Tuesday, January 29, 2008

If Blocked by Ice, Head North

That was my only choice this afternoon, after encountering ice on the lower Assabet River. I backed my kayak out of the ice I had been able to break through, swung my bow around and headed north. Between Lowell Rd. and the Old North Bridge 7 pieces of trash were recovered. Also saw a large beaver sitting on top of his dam in the Mill Brook outlet, seemingly lost in thought.
Things went great paddling along with the current until I ran into more ice downstream of Monument St. This ice was thinner than what was on the Assabet, and after a little work, it allowed me passage. Near Sawmill Brook, I came upon a lone merganser and we went downstream together with him in the lead, occasionally diving. Passing the small cabin on river left, I watched a grey squirrel enter the cabin at the roof beam. This people vacant cabin must be seeing some wild times inside! At the next bend, after the cabin, both the merganser and I turned around and headed upstream. The merganser stayed in the lead until Monument St. when he turned around once again. I picked up two more pieces of trash and then came upon the only creature stirring at the Old North Bridge. A lone raccoon patrolling the shore between the Old Manse boathouse and the bridge. No sooner had I left him to his twilight rounds, then I came upon the same beaver I had seen earlier on top of his dam. This time, he was on land and hobbled over to the riverbank, stepped out on the ice until his weight broke through, causing him and the ice to submerge. His head popped up shortly and he watched me disappear upstream. It was a most enjoyable afternoon on the water and netted me another 9 empty containers. YTD= 174

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