Kayaking the Connecticut River

Friday, September 16: A friend and I went out for a brief paddle on the Connecticut River, leaving from Hoyt’s Landing, Springfield, Vermont. It was a beautiful day – perfect temperature, sunny, and calm.

Then it was back to the landing so my friend could get to work.

Kayaking Lowell Lake

Wednesday, August 24: Some of us from Wednesday knit group arranged to go kayaking after. The objective was to give one couple a chance to try out a couple of lighter and folding kayaks, the Oru and my Sea Eagle. And we had a very mellow 10 month old puppy along for the fun.

It was well after lunch time, but we didn’t want to be out for too long (there was another dog in a car), so we paddled out, swapped kayaks,

and went back to near the parking area where we ate lunch, and the two dogs got to come watch us eat.

This loon popped up about eight feet from my boat! I was so startled, it took me a while to remember to take a photo!

We were out until well after 5:00; it was a beautiful evening.

Cleanup on the Connecticut River

Saturday, August 20: It was a perfect day to be on the water – and to be pulling trash from the Connecticut River. We had three pairs of people in canoes,

plus me in my kayak as an overflow trash container. We went from the Cornish launch just across the Connecticut River from Windsor down to North Star Canoe a few miles south; they are a retired canoe livery company that volunteers their boats every year for our clean up efforts. We filled the bed of a pickup truck with trash – lots of tires and metal, and bags of smaller stuff. Along the way we admired the flora

and fauna:

In addition to the cormorants and mergansers, we saw a couple of different kinds of herons and lots of kingfishers.

With a couple of boats on each side of the river, we continued on; at one point we offloaded some from the most overloaded canoe into my kayak so that there was room again for the second person in the boat!

And then we were back at North Star, unloading and washing out boats, and heading for home – except for the truck, which detoured by the transfer station to unload all the trash!

Kayaking with ORFS on Lake Todd

Tuesday, August 16: Outdoor Recreation for Seniors was at it again, this time on a smallish lake in central New Hampshire. I got a late start; never having been there before, and with confusing directions, I drove on to what turned out to be a beach, and got stuck. With help from a couple of ORFS pushing, and with floor mats under the drive wheels, we did get it out, parked elsewhere, and me out on the water. Sigh.

There were loons, although not close enough to photograph. The weather was great. This lake has several small islands, and is divided by the bridge for the state highway and a separate snow mobile trail.

This southern part of the lake ends at the dam, and what was probably a mill.

At the northern end of the lake, this farm overlooks us:

I don’t believe these signs – New Hampshire doesn’t have sharks in its lakes, or alligators, and the snakes are shy! And of course, if you are going to be able to read these signs, you are already on or in the water.

Kayaking North Hartland Dam

Tuesday, August 2: Outdoor Recreation for Seniors was out again – on a hot and humid day, when it was good to be on the water!

A flood control area managed by the Corps of Engineers, once one is away from the dam, there are no houses ( except those built by the beavers!), and lots of wildlife.

The phone camera decided that it would do a movie, rather than the photo I wanted – the boom keeping boats away from the dam had at least a dozen turtles on it! And I am unable to post that.

We also saw a Great Blue Heron, by the edge of the water, keeping an eye on a couple of chicks. One person with binoculars thought that at least one chick was a mallard. None of us wanted to go closer, disturbing them to figure it out, and the cell phone did not take a photo worth posting.

Those large lumps in the center tree are eagles, probably immature as they are showing little white.

This was a turn around point for several of us – my seat was feeling unfriendly, some had appointments – and at 7 miles round trip, it’s a long way for some seniors to paddle. But we all had a good time, ate lunch together, and some of us swam in the tepid – but cooler then the air! – water.

ORFS Kayak on the Connecticut River

Tuesday, July 26: Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (ORFS) gathered for our weekly outing, the kayakers heading north on the Connecticut River. Vermont Adaptive Sports went out as we were gathering, taking a group of school age, probably autistic youth, who seemed to have a wonderful time. Using about 10 canoes and kayaks, they were well upriver before I was able to launch – and when I did, I got the inflatable cushion I sit on unevenly under me, so once on the river ended up taking it out. Eventually I caught up with other slow ORFS!

