Up the Creek with Paddles

July 24th, 2010 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

…and down…

We joined 18 others today in the second Neponset River canoe-arama or as the hosts called it, CANOE the Future Greenway. As in an earlier post, we did the wet parts. Chris Lovett joined a landlubbers version on a Neponset Greenway Walk.

Moreover, I’m now a believer. The bike tour we took with the ever dour Doug Mink earlier didn’t have a lot to show for it. He pointed to where the bike/ped path was supposed to eventually come. I was skeptical. Yet, as I found last week, the DCR sprang a new park off Mattapan Square at the beginning of the completed section of the path. You can picnic, launch your canoe or kayak, sit at river overlooks and laze.

I’ve cycled up and down the Neponset bike paths, on and off-road as well. Nearly all is paved now and has very active pedestrian traffic, with a few cyclists. The section around Pope John Paul II Park has a long loop that is walkers only for some strange reason, but there’s lot of bikable trail.

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canoes Rob McArthur of the DCR starts unloading the canoes. He supplied the boats, paddles and life vests…plus instruction and nature lore.
My wife and I were early, so we got the newly donated the beast, a two-person kayak, simultaneously heavy but still swift enough for the non-raging Neponset. beast
choco The 20 of us paddled a bit upriver to the Baker Chocolate Factory. Originally, we were to head up toward Paul’s Bridge at the lower Hyde Park/Milton line. Despite our wettest-ever spring, water levels prevented that. BNAN guide Shea Ennen had scouted the Neponset before and knew the story. So he used his back up plan and headed us East to Gulliver Creek and more of the story of granite and the building of the Bunker Hill Monument.
Near the factory, the cormorants had seen it all at the little marina in Milton. Even about a dozen colorful boats and nearly twice as many flashing, splashing paddles didn’t rate with them. divers
sean Doing his best Lance Armstrong imitation, Shea was a font of history on the Neponset and its human users, industrial and recreational.
At the Eastern end, Rob and Shea tag teamed to describe the granite blocks that remain from the wharf where the 60-ton slabs were staged for barges. Rob also describe his love for his totally recycled Walden kayak. Rob

We were all set to be disappointed at the duplication of river section from the previous paddle. Most of this batch of river tourists were different. We had hoped to head up toward where we live and explore the Western end as it goes into Hyde Park. However, Shea and Rob made sure we experienced different aspects of the river.

We want more.

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3 Responses

  1. Uncle says:

    Sounds like a nice ride. What I like best about paddling is being able to slip into places that our modern world overlooks, that weren’t so unfamiliar in the fairly recent past.

    I’m also impressed that you and your spouse shared a tandem. That is a talent…not just physically but emotionally. C and I never tried…having worn out each other’s welcome over too many years sharing small sailboats. Work on this.

  2. Harrumpher says:

    I was amused here and there as she varied paddle speeds or pulled to one side. It was much like dancing in keeping my blades, like feet, in the right places and rhythm.

    For you, two kayaks might work, so long as the berth is tandem, eh?

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