Archive for April, 2011

Spring’s Wild Water Derby

April 28, 2011

It’s true.

Wild Water Derby pirates

It’s happening.

Spring is coming to the Finger Lakes. The buds are popping, the grass is now really, really green and growing and we have had our fair share of April Showers*.  Looking for one more sure sign of spring? That would have to be the Shortsville/Manchester Wild Water Derby – one of the largest paddling events in the northeast.

The Wild Water Derby is a local tradition in the spring. It all takes place along the Canandaigua Outlet  which flows north from the outlet of Canandaigua Lake all of the way to the Erie Canal. [get directions to the event]

The Wild Water Derby includes two days of (cold) water, racing, food, music, paddling, kayaks, rafts, some pirates and having a ton of fun. Teams can put in hours planning and constructing their rafts, because many ‘water vehicles’ at this race are home-made.  The homemade raft portion of the weekend is where the teams get “extra” points for creativity and humor, and it is a spectator favorite. Although it is considered a “racing” event, the number one priority is having a good time.

* SPECIAL NOTE: The Wild Water Derby is RESCHEDULED for MAY 21 & 22, 2011 – in the interest of participant and spectator safety.

Click here to see a short video created two years ago at the Wild Water Derby. “AJ checks out Manchester and interviews some of the teams before and some after ‘the Run’.”

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Canadice – a Pristine Little Lake

April 5, 2011

We just got the Spring Issue of  Life in the Finger Lakes at the office. It is always a good read and we really love looking through it and learning that little extra tidbit about something familiar and sometimes something new.

This quarter, the magazine is celebrating their 10th year and the ‘A Look Back’ section highlights a page from their premier issue in the Summer of 2001. The article is titled “Finger Lakes Facts” and includes a map and some stats on each of the eleven Finger Lakes. See page 14. As an example, did you know that the elevation of Canadice Lake is the highest of all the Finger Lakes (1099 feet) or that the volume is 11 billion gallons?

These stats actually left me just a little high and dry. I felt like the stat should have read 11 billion gallons of pristine, crystal blue water…

Canadice Lake in the Finger Lakes

Canadice Lake looking to the north

The history of the Finger Lakes Region is equally appealing.  According to Native American legend, the lakes are the divine handprints of the Great Spirit. In blessing the land, the spirits outstretched hands were placed over the region leaving each finger-shaped impression. The hollows that were left quickly filled with crystal-clear water – thus the Finger Lakes were formed. And then there is also the glacial effect to be considered in the formation of these truly unique lakes. Click here to read more about the Lakes.

Perhaps named with a bit of humor, the Native American translation for Canadice is “Long Lake” and while the lake is quite tiny, it has some of the most natural beauty of all the Finger Lakes. As one of the water supply sources for area residents, this lake is restricted to car top boats only and limited to 10 hp motors. It is easy to imagine Canadice Lake in its original, natural state while gliding the lake in a kayak or canoe and just listening to the dip of your paddle into the water. This is my idea of ahhh…

Submitted by Meg Colombo