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August 30, 2008

Worst Canoeing trip ever (to date)

The worst day we've had canoeing was probably on 8/30. At least I think it was then. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking with it for now.

We decided to try Millennium Park itself. We've been to Havey Beach a few times, and investigated Millennium Park (without putting in). But this time we drove the car there to put the canoe in there.

Strike 1: it's a LONG walk from where you're allowed to stop your car to the beach. It's paved, so if we had wheels, it might be easier. But it was quite a chore to get everything from the car to the water.

Strike 2: Dogs. Lots. Of. Dogs. That path is very popular for dog-walkers. And while I don't have anything against dogs personally, Christine is very allergic to them. Shlepping all the stuff back and forth with dogs everywhere you looked didn't do her lungs any favors.

Strike 3: no water. We tried going downstream, mostly because we hadn't been there before. But we ran aground, and I ended up having to get out of the canoe and drag it by the painter to get back to deeper water. So we went upstream. Not much better. Before we could go very far at all, we got word from someone that it was shallow up ahead, so just gave up and went back to the car.

Plus side, we know not to bother with millennium park (at least not for canoeing -- kite flying is a different matter entirely). And on the way back we found another place nearby to put in that looks much nicer. It's right at the bottom of the Long Ditch, so if we ever wanted to do the Dedham Loop proper, we'd know where to start.

Michael 9/22/08

Posted by mlv at 02:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 10, 2008

Early canoeing trips

I don't have a lot of details about all our early trips, and some of the dates and/or memories are fuzzy, but I'll write down what I know.

July 12th: Our first canoeing trip. Went to Charles River Canoe and Kayak at Norumbega Park in Newton, and rented a canoe. Went down to a beach past the playground, had lunch, and came back. I was a bit nervous coming back, because I was *TIRED* (and a bit hypo, too) and we had to go upstream and upwind. But made it back okay.

July 18th: bought our canoe, a used Gazelle Kennebunker. Well-used, I might add. The guy said it weighed 60 lbs, and wouldn'tcha know we didn't bring a scale. But we didn't need to. It weighed more. But we were able to put it on the car. The plan for this canoe is it's a starter canoe. We'll use it and enjoy it this year, and if we still like canoeing next year, we'll buy a better canoe and Christine will use this canoe as a planter.

July 19th: the maiden voyage in our new canoe. Back to Norumbega, This time we went to the playground, had lunch and came back.

July 26th: I'm guessing... our first trip in Dedham. Havey Beach (across VFW Pkwy from the VA hospital). Havey Beach is a nice little put-in. Not well-traveled, with a medium length path to the water. We put in there and paddled to the end of the Long Ditch (to satisfy my curiosity), then to Millenium Park where we had lunch, On the way back we went past the beach and crossed under Spring or Bridge St (again, to satisfy my curiosity) before going back to Havey beach and getting out.

Here the trips and dates get a bit blurry. I took August 4th through 8th off from work, and we did some canoeing that week, but not as much as we'd planned. For the most part, I don't know which dates we went where. So I'll just sort by location, except where known.

Dedham: went back to Havey beach, and went farther up the river, past probably the cheapest riverside property in Boston -- a trailer park. River wasn't very interesting, so after a little while we went back, crossed the Bridge St. bridge (could be the Spring St. bridge, but Bridge St. bridge sounds better), and had lunch at the park there before going back to the car.

Later in Dedham (either Sunday, 8/10 or 8/24), we put in at the Dedham Parks and Recreation Office (in back of the building is a large field and at the end is a rocky area where you can put in). We put in there, and went upstream, making as far as Great Plain Ave. We got a glimpse of the head of the Long Ditch before zooming back. The water was fast and hard to paddle but we managed okay. I'm teaching Christine a new stroke, the bow rudder.

Norumbega: couple trips: went back to the playground we went to before, and continued on downstream to the next bridge. And the other trip, we went upstream, under 8 bridges, up to the golf course, before turning back and finding a delightful meadow where we had lunch.

And the Concord River one is worthy of it's own post (besides, I know the date).

Michael, 9/22/08

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August 06, 2008

Condord? river trip

August 6th. I know that date well. How well? Well... I know it was the week of August 4-8, and it was a fasting day, and we stopped by the office on the next day. So it must have been August 6th.

We decided to try canoeing the Concord river. Someone at work had mentioned a canoe rental place in Concord, so we went there (our experiences with Charles River Canoe & Kayak being a positive one, we assumed it would be fine here). Turns out the rental place in Concord is a closed dock, so we couldn't put in there. But they gave us directions to the Lowell St. put-in, and we went there.

The put-in was good, Drive down a rutty road and there's a nice sandy beach. Plenty of parking back up on the street. We put in, and went upstream. Turning left we ended up on the Sudbury River (how was I to know? There weren't any signs...). It was a lovely paddle, all things considered. A rather long paddle, I might add, but lovely all the same. After a while we started getting hungry, and looking for a place to get out and eat our lunch.


We eventually made it back to the canoe rental place. They said there was a nice place to get out "a couple bridges upstream". As they were right by a bridge, it wasn't clear whether they meant two MORE bridges or if they were counting this one. But we continued upstream.

Next bridge. Still no place to take out. A kayaker told us it was past the next bridge (so they weren't counting the bridge they were at, apparently). We were getting tired, but continued on. Finally, we got to the next bridge.

There didn't seem to be many places to take out here, but there was a little muddy strip right by the bridge where someone had left a rowboat to rot. We decided that either (a) must be it, or (b) wasn't it, but we didn't care. And we got out anyway.

Christine had made what she thought were hummus sandwiches. I took a bite. It tasted salty. Really salty. "Umm... Christine, are you sure this is hummus?" Turns out it was miso paste. Delicious in soups. Not so good in sandwiches.

Lack of any kind of real meal, coupled with the mosquitoes, meant we didn't stay long. Soon we were going back downstream. That was the best part of the trip, by far.

At one point, Christine pulled out a sketch pad, and I did just enough paddling to keep the boat heading in the right direction, and she sketched in a particularly nice section of the river. Being in no hurry to get back, we almost-drifted lazily back to the car.

Next time we go there, we're going to go downstream first. If we had done that, we would have quickly reached Minuteman Park, which would have been a very nice destination, to be sure.

Michael, 9/22/08

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