There were lots of ducks – the babies at the launch were catching up on their beauty sleep later.

Actually, except for the vigilant mama, most of the ducks were drowsing in the heat of the day!

ORFS went on and up a small creek near Hanover.

Norwich/Hanover bridge

We returned to the launch after about 5 1/2 miles on the water, and pulled out chairs and sat at the picnic tables to visit over lunch. It was a perfect day, not too windy (although on the nose for our return, of course!), not too hot, not too strenuous.

Back to Sunday’s Kayaking

With two of my kayaks loaded on the roof of the car, a friend and I headed over to the “Celebration of Life” for another friend, and fellow kayaker. Following the ceremony, food, and visiting, we went to the next lake south in a chain of lakes down the center of Vermont, Lake Rescue. It was hot. It was a mid-summer afternoon. It was a Sunday! It was packed. There were lots of power boats, water skiers and tubers, pontoon boats, paddle boats, kayaks – everyone at their lake house, enjoying water sports. Oh, well – we wanted the exercise, and it felt good to get wet.

Loon nesting platform – and loon that won’t fit on it!

Pretty big boat house for a couple of canoes – at least rain won’t fill them with water!
Not sure what he’s doing… A sculpture on shore
I sure wouldn’t want to go down to the dock – and realize I’d forgotten something!

Rain – and LOTS of it!

I was going to post today about yesterday’s kayaking – but when I realized that I’d not left the drains open on the kayak still on the roof of the car, I also found out how much rain had fallen! Actually, it still was. Water was flowing over the top edges of the kayak, and this is what happened when I opened the first drain. Gallons, and gallons! Fortunately, I’d realized that taking off the second kayak was a good idea – it would have filled with water, and been dangerous to take off the roof of the car had I left it on overnight. So maybe tomorrow I’ll post about yesterday’s kayaking!

I don’t have to worry about the well going dry, I guess –

ORFS Kayaking Goose Pond

Tuesday, July 19: On a beautiful sunny day, Outdoor Recreation for Seniors headed out, most of us first going north to the stream that feeds the three mile long lake. Then out into the main body of the lake, and around an island, through a rock garden, and back to launch. I didn’t do that; I have figured out that it is easier to not have to hassle with parking at the house where we lunch, and I go directly to their small beach. This time I swam and cooled off before heading up the hill to the house with my lunch. One of the highlights of the ORFS calendar for me is that our hosts feed us home made ice cream – half a dozen kinds! I had modest scoops of three of the offerings: Chocolate Butter Crunch (maybe? I don’t remember what candy bar it was based on, but it was really good!), Mint Chocolate Chip (my favorite in general), and Kitchen Sink (vanilla ice cream base packed with lots of yummy chocolate and nut additions). Three modest scoops adds up to a rather immodest serving, and helped provide ballast for the boat on what turned out to be an extremely windy slog back to the launch! Some photos of the day:

A small electric motor on this classic boat

There are as many ways through the rocks as there are paddlers, I think – no one took exactly my route, and nearly all of us kissed a rock or two.

There was at least one loon, which I was never close enough to photograph – except for this one up at the house!

I’m glad I didn’t know that there were snapping turtles this large in the lake, when I was swimming –

And lastly, I might consider this an art shot – had I known I was taking it! I have no idea what it is; I had nothing in the kayak with fibers like that. But it does make a nice mountain!

Water Chestnut Pull on the Connecticut River

Friday, July 15: Four of us went out from Walpole, New Hampshire, and across the Connecticut River to a cove where we’ve been working on eliminating the invasive water chestnut. It was a beautiful day – a few of the things that caught my eye:

This was my haul – It’s interesting that up here, the removal of water chestnut is measured by counting their rosettes; in Connecticut, with much worse infestations, it’s measured by number of sacks! My haul was about 1/4 of what I pulled the week before.