Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Upper Valley Paddlin'

A very relaxed and refreshed paddler greeted yesterday's sunrise over a tranquil Connecticut River downstream of the Morey Bridge connecting Orford, NH and Fairlee, VT (photo at left). I was getting in a last paddle before taking down my riverside tent at the Pastures Campground and heading home to Massachusetts.  Hadn't paddled very far on the river before coming upon this pair of eagles...
...and taking one last look upon a classic Vermont intervale...

I'd started my weekend on Saturday afternoon with a short exploration of the Connecticut's confluence with the Ammonoosuc and Wells rivers in Woodsville, NH.  The launch site is almost directly across from where the Wells River enters.  Heading upriver on the Connecticut I passed under three structures for getting things from one side of the river to the other.  The highway and old railroad bridge behind it were fairly typical...
  ...whereas this cable-car type vehicle was considerably less so...
...not sure if it's still in use.

Judging from the rock formations at the mouth of the Ammonoosuc, this must have been a wild rapids before the dam was built...

On this classic late summer's day a woman and her dog were enjoying a swim in one of the Ammonoosuc's refreshing pools.  The Bath-Haverhill Covered Bridge is said to be the oldest surviving covered bridge in New Hampshire...
Built in 1829 it was closed to all but pedestrian traffic in 1999.

This confluence of the Connecticut and Ammonoosuc rivers is referenced on this plaque located 2 miles to the south along Route 10...

Returning to the Connecticut I paddled up another half mile or so before turning about and returning through the Narrows...

Woodsville was once a busy railroad junction connecting the Boston and Maine RR's White Mountain and Connecticut River divisions to the Canadian Pacific railroad as well as the Montpelier and Wells River railroad.  There's not much left of the railroad nowadays except for the old station building...
...and this old Central Vermont caboose...


On Sunday my friend Paul and I paddled another stretch of the Connecticut River in our ongoing effort to section-paddle as much of the 400 mile long river as possible.  Presently we've notched 250 miles. 

We started where Bedell Bridge...
 ...once stood upon this mid-river support...
...and paddled about 15 miles down to Orford, NH.

The view downriver was inviting...

Several high ledges are passed along the way...
...and the Waits River enters from the Vermont side...
A short way into the Waits is Bugbee Landing, a good spot for taking lunch.

I cannot say enough about just how great the weather has been this summer.
What little rain we've received seems to have always occurred at night, just like it did in Camelot...which is ideal for camping!

Found things pretty clean in the Connecticut, and this was my modest trash haul for the 3 days...




2 comments:

Walter Angler said...

This is such a cool place! Another perfect fishing venue to consider.

Trashpaddler said...

Walter, Some fishermen taking out at Bedell Bridge reported having had a successful morning which included catching a few walleye.