Canoing the Connecticut, October 25, 2018

Today my daughter and I went on our annual canoe trip. This year we loaded her canoe on the Jeep and drove across Vermont to Brattleboro. My wife and I had canoed the West River a number of years ago, but I had forgotten where we put in. After wandering around a while looking for a boat launch and nearly getting stuck in construction, we found a good place at West River Park,unloaded everything, and put in there.

It was cold today, upper 30's and low 40's. We decided first to see how far up the West River we could go, but that wasn't far - green line below. It rapidly got shallow and fast flowing. So we went downriver to the Connecticut and up that river - yellow line.

Map of Our Trip

Going downriver was fairly easy and we made good time. Soon we came to the new I-91 Bridge, completed about a year ago. It is quite a bridge! The photos don't really show it. I didn't bring the DSLR as I didn't want to risk it in the canoe, so used the Kodak C190 which I kept in a waterproof bag.

New I-91 Bridge

New I-91 Bridge
Continuing on downstream, we passed the restaurant and Marina near the mouth of the river and came out onto the Connecticut. We decided to go upstream. Now we were canoing crosswind and upstream and made slower progress.

Eventually we went under the Route 9 Bridge, completed in 2003. The old 1937 Bridge was left standing next to it for pedestrians, but badly needs paint! We had blown over to the New Hampshire side by this time and I noticed the nice, conveniently located fireworks store, but resisted temptation! Instead, as there were several houses there, we crossed back to the Vermont side and landed for lunch.

Lunch along the Connecticut
By that time I was so stiff I could barely get up, and while trying to get off the seat the caning broke! To be fair it was pretty brittle with age. After lunch we decided to head back, so retraced our route. My daughter traded places with me and I took the bow.

The new and old Route 9 Bridges

Headed back downriver

By the time we headed back, the wind had picked up and we were both very cold! But eventually we reached the West River, and then things got worse.

Going under the Route 9 Bridge

Going back up the West River, we were headed directly into the wind and current and had to fight for every foot.  Eventually I was so tired and cramped up that we had to stop at a small island so I could stand up for a few. Of course, while doing that the caning in the bow seat broke. Very embarrassing! We switched places again as the stern had more leg room. Shortly after that we arrived back at West River Park and loaded everything back on the Jeep and headed home.

To try to avoid going back through Brattleboro, I set up the GPS and we followed that. We saw a chair caning business - I may have to get some new caning for the canoe seats from them this winter! Wandered around several back roads and eventually came out on Route 9 and headed home. We were driving directly into the sun, so I got my sunglasses off the visor and found "little hands" had totally covered the lenses with dirty fingerprints! My daughter cleaned them off for me as best she could! We got back to Bennington about 4 and I got home shortly after 4:30. Went and took a nap for awhile.

Guess I better try to limber up some before next year's trip!


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