Kayaking Cranberry Lake

After being off the grid for a month of training at the Joint Readiness Training Center and an all-to-quick pilgrimage back home to Michigan, I am back at it with a day kayak trip to Cranberry Lake.

Cranberry Lake is a 7,000 acre body of water with more than 55-miles of shoreline.  It is peppered with a handful of small islands and there seems to be no end of inlets and coves to explore.  My trip, consisting of a mere 19.4-miles, covered only a small portion of the lake. 

Because of the lake's close proximity to civilization, being not that deep into the Adirondacks proper, it is usually a prime destination for motorboats and fisherman.  However, to my delight, the lake was all but void of humans.  I only saw two older gentlemen putting in their motorboat when I launched and didn’t see anyone else until I came back in six hours later.  

Because of the usual motorboat traffic and popularity of the lake, I was surprised to see some of the wildlife I did.  Cruising the shoreline on my way south, I saw a golden eagle perched (sorry for the crappy iPhone photo - it does this magnificent bird no justice) on the branches of a tree overlooking the lake.  Also, just after turning around, I spotted an otter, which I didn’t know existed in New York, munching on a fish head (sorry again, he dove under before I could get my phone out).  And I have yet to kayak in the Adirondacks without seeing at least a dozen loons, and this trip is no different.

The only thing that detracted from my outing was the weather.  It was cold, windy, overcast, and rained off and on.  While I generally prefer warmer, sunnier days on the water, there is something to be said about venturing out during inhospitable conditions.  Part of it is a greater sense of accomplishment and achievement (because anybody can kayak in sunny weather), but there is more it than that.  I think because we, as modern human beings, spend so much of our times sheltered indoors or in our cars that we rarely go out when weather conditions are anything less than ideal.  Spending real time outside (and I’m not talking about running from your car to the store during a rainstorm) when the elements are truly in motion and the rain and wind and cold are saturating your being do you truly develop a sense of nature.

Carl SanfordComment