Friday, June 22, 2018

A Twofer

I start out on a section of the river that I've only barely paddled.  It's at the top of the reservoir and from here it is about seven miles up to the section that I am familiar with.  My last trip here, the reservoir level was down and so there was a strong current at a spot 10 minutes up, where I turned back.  Today there is almost no current and to start with the river is wide and calm.
Typical of the lower section
It seems that few people come through this stretch.  And, as I get farther in that becomes more apparent.  There are some downed trees, most of which I can maneuver around or under, a few that I have to step and drag to cross, but I only find one snag that has been sawn.  The section is all forest with a wide buffer of bottom land shielding the river from development.  I spot a few large Great Blue Herons, which always look record size when they are flying among trees. I turn back after 45 minutes (maybe 2-1/2 miles).   The river is beginning to be more choked with deadfall and I left my saw at the car.  As I paddle out I surprise the roundest fattest beaver that I've ever seen.

I move up to the top of the Great Swamp and put in again.  I've been here many times and the water is well down, the river narrowed to a boat length or less in most places.  But, the going is easy with only a single deadfall to step and drag over. 

Not far into this trip I spot a mother mink and two kits on a log in the river.  Usually, a mink will dart off and then return out of curiosity to observe me.  Not this time.  She grabs one kit by the scruff of the neck and drags it at a run off of the log and into the brush.  The other follows closely.  I did not see them again.

I turn back from a beaver dam that is near the halfway point.  It is a 18 inch drop today.  The water on my last trip in here was high enough that I just coasted over the top of it without touching.

Tree Swallows

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