A perfect day on the Raquette

By Bob Steiner A pair of paddle-boarders with camping gear work their way upstream on the Raquette. The river is mostly flat-flowing between Long and Tupper lakes, except for a portage around two waterfalls.

Parking at the Raquette River state access above Tupper Lake, New York, we noticed the odometer in our traveling van was at exactly 100,000 miles. We took a moment to reflect that it had taken us to 45 states and six Canadian provinces in the last five years. The GMC Savana van had traveled tens of thousands of miles of highway with legal speed limits up to 80 mph (during rush hour), on thousands of miles of unpaved routes and had traversed many "I think this is the road" byways in Canada, while searching for new lakes to paddle and fish. The windshield and undercarriage are still original and in fine shape.

During all those miles, the van often carried one or two canoes and two bicycles. It had weathered hurricane rain and winds, a sandstorm in the Mojave Desert and gone through shallow floodwaters at Death Valley. It had been below sea level there by 200 feet and had climbed western mountains to near 10,000 feet.

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