Cayuga Lake and the PTFL Finale

June 18, July 30, Sep 5, 17 & 24

Cayuga is all that stood between us and the first complete PTFL. (Paddle Tour of the Finger Lakes) We already had a head start - having completed the leg from Dean's Cove to Cayuga Lake State Park last year. But Cayuga is long. Cayuga gets shallow quickly in many areas. Cayuga has, well, attitude.

Our first attempt at a 17 mile leg on Cayuga's west side had some of us questioning our sanity. The forecast was good. Winds calm to light NW. We set out from Taughannock Falls heading north. After 7 miles into an increasing headwind, most of us could barely maintain 2 mph. And the 'calm' winds continued to build despite the helpful marine forecast's assertations to the contrary. Gerry had a dinner engagement over an hour away, and the 9 miles to the take-out looked like a really long ride. We turned tail and tried to stay upright with the gale building behind us. Sigh.

I guess we paid our dues, though. The rest of the 71 miles of Cayuga shoreline were a real joy to paddle. We paddled around the north end on a sunny July 30. I took my new Outer Island out for the first time on a beautiful Labor Day paddle. We completed the aborted segment on a gray but lovely Sept 17 and rode the last 17.5 miles of the south end to glory on Sept 24!

Gerry was with me to celebrate as the two paddlers who have completed all of the 387 miles of Finger Lakes shoreline. There are others missing just a few segments and a few still planning with a very long list.

With eleven lakes ranging from small and placid through mid-sized and busy all the way to large and challenging, there is certainly something for everyone here. It's almost sad that it's over, but now maybe I can go on someone else's trips for a change!

The pictures are collected from at least 3 of the segments and, of course, include the Grand Finale Celebration. I have promised to post all the segment mileage and launch information.... Sounds like a winter project to me!




















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