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Dan Foster

Squam Lake, Oct 6-8, 2017

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Squam Lake never fails to surprise or disappoint, and this year was no exception. A varied and varying band of NSPNers explored her waters and shorelines over the course of the weekend, departing from SLA headquarters in Piper's Cove on Friday morning after waiting out some early bands of rain.

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We loaded boats, made use of Nancy's ingenious carrying straps, and headed out across a nearly-deserted Squam Lake.

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After setting up camp and having lunch on Moon Island, some of the group returned to SLA to greet an afternoon arrival, while the rest of us headed out to Yard Island to practice scraping gelcoat off our boats as we played in the numerous rock gardens.

A wind-swept afternoon in camp had us hopeful that the clouds would scatter, allowing us a full-moon paddle that evening. We were afforded a spectacular sunset, but then the clouds closed in again, nixing our plans for an after-dinner excursion. Much pot-lucking and burning of firewood provided the evening's entertainment.

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On Saturday, we headed north to Five Finger Point, where we went ashore on a fabulous UNH beach. Most of the group hiked up to West Rattlesnake for lunch, while the others explored the bays and passages to the northeast. Approximately 200 other people had the same lunch plans as us, and we lost count of the number of children who defied their parents and disappeared over the cliff edge before us. For future planning, East Rattlesnake might be a quieter choice. Still, the view was impressive.

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Our two groups reconnected again, and two new groups were formed to explore our way back to Moon. More rocks were gardened, and again, we had the lake to ourselves, with the exception of some loons.

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At one point earlier in the trip, we came across a raft of eight loons, and marveled at their haunting calls across the water.

 

With rain in the forecast for Sunday, we packed up early, and hit the water just as the first few drops began to fall. It started in earnest as we approached Piper's Cove, but let up a bit so that we could load boats and pose for a group selfie before heading for home.

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A map of my travels during the weekend:

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Hopefully others will share some of their photos and experiences as well. Come join us on Squam next year!

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Nice trip report, Dan. Even though my sister and I had to leave early on Saturday, it was well worth the drive for a full day and one night of fun with a little bit of everything: good kayaking, fun night hike to see the moon, and fabulous food, not to mention the great company!

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It was a great weekend! Thanks Dan, for picking up some of the organization and your trip report. Thanks too, to our cheerful, collaborative, group of paddlers. New friends were made, while old friends were missed this year. We've got to bring less food next time! Oddly, the typically pesky chipmunks were rarely sighted. I'm also thankful for a brief view of the full moon rising before it vanished into the clouds above.

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