Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Concord River - Egg Rock to Ball's Hill

Arriving at Egg Rock early Tuesday afternoon, I decided to Trash Patrol the upper Concord River. The sunshine was brilliant, the breeze fairly light and the temperature was around 40 degrees.

It had been a while since I had been down this stretch and it was amazing to see how much trash the recent flood conditions had created. Picked up about 15 pieces of trash just upstream of the Old North Bridge and then about 30 pieces just downstream of Flint's Bridge or Monument Street. Landed my kayak at the Great Meadows Landing to transload collected trash to below deck. Hit another trash hotspot at the oxbow after Sawmill Brook.

At Ball's Hill, where the river gets much wider, I began to notice a building breeze. In fact, while not paddling, my boat was being blown upstream. It might have been the sea breeze the weather forecasters had mentioned in the morning. Enjoyed a cup of cocoa while floating about 20 feet from the riverside trail that runs through here.

Wildlife seen today: A red tailed hawk at the Calf Pasture that flew up into a tree, then spread its wings and tail feathers for several minutes. Never saw that behavior before. Perhaps it had prey it wanted to keep enveloped? At the North Bridge, I saw a broad winged hawk standing on the ground and wood ducks, mallards, Canada geese, and red winged blackbirds were all over the place.

Was thinking about Thoreau's boat trip on this river, his account of which became A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. It strikes me as ironic that a person today would be unable to make that trip because today's boat traveler doesn't have access to the technology that Thoreau did in 1839. The Middlesex Canal section from Talbot Mill to the Merrimack is long gone and all of the locks around falls upriver on the Merrimack are likewise gone.

Paddling back upriver, at Egg Rock, I saw a couple in a racing canoe heading into the Assabet River for a late day training run.

My trash haul for the day was 78 pieces of trash. Bottles and cans made up 61 and coffee cups, plastic bags, bait tubs etc. made up the balance. My YTD total stands at 641.

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