Clear, Cool Hudson River North of Lake Luzerne

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What I did
Hudson River New York
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Lake Luzerne Gorge

Flag of United States  , New York
Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sorry to let Otto down on my planning efforts for this trip.  I picked the Hudson River for this last paddle before my vacation and tried to figure out where to put in.  The internet wasn't too helpful - Otto had one of his books with some information.  We met in Warrensburg:  Otto coming from the North and I, from home in Schenectady.   We agreed on an abbreviated paddle because of the threat of late afternoon thunder storms.  Of the alternatives we opted for putting in south of Warrensburg and taking out at a park midway to Lake Luzerne, but the problem was we had to drive almost all the way to Lake Luzerne to get on the other side of the river.  After driving down almost to Lake Luzerne on a narrow, dirt road, Otto suggested that we ditch that plan and instead put in where we would have taken out and float downstream from there to just above the gorge at Lake Luzerne.  That seemed OK to me.

We checked a few put-in spots, but they all were pretty steep going down - nothing for it, but to do it.  It wasn't that bad in the end.  The temperature was predicted to go into the low 90's but we had a breeze from the south so I hardly felt the heat, but I did feel too much sun and headed for the shady side of the river a few times.  It was a very pleasant paddle downstream - with crystal clear water.  We didn't have to get out to push past any low areas but there was a bit of rock scraping once or twice.  Not much to see on the shore - you could still hear a train and cars on the road, but there wasn't that much traffic.  It was pretty idyllic.

We reached the agreed-upon take-out point (about 4.5 miles) in what seemed like no time at all.  In fact, we hadn't even gotten around to having lunch yet - even though I was getting a bit hungry.  Otto suggested that we try a bit farther downstream for a lunch spot - he found a sand bar with some rocks we could sit on and we put our lunch foods on the coolers and on the kayak.  We waded around on the sand bar and Otto went for a short swim.  The water was too cold for me to swim but I did wade...

After lunch, we paddled a bit more.  We could hear the roar of the gorge and then see the narrow opening.  Turning back, Otto pointed out some widelife while I babbling on about something - oblivious to my surroundings.  There was a heron and some Canada Geese - the heron flew off and the geese waddled away as we continued back to the take-out.  Up the rocky bank, I stumbled and worried about getting the boats up, but Otto dragged them most of the way up the bank.  We had the extra effort of driving to collect Otto's car as we had transferring my kayak & stuff into his vehicle on the way in.  This time I had my keys - or rather Otto was safeguarding them.

We stopped in Lake Luzerne to check out the gorge and got to see some of the local people enjoying their lovely natural attraction.  Then we made our way to Stewart's for some coffee - that turned into milk shake and root beer float.  We discovered the Stewart's was pretty much on Rt 9N so Otto headed north to Saranac and I headed south to Saratoga from there.

Another lovely paddle - I really enjoyed the Hudson - it felt so good to be on the water with the breeze blowing and the cool water dripping off my paddle.

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