Saturday, September 22, 2012

September 20, 2012: Our 26th Wedding Anniversay

I surprised Marc with a stay at Elk Lake Lodge in the Adirondacks for our 26th wedding anniversary.  We drove over on Thursday arriving at noon.  We checked into Big Tom cabin with a view of Elk Lake from our front porch.

 Elk Lake Lodge is on the shore of Elk Lake, nestled in the heart of the Adirondacks.  We hiked up Sunrise Mountain with a view of the surrounding 12,000 acre Elk Lake-Clear Pond Preserve. Elk Lake is dotted with many tiny islands and surrounded by the Adirondack high peaks.  As far as the eye can see there are no roads, houses or any sign of humans.  You get the feeling of complete isolation, a rarity in the crowed northeast.

We returned to the Lodge for a quick shower and dinner with a beautiful view of Elk Lake.  Back in our cozy cabin we enjoyed a roaring fire and a glass of wine.

The next morning we decided to go canoeing on Elk Lake.  It took us a while to get the hang of it as we zigzagged across the Lake.

We did see Common Loons, their haunting cries could be heard across the Lake.  One male allowed us to get within 20 feet before diving under water and resurfacing a distance away.

As we paddled along, we heard a splash.  At first we thought an otter had dove into the Lake but, a beaver emerged slapping his tail in the water to warn us off.  I tried to take a photo of him but he would not cooperate.  This is the best I could do.

There were other birds on the Lake, Belted Kingfishers, Great Blue Heron and a flock of 5 female Common Mergansers.  They were on a rock but hopped into the water as we approached.  I snapped a quick photo as they swam away.

We stopped at Wagon Wheel landing and decided to hike 2.6 miles to Fairy Ladder Falls.  The trail was wet in spots due to the recent rain.  We could see moose tracks along the trail, the first we've ever seen in the Adirondacks.  Moose are making a comeback in the region after being wiped out in the mid-1800's.  We hiked through a mixed forest of soft and hard woods.  The forest floor was covered with moss, ferns and mushrooms.  We crossed a few log bridges then entered Upper Camp Clearing, an old logging camp.  We reached West Brook and got to within 0.2 mile of the Falls but could go no further.  The recent rains had washed away the trail and the Brook was too deep to continue up.  We turned back and had lunch at the Landing.   

We paddled back across the Lake encountering two more male Loons.  Back at the Lodge we enjoyed a cup of coffee in the rustic lounge before heading home.

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