Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Favorite Waters

By now, I've been here many times.  My first paddle on this river was one of discovery.  Here was a river that should have its shoreline developed yet one whole side was almost entirely without roads or houses and the other held only a sparse few structures.  It turned out that this is the lasting benefit of a nuclear power station that had been removed before I came to this part of the country.  Only a set of power lines crossing the cove remain in sight.  Out of sight, back up on the hill, is a storage building for spent fuel rods.  But that benefit...the entire power station property is now a National "no trespassing" Wildlife Refuge.  I paddle up the wide cove of Salmon River alone.

By the time I reach the first turn, I have spotted a circling pair of Red Tailed Hawks, and another pair perched at in a tree beyond at the point.  I also flushed about fifty Black Tail Ducks from the cedar swamp that divides the mouth of the Salmon from the Connecticut River.

I follow the northern shore up.  The large house that was on this side near the top of the cove, notable because it was surrounded by the "nuclear property" is gone.  Only the landscaping walls remain along with the addition of new "No Trespassing" signs. 

I continue up into the narrowing river.  This first river bend always stirs emotions.  It is a few hundred yards of river where I do not need to filter out noise or structure.  For this short distance no house or much of anything man-made is in sight.  A swamp to my right, a steep pine forested hillside to my left.   It is as it should be.

I continue up to the Leesville Dam.  A good amount of water is topping the low-head structure, a good amount of current is paddled against to reach the shore where I get out for a break.

I return down the main river with a brief explore of the Moodus, at least up to a bank to bank obstruction that doesn't need to be dealt with.  Then, I head out.

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