Thursday, May 7, 2015

Truth Serum

Dammit.  I hit a rock paddling the fast section just before the Leesville Dam and put an eight inch split in the paddle.  Such it is with real wood paddles.

It took forever to get here.  I planned to explore a section of the Quinnipiac River that I'd not been on, but never found a good spot to put in.  The best was all too close to the top of a low head dam, a little too dangerous to be messing with.  So, I took a long twisting route across country to familiar haunts, frustrated by the long drive just about as much as by a community that has cut itself off from its own river... the legacy of using rivers as sewers I suppose.

I end up at the Salmon River, putting in at its confluence with the Connecticut.  It is summer warm already and nearly dead calm.  Even the birds have gone quiet today as if they did their feeding earlier in the day to avoid the heat.

Low tide keeps me in the fairly narrow deeper channels...which sometimes put no more than 8 inches of water under the canoe.  I enter the mouth of the Moodus, but can't go to far, although it gives me a chance to scan the bottom for interesting objects.  Sometimes I find some older broken pottery in here.  This was a mill river with several yarn mills and the expected habitations of mill workers.

Stopped by the low water, I return and head up the Salmon River proper.  I just burn some paddling off with little wildlife to watch and only a couple of people at the summer cabins on the side of the river.

And, I turn back from just below the Leesville Dam after cracking my paddle.  The wind comes up and I will be paddling into it.

yellow legs and bird butt
"If you bought this house you'd be home already," comes from riverside.  I stop and greet a guy who, it turns out, is prepping his parents cabin for sale.  The canoe truth serum kicks in.  It is a funny thing about canoes.  People will open up and have the nicest conversations with you, if you have a canoe.  It is almost like they are next door neighbors.  We talk about work, about our wives, about their work, about birds, art, his son, the house, Johnsonville, the closed down and removed nuclear power plant, and the resort the once sat on the opposite bank.  We talk for over a half hour, although I didn't check, it might have been longer.  And then I continue and he goes back to work.  It occurs to me that canoeing could quite possibly be one of the most positive diplomatic activities that the world leaders could take part in...  as long as those assholes aren't in my canoe.

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