Thursday, July 7, 2022

Pawcatuck and Wood Rivers

 I set out with M from the town of Bradford and we headed upriver on the Pawcatuck.  It is an ideal day for canoeing with plenty of sun, temperatures in the mid 70's and a light wind. After a hundred yeards, M tells me hw much she likes the river, and I tell her to wait, it'll get better.

This is my third time into this section and as before, there is no one else out.  The river is a few inches lower than my past trips, but it makes no difference to the canoeing.  We occasionally flush Great Blue Herons, Osprey and Kingfishers.

The lower water level is most obvious at the broken dam at Burdickville.  Supposedly, the dam remains can be run at high water.  It would've been a rough run the last time I was here, but today you would just get hung up on the exposed rocks.  It's a crummy 40 foot portage, mostly because of bad rocky footing, but it is only 40 feet,

We turn up the Wood River when we get to the confluence.  This is new water for me and it turns out to be a very nice bit of narrow forested river. We have just one short stretch of wading in ankle deep water before reaching the Alton Pond Dam.  A portage would involve a steep gravel climb up to the road above the dam, but fortunately, this is our planned turn around.

Back at the confluence we agree to head farther up the Pawcatuck until it isn't fun.  Someone has cut a path through the log jam that I limbo'd through last time. After about 2 miles from the Wood River, we run into some sustained fast water.  We're committed to a fifteen plus mile paddle at this point, so we turn back.

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