Kayaking the Black River

Saturday, September 25: A friend and I met at the Hoyt’s Landing boat launch, Springfield, Vermont on this glorious fall day. As soon as I got in the boat, I peeled off the long sleeves – it was warm in the sun! We chose to go up the Black River; the launch is where it joins the Connecticut River. It is the season when leaves are beginning to turn, and the asters are blooming.

We saw several ducks:

and went up as far as the rapids below the waterfalls, where I grounded out and decided that was far enough! I might have gone a little further, but with the skeg on, I was concerned about getting hung up in the shallows.

Back under the old bridge:

and home again. As we returned, it was clear that Old Fort #4 was having some kind of reenactment – the cannons and guns were sounding like fireworks! We could see the smoke from their fields as we approached the landing. This is not a quiet place to paddle; with the interstate and two state highways, there is constant traffic. The munitions just added to it – and made the dog, left in the car in the shade, extremely nervous!

ORFS Kayak Pillsbury State Park

Tuesday, September 21: Another Tuesday, and Outdoor Recreation for Seniors is at it again. We convened at Pillsbury State Park, in Washington, New Hampshire for a gorgeous day on the water. The weather has cooled, so most started off with long sleeves – although many were shed by the time we rounded the far side of the lakes.

We had the greatest diversity of person powered watercraft – three different inflatables, including mine; a serious ocean kayak, a foldable Oru, a canoe, and all the average recreational kayaks. For contrast:

Also, note the wind turbines in the background. It always lifts my heart to watch them generating.

We ended the day overlooking another pond to eat our lunch and visit.

Kayaking with ORFS on Lake Sunapee

Tuesday, September 7: On another gloriously beautiful, not too hot and not too cool day, we gathered at Dewey Beach for time on the water. But before we could go out, the small sailboat brought by one of our members floated off the beach – and away! Kayaks to the rescue!

Waiting for everyone to launch:

 

Then most of us went out and around the lighthouse, then over to the shore to the south, around the harbor and back to the beach for lunch.

The sailboat sailed out and around in our general area:

It certainly was shallow water – pulled up on the beach, the deepest water under the raft may have been one foot!

Kayaking the Merrimack River

Monday, September 6 (Labor Day): One of my New Hampshire friends and I spent a wonderful afternoon on the Merrimack River just north of Concord, New Hampshire. It was perfect weather when we launched, not too warm, mostly sunny. We stopped for lunch on one of the many sandy shores:

There was even a perfectly situated dead tree to sit on! But it was clouding up fast, and it was sprinkling by the time we finished eating – and really raining, with strong winds (enough to try to carry my kayak away – but I had my hands on it and we hauled it up and tied it to that log!) and stinging rain. But it didn’t last long, and the sun was out again.

We enjoyed the flora

and fauna:

We watched that not very shy Little Green Heron for quite a while. There were also Great Blue Herons, but none of the photos came out well.

With all of those sandbars, this is one of the few that is accessible from the road. It is well populated on most nice days during the summer; after that storm rolled through, there was no one left. From there it wasn’t far to the take out just around the corner, on the Contoocook River.

ORFS at McDaniels Marsh

Tuesday, August 31: Another Tuesday, and Outdoor Recreation for Seniors was at it again! Nearly 20 of us were on the water, and another few hiked on a gorgeous day, without the heat that’s made life uncomfortable lately.

One image I failed to capture is of the mountains to the west, Croydon Peak and Grantham Mt. Part of the area is a private game park, from which apparently wild boar have escaped:

 

And I liked the view over the spillway.

ORFS at North Hartland Dam

Tuesday, August 25: Outdoor Recreation for Seniors went to the flood control area in North Hartland, Vermont. It was a gorgeous day, although it did get steamy – good excuse for a swim! There was lots of wildlife:

There was a family of eagles – two adults, two immatures.

The wildflowers are looking more like autumn.

It’s well over three miles up to Quechee Gorge, where the water becomes rapids and there’s a good lunch spot and swimming hole. About half our group of 14 or 15 turned around, not being up for that distance, or having to be somewhere else, or having missed the eagles and wanting to back to see them. There was a good bit of current further up river.

One of our group traditionally brings watermelon – very welcome in the heat! And all of us got wet, to varying degrees.

It was much faster going downstream – and although it rained for a few minutes, it had a welcomed cooling affect.

A few of us stopped to admire a small waterfall – it’s the first time I’ve been able to make it far enough in with a boat over the sandbars!

Kayaking Echo Lake

Sunday, August 8: I went to Plymouth State Park on Echo Lake with two friends for the afternoon. It was sunny, with increasing clouds, and eventually a clap of thunder in the distance, which sent us scurrying back to the launch, staying close along the shore.