Full Moon Paddle on Grafton Pond

On Tuesday, October 7th I went to a meetup.com full moon paddle on Grafton Pond. The weather forecast looked pretty bad before the event and I expected it to the rained out. We got lucky and it cleared up just in time.

I arrived a little before 6 p.m.  The water was like a mirror giving us a nice foliage and sky reflection.

Grafton Pond Oct 8 2014-2Grafton Pond Oct 8 2014-5Grafton Pond Oct 8 2014-3It did not take us long to get ready.

Grafton Pond Oct 8 2014-7We could hear some loons calling as we headed out across the pond.

Grafton Pond Oct 8 2014-10We eventually did see the loons swimming in the distance but it was getting dark pretty fast.

Grafton Pond Oct 8 2014-8Grafton Pond Oct 8 2014-9The foliage on these couple trees were looking real good.

It soon got too dark for good photos. A couple more people arrived late so we circled back to the boat landing before going out to one of the islands. The clouds in the east were clearing so we could see full moon peaking out as we paddled around the islands. By the time we gt back to the boat landing it had risen above the clouds giving us a nice view. This trip was a great way to end the kayaking season in New Hampshire.

Kayaking on Mascoma Lake

Sunday, September 28th was another great Autumn day for a kayak trip. Mascoma Lake is a short drive from my place in Lebanon, which made it a good choice for an afternoon paddle.

Although the foliage was near the peak of color, it felt like summer again. Needless to say, there was lots of boat traffic on the lake. To avoid the traffic I headed to the mouth of the Mascoma River.

Mascoma Lake Sep 28 2014-1It seems the ducks had the same ideas as I did about finding a quiet corner of the lake to relax in the sun.

Mascoma Lake Sep 28 2014-3Mascoma Lake Sep 28 2014-2Mascoma Lake Sep 28 2014-4Several were feeding nearby as I drifted around on my kayak.

Mascoma Lake Sep 28 2014-6Mascoma Lake Sep 28 2014-8After a while I paddled under Shaker Bridge to the “small” section of the lake. I got to watch a young couple playing with their dog on the shore.

Mascoma Lake Sep 28 2014-11That dog was a great jumper and swimmer!

I paddled back over to the boat landing and sailboats hoping some people were going for an afternoon sail.

Mascoma Lake Sep 28 2014-13I was in luck and was able to watch one boat leaving the landing area.

Mascoma Lake Sep 28 2014-14Mascoma Lake Sep 28 2014-15A sailboats gliding across the water is really nice to watch with the foliage in the background.Mascoma Lake Sep 28 2014-16Mascoma Lake Sep 28 2014-17It was another great afternoon of paddling on the water.

Long Pond rock cairn

Kayaking at Long Pond during foliage season

We were blessed with fantastic weather and colorful foliage over the weekend of September 27th and 28th. I decided it could be one of my last opportunities to use my kayak for the season.
I wanted to go someplace different with lots of foliage for my Saturday trip. I had not been to Long Pond in Benton, New Hampshire since the early 90’s. It’s a good place to go trout fishing in the spring and canoeing and kayaking during the rest of the boating season.

Long Pond Sep 27 2014-17

As you can see the pond is well off of the main roads. I took a tight off of route 25 in Glencliff onto High Street. There is no street sign for Long Pond Road (which is a dirt road), however there is an Appalachian Trail sign pointing the way to the trail crossings and parking. The road did not show up on my Garmin GPS either. From my previous trips I was was pretty sure it was the right road so off I went. I soon passed a White Mountain National Forest gate in addition to the Appalachian Trail crossing. Like many dirt roads in the area, it’s narrow and not always wide enough for two cars (or trucks) to pass.

I was surprised to see how busy the boat landing and picnic area was. I was lucky to find a parking spot.

Long Pond Sep 27 2014-1Busy boat landing at Long Pond.

Long Pond is located near Mt. Moosilauke, which give you a great view of the mountain. The pond is man-made with a dam on one end. It was probably designed to control spring flooding and provide a recreation area and fishing for visitors to the White Mountains.

Mt. Moosilauke
Mt. Moosilauke

The pond has a rocky shoreline with several small islands (also rocky) scattered throughout the pond, which makes it an interesting place to kayak or canoe.  The islands also make it a great place for Loons to nest. I did see some loons fishing at the south end of the lake but they kept their distance so it was difficult to get photos. I observed a couple adults and at least one immature Loon.

Long Pond Sep 27 2014-6Long Pond Sep 27 2014-7Long Pond Sep 27 2014-10Long Pond Sep 27 2014-13Long Pond Sep 27 2014-14

A unique feature of Long Pond a rock cairn near one of the islands.

Long Pond rock cairn
Long Pond rock cairn

I hope to return here is the spring for some trout fishing.