We went on a different kind of “hike” this weekend. My long-time hiking buddy, John, and I hiked across Lake Champlain in a couple of kayaks. This was a bit of a shakedown paddle, to translate backpacking to the wet, mostly horizontal world of kayak camping.
Good stuff. Clear skies, breezy conditions, some wind-waves boat nothing the boats or the paddlers couldn’t handle. Packing a big sea kayak is a lot easier than a small backpack. And speaking of packing, just because you can bring a case of beer along for a simple overnight, doesn’t mean you need to bring a case of beer along. But a few cold ones were nice (and they were cold—because we brought ice, too!)
We put in at the busy Burlington Boat Launch on the bottom of Maple Street. This gave us a nice waterfront view of Burlington and several hundred yards of calm flatwater paddling behind the break water. From there it was hopping from point to point and then across Champlain.
Schuyler Island was nice. It is fairly flat with rocky cobble beachs, and relatively easy to land anywhere. There are a couple designated camping sites, and we stayed at one above a short cliff on the western side. We shared the landing with a two-motor-boat group of day trippers who toodled off at about 4 pm.
The landing site and camp ground above showed signs of moronic use, and John and I filled a grocery bag with others’ leave-behind garbage. But it was still a sweet spot, and we left it considerably cleaner than we found it. Looking forward to a couple more island camping trips this summer!