Sunday, June 30, 2013

Exploring the Pequabuck

It's a narrow river with a mile an hour current or so to paddle up against, and it meanders tightly, so tightly that I often have to set the canoe up for the bend, even when paddling upstream.  It passes through forests and wetland meadows with no houses or roads in sight, a channel set down between three foot high cut banks.  I spot a green backed heron right off, then a great blue heron, and then a mother wood duck with her brood.   A protesting red-wing blackbird is not unusual, but this time I find the occupied nest built in a shrub overhanging the river.  The baby bird doesn't move a speck as I pass.

The notes that I had found on this river ended at a set of fast riffles just before a bridge not far up the river.  I get there in just short of an hour and the water is, indeed, to fast to paddle against, but it is and easy wade pulling the canoe 50 yards up the inside of the bend.  And so, the river continues.  The current is a bit faster, but not too much.  It is still a 2 to 1 deal - 2 hours up, 1 hour down.  It narrows more, it continues to meander, and there are more trees in the water, but nothing too difficult to maneuver around.  Turtles slide off the bank as I approach.  There are quite a few, and I spot a submerged one with a neck and head as big around as my forearm.

It forks, but the fork returns to the other channel defining an island.  At the next fork, I go left up to a bank to bank tree blocking easy passage.  I return and take the right fork and follow it until I come to another bank to bank tree, although this one could be clambered over.

 I can see a swamp up ahead, a change in the terrain that will have to wait for another day, because I am satisfied enough just knowing that this is here.  Sometimes, there is so much relief in just finding a place like this that all of the gumption just wanders off.
The old bridge downstream of the put-in

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