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…

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