Monday, December 14, 2009

Assabet River - Egg Rock to Westvale & Return

As you can see from the adjacent photo, there is still some sand in the 2009 hourglass but it is starting to run out fairly fast.
This morning I launched my kayak into the lower Sudbury River and paddled downstream to the confluence with the Assabet at Egg Rock. There was a tongue of ice extending out about 30 feet from Egg Rock. Here, I began my ascent of the Assabet River and soon found myself paddling against a fairly steady current due to recent rain & snow events. Dodge Rock was mostly submerged except for what looked like an old man's white-haired head...

No trash was encountered until after passing Spencer Brook. Wildlife observed today consisted of numerous Canada geese, mallards, a few wood ducks, one merganser, one large hawk, and one small hawk (perhaps a kestrel).
About a quarter-mile below Route 2, I came upon this crude shelter...

Perhaps Les Stroud aka Survivorman was in the area recently!
Passing beneath Route 2 my trash count was nearing 30 and by the time I reached a sandbar upstream of Pine Street I needed to transload 46 pieces of trash below deck. The sandbar provided a perfect spot to enjoy a sandwich and hot cup of cocoa while basking in some mid-December sunshine.
Heading upriver from the sandbar became a little challenging due to several trees that have fallen across the river. I passed a couple of tricky spots where the river's flow was being funneled through narrow openings.
I turned around at the large rock between Westvale and Marshall's Farm...

Beyond the rock were several more fallen trees.
The trip downriver was a swift one and before long I was stopping to admire this wintry scene at Egg Rock...

The earlier sunshine had disappeared behind cloud cover.
Reaching my takeout location, the day's catch of 63 pieces of trash assembled alongside my boat's hull...

The beakdown was as follows: 30 recyclable (6 redeemable) and 33 pieces of misc. rubbish such as styrofoam, plastic bags, nip bottles, a beach ball, a prescription pill bottle (with a few pills still inside), and an empty can of Ortho "Weed-B-Gone". My YTD total stands at 5535 and my paddleodometer just passed 700 miles for the year.
Concerning the 25-lb propane cylinder recovered from last week's patrol of the Assabet, thanks to the Town of Acton Transfer Station, it is now residing in a fenced enclosure with about a dozen other barbecue veterans. I'm happy to report that it is the most grizzled & gruesome looking one of the bunch!

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