Thursday, August 10, 2017

Branford River - Where No One Goes

I pull into the launch parking lot, there must be 15 cars with kayak roof racks.  I'd heard about this spot but never come here myself.  Apparently everyone else comes here.  I expect to run into a flotilla of two dozen chattering kayakers.  Evasive action must be taken.

I head upriver.  It is a common habit, head upriver until I can no longer paddle.  I pass a series of charming marinas with big fiberglass boats parked and waiting for the owners who are too busy earning money to buy big boats to actually put them to use.  It was a common theme in Seattle as well.  The boat names are mostly bad puns.  It seems that only working boat captains have enough sense to give a boat a proper fitting name.  Once I leave that behind I find myself in a meandering river with low mud banks backed by spartina, cattails or shrubs.  Osprey are everywhere.  In fact, I spot about 2 dozen Osprey in a section of river that takes about 45 minutes to cover.  Not only that, but a few Great Blue Herons, Kingfishers, Yellow Legs, Least Sandpipers, a Yellow Crowned Night Heron, a Green Heron, and quite a few Canada Geese.  Considering that this river runs through a moderately densely populated town this is a outstanding bird count and it is a good bird count no matter what.
Yellow Crowned Night Heron

I pass under a bridge with a green sign mounted so that I can read it, "At some tides the water ahead may be dangerous"  or some such thing.   There are a couple narrow bridge underpasses where the current picks up speed and shoots me along.  I am more concerned about the return.

I reach the end of the paddling after about an hour.  The last of it is a narrow deeply cut and shaded creek and the river goes bony at a road bridge.  I turn back after collecting a few pieces of pottery and glass from the bottom.

I continue out past the put-in having seen not a single other paddled craft.  And soon, I find them.  They are all paddling in the main boat channel and it appears that the only trip any of them are aware of is to go out into the sound and paddle around the Thimble Islands, which is a live version of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" as each of the tiny Thimble Islands has a God awful house plopped on top of it.  I don't understand why anyone subjects themselves to that bullshit.

I veer off paddling under docks and then across the channel to a good long backwater of spartina grass.  Again, I see no one on this forbidden journey.  I feel fortunate that the best parts of this area are where no one else has the imagination to visit.

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