Friday, August 8, 2008

Sudbury River -Stone Bridge Area to Saxonville Dam

This afternoon, I accessed the Sudbury River at the Little Farms Road boat launch in Framingham. It was the first time I used this launchsite and found it to be ideal. My objective today was to recover some of the substantial trash I saw downstream of Stonebridge Road on my last trash patrol.
Heading downstream with the river's swift current made for easy paddling but required turning my boat around and into the current each time I opted to recover an empty container. Between the Aqueduct and the 90 degree turn the river makes downstream of the stone 5 arch bridge, I recovered 55 empty containers. I turned around and headed back to Little Farms Road for transloading this first trash haul to my car's trunk. Then, I relaunched and headed upstream towards Saxonville. Not too far from the launch site, I paddled past what looks to be a second Aqueduct. I believe that this one passes under the river. This section of the river was a little challenging due to the numerous tree branches hanging down nearly to the river's surface. A route had to be selected than maintained against the steady current. Reaching the mouth of Cochituate Brook, I saw several of the large carp that Ron McAdow mentions in his excellent river guidebook "the Concord Sudbury and Assabet Rivers". The brook looked inviting and I was surprised it allowed my boat and I to ascend it for approximately50 yards or so. Returning to the brook's mouth, I noticed about 6 submerged tires that almost look as though they were placed there deliberately. Heading upriver once again, I passed under Concord Street and the flood control apparatus on the river right. Here the river makes a sweeping turn to the right. The left bank is a steep hillside and the right bank has a man-made wall of riprap. With the current getting faster by the yard, I finally spotted the mill buildings, smokestack, and the concrete retaining wall just below the dam. This marks the spot where the river's 'Wild & Scenic' designation ends. It was also a good place for me to let the swift current take my bow and send me back downstream. Going back down only required steering.
Wildlife observed today were a great blue heron, the carp mentioned earlier, and a musquash. Fairly sure I heard a belted kingfisher and a red-tailed hawk.
Arriving back at the take-out, I had another 15 empties. These were combined with the earlier batch and 3 empties from the launchsite for a day's total of 73. YTD total = 1595
Heading home, I encountered more dark clouds and more thunderstorms. This repetitive weather pattern reminds me of that Bill Murray movie, "Groundhog Day".

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