Spruce Lake

This trip with Bob was into Spruce Lake again.  Primary goal accomplished was to bushwhack around Balsam Lake.  The weather was perfect.

We went up early Friday, a 2 hour drive in Bob's brand new truck.  We stopped at Jessup River and changed socks on the way in, enjoying the vivid colors.  Some of the deep green pine trees had caught falling, bright red maple leaves, and they looked striking under the clear, deep blue sea - enough that my body shuddered at the sight.   We started hiking at 8:18 and got in about 12:45.  Here is the route in and out.  We boiled some water on Bob's stove and cooked a lunch.

It was too cold to swim.  Bob fished a little, we gathered some firewood, and got organized.  Both of us complained about our feet hurting - for some reason the hike in was rough on us.  We cooked on the fire, supping on macaroni, cheese & pepperoni, peanut-butter sandwiches on Ritz crackers, and a dehydrated Mountain House meal.  It was a really clear night, and we were afraid it would get really cold, so we erected our bivy sacks for the night.  The stars were out in numbers.  Aside from the loons and screech owls it was a quiet night.  Here are some photos from Friday night.

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On Saturday the temperature had dropped to 38 during the night.  We breakfasted, tidied up, and decided to embark on our first bushwhack.  Up the outlet of Balsam Lake from the trail, we circled the lake counter clockwise.  At waypoint 2 I hid my jacket for retrieval on the return, since it was a lot warmer away from Spruce Lake.   Waypoint B03 was the first bear sign we spotted.  I almost stepped in it.   We now know that bears do go in the woods.  Waypoint 004 was a photo op, and waypoint 005 looked like a likely tenting site.  You might note that we didn't walk on the water, or wade, but due to the slight inaccuracy of the GPS system, it appears as though we might have.

Photos from waypoint 004:

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And here are some of the natural marvels of the Adirondacks:

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And from several points along the south shore.  On the right, the dreaded monocular-antlered man-beast, known as, Bob:

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Here are some droppings that we didn't recognize:  928Spruce11.jpg (757959 bytes)

And then the view from waypoint 9, at the extreme Eastern end, where it was very marshy:

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Here are some final shots from the northern shore, near the outlet: 

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Here is the track from GPS around Balsam Lake.  North is to the top.

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After our bushwhack, we ate a hearty luncheon of peanut butter on crackers, soup, seeds, pepperoni, and fig newtons.  Bob fished and I napped.  We didn't start supper until after dark.  Bob stayed up late (after lunch) to catch me napping.

bob92818.jpg (358185 bytes)  When I awoke from my nap, I saw my feet inside my sleeping bag:  928Spruce14.jpg (503260 bytes)

Later, some shots of the lake, the fisherman, and the cooks.

928Spruce15.jpg (339458 bytes)  See the moon?  928Spruce18.jpg (541951 bytes)  928Spruce20.jpg (482679 bytes)

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In the morning there was a lot of fog on the lake:

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Getting ready to leave:  bob92827.jpg (548663 bytes)

On the hike out:  bob92833.jpg (697503 bytes)  bob92834.jpg (665652 bytes)

Back at the trailhead:

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Here is the gear list.  I used almost everything, except for most of the extra socks.

Hiking out took 4 hours, the last hour of which took nearly a week.  For some reason I really hit a wall and was tired for 24 hours afterwards.  Bob drove me home, stopping for lunch in Utica.  The trip out was beautiful, sunny, with less upper story in the woods due to leaves falling, and extremely vivid and pleasant.  In the parking lot, we were attacked by a fungus-ear man named Mickey.

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