Day 9 McGill's Go Up North - Saranac Lake

Day 9! Probably my favorite day of the trip! We had to get creative with our daily numbers because I forgot a pen/ crayon/ marker at the car and that was a 20 minute paddle (one way) away from us.

About 3 minutes after waking up, Finn was already fishing again.

It was really chilly that morning and I forgot my long pants for the trip (which I didn't, I found them at home at the bottom of the suitcase). After trying to warm up by just being busy and making breakfast, I decided to crawl back in my sleeping bag and lay in the hammock. It didn't take long for my little snuggle buddy to find me and join me. We stayed like this for at least an hour!

Late morning, it warmed up a little (but the sun never really came out that day) and we decided to go for a little paddle across the lake from us and explore this little island. We first paddled over to the cliff where we watched people jump from the cliff the day before. Jake climbed up to the top to see if he would want to jump down later and the answer was : NO WAY!

While on the island we looked at our map and decided on a plan for later in the afternoon.

To make it easier for you I decided to show you with help of Photoshop where we were and where we decided to go. The blue arrow is where our campsite is located. The yellow circle is where we parked the car and the boat access to the lake. We decided to kayak to the lock system in the Saranac River this day (blue line). It took us about 2 hours (but we took our time with the kids) one way to get there.

We explored this little island for a little longer and in the back you can see our campsite (blue cross)

We paddled back to the campsite, and made a big lunch so we wouldn't get hungry on our adventure. First time in 10+ years that I had Spam and surprisingly we all loved it! Finn made us a big bottle of lemonade to take and he has perfected his way of mixing the powder with the water. Throw it up in the air as much as you can...

And off we went... the fist half of the trip was a little strenuous, crossing big bays with lots of wind and boats. But the second part of the trip went through the river and that was really peaceful and beautiful. Of course Finn had his fishing line out most of the way.

The lock happens really quickly after a bend and a boat was already waiting for us, so we joined them in the lock. We had to hold onto the rope and the locks closed and the water rushed in. It was pretty cool. The other side of the lock opened and we were in the Lower Lake. Pretty cool.

We decided not to go any further but to stop at the locks and have a break. The boys were allowed to operate the locks and that was really fun for them. They needed to use a lot of muscle power but they did a great job!

We took a lot of pictures there since it really was absolutely beautiful. The picture of Scot and I cracks me up... this is not how I usually pose and I am not sure what possessed me to pose like that haha I guess I was super happy!

There is a lock operator who lives at the locks all summer. She has her house (in the background in the last picture of this block), her little boat and her dog there. She opens and closes (and answers a million questions from our kids) the locks all day and writes down each boat and passenger that goes through. Really a cool job and I am a little tiny envious for it. But Scot says, I would get bored after two weeks.

Ok and the shoe saga continues... remember how I packed Toms and Flip Flops... well the Flip Flops decided to break on this trip. The Toms were back in the car (and really useless on this trip) and now this. I was barefoot for the next 24ish hours!

(I love the above picture of Scot and Jake so much). We went back through the locks to paddle back to our campsite. This time we switched off. I paddled with Jake and Scot with Finn. Jake and I had some pretty cool conversations and he had lots of his stories to tell me, plus he taught me some pretty cool Boy Scout camp songs.

After another 2 hours of paddling we finally arrived back at the campsite!

The boys went swimming again, while Scot and I fixed dinner.

I brought a flint and steel with us and this kept the boys pretty entertained trying to make a fire!

Soon after Finn fell asleep in the hammock and we were able to just relax at the campfire. He slept in there until about midnight when Scot and I carried him into the tent.

It was just a really peaceful day with my favorite things to do in life (camping and kayaking) with my favorite people.