat with a guy named Dan who was fishing near the last bridge I would go under prior to getting to Pirate’s Cove. We chatted about NJ, NY, a few other things, and watched a water snake glide by. The snake seemed mildly interested in our boats-maybe to haul out on? There had been one sharing the lock with me, and I briefly entertained the idea of letting him/her come aboard but the thought better of it. Am guessing it was a harmless water snake-but I dunno-brown snake with lighter brown bands. Anyone know? Suppose I could do a google search!

Last night we were lucky enough to stay at Lindsy’s grandparents, Norm and Nancy’s, wonderful home. Lovely people, now I know why Lindsy is such a great person-apples don’t fall far from their trees. I got to hang with her mother, her brother, and her sister-really a fun family, the dinner time banter kept us all entertained and the discussion was lively. Lindsy’s sister is embroiled in a bit of a legal tussle over foie gras geese, and it seems that the DA, who is friends of the farmer, is throwing the book at her. Kind of silly to devote so much of our tax payer money to prosecute folks who were exposing the problems and ill treatment and unhealthy conditions that could risk public health at this particular farm.

I thoroughly stuffed myself on the tasty dinner that Nancy had waiting for us. Prior to that, Norm had taken me to Pep Boys so I could have my smoking and overheating car looked at. I can only keep my fingers crossed that it’s just a matter off fluids and not something that is going to ground me for too many days or strain the family budget. This will also play into how far I can go today, as Nancy is letting us take her car to drop me off and possibly pick me up. With no roof racks on a car I’ll have to leave my boat where I land.

So once again, this trip has me leaning on the kindness of strangers who, as John Vargo puts it, “are strangers no more.” These paddles are NEVER solo efforts in my book, they are ALWAYS group efforts.

Now I’m looking forward to breakfast-Lindsy’s grandmother refuses to let us pick up something on the way out-and Lindsy begged her to make blueberry pancakes.

Keep fingers crossed for weather ( scattered t-storms) and my poor Saturn station wagon!

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