Friday, April 18, 2014


I have been wind bound for most of the week.  While not uncommon for the nearby salt water, the winds were even stronger inland where I can often go to paddle in relative calm.

I put in from a boulder river bank that looked worse than it really was.  A couple of men and a couple of boys fish from the bank just upstream between my put-in and an old breached concrete dam.  The first couple hundred yards are shallow with an occasional boulder lying submerged but without striking distance of the canoe's hull.  After that, the river goes deep and never less than 50 yards wide, the trees retreat to a certain distance, and the tidal marsh dominates.

A stiff wind is in my face, but it is not stiff enough to be slowing me down as much as it is.  The flood tide is also against me, but it is impossible to figure out which is causing how much effort.

Up ahead, a man and a woman stand near the water watching me.  They retreat up to the top of the 15 foot high bank as I approach.  Then, the man comes back down to the water and makes a joke about swimming that I can't quite hear.  I paddle over and the two of us have a fine talk about places far to the north, for some reason that now escapes me.  After a minute or two, as if she was watching to see if I was dangerous, the woman comes down and joins us at the water.  We trade some canoe stories and then I continue.  Canoes can bring out the best in people...or at least bring that best to the surface.

All of the osprey boxes are occupied and the work is a blend of feeding and building.  I spot a few osprey with fish in their talons and I spot a few more hauling branches back to the nests...and I quit counting at 14.  It seems pretty clear that none have laid eggs, yet.

The marsh starts to broaden before the Post road and spartina grass takes over from the phragmites signaling saltier water.  I hear the peepers...a couple of yellow legs, a few willets, and a sandpiper show up on the water's edge once I get my eyes set for wildlife.  Below the Post road, the river becomes much more of a seashore tidal salt marsh...further widening with trees limited to high spots well above the salt. 

Where the river makes a big wide turn to the east, I continue ahead and up a narrow channel to a small landing where I stretch my legs.  I man comes down the trail and verifies that I am in the state park.  He is familiar and fond of the area and we have a good talk that lasts long enough that I will miss the final push of the flood tide, but still with the wind at my back.

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