Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Paddling Pequoig Waters



I first saw the sign (at left) alongside Route 2A in Athol several years ago and have been wanting to paddle this stretch of the Millers River ever since.  My previous visits started downriver in Orange and I never got far enough upriver...until this morning when I launched from Alan E. Rich Environmental Park in Athol...
 
As launch sites go this is one of the best I've seen...
The park includes a map/description of the Millers River Blue Trail, a log book, a boat ramp ideal for canoes and kayaks, and hiking trails through the historic Cass Meadow.

While my intentions were to paddle, in a relaxed fashion, to specific locales on the river, many other paddlers visit this section of the Millers River in springtime to participate in this annual event...
Their trip downriver is a quick and wild one as can be seen in any of several YouTube videos.

After launching I paddled a short distance upriver through some shallows to the confluence of the Millers and Tully Rivers...
The view (above) is looking up the Tully from the Millers.  Here I turned around and began heading down the Millers.

The Indian Meadow area mentioned in the opening picture was reached near and opposite the Athol Wastewater Treatment facility.   This exhibit of nature's handiwork was on display by the meadow...

Below the railroad bridge I passed Rowlandson Rock named for Mary Rowlandson who was taken captive by hostile Native American forces during the conflict known as King Philip's War (1675 to 1676).  Near this spot it is said that a group of 2,000 Native Americans (men, women, and children) and their captives crossed the river on hastily built rafts thereby eluding a pursuing colonial militia who were unable to make the crossing.

After a straight section, and passing under the Daniel Shays Highway, the river passes through a series of bends.  Rounding one of these bends a group of 3 river otters were encountered.  This guy seemed to be the boss...
 They were patrolling the river less than a half a mile above my turnaround point at Cook's Cove...
 ...where the waters leaving Lake Rohunta enter the Millers via Mill Brook.

My return trip upriver started with passing through the area where the otters had been seen...
It was one of the prettier spots I paddled through today.
 
While there wasn't much in the way of sunshine today, there was no wind at all and temperatures were comfortable.

The trash I'd been collecting enjoyed some beach time on a small islet below the railroad bridge...
There were 44 recyclable containers (22 redeemable) and 78 pieces of miscellaneous rubbish such as Styrofoam cups, bait tubs, plastic bags, mylar balloons and nip bottles.  YTD = 5250

3 comments:

PenobscotPaddles said...

Beautiful pictures! We used to visit the Rowlandson Rock at the base of Wachusetts all the time. That's the rock where the exchange took place.

Suasco Al said...

Thanks PenobscotPaddles. Apparently there are several "Rowlandson Rocks" in different towns where she spent time during her captivity.
The one near Mt. Wachusett, where she was released, is called Redemption Rock (I believe).

Bernie Paquette said...

Looks like you made a BEE-line for the end zone and carried not only the football, but also all of the offense with you. Quite a hall you carried off the field.

More impressed with your trash paddling every day.

Best Regards,
Bernie