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Finger Lakes Region XCD

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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby Bern » Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:51 pm

Quite a few years ago, about 30, I delivered a sailboat from Sodus Point on Lake Ontario, via the canal system to Long Island Sound. It is not apparent when looking at a road map, only when looking at waterway charts, that N.Y. is riddled with canals. Before railroads came in, that was the only viable way to get goods around. I read a book about the history on the Eire Canal and the point was made that the canal was important in giving NY a jump start in delivering goods to the city for export beyond. I also learned that the Roundout Creek at Kingston, via a canal, once connected to the Delaware River. In any case, I've often thought a fine summer holiday would be to rent a houseboat, maybe with a hot tub on the upper deck, and spend a few weeks exploring NY waterways. As I remember now, some of the Finger Lakes are interconnected.
Life is complex - it has real and imaginary parts

You can observe a lot by looking. Yogi Berra
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby benny » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:18 pm

There's a canal running from Seneca to Cayuga that then heads north and ties into the Erie Canal.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:43 pm

Yeah, it would be Seneca and Cayuga, the others are too far south from the Erie canal.

I don't think too much about the ditch, but I ride my bike along it when the trails are wet. I always say I'm going to take my canoe out on it, but I never do. It connects with the Genesee right where I live and I could paddle a great number of places. To the Hudson if I was so inclined... or to Lake Erie...
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby flyingcow » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:18 pm

Some day I really want to take the boat from up here down to Watkins Glen for Vintage Weekend. That would of course require the boat to have some sort of toilet probably... and probably some non-rotten floors... and for it to not overheat at no wake speeds... and for it to not disintegrate when in contact with water...
Far less perfect than Zim.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:37 pm

The toilet is probably optional. I'm sure there's plenty of lawns, farms and septic systems along the lake doing far worse than you could.

The Finger lakes are not exceptionally clean. Their salvation is their depth and volume. The smaller, shallow ones, like Honeoye are kind of gross. The other exceptions are Hemlock and Canadice because they have no homes or farms on them and are bordered by state land. This is because they are reservoirs for the city. You can't even (legally) swim in them.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby Bern » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:06 pm

A few years ago a kayaker wrote a book about his adventure paddling a huge loop beginning in NYC, up the Hudson, then the Erie Canal to just about Buffalo. It was a big surprise to me but the Ohio River comes very close to the NY border. He had to portage his kayak about 15 miles to a small stream that was a tributary of the Ohio, pushing branches out of the way. The Ohio to the Mississippi to New Orleans, then the inland waterway to Florida and eventually, back to NYC. A fine adventure. I wish I'd thought of it.

A similar journey was undertaken by the well known writer, William "Least Heat Moon" Trogdon. He followed the same water sources to the Mississippi. Then up the Missouri from about St Louis as far as it goes; actually to the continental divide Then a relatively short distance to the Columbia and vu ala, the West Coast. I guess I don't know my geography well as I've been astonished by the extent of these rivers.
Life is complex - it has real and imaginary parts

You can observe a lot by looking. Yogi Berra
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby lowangle al » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:33 pm

The longest human powered trip was done by Verlen Kruger and Steve Landick in open canoes of Verlens design. It was 28,000 miles and took 3.5 years. They started in the midwest, made it to the Atlantic and paddled around the tip of South America and up the Pacific coast. They then fought their way up the Colorado River and back home.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:10 pm

Holy thread drift!

Back on track. Skied a couple hours of trees today and they were pretty sweet. It was warming up, mid-30s, so the snow was starting to get mashed potatoey, but still fun. Found a ton of new lines - they weren't so great when I tried to re-ski them, once the snow was busted up and/or compressed it was kind of cement-like.

Image

Hoping for a little fresh from that storm...
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:31 pm

Image

Cool map I found from the Sullivan campaign of the Revolutionary war showing the area I've been skiing. Apparently some of that area was corn field back then. Most of it is forested now.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby oldschool » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:54 pm

Very nice map -
There's an area near Rome - called the Rome Sand Plains - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome_Sand_Plains - that also figured significantly in the war according to the board at the parking lot - the area happens to include a height of land that is the carry area of about a mile or so between the Mohawk watershed which goes into the Hudson and the creeks that lead to Oneida Lake and the rivers north to Lake Ontario or westward. So it was a really key area. Not a huge area but interesting and worth a stop if you are in the area.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby oldschool » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:02 pm

I'm just catching up with this thread's recent activity on the Erie Canal - for those passing through the area, I'd recommend a stop in downtown Syracuse - we have the Erie Canal Museum which is really good for kids too. In one of the last remaining buildings from those days. There are two decent bars about a block away too. Another nice one is in Lockport NY out between Rochester and Buffalo. Working locks in that part of the canal plus the museum.

