Another Thursday evening paddle means...a meeting with the Pirates! This time due to extreme heat (95 degrees at 6:00 p.m.) we decided to stray from our original plan and head to the Forest Street Launch in Millis, MA. This launch is a fairly easy in and out depending on the water level. We did battle a few small rocks, but it really was fine. Known for being the shady part of the river, we figured this was perfect for a hot, summer evening. As it turned out, the sun went behind the clouds though the heat & humidity never left.
Our plan was to head upstream towards the Route 115 bridge. This part of the river winds its way along the banks of Cedariver, a Trustee of the Reservation property. Noticing the water level was very low prompted silent concerns. These concerns became a reality shortly after departure. Partly submerged across the river was a fallen oak tree. The combination of low water level and downed tree made passage nearly impossible.
Folly #1: A few brave souls tried to cross and got hung up on the tree (yours truly included).
Quickly, we changed the plan, wiggled off the tree and headed down stream. Our efforts were rewarded with the sighting of a beaver (maybe the culprit of our Folly #1) scurrying through the water. Even downstream there the river was laden with downed vegetation.
Folly #2: We struggled to find passage through those trees. Heading to the far left or right of the obstacle allowed us to progress slowly forward.
Coming around a bend in the river, our point man (actually woman - Karen) spied a lone deer on the river bank. The deer stood silent and watched as each of us passed by. As Earl stated "no matter how many times I see a deer, I think it's just true beauty". Enough said!
Chatting and paddling we came to a little 'fast' water (and rocks!). We stopped a moment to think about the paddle BACK - would we be able to power through it? We felt confident we'd be able to make our way back through and decided to 'go for it'.
Folly #3: Time was passing quickly and shortly after crossing the 'fast' water, we needed to turn around to make it back before dark. Heading upstream through the fast water was not as easy as we thought it was going to be. Some of us had to attempt it several times to get through (yours truly included). Check out the cheering section that Thia had while clearing the obstacle (she is in the kayak behind the yellow one)!
Our return trip to the launch was uneventful, but sweet with conversation and camaraderie. To round out the evening we grabbed some pizzas and salad and enjoyed a late night swim at the home of one of our pirates (yours truly)! Half the fun of paddling with the "Pirates" is reliving and laughing about the events of the evening!!