Tuesday, November 13, 2012

beaver river detour

one day last october i woke up in the morning and decided to do a pair of geocaches by the stillwater reservoir. if you're interested in reading those logs, you can pick them up here.

but then i came back into the parking lot and it was full up and there were all these people milling about like they were waiting for something. maybe a boat?

so i marched right on over to where they were waiting and asked them what they were waiting for.

it turned out that they were waiting for the tour boat over to beaver river (which i am informed properly is beaver river station) and i wanted to know what the deal was with that and nobody could give me any information other than it's fifteen dollars and it leaves in fifteen minutes.

it was, i think, an appalling lack of information regarding an activity they were about to engage in, but we were all still in the parking lot and the parking lot has good wifi, so i just looked it up.

and okay, that sounds awesome and it turns out it's the last day they're running the tour this season so i don't have time to think about taking a later boat.

so i stand around with the rest of the folks and wait for the boat.

when it comes, we all troop onto it and take seats. it is a very lovely ride and i don't know what all else i might have been doing this afternoon, but it wasn't this cool.

on the way i struck up a conversation with a woman on the boat and she said i MUST come with her to visit her friends in beaver river and i was hesitant about dropping in on strangers with someone i only just met, but sometimes you just take whatever opportunities present themselves.

so when the boat dropped us at the causeway to take the shuttles into "town" (the year round population of beaver river station is nine), i just got off with my new friend at her stop.

ater the initial social awkwardness of "hi, i'm a total stranger showing up kind of randomly" i got a lovely tour of the beautiful old adirondack cabin and the adaptations that make it liveable in modern times.

potable water is still trucked in by sled or handcart, and it is heated in milk cans next to the woodstove.

but there are solar panels! and storage batteries!

and on the afternoon i am there the program of entertainment involves digging holes to drive posts and build a platform for another solar panel.

so actually i don't get to go into beaver river to see the hotel or the restaurant, but i DO get the unique opportunity to do yard chores with local folk, which both gives me the pleasure of being useful for a little while and it sets me on the landscape in a different way than if i come just as a tourist.

and then it's time for me to catch my bus back to the boat; we stand out on the causeway and flag it down as it passes. it's a pretty ride back to the parking lot and i go all the way into croghan to get me some dinner before settling down for the night.

later on i get an email from the woman i had been digging holes with, and she sends along a photo of the completed project.

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