Daily Archives: May 30, 2015

One last Charles River kayaking adventure


Kayaking the Charles, one last time

Saturday, 16-May-2015



In 2014, I spent a ton of time on the water.

In the early part of the year I bought myself a yearly membership to the Charles River Canoe and Kayak group – basically giving me unlimited kayak rentals for the whole summer.

Normally, I don’t usually do memberships like this, but in this case it was too good to pass up – $120 for a year, vs. $18 an hour. And since I’m me, I intended on getting every cent of my moneys worth.

So I kayaked after work.

I took dates on double-kayaking trips, and sometimes even rented two kayaks (I could get a second one for free as well) if I didn’t think we needed to be in super close proximity to each other for the date.

I intended to get a membership for 2015, but then I got laid off. So I held off. And held off some more.

I didn’t go Kayaking at all, until I found myself packing up and getting ready to move. Then I realized that this would be my last chance to paddle down the esplanade.

(Ed Note: Does this read like an ad for the rental company to anyone else? Just me? Ok, good. Please continue)


So Chirag and I met up for breakfast. Because that is how all adventures should start – with a healthy and filling breakfast. In this specific instance, an Indian buffet that we stopped into in Davis Square.

The creepy thing was that the entire restaurant was empty when we arrived. It was just a buffet, three broken TVs (Yep, they were all showing the “if you want to watch a program, then connect this TV to a cable system” prompt), and too many wait staff for a current clientele of zero.

But don’t forget; Chirag and I are trend setters. Not 10min after we sat down and got some deliciously spicy treats, the place was nearly full, with tons of families and random Somerville hipster groups.

So we ate. Then we took the T. Then we got in a Kayak. Two Kayaks, to be precise.

Then we explored.


<Ed Note, again: Please excuse the lack of pictures yet again. Ben still doesn’t have access to his desktop where they’re all stored)


We went up into the esplanade, checked out the sailing club, and generally made nuisances of ourselves to the geese patrolling the area. It was perfect – the flowers were in bloom, and the water was still semi-clean, since the geese had only just recently arrived from the South.

Johnny called us about 45min in, to let us know that he would be putting into the water soon. So we took the chance to paddle back, link up with him, and then go through the esplanade from the other direction.

Our first run had been going west-bound; starting at the sailing club and moving West. The second run started near the Mass Ave bridge, and moved East toward the Longfellow bridge.

It’s technically the same stuff either way, but taking it from both directions gives different views – different shorelines, and different sides to the bridges. We also got a chance to stop off on one of the docks, which is always a nice little bonus.

An excellent day on the water, by any measure.

Daytrip to Rumney


Thursday, 14-May-15

Daytrip to Rumney with Johnny and Kirsten

<Ed Note: Pictures to be added later, when Ben actually has access to his desktop>


One of my favorite adventures last year was a mid-week climbing trip to Rumney with Johnny and Kirsten.

Nothing against the other adventures that I partook in – everything was amazing, of course – But this one was special because we had the place all to ourselves.  We could climb, explore, vacillate over what to climb, and do whatever we wanted.  All without having to stress about other teams stealing the routes that we wanted to get onto.

So, when I found out that I was going to be leaving Boston?  Of course, I had to try and get another mid-week trip in.


Thankfully, it turned out quite easy to plan, since Johnny and Kirsten both happened to have a Thursday off work coming up.  The morning did start out a little late when Johnny, ever the veterinarian that he is, stopped near their apartment to help a baby bird that had fallen out of its nest.  Definitely a good deed, but one that delayed our start by a few hours… which was actually ideal, in the end, since it gave Rumney enough time to dry out all the way, so that when we got to the cliffs there wasn’t much evidence of the rain that had hit in the days before.


Routes climbed:

All routes from The 5.8 Crag

The 5.8 Crack by the Road (5.7, Trad, led by Ben) – This is one of my favorite Trad routes at Rumney.  Tricky and challenging, there’s one move where you’re coming out of a mini-cave that’s really interesting… if by “interesting” you mean “annoying and awkward and scary”.  The rest is just solid crack climbing, which I love 🙂

Bolt and Run (5.9, Sport, led by Ben) – This one… I didn’t intend to lead this one.  I accidentally left a knot in the rope when I pulled down the rope for The 5.8 Crack by the Road, so I needed to go up and get it.  Since the only options were to re-lead 5.8, lead B & R, or lead a 5.10c… I went with B & R, since I wanted to get it done anyways.  A challenging route, with a few “hail Mary” moves that scared the daylights out of me.  But I go it cleanly, and I’m happy about that.

Ashbury Park (5.7, Sport, led by Johnny and Kirsten) – This one was super fun, though a little bit run out and delicate near the middle.  Both leads went well, though they looked to be a bit of a challenge.  I’m really happy that both Johnny and Kirsten could get the leads in though, since this route was a really solid “Rumney style” route – good face climbing, with more than one “wait, what do I do now?” moments.