Daily Archives: September 30, 2013

22-Sep-13 – Kayaking and exploring in Northwestern Mass

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22-Sep-13 – Kayaking and exploring in Northwestern Mass

  • It all starts at Nashoba Paddler… a small Kayaking place near where I was staying this weekend.  It was just a simple “get out of the city” weekend, and I was feeling the need to be on the water for an afternoon…
  • So I’ve been to this Kayaking place before… almost exactly a year ago, actually.  It was a weekend very similar to this one; Daniel, Mike and I had camped out at The Pines, and instead of climbing on Saturday we went kayaking, thanks to a huge rainstorm that night.
  • Well, last time I was here Daniel had decided he was restless, and started doing pullups on the little booth where we rented the Kayaks.  Cool, whatever.  Until he literally pulled the roof down on top of us.  Yep, Daniel was too chubby, and the booth collapsed.
  • So I felt a bit bad showing up again, but this time I didn’t do any pullups.  Instead, I hung out my wet tent and sleeping bad, put my gear into a dry sack, and took a Kayak out onto the river.
  • It was a perfect day, and I even found a few cool things along the way:
    • A memorial to the man who donated the park to the town.  I saw the headstone from the river, so I pulled the Kayak up and waded ashore to take a peek.  There was already a family there (hiking the trails, I suppose), and the grandfather told me the story of the man under the tombstone.
    • Supposedly he was quite wealthy and quite a philanthropist… but mostly to buy his way back into heaven.  From what I heard, he was a prolific train robber in his day, which was attested by the other tombstone nearby – one dedicated to his favorite racing horse.
    • A few small bridges, falling apart sheds, and neat little launches.
    • I explored “the turtle tributary”, as the rental agency called it.  A small river, choked with pond lilies, that was full of small turtles sunbathing themselves.  I agreed with them, and took a short nap on the kayak as if followed the current.
    • From there, I was feeling quite good with myself, so I explored a bit farther upsteam before slowing down, turning around, and letting the current carry me back to the launch…

21-Sep-13 – Climbing at Crow Hill

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21-Sep-13 – Climbing at Crow Hill

  • I met up with Daniel, Erin and Meghan early afternoon on Saturday. They were supposed to be there earlier, but the extra time gave me a good chance to relax and explore the area.  Do a bit of shopping at the random yard sales, have a bite to eat, the usual slow Saturday stuff.
  • Once they arrived we moved onto the climbing – starting in at the far left wall
    • Usual two routes here: layback crack and the nice handcrack that runs up the center
    • Daniel and I led the center crack (once each), and I let Daniel take the Layback crack.  Was nice, and a fun relaxed set of climbs.
    • I tried to set up a small climb farther right, but unfortunately some other folks arrived just before I could actually go about setting the route.  Wasn’t that horrible, but I was looking forward to trying out a new face over there.  Getting a good lead in maybe.
  • From here we moved right, to the practice slabs.  It was getting late, so we only did a toprope of the first one.  I did take two runs on it though – one to try the straight-up and fun route, and another to try out a few harder slab moves that looked interesting.  They were, in fact, quite interesting.
    • And… that was it.  Not a huge amount of climbing, but it was fun.  The weather was great and we had a good time, which is really the key to it.