Friday, July 25, 2008

Milling About, On The Water

The sun was getting close to the horizon fast. Racing against time, I strapped the kayak to the vehicle as soon as I got home, and was motoring onto the Turnpike in minutes...Then 91 North, then Rte. 141 over the hill to Easthampton.

And in about a half an hour, I found myself suddenly, quietly, floating along on Lower Mill Pond. I had noticed the long pond whenever we biked along the Manhan Trail, and repeatedly vowed to myself to give it a look on the kayak someday. Today was someday.

The sun was really low by this time, giving the blown out old factories on it's perimeter a golden glow.

That same golden glow lit up nearby Mount Tom.

With ultra super zoom, I could just make out a hang glider hovering above the cliffs.

It's a great little pond. I suspect the water levels are higher than usual though, because of the drenching we received this week. Nevertheless, the grasses, cattails and pickerel weeds were standing tall.

I wasted no time and paddled south, directly down the length of the pond. The speed of my approach to a crossing beaver must have startled him, and he gave me a warning slap of of his tail on the water. A combination "Hey I'm here" and "Hey your in my territory" signal...

Love it when they do that.

At the southern end of the pond there is an overpass, and the water narrows into a channel, flowing north out of it.

My curiosity, and the high water had me pressing on into the channel. A short paddle up the narrow passageway, and another factory emerged between the overhanging trees. This one looked operational.

The a small steel bridge had to be passed under. From underneath, I could see the undercarriage of cars as they passed directly overhead.

I could also see this guy, who looked like he was getting ready to board my ship. I quickly shoved off...

Paddling a little further, I found myself right in the shadow of the big factory. I decided to turn back here. The channel disappeared into an underpass below the factory, and it was probably best not to explore further; as I might end up getting sucked into some kind of turbine, or other industrial kayak-eating machine.

The sun was below the horizon by now. I sped up to flanking speed, and got a little exercise paddling back up as fast as I could.

Determined to fully explore the limits of the pond, I went all the way up to the northern end. Here the water empties out over a loud waterfall. The falls probably used to power the now empty factory on this end.

Just about completely out of daylight now...

Time to head back.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice post. I particularly like the first photo- the shadow of your car and the kayak.