With two Osgood Pond Semester students in the 90 Miler, there seemed hardly a better way to spend a Saturday than alongside the Raquette River with food and drinks on hand.
After a stop at the Farmers’ Market in Saranac Lake for our own snacks, student volunteer Hanna Cromie joined the Osgood instructors and set off for Stony Creek, a waterside lean-to site a short hike off of Coreys Road. We arrived to an expected find — a big stash of snacks, water and Gatorade for paddlers — and another we didn’t anticipate in an uncharacteristically low Raquette River.
What is often water was instead a large swath of beach, and the steady influx of pit crews and spectators took advantage, dotting the shore with color. After setting up, the waiting game began. Perhaps due to the water level, all of our guesses as to when the first paddlers would come around the bend were well off the mark. After a few false alarms, including a dozen leisure paddlers and a rogue C-4, the first canoes began trickling in, greeted by shouts and a cowbell.
Then the work began. Though many of the paddlers were more focused on the day’s final seven-mile stretch, dozens cruised by the shore, some taking hand-offs and others testing Hanna’s bottle-tossing ability.
The day had the usual variety. There were the stoic faces, the only sounds coming from paddles in the water and the occasional “hut!” While there were plenty of weary racers, there was also a fair share of smiles and laughing — especially from the seven Paul Smith’s women in the Voyageur class.
Kade Hill and Hyla Howe, the two Osgood Pond Semester representatives to take on the three-day epic, came into sight soon after. After an exchange of cheers and waves, the two were soon around the next bend. All in all, a busy start to the semester that saw a balance of yurt life, school work and training culminated in a 19 hour, 47 minute finish time for the duo.
And if that weren’t enough, just hours after crossing the Lake Flower finish line, the two were right back at Osgood Pond for Sunday class.
Complete Adirondack Canoe Classic 90 Miler results can be found at http://www.macscanoe.com/