My Adirondack Trip, Summer of 2011 (beginning)

On Thursday, August 25, 2011, I drove up to Saiquoit, a rural town near Utica,  


Juliette Levesques with her daughter Jeannine and her husband John

to visit Juliette Séguin Lévesque and her daughter Jeannine and her husband James and their children. Juliette is a friend of our family and one of my mother’s closest friends, if not her closest. She is also an outstanding artist (see link). She was gave me private art lessons when I was growing up. She is a remarkable and godly person.  

Juliette Levesque and myself

Pillsbury Lake


 On the next day, Friday, the 26th of August, I drove up to Mason Lake north of the town of Speculator in the Adirondacks and took the logging road to the parking lot at the Pillsbury Mountain Trailhead. I carried my backpack and canoe three miles to Pillsbury Lake and paddled its length to the outlet that spilled into the upper reach of Whitney Creek.  

The beginning of the unmarked trail

I had time so I followed an unmarked and overgrown trail that was supposed to cut over to Pillsbury Bay on Cedar Lakes.  

My camp on Pillsbury Lake


I came to where it crossed Whitney Creek, about three-quarters of the way through. At this point, the creek was a long and muddy bog  that cut a path through the forest. There was some water in it, but not enough to berth a canoe. Crossing this morass, I ran into boulders and a tangle of blown down trees. Searching to the right and left of this, and behind it (as much as I was able), I could not find any signs of where the path might continue. I searched for two hours and turned around. I had enough “bushwhacking” with the canoe. That night I pitched my tarp and slept on the bank of Pillsbury Lake. (I ate dinner in the dark.)  


Saturday morning I tried again. (This was on August 27, the day before the tropical storm Irene hit here.) I had a few more ideas and searched for two more hours. There were many animal paths, but none of them were passable in the right direction. Perhaps the trail was no longer there (or I did not have the skill to find it). I did not know what I would encounter if I tried to orienteer through to Pillsbury Bay with the canoe, using my map and compass only. The forest was dense and uneven here. There was a chance I would miss the narrow tip of the bay and end up spending a long time in the forest. I might not have enough time to find a safe spot and set up a secure camp in view of the coming storm. It no longer seemed feasible. I calculated how much time it would take for me to reverse course and get back to my car before dark. The only alternative would be to attempt to reach Whitney Lake early, either by following an unmarked trail alongside Whitney Creek (or paddling it if it was navigable) or finding my way to the French Louie Trail. I did not really consider this, I think because I was tired of bushwhacking with the canoe. I headed back to the car.

My room for two nights at the Irondequoit Inn


I drove to the town of Piseco and stayed at the Irondequoit Inn (see link). The room the Innkeepers, Pamela and Loren, offered me was the last one they had available. I was grateful. Hurricane Irene came, we think, about two o’clock in the morning. 

A gallery and description of the whole trip and be found on facebook by clicking here

3 comments to My Adirondack Trip, Summer of 2011 (beginning)

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