Friday, October 31, 2014

The Swing Bridge

I head up the cove on a cool and cloudy day with a light almost insignificant breeze to collect some more swan feathers.  The fine weather of the past few days has dispersed the swans and there are perhaps only fifty in Salmon Cove.  Unfortunately, there are not very many feathers either.  And, with a the tide at its lowest, I am kept away from most of the shoreline as about 90% of the cove is foot or less in depth at this tide level.  It's a pretty big area of water to be so level bottomed.  I circle the bay, but I've been here too often too recently and what I really need is to explore something.

I head back out and stop at the put-in to retrieve my thermos of coffee and then continue down the Connecticut River, new water for me, towards the beautiful old East Haddam swing bridge.  Swing bridges were an elegant solution to open wide spans during an era where auto travel could still be momentarily inconvenienced.  East Haddam is a small town with a lot of 18th and 19th century houses plus an old and still used opera house.  The town is a remnant of a time when water was not only tranportation, but also power for industry.

East Haddam Bridge and the Goodspeed Opera House
A siren sounds and I notice the bridge opening...just a few degrees.  There's a couple workmen messing around with the locking mechanism that secures the west end to the fixed span.

I cross the river and paddle the wooded west bank back up as far as the put-in.  In summer this is a rather Hellish stretch for canoes with far too many power yachts, but here in the chill of fall, I have it to myself.

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