Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Canoe Campout

Got out for some good lake time the other night.  This lake is local and while not the prettiest it is a quick place to get away for a bit.  I wanted to spend most of the time on the water and not on the road since it was only one night.  Here's the takeout spot and the canoe packed up ready to go.

I put in at the farthest road access area and then paddled a couple miles to the back end of the lake to get away from the crowds.  I stopped a long the way checking out some spots to decide which one I like for the evening.

some thick woods

lake view from higher up

Well this was going to be the spot until I noticed the ATV tracks, didn't want to camp somewhere then have unexpected company show up

I did decide to harvest some of the dry beachwood that was all over the place

I came across this dead needlenose gar and didn't even know they were in this lake until seeing this one

speaking of fish I did manage to catch some protein for later

Well there was a cedar tree close so I took the opportunity to gather up some dry branches and some cedar shavings

This was an overhang wash out but it went back in about 6 feet.  Might make a good quickie shelter if you needed it bad enough.  But then again it could implode at any time.

more cedar shaving harvesting

and we're ready to make fire

Well I had decided to camp next to the water hoping it would be cooler so I found a spot and unloaded after getting the fire going as it was starting to get late already

dinner was the sandbass and some hushpuppies, I basically make them bigger so they kinda look like pancakes when there done.

since the bugs have been pretty bad this year I took the tent so I wouldn't have to worry about them all night

here's some views of the lake from the camp spot.  Evening was coming on fast, it was actually darker than these pictures make it look

here's some shots once darkness finally hit and then I was pretty exhausted and hot so I went to bed and tried to sleep.

Morning came quick and I woke up to a group of about 10 crows that were fighting over something about 5 yards from camp.  But I did have a great view of the sunrise

a friend at work gave me some of these Juan Valdez coffee singles and this is hands down the best coffee I have ever had.

breakfast consisted of a lot of bacon and a lot of eggs.  I did about 3 skillets worth of bacon and munched on it until all the bacon was cooked and then it was time for the eggs.

Well I enjoyed the trip except for one part...It was over 100 degrees when I put in and it was suppose to be over 100 again the next day.  I went through 3 gallons of water in about 18 hours.  So I headed back in while it was still cool and I had some water left.  So as much as I enjoyed the outdoors time I think I'll stick to the campouts and overnighters in the cooler weather.  Here's some last shots of the canoe loaded back up and some water shots on the paddle back.

Thanks for looking.  See you on the water...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Old Town Saranac 146 Canoe

Here's a look at an Old Town Saranac 146 canoe.  I've had this canoe for over a year now and wanted to share my thoughts on it.  I'm not considering this a review just sharing my experience with it.  Pictures I will use for the "look" at this canoe are "in-use" shots by myself to show you what you really get with this canoe.  Here are some specs according to Old Town's website:

Length:  14'6                                                 Flat bottom
Width:   36"                                                   Straight sides
Bow height:   18"                                          Moderate rocker
Weight:    79lbs.                                            Material:  Thermoformed polyethylene
Load range:   700-750lbs

This is a recreational canoe and I find it is very stable whether you're paddling solo or with multiple people in the canoe.  The molded seats are fairly comfortable.  There is another model that has padded seats and a backrest.  The center bench has great storage features.  It has a dry hatch, that does work, and a middle compartment as well.  There is a drink holder and two rod places for your fishing poles.  The front and back handles do have a hole to accommodate a rod holder if you wanted to add one.

I really like the size of this canoe.  The length is just fine for one person but you can hold 3-4 people depending on their size.  The canoe is on the heavy side and as you can see there are no carrying yokes for portages.  My main use is on lakes, ponds, streams, rivers and I don't plan to do much or any portaging with this.  So if you are needing a canoe for portages this would not be the canoe for you.  You could remove the seats and center bench and modify it as you see fit but there are much better options out there for portaging if that's what you are wanting.  With that said I do like the layout and it paddles smooth and has great stability which was key for me.  You can hold plenty of gear in this canoe for an outing with the family or by yourself if you're just wanting to get away for a bit.

All in all I really enjoy this canoe.  It serves my needs well and allows access to pretty much any water source you can get to.  If you have any questions about this canoe feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them.  Here's a few more shots of the canoe in use. 

Hope to see you on the water