Sunday, June 26, 2022

Salmon River with A

 A long time friend joined me today.  I've know A since she was 6 years old, and about a year ago found out that she was working on a PhD at a nearby university.  Busy as she has been, summer is here, tests are completed, and it was time to go see some more of Connecticut.

We headed out to the Salmon River.  With today's excellent weather, I knew that all the main rivers would be in control of the Mai Tai Navy.  The shallow cove at the mouth of the Salmon prevents anything larger than a bass boat from entering.  Somewhat unexpectedly, the launch area was filling up with vehicles, but of course, most of those were from motorboats that wouldn't come into the cove.  I'm a bit more used to paddling here on weekdays when I am likely to be the only one around.

A had never canoed before, so as we got going I gave her a quick lesson in basic paddling.  She picked it up right away and I traded out her heavy factory paddle for one of my hand-mades.

We paddled the edge of the cedar swamp that divides the cove from the main river.  There are a couple of large beaver lodges in here and I wanted to show A the dam that they had built, which is unique as it holds back water only after unusually high water events.  Today the water level on the other side of the dam was about 8 inches higher than where we sat.  A Green Heron popped up and flew deeper into the swamp.

We headed up the cove, crossed over to the far side and paddled into the Moodus River.  I point out the grape vines as we go and we pass over two barely submerged beaver dams.  The log jam is still in place, so we head back out.

Then, we cross the top of the cove and head up the Salmon River proper.  There's a few Osprey working the area, but otherwise not too many animals.  There are a lot of kayaks out today, so the wildlife, while still here, has moved back into the recesses until the party ends.

Our turn-around point is the Leesville dam.  There's not much water come over the dam and little current below.  From there we head back down taking a look up into Pine Brook. I'm wondering if the state took out some of the wild rice in here. It seems that there should be more growing by this time of year.

We get a stiff head wind when we get back to the cove.  But, the cooling on a 90 degree day is better than the extra work to paddle against it.

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