Monday, April 22, 2019

Post Industrial River

I put in at the edge of Bridgeport Harbor with the intent of heading up the Pequonnock River until it disappears under the city. I begins raining as soon as I am in the canoe and it will continue raining until the last 15 minutes of the trip. 

Bridgeport's industrial age has pretty much faded since that advent of foreign outsourcing.  Like older cities, the industrial zones were crowded around the edges of rivers to take advantage of waterpower and shipping...and easy disposal of waste.  I hug the north side of the harbor passing a new marina development and some smaller workboat facilities.  Then the trip is a series of passing under bridges, passing old brick shop buildings, salvage yards, and broken or obsolete equipment that has been pushed out of the way and up to the top of the river banks.

This looks to me like an old steel mill
 Eventually, the river narrows and I pick up a slight current to paddle against.  The banks become treed, but also debris filled with old furniture, plastic toys, television remains, etc.    I pass a guy fishing...I would not eat anything from this river.  But, he's a nice enough guy and tells me that their are striped bass in this stretch of the river.

The Tunnel
Looking at maps, I could not tell if the river was passable above where it disappears under the city.  But, as I neared the entrance I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  It turned out to be a clear easy paddle of a quarter mile or so in the dark.  Just long enough and dark enough to create a slight feeling of vertigo.  It was shallow at the far end, but still canoeable.
Above the tunnel the river takes on more of a channeled ditch appearance.  I turned back from there and had an easy paddle with a bit of tailwind and a light current to ride on.

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