Thursday, July 13, 2017


I stop to rest and write an hour and a half upstream of my starting point, a open patch of bank some 50 yards from the Pinchot Sycamore.  Most of the Farmington River that I can paddle out and back on is more or less identical - a reasonably slow river with a narrow stretch of forest separating it from all too many golf courses and a few remaining farms.  Whether I paddle from Tariffville, Simsbury or Avon makes little difference, the animal life, river and plants are the same.  That is why I started where I did, simply because of the massive sycamore that honors Gifford Pinchot, the first Chief of the U.S Forest Service.  The man who put science, research and statistics into forest management, replacing the forest rape predecessor.  It wasn't perfect then and its not perfect now, but it is a damned sight better than it would've been...a damned sight better.

The day is warm with a partly cloudy sky and a weatherman's warning of potential thunderstorms.  A bit of light breeze has arrived in the last quarter hour and it is quite comfortable.  I spot a couple Great Blue Herons, a couple Kingfishers, one of those bobbing ass sandpipers and two muskrats.  Not much for a 3-1/2 hour trip...pretty much what I expect from the Farmington.

The rain begins when I am about 20 miinutes from my put-in.  A sprinkle, a down pour, a sprinkle, then steady rain.  Finally, thunder arrives.  It's that special type that starts on your right side (or left) and crackles and rumbles across the sky going silent on your left (or right).  Traveling thunder.  I stay closer to the bank, not under the trees, but close enough that they would be a more likely target of a lightning strike.

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