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An Adirondack Paddlefest Weekend

When we get the chance, my husband and I like to attend Adirondack Paddlefest. This annual event, held in May, features canoes and kayaks, vendors, guest speakers and demonstrations. A few years ago, we drove up to Inlet and made a weekend out of it.

We arrived on Friday, a beautiful sunny and warm day. The forecast called for possible thunderstorms late in the day, so we got to the motel, checked in, and headed off to Moss Lake, on Big Moose Road, Eagle Bay.

Moss Lake is one of our favored lakes to paddle/hike around. We couldn’t wait to put in the canoe and get paddling! It was quite windy at times, but at least it blew the bugs away! We saw two adult ospreys, and two loons swam quite close to us. One popped up about 20 ft away and regarded us as carefully as we regarded him. I love loons and it was a treat to see one so close.

Only three campsites were occupied, and only one other canoe was out on the water. We did see a few hikers, but we were surprised that there weren’t more people there on such a beautiful day.

We paddled around the shore, then up to the footbridge. My husband decided to take a rest, so he made himself comfortable, propping his legs up on the gunwales, resting his back against the seat, and reading while I paddled the rest of the way around. I teased him, but I didn’t care, I was just happy to be out on the water again.

The leaves were just budding, so the woods were a pretty pastel green. Big, puffy clouds moved in, but it was still mostly sunny, so the view was just gorgeous.

The rain arrived in the late evening, but no thunderstorms. Actually, they needed the rain there as much as we did at home, so it was welcome. The rain continued the next day, but it didn’t stop us from going to Paddlefest.

Adirondack author Anne LaBastille was lecturing in the Inlet Town Hall, and it rained the hardest while we were in listening to her. She read portions of her books, answered questions, and autographed copies of her books.

We were all disappointed that she didn’t bring her German Shepherd, but dogs weren’t allowed in the town hall. Still, it was a treat to see her and to meet her afterwards.

Later, we braved the drizzle and walked around Paddlefest. We enjoyed looking at the equipment, and the canoe club that we belong to had a booth there, so we had a nice chat with Colleen, who was manning the tent in her raincoat. Our only disappointment was that the small company that handcrafted our canoe wasn’t there.

We ate lunch at the Tamarac Café in Inlet. We’ve liked the place for some years now. One of their booths has the end of a canoe supporting a glass tabletop. On one of our first visits there, our young son, Daniel, pushed his jackknife and some silverware down under the glass into the canoe. We were mortified, but the young waiter said told us not to worry, it happens all the time. He got everything out, and I gave him a big tip.

Even with the rain, we considered it the perfect weekend. The Adirondacks, canoes and kayaks – who could ask for more!


Paddlefest is held every year in mid-May. In 2008, the event will be held in Old Forge. For more information, visit Mountain Man.

For more information on Inlet, visit Inlet, NY.

For more information on Old Forge, visit Old Forge.

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