|Bob heads downstream|
The forecast called for rain, but Bob and I decided to paddle anyway, so we met at 8:30 to run the section of the Blackstone River from Plummers Landing in Northbridge to Route 16 in Uxbridge. In additional to some nice paddling, there is a lot of history along this section of the Blackstone River including the Goat Hill Lock of the Blackstone Canal (1827), the stone arch bridge on Hartford Avenue (1867) that is part of one of the longest colonial highways in the area (1739), the Stanley Woolen Mill (1853), and Lookout Rock – a frequent meeting place of the Wampanoag Indians during King Philip’s War (1675-1678).
It was poring rain when we arrived at the Plummers Landing put-in on Church Street to run the shuttle. In spite of the rain, or more likely because of it, the river looked to be at a nice level – 4 feet, 600 cfs. on the Northbridge gage.
|Entering Rice City Pond|
When there is enough water, this is a fun section to paddle. The river twists and turns, and it is a challenge to maneuver around the s-turns and through the strainers. There was evidence of considerable flooding as we paddled downstream. Blow-downs were stacked in large piles, the riverbank was stripped of last year’s foliage, and clumps of debris were hanging from trees and bushes along the banks as high as 4 feet in the air.
|Surfing at the broken dam on Route 16|
Like the section below Plummers Landing, the section of the river through River Bend Farm twists and turns around s-turns and through low-hanging trees. We ran the broken dam at Route 16, and did a little surfing before calling it a day. Of course, the rain stopped just as we pulled off the river. I wasn’t too interested in history on this trip. but I did enjoy a rainy paddle down a pretty section of my favorite local river.