I just had another enjoyable outing with the custom kayak. This time it was a 2-day paddle down a 20-mile stretch of the Connecticut River through Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Joined by my old bandmate and friend Gino, we first concieved the trip back in early Spring and it finally came together on Labor Day weekend.
We put in just below the dam in Vernon, Vermont.
As musicians we had to bring some music along. There are 2 small tenor banjos and a couple harmonicas packed away here. (Hope we don't scare anyone away with our banjo playing.)
Here is Vernon's large pebble and sand launch area.
I had planned to take the Arrow canoe but at the last minute Gino kindly volunteered to take most of the gear in his canoe and we decided I could serve as scout with the speedy kayak.
Less than 5 minutes into the trip a bald eagle flew overhead (sorry no pic) and before long two more were spotted. Most of the trip was beautiful river, foliage and mountain scenery. Here we're passing by some old concrete bridge pylons.
Later we encounted this nice looking automobile bridge. The story, according to a local resident, is that a father had it built to provide a short route to private school for his daughter. Once she graduated they moved away and it has since fallen into disarray and is currently unused.
A few of the many rest stops we made just to stretch or have a snack and enjoy the scenery.
Beautiful late-Summer wildflowers lined the riverbanks.
Nice shot of the skin transparancy – the yellow floatation bags are visible inside.
Maybe a little hard to see, but we passed several crew teams out for rowing practice.
And encountered a standup paddle class. The instructor gave us good tip on an alternate camping site.
Nearing the campsite area while looking for a good landing spot I was too eager in my scouting duties and climbed out of the kayak onto a submerged slippery, steep bank. I got wet and my camera got dunked.
But, we found a perfect campsite high up on Kidd island. (Legend has it that Captain Kidd ventured up the river into these parts and even buried treasure here.) These are the wet items that never quite dried out in the cool evening air.
Here I'm discovering the camera has stopped working. I was later able to retrieve the photos I had taken up to this point but all those that follow are Gino's.
We played banjos and sang old songs around the fire late into the night with the crickets and cicadas chiming in at full volume. The next morning our impromptu grill heats up some water for coffee.
Some youthful campers from a nearby campgrounds got an early start.
Kind of a surreal site for our bleary eyes.
Another view of the early morning fog from the campsite.
Looks like somebody was working all night.
Starting off on day 2.
Always thankful for the lightness of this kayak.
We thought the canoe was securely nestled in the rocks as we pulled over to have a snack and call our wives to let them know we had survived the night. Only to look up a few minutes later and see...
...all our supplies floating downriver in an unmanned canoe.
Scout to the rescue!
How to pass something from shore to ship – the peanut butter and crackers I had left behind.
We passed this pair of swans...
...that later came flying by from behind sounding like a a couple wind turbines as they passed.
Some interesting old stone cliffs. We're nearing the deepest part of the river – a 125-foot glacial abyss in the river floor.
The grand French King Bridge.
We were getting a little tired as day 2 rolled on – even switching paddles occasionally change things up.
And finally, back to civilization as we enter the Barton's cove public boat ramp to end a wonderful 2-day adventure.