Saturday, June 25, 2011

Blackstone Gorge - June 25, 2011

I took a little time today to paddle up the Blackstone River from the Blackstone Gorge to the Millville Rapids. There's a lot of transportation history on this section of the Blackstone - canal and railroad. It was a cloudy/hazy morning, so some of the clips are a little blurry - sorry about that.

Monday, June 20, 2011

River Bend Farm - Canal and River Loop - June 19, 2011

I did and early morning run on the Blackstone Canal and River yesterday.  I paddled up the Blackstone Canal to the Rice City Pond and Goat Hill Lock, and then down the Blackstone River to the Stanley Woolen Mill. It was a nice way to start Father's Day.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A soggy run on the Sudbury – June 11, 2011

The rain started early, and at times was a torrential downpour, but 10 hearty RICKA paddlers (4 canoes, 6 kayaks) still completed a soggy run on the Sudbury River from Wayland to Concord.

A light drizzle was falling as we put in at Sherman’s Road Bridge in Wayland and headed out into the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. That light drizzle turned into heavy rain by the time we reached Lee’s Bridge on the Concord line. The downpour continued as we stopped for a cold, wet lunch on Brooke Island in Fairhaven Bay.

Fortunately, the rain let up shortly after lunch leaving a pretty mist hanging over the river as we paddled under the stone arch bridges in Concord. We posed for a couple of pictures at Minute Man National Historical Park before taking out at the Old Calf Pasture on Lowell Road.

It was nice to have Suasco Al along, and I wish I could have stayed longer to paddle up the Assabet with him.  Hopefully another time.

RICKA crew at the Old North Bridge

My Video

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Flatwater Leader Training – June 4, 2011

When I arrived at the Museum of Work and Culture, there were already a few cars with boats on them in the parking lot – that was a good sign. I was running a “Trip Coordinator” training for the RICKA Flatwater group. We would start with a one-hour discussion in the Union Hall at the museum, and then head down to the river to run the section of the Blackstone from River Island Park to Manville.

For the training session we had a nice mix of leaders – some experienced, some brand new. We had a good discussion, and my one hour presentation took two hours as experienced leaders added their ideas and new leaders asked plenty of questions. That was a relief.

After the session, we unloaded our gear at River Island Park and ran the shuttle down to Rivers Edge Park. With construction at the Woonsocket Falls Dam, water levels in the river had been fluctuating, but the level was fine when we did the run – probably 800 to 1,000 cfs. Everyone made it through the easy rapids with no difficulty.  We paddled down to the Rt. 99 Bridge before turning back to Rivers Edge.

My Pictures
My Slides from the Training Class

Sunday, June 5, 2011

SuAsCo River Paddling – June 3, 2011

Suasco Al - the Trash Paddler
I took the day off last Friday and headed up to Wayland, MA to paddle the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord Rivers with Suasco Al – the Trash Paddler. I’ll be leading a RICKA trip there next Saturday, and Al was nice enough to help me scout the trip.

We put in on the Sudbury River at Sherman’s Bridge Road in Wayland (N 42 degrees 23.803', W 071 degrees 21.867'), and paddled down to the Old Calf Pasture on Lowell Road in Concord at Egg Rock (N 42 degrees 27.893',  W 071 degrees 21.496') where the Sudbury converges with the Assabet to form the Concord. For much of the trip, the Sudbury meanders through marshland that is protected as part of the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge – there were birds everywhere. We stopped for lunch at an island at Fairhaven Bay.

Four bloggers - Al, Jackie, Sue and Erik
After lunch we continued downstream into a strong headwind which kicked up small waves and made the river look like it was flowing upstream. I was glad to get into Concord, MA where the river is more protected from the wind. At Egg Rock we met up with fellow bloggers Sue (Water-lily) and Jackie (Saratoga Woods and Waterways), had a nice chat, and posed for a quick picture. Once back on the river, we paddled a couple of hundred yards up the Assabet River just so I could say that I did. Then we paddled down the Concord River to the Old North Bridge in the Minute Man National Historical Park.

Minute Man statue
Being a history buff, it was cool to see the restored Old North Bridge from the water. There were a lot more people at the park than I would have thought. We pulled our boats ashore and checked out the 1837 Monument and the famous Minute Man statue before walking up to the Visitor Center. We snapped a couple of pictures of the Old North Bridge from the water before heading back to the take-out at Egg Rock.

Sure beats working – great day. Thanks Al.

In front of the restored Old North Bridge
Al’s blog – the Trash Paddler
Lisa's blog - Waterlily