Thursday, April 23, 2009

Charles River - Norumbega to Wellesley & Return

This weekend will see the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) coordinating two big events. On Saturday they will hold their 10th Annual Earth Day River Cleanup and on Sunday the 27th Annual Run of the Charles (ROTC) Canoe and Kayak Race. In anticipation of Sunday's ROTC, I trash patrolled the section of the river between Norumbega and the point where the event's longest portage ends in Wellesley. Hopefully, the CRWA won't mind my jumping the gun on the cleanup, as based upon my observations, there is plenty of trash for everyone.
I launched into the river at the Duck Feeding area and began heading upriver against the current and at times a strong breeze. The sun was in and out of the clouds and the temperature was in the fifties. In fact, today's weather was fairly typical ROTC weather. Sunday, however, will be quite atypical (if the forecasters are correct) and this paddler, for one, will welcome temperatures in the eighties.
After paddling under a multitude of highway and railroad bridges, I nearly had to duck in order to pass under this golf cart bridge leading to the 14th tee...

From this low bridge to Wellesley the river narrows and the current becomes noticeably stronger. Reaching the Wellesley put in, I could see the quickwater just ahead that had exited the Cordingly Dam. This made a good spot to land my boat and transload the 80 pieces of trash I had accumulated above deck. After this was done, I snapped a photo of the portage's last 75 yards or so...

On Sunday, there'll be less cars in the parking lot and numerous CRWA volunteers who will provide encouragement and directions to participants.
Now, with these positive images in my head, I began the easy run back downriver and was surprised to more than double the amount of trash recovered on the way up.
At Riverside Park, my boat was full to the gills, so it was 'everybody out'...

After the group portrait, I repacked the boat and found there wasn't room for even one more bottle. The count for the day was 185 pieces of trash. Of these, 125 were recyclable containers (30 redeemable) and 60 were rubbish (styrofoam, plastic bags, etc. The most egregious find of the day was a one-gallon plastic gasoline container that was nearly full of gasoline! Fortunately, the cap was on tight. Other odd items were a wooden nutcracker and a plastic motor yacht. YTD total stands at 1539.
Leaving Riverside Park, my kayak and I felt very small while passing under the series of high bridges in the vicinity of Rt. 95 and the Massachusetts Turnpike...

3 comments:

Lis said...

Are you participating in the race?

Suasco Al said...

Lis, Yes, I'll be paddling and portaging from Dedham to Boston.

Lis said...

Good luck then. I'm racing up in Groton that day myself but I'll be thinking of you.

I like your idea about the scratch tickets by the way. Way too many bottles out there not being recycled.