Here we are. | St. Lawrence University Adirondack Semester

Here we are.

Thoin Begum and Karen Blakelock

Here we are.  We arrived at Arcadia one week ago today after an eight day canoe trip across the Adirondacks.  Our current comfort level with one another makes it hard to believe that a little more than two weeks ago we were introducing ourselves on the front lawn of the Sustainability Semester  house, and making jokes about how Jack was the only male.  Luckily, we’re done with the “only boy” jokes – after spending eight days of our trip surrounded by seven female classmates, Jack has decided to officially become a girl.  *See end.  It’s just easier this way – plus, he couldn’t take the jokes anymore.  Enough about Jack, this is about our trip; here goes:

WHO:        8 college kids
                2 assistant program directors

WHAT:      1 canoe trip across the Dacks

WHEN:      August 16th - 24th ZK15

WHERE:     Eighth Lake – Massawepie Lake with lots of lakes, rivers and creeks in between!

 WHY:       The semester of a lifetime!

HOW:       Canoe!  By land or by sea (lake), paddle or portage, we shall get there somehow! Top 10 moments for the trip:

  1. Crushing portages ranging from 1 mile to 2.25 miles like it ain’t no thang.
  2. Sailing our canoes (using a paddle and a raincoat) down the Raquette River on to Long Lake to get ice cream in town.
  3. Running into a SLU pre-orientation trip as we left Long Lake and started back on the Raquette River – a trip lead by two former ADK semester students.
  4. The awesome campsite at Raquette Falls, getting to know Gary (the caretaker).  Popcorn night on Gary’s front porch while Jack played songs on the guitar – forming our band “Gender Neutral Jack and the Arcadian Babes” (keep an eye out for the album we’re about to drop featuring covers off Russian Gypsy music)
  5. The day we casually decided to crush the 23 mile paddle from Raquette Falls to Tupper Lake (so as not to be shown up by the mileage accomplished by the formerly mentioned SLU pre-orientation trip)
  6. After completing a 23 mile day, our next day was super laid back – consisting of a sunrise paddle with thermoses of tea and coffee before returning to camp and going back to bed.
  7. All the awesome wildlife we saw, including, but not limited to:


    bear cub (Maggie only)

    micro bears/ chipmunks

    turtles sunning themselves

    frogs hopping on lily pads!


    ducks and loons and herons

    bald eagle


  1. Scouting rapids so we could “send it big time, hell yeah, right on” down yet another section of the Raquette River.
  2. Spending 4 hours winding down Dead Creek…let’s just say…..built a lot of character.
  3. Making it to Arcadia!  Getting settled into our new home and beginning our adventures around Massawepie Lake!

There you have it.  Somewhere between becoming Pickle Barrel Packing Professionals, learning to throw a bear hang, tie a bow line, perform a T-rescue, portage a canoe, and becoming master chefs on whisper – lites, we found time to bond as a group oh – and paddle 103 miles.  You could say we’re ready to send IT BIG TIME.

Thanks for reading.

*This is a lie.  To Jack’s friends, family, fans, and foes, we hope we have not mislead you.