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Hi. I thought that was you walking up the path to my place. What are you doing out in this cold Adirondack drizzle? Take off your coat and hang it on that chair by the fireplace. It will dry fast there.
You’re not bringing any bad news for me are you? No? Good.
I have some hot water on top of the pot-bellied stove. Let me fix you a hot tea.
What would you like to hear about today? Oh yes. That is a good thing to talk about on a rainy day.
It makes me feel good to reminisce about the Raquette River. It was one of my favorites. I can’t do much with the Raquette since that logging accident.
Let me get my pack of Raquette stuff out. Yes, there it is. I keep this ribbon tied around it to keep them together. I have a few old photos and engravings. I also have a few photos that visitors have taken and left with me. I even have one of those new postcards. You know – – – the ones all done up in fancy colors.
I don’t know who keeps sending those visitors to my cabin. They like to sit and talk. Eventually they get to asking me about my old etchings and photos. They show me the pictures they have taken and I show them mine. Sometimes we even make a trade. I have plenty of copies of the old ones and since I can’t get around I enjoy having a few new ones to look at.
This photo shows the carry at Sweeny. There are several carries on the Raquette.
The following is a visitor’s photograph. It is one place that I always carried my canoe around.
Look at that white water. Who would attempt to ride these rapids on the Raquette?
Apparently these fellows did. Compare the photo with the old engraving. The engraving had to originate in the same place. I have often sat here smoking my pipe and looking at the two pictures. There is no doubt in my mind that they are one and the same. Even the old leaning tree is there. Dead now though.
But, once again, I get ahead of myself. I just enjoy those old engravings. Remind me of good times.
Of course the Raquette River starts out in Raquette Lake. There is a short carry to get to Forked Lake. There are some rapids immediately after Forked Lake. It is a nice ride from there to Long Lake. No current in Long Lake. Lots of paddling.
Then a trip to Tupper Lake puts you in Franklin County. Everything else is in St. Lawrence County except for the last leg which takes you through the Akwesasne Nation which is back in Franklin County.
Some of the villages you may see between Tupper Lake and the Akwesasne Nation are Colton, Hannawa Falls, Potsdam, Norwood, Norfolk and Massena.
Now you have me wandering in my thoughts again. There are some rapids that are absolutely terrifying; when you are in a boat.
If you ever get a chance to get to Massena take some time to ask someone to take you to where the Long Sault rapids are. They are on the St. Lawrence River.
This is an old etching. They must have been thinking about putting a canal in. You know – – – to get around the rapids. This looks like a view from the Canadian side.
And here is a postcard view of it.
I like it when I have old and new pictures of the same thing. It gives me a chance to do a little comparing.
Which brings me back to where we started; The Raquette River.
They say it is almost 150 miles long. They must be counting the lakes too. I like the rivers best. More exciting. Lakeside is good for an overnight stay though.
Now look at this old photo from the bottom of my pile.
That is the canal they dug to get from the Raquette River to Simond’s Pond. What a god-awful mess they left behind. That is the pond way out there in the background.
No, I don’t know when or if they ever cleaned it up. They must have left Simpson’s alone. Did I say “Simpson’s?” Damn memory is starting to cause trouble. I meant Simond’s Pond.
See how nice it looks in this newer photo? Can’t see the canal. Maybe it is still a mess.
Simond Pond by Graham Owen
And then there are the falls along the route as you head downstream towards the St. Lawrence.
And peaceful scenes.
That’s about all I have to say about the Raquette, or the “Racquet” as you can see some people spell it.
Look. Here comes the sun. Is your coat dry? We can go for a walk down the path and I can tell you the story about the bear that wanted my food.
I was staying overnight on the edge of Saranac Lake when – – – – – –