Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hot Air in Short Supply on the Sudbury River



After a busy couple of weeks, Mr. Windmachine finally took a break and was caught sleeping-in early this morning.  Hoping not to awaken him, I quietly tip-paddled up the Sudbury River from the Lincoln Canoe Launch (opening photo). 
In one of the backwaters I saw my first river-surface ice of the season...
The temperature was around 28 degrees F at launching, and my wetsuit had been pressed into service for the first time this season...amazing how much it shrank over the summer.

Paddling past the Nashawtuc golf course I heard what sounded like a fire-breathing dragon, and soon saw its head rise above the tops of the trees...
Pulling back a bit, I watched it approach the river...

I stopped to admire the hot air balloon but soon noticed it was descending rather close to the trees...

It continued downward until coming into contact with terra firma...

Of course I have no way of knowing if this was a planned landing or not.  My guess is that it wasn't.  After a bit, several people came to assist the balloonist in relocating the balloon to a more open area.
Not far from this location many gunshot volleys were heard from duckhunters within the Pantry Brook area.  Probably unlikely, but I did wonder if, perhaps, the balloon might have developed a small hole or two from errant "duckshot".

I continued upriver to Sherman's Bridge and turned around there to find Mr. Windmachine was now stirring.

At Weir Hill I'm always reminded of a winter overnight spent in a cabin there back when I was a 13 year old  Boyscout.  Having been from the city of Waltham, this seemed like wilderness to me and after finishing my turn on firewatch at dawn, I'd walked down to the river and thought of the Native Americans who once caught fish at this spot...
Could have sworn I felt a spirit presence at that moment, almost 50 years ago.

Returning to the present, I headed back downriver and encountered Dan paddling his very nice Placid Boatworks canoe...
It's the "Shadow" model and Dan reported being very pleased with it.  Oddly enough I'd been recently looking into canoes by Placid Boatworks and other solo-canoe makers due to issues with my lower back.   I'm seriously considering switching to an open boat which I can paddle from either a sitting or kneeling position.  Adirondack Pirate Paddler Tom E. has a Placid Boatworks "RapidFire" model which also looks like a possible option (if kneeling is possible).  The Hemlock Canoe Works "Kestral" also looks interesting.

I paddled past the Lincoln Canoe Launch and headed further downriver towards Fairhaven Bay.  As I entered the bay, I saw these two bald eagles circling high above the bay's south end...
Their white heads and tails can just barely be seen.

At the small island in the bay I found Mr. Happy and Mr. Notso Happy had apparently had a fight resulting in both being found damaged and laying on the ground.  Subsequently, they were added to my small trash haul back at the takeout...

There were 10 recyclable containers (6 redeemable) and 5 pieces of miscellaneous rubbish. 
YTD = 6216



2 comments:

suep said...

don't forget to look into Hornbeck boats, too -- they also make a kayak, as well as the open boats. My new little 10-footer is 12 pounds(including footpegs...)

Suasco Al said...

Sue, Thanks for reminding me about Hornbeck Boats. I'll check out their line of boats as well.

I'm hoping to find a lightweight open boat designed to be paddled from either a kneeling or seated position. Basically, I have to get up off my butt!