Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Pirate Ships

It is a wide and slow moving river in a broad flood plain, so broad that no hills rise away in the distance, and the nearest trees form a wall that hides what goes on back there.  It could be any one of many of America's big rivers.

And, it is quiet....still is a better word.  There are no outside noises, there is only two fishermen in a tub with a puttering motor, and they are a mile upstream. 

I paddle the east shoreline, the shady shoreline at this time of the morning, the mud bank shoreline with dense tangles of tree roots from which the earth has been washed.  It is a troll forest.

Two men and two boys wander out to the bank and I find a boat ramp that I knew nothing about.  One man is a canoe enthusiast and we talk a bit about trips and canoes.  And then they retreat and I continue my exploration.

I find the mouth of the Scantic a bit over 2 hours upstream of the put-in.  It is easily recognized not being hidden behind a bar or island.  It just comes straight out to the big river and the shade of the narrower water is inviting.  But, as I figured might be the case, I come to a log jam of half a dozen deadfall trees within a couple hundred yards.  Not today...maybe later.  There are almost 30 miles of difficult to reach river between here and the area upstream where I have paddled.  I turn back.

I cross the river to see what lies on the other side of some islands that are over there.  I find the mouth of the Farmington River.  I find Pirate ship masts and spars sticking up out of the water with remnants of sails and rigging dangling from them.  Huck's abandoned raft is half buried in the silt bottom, only the corner visible above the water.
It is just that kind of river.

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