About four summers ago I cycled most of the canal path with friends Buffalo to Albany/Hudson. Many worthwhile sections, some not so great - areas in downtown Syracuse and Rome are the worst by far but they are working on a plan to solve that.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:23 pm

Snow just keeps getting better. Was out yesterday and it was amazing. 6+" of fresh at 2100', temps staying in the mid to high 20s... can't ask for better. Took the skinnies and NNN for a spin - didn't know about the fresh snow, though it would be warming and turning to corn as it's been warm at the lower elevations. Still got in some good turns and a really nice tour. Tomorrow I'm taking my 98s and heading for south glades. Scoped them yesterday but I'll take a few full runs tomorrow as long as the conditions hold.

This early March has certainly made up for a poor February. I looked at my Strava log and noticed I stopped skiing around the 12th in Feb. Didn't start again until March, but it's been steady since... I expect based on the current snow depths and temps we'll have skiable snow for the next two weeks.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:39 pm

Got in a little over my head yesterday. Technically wasn't any harder than what I have skied or have been skiing, but I was on the south side of the hill and the forest was much different - lots of whips which seemed to be shaking my confidence as to where I should put the skis. Terrain was steep then flat, which didn't help me much in finding any kind of flow. I could make it down easily, but when I'd see something that looked good, I'd climb back up and try to ski it - this is where I was floundering. It's not helping that I finally caught the cold my kids have had for the last week. It was humbling, but at least I know I'm pushing myself.

Despite the temps staying in the 20s and low amount of sunlight, the snow has been transforming. Still seems to be melting from the ground up as the ground had thawed when we got this last storm. So I guess we'll see where it goes - consolidated it's not going to be good off of trails, but might be easier skiing. A few more inches on top to freshen things up would be nice, but we might be done with that for the year. I may go back to doing some trail touring and see if this snow turns to corn before trying ski some more serious stuff. It's been fun though...
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby Fisheater » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:40 pm

Mike, it looks like you will get that freshen up, and then some if I read the weather map right. I never realized you were so close to such nice terrain. Hope you get some powder turns in. BTW, I lucked out on my ski purchase, I couldn't be happier.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:10 pm

Don't know if we'll get the lions share... but once you get above 1900' it seems to get a lot snowier and colder. I always watch the temp gauge and the side of the road when I'm driving up there. Down at the nearest town, at about 1000', there's often very little snow and it's a few degrees warmer until I get up to the top of the hill. Of course, I can't ski down too far without running into the same issue. 300 or 400' down it's still pretty good though. I've mostly been doing laps of about 200'.

Yeah, there has always been lots of terrain down south of me, this is where I grew up skiing, both XC and lift served Alpine. In past years I'd have chosen to go to the Adirondacks because it is much better or ski close to home if I was short on time - it takes me about 45 min to get into the hills down here. With my current family situation, this is the next best alternative. I haven't been to the Adirondacks coming up on two years, and it's bothering me, but I plan on going up this summer. Still, I'd like to get back into skiing there as well.

I'm still very much a novice at skiing trees, especially with leather boots and XCD skis, but I learn more each time I go. It's extremely difficult and to me, is as much about reading the forest is it is about skiing the lines. When you see the lines and go into them with confidence, it usually goes well. When I'm hesitant or unsure of my next move, it usually results in mistakes. But I suppose if you want to ski the best snow available in the east, you need to learn to ski the hardwoods. I should have taken some pictures of the stuff I was in yesterday... yikes... I didn't ski a single good line or good turn, but it was definitely pushing my skill, and TBH, it was mostly mental.

Well I'm glad you are enjoying your new skis. I find my S Bounds definitely see their limits when skiing glades, as much on the up as on the down. I've used kicker skins a few times just so I could get back up steeper pitches without as much traversing. I don't mind zig-zagging and doing kick turns as long as it doesn't push me into an area I don't want to be... softwoods, ravines, massive blowdowns, etc...

I haven't had my Asnes out in a while. I got the feel for them, I suppose. I haven't tried them in any really steep or deep terrain though, but the best turns I had on them were in some really dry powder with a base. They actually performed well there, but I suppose most any ski will. The snow has been pretty high moisture since this last storm and seems to vary from mashed potatoes to powder over some kind of breakable, but not crusty underlayer, which is actually pretty hard to ski on. The snow we had in Dec and Jan was much drier. But I guess beggars can't be choosy...
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