At last the time comes when my boat “fledges” its nest and heads for its permanent home in the Adirondacks. There is concern over the move since we will be travelling a long way over interstate highways and country roads. My main worry is the weather. It is the time of the solstice when weather patterns can cause severe weather, even tornadoes. So we watch the forecast carefully and decide go on Saturday, June 20th since it is predicted to have good weather along the entire 400 mile route.
My friend Ed and his future son-in-law Drew offer to help me load the boat on our Suburban. They are both tall men so that will make things easier. It turns out that Drew grew up in Raquette Lake which is only about 14 miles from Long Lake. He went to the elementary school there which, at the time, had an enrollment to 22 students. It has been closed for some years now as the number of school age children in the town has dwindled to a handful. Drew knows Adirondack boats and waterways well, having raced in the three day ninety miler paddling a canoe from Old Forge to Saranac Lake.
We decide to take the boat out the sliding glass door in my shop, hike it up a small hill to the Suburban, and load it on top.
I thought I could get away with using the roof racks to support the boat on top of the car. But the sheer line is too great for that to work. Drew suggests gunnel blocks to mount the boat and stand it off from the roof. We decide that Cabellas is the best place to get them so off I go to purchase two sets. I have already bought some super tie-downs to strap the boat to the roof rack. They are made by a company called Ericson and they are way better than any others I have seen. Rather than simultaneously pulling two spring-loaded levers apart to loosen the straps you merely push a button. Below are a gunnel block and a tie down.
As night falls the boat is securely fastened down using three tie downs and ropes on the front and rear. We are ready to roll!
We awake the next morning at 4:30 am to the pitter-patter of rain. I guess this is the 20% chance of rain that was predicted. As we head around Philadelphia the rain becomes a downpour. Our luck holds and once we are about 50 miles north of Philly the rain ceases and a very pleasant day takes its place.
A milestone is reached when we enter the Adirondack Park.
We finally reach our lakeside camp. The Long Lake water level is very high for this time of year. Our “marsh” is now a part of the main lake. Below the boat takes in its new surroundings having successfully traveled from Delaware to Long Lake
The next adventure is the boat’s maiden voyage.