Monday, December 7, 2015

Exploring Beyond the Wall

Since paddling up to the Tyler Flood Control Dam (photo at left) this past June, I've been curious about what's on the other side of that concrete wall.  Today, thanks to an early finish of a job in that area, I got a chance to get out on the Assabet and take a look.

While the weather wasn't quite as nice as it was in June, it was pretty "dam" nice for the 7th day of December.  Sunny, with temps in the 50s and hardly any wind at all.  Is this a dream?


I launched from the Boundary Street bridge and headed downriver...

Just below the bridge was this television enclosure...
...minus the guts.

A little below that was this floating computer terminal...

Gather someone didn't want to deal with having them properly disposed of.

Before reaching the dam I passed the outfall for Marlborough's Westerly Wastewater Treatment Plant which was contributing good flow to the river...

Arriving at the Tyler Flood Control Dam's upstream side I was surprised by how different it looks versus the downstream side (in opening photo)...

This photo provides a closer look at the outlet structure...

As explained in Ron McAdow's The Concord, Sudbury, and Assabet Rivers  "If you were a fish or a muskrat you could swim through a pipe in the base of the dam.  In normal conditions this culvert conducts the whole Assabet.  At flood stage, the culvert would not be large enough for all the water, which would back up and deepen until it reached a set of intakes.  These are over a canoeist's head when the river is within its banks.  If the water were high enough to reach these intakes, the broad state-owned floodplain through which you just canoed would be a sizable lake."

The embankment for the nearby Millham Reservoir is visible just to the east...



With my curiosity now satisfied I paddled back to Boundary Street and then continued another .75 miles upriver until a large tree across the river stopped my ascent around river mile 7.  Fortunately, there was a picnic table on a wooded point of land where lunch could be taken...

The nearby outcropping ledge offered a face-like profile...

Heading back down to the takeout there was sky, straw, and water...

Before I knew it Boundary Street appeared and my 100th paddle of 2015 came to an end. 

Trash didn't amount to much except for the aforementioned computer and television enclosure...
Thanks to the Marlborough Public Works Department for allowing me to leave the computer with them for proper disposal.

2 comments:

Erik Eckilson said...

You're amazing Al - can't believe you picked up the computer monitor. It must have been tough to get on your boat. TV too.

Trashpaddler said...

Thanks Erik, Getting the computer monitor was made easy by the weird fact that it floated (face down). I was able to tow it to the bridge by its power cord.