The month of July started off with a drive to Maryland for the memorial service for a friend, then onward to Friends General Conference, an annual gathering of Quakers from the US and Canada, held this year at Niagara U. in New York. I spent the night in between at a Pennsylvania St. Forest campsite, flat, dark, quiet, and continued on in the morning. There was a steam train near Bigler:
I didn’t take a kayak this time – I had Holly and Bill riding with me down to Maryland, and two people traveling with me to northern Vermont on the return – and putting a kayak in the middle of the camper makes it a little crowded! And I knew time would be short. I returned to Vermont, had one day to reorganize, shop and cook, and headed off to New Hampshire to spend a week cooking for a group hiking 70 miles across the southern part of the state to bring attention to the last two coal fired plants in New England. I’m not up for walking an average of 10 miles a day, but I can provide food! I originally thought that I’d have plenty of time to sit and knit, to kayak on good days, maybe read some – but most days had no free time. By the time I put breakfast out, cleaned up after it, met them on the road to put lunch out, packed the remains of that up, and either made supper or made something to contribute to a pot luck, the day was over! We were joined at lunch one day by this not very shy domestic goose:
We stayed at churches along the way, and I learned a lot about church kitchens – some very well equipped, one with ONE pot!! Glad to have the camper, and it’s meager collection of pots and pans, and a couple of decent knives…
July 12, Beaver Lake: It was HOT! and sticky. I pried out a couple of hours to kayak and swim at Beaver Lake Wednesday afternoon. This would not be my first choice – except it was close, and wet. It did have a beaver:
It’s pretty common for people to put out fake owls to scare critters or geese or ducks or birds from their gardens or lakefronts. This is the first time I’ve seen a dog!
It was real enough that I had to stop and make sure it wasn’t moving, before I was close enough to see the cord wrapped around it. The lake is heavily populated; there were houses solidly around the edge except where the road is too close or where the town beach is. There was a small marshy area with a great blue heron:
Other sights around the edge worthy of photographs: boat sized rubber ducky
and kayak reflections
July 14, Merrimack River, Hooksett, NH: Encouraged by the pastor of the last church hosting us, I went just a bit upriver to a launch by the Amoskeag Rowing Club boathouse. This put me above a dam, with a long stretch of relatively calm water and not a whole lot of current. Aside from a couple of women in a rowing shell, I had the river to myself. Except for about a million belted kingfishers! They were everywhere – swooping, chittering at me, rarely sitting, but this one was –
I went up between an island and the east shore, where it was very quiet.
Canada lilies and water lilies are very different!
There is a lot of industry here – on both sides of the river, new and old. The cement plant:
Once a paper mill, with the telltale residual odor, the locals say it’s now doing textiles:
I paddled up not much further; the stream that once powered this factory (and apparently others) gets rocky fast.
And on the other side of the river, the Bow Station coal fired plant, the objective of the Climate Pilgrimage, and the last coal plant in New England with no shut down date. In this day and age, knowing what we now know about the pollution from this plant and the greenhouse gasses from coal, greed is the only thing keeping it operating. And boy, do the locals hate it! People complain about the noise from wind turbines, but this is A LOT louder, a constant hum – and it’s not fired up right now! Apparently it’s even louder when generating power.
The village of Suncook was clearly centered on the river – I believe this is the old ferry road, or it lead to the canal system and shipping that used to come through here. Looking up the road, it’s a clear shot to the church.
As I was heading back, the wind was picking up – this float, which marked the 1K mark for the rowing crews, was really showing it!
That night the Hooksett Congregational Church fed us – and it was an amazing potluck. There was so much food – good food – with a lot of food (and some really nice people, too.) Feeding people seems to be what they do – and not just our group. If I lived locally, I’d be tempted to spend more time with them, maybe persuade them to be Quakers… (just kidding!) Seriously, they were great, the pastor was great, the kitchen was well equipped and great – and in the morning, at 7AM, there were fresh baked scones and fruit to see us off, to which I added scrambled eggs.
July 17, Merrimack River, Boscawen: After the Pilgrimage wrapped up with Quaker worship Sunday, I spent the rest of the day knitting with another Quaker Knitting Goddess. Then Monday morning I put in on the Merrimack River in Boscawen, and had a delightful paddle up the river and back. Looking north, over moderate current:
It lures you in – just around one more corner, one more bend in the river. And then you realize how tired your arms are getting, working against the current! But it was a glorious day, with the clouds reflected in the still waters.
There were fewer kingfishers on this stretch of river, but there was a great blue heron strutting his stuff:
The ice really takes its toll on the bark of trees along the water.
I went on the back side of one island.
And then back to the launch – a lot less work downstream, and faster! And home again, trading the camper for the now repaired car, so they can do the brakes on the camper.