Friday, November 12, 2010

Assabet River - Sudbury Rd. to Gleasondale & Back

Late this morning I launched my kayak into the Assabet River at Whitman's Crossing (Sudbury Rd.) in Stow after stepping over a refrigeration compressor someone had left at the water's edge.  As I paddled upriver I began to see a large group of bicyclists following the course of the old railroad bed that runs along the river.  This section of rail line was once part of the Boston and Maine Railroad's Marlborough Branch and was abandoned prior to WW II.  It branched off from the Fitchburg line in South Acton and ran to its terminus in Marlborough.  Since we were headed in the same direction I suspected I would encounter them when they reached the end of the line, pictured here... 
A bridge would need to be constructed at this point and also at another river crossing just before Gleasondale Village.  The bicyclists encountered today were associated with the Assabet River Rail Trail organization and are hoping to see the abandoned rail grade become connected with the already completed section of rail trail in Hudson & Marlborough.  Hopefully, it will someday provide access to a very scenic section of Stow. 
Proceeding upriver, I entered one of the many backwaters and came upon this remnant from the early morning's cold temperatures...
 Ice!!!  The first I've seen form on the water's surface this season.  Not to my liking!
Continuing upriver, I passed this duck blind which was unoccupied at the present time...
Earlier this morning it may have been in use.  Not far from here I encountered a fellow in a motorized canoe wearing camouflage and was glad to have brought my bright orange gloves to avoid any confusion.
Between this area and Gleasondale, I came upon something that is never a good sight: a snow shovel laying on the riverbank.  Here I am, happy to be out on the river on such a beautiful day and I encounter first a refrigeration compressor, then ice, and finally a snow shovel.  The theme of the day is not making me happy.
Returning from Gleasondale, I recovered an automotive tire that was standing on edge as if it had rolled to a stop. 
Back at Sudbury Rd., I unloaded the day's catch...
There were 47 pieces of trash.  Of these 27 were recyclable containers (1 redeemable) and 20 were miscellaneous rubbish such as the compressor, tire, snow shovel, styrofoam cups, plastic bags, nip bottles, etc.  YTD total is 5912. 
I hemmed and hawed over how to handle the compressor.  Finally, deciding that leaving it by the river was something I just couldn't do.  Now, it and the tire reside in my car's trunk until I can find an entity willing to take them the last step towards proper disposal.  Another option, in keeping with the theme of the day, would be to leave them in my trunk as ballast for winter driving.


suep said...

Hi Al,
once thing I am dying to ask you is,
how exactly do you STOW all that stuff while you are paddling?
I mean, snow shovels ???
Sue the other Pierce

Al said...

Hi Sue, The bottles and other containers were stowed in my rear hatch compartment, the tire then was placed and bungeed on top of the rear hatch cover, and the snow shovel rested on my front hatch cover with the handle running up to my deck bag. Extra bungee cords come in handy.
The compressor wasn't brought onboard as it was found at the launch site. It would have been too heavy to place in my kayak anyways.

Paddle2See said...

That's an impressive haul! There's a tire hanging out on the bank of my "home" river that I've been thinking about removing. I'm going to give it some more thought now that you've inspired me.

Al said...

Paddle2See, Thanks and good luck with recovering the tire in your river. I used to think of tires as beyond my capability until I saw some photos posted by a guy named Chip on He and others from the Greater Baltimore Canoe Club were removing tires from the Gunpowder River. The link to his photos is:
His photos inspired me to give a little more thought to tire removal!