This time of the year you don’t know when your Kayak trip is going to be the last of the year. We had stayed home yesterday to get some fall cleanup work done banking on the forecast which said it was supposed to be even nicer and warmer today. Well it wasn’t nicer but it was nice enough. We always like to sneak in one last trip to Waldo before the lakes freeze over. It was quite overcast when we got there but there was little wind so it was pleasant enough. We had fun working our way up the flowage and into the river. We scared up a deer but didn’t really see it. Once we got into the river the water was crystal clear. Most of the leaves were off the trees which made it easy to see the terrain. It is always kind of fun to see what the landscape looks like behind the shroud of leaves. Mostly we just goofed around and enjoyed the day. By the time we started making our way back the wind had not only picked up but had shifted so that it was in our face. We kind of laughed because it always seems to do that at Waldo. We were starting to get a little cold by the time we got back but not enough to spoil a fun day.
Day 7 (10/9/11)
It has been a long time since I have posted on here. It feels good to be back. It wasn’t that we didn’t do anything. We have actually been out kayaking a couple of times but I haven’t had a lot of time to write. I had to take a three credit class for continuing education credits and spent all my spare time writing for that (boring) but it’s over and I can get back to the important things in life. We went back to Hingham today hoping that the fall colors would be peaking. I think we missed them. A lot of the leaves were off the trees already. It was a beautiful day nevertheless and although the colors weren’t the best there was still opportunity to get some great photos and video. It was a grand day for cairn building. We actually found one from our earlier trip in July partially standing. Eileen had taken a mess of pictures of some cairns we had built and we didn’t notice until we got home and viewed them that there was an arrow stuck in the tree right above where she built a cairn. It was kind of strange because it shows up in all the pictures and how we didn’t see it while we were there I can’t imagine. We actually saw other people out on the flowage today for the first time. We had always been surprised that with so many people living on it that we always had it to ourselves. I hope we can get in a few more trips yet this summer.
Day five is actually a composite of four and five together. We were able to go up the river a Mauthe both days. The first day we were again reminded how much we dislike the Eddie Spedders of the world. We were on our way over to the river when all of a sudden out of nowhere this T.S. comes over and starts putting on a clinic for us. He is spinning and paddling backwards and basically making a nuisance of himself. At that point we should have changed our course and he may have never noticed the opening into the river. Once he saw where we were heading he shot ahead and on up the river. As you can well imagine any wildlife was soon cowering well away from the river. It was a beautiful day though and as anticipated it didn’t take long before Eddie had grown bored and came shooting back the other direction leaving the rest of the river unmolested. There was another kayaker who also must have seen us go into the channel and followed us up the river but to his credit he never got very close and seemed to enjoy the slow leisurely pace we set. When we got to the turnaround point he drifted off before I had a chance to thank him for his patience. Next time we will have to be more careful about sneaking into the river.
We had survived the Fourth of July weekend and for the most part had a good time. We decided that by now though the crowds should have cleared out from our favorite state park campground at Mauthe Lake so we packed up the Yak hauler with all the essentials and headed for the hills, moraines actually. As expected the crowds were gone and we were even able to get the tepee for a second year in a row. The girl at the office said that they had been turning people away the day before and even the beach had reached its capacity. What a difference a day can bring. Late in the day we had a slight rain which chased away the remaining beach people. It was eerie walking amongst the remnants of the weekend, like some apocalyptic movie where the people had just disappeared. It was also slightly appalling at what was left behind. It is perhaps a sad commentary on our affluent society that so much stuff is just left behind.
Again we decided to get an early start and go to Hingham this time. It was a beautiful day and I was excited about trying my new “Yak cam”. I had purchased a bendable tripod that I could mount on the rod holder of my console. It worked perfectly. It was right in front of me so that I could easily operate it and stable enough to get very little wobble. If I was going to fish I would have to come up with another idea. As usual we worked our way up through the flowage to get to the river where the fun really begins. Once you make the turn away from the last house on the lake and entered the river a sense of peace flows over you. More than any other place we go to Hingham really emphasizes the contrast between populated and non-populated areas. You are consumed with watching the wildlife and nature around you. We hadn’t gone far when we came across a beaver with a mouth full of sticks. I tried to get some video of it but as soon as I got close it disappeared under the surface. Around the next corner Eileen kicked up a deer but again wasn’t fast enough to get a photo. She said it was starting to get antlers. It must have run up the river a ways because it sure made a lot of noise. It was hard to turn around and come home but to go on would have taken some major portaging. So we worked our way back down river to civilization.
Our plan was to get up early and head out to Gerber Lake before the weekend crowds started moving in. Well, it was early for us and we were the first boats out on the lake. To be honest at noon there was still only two other boats on the lake. The water was amazingly clear which made fishing sort of frustrating as I watched the largest bass I have ever seen in the wild swim past without even a second glance at my bait. As Eileen said “they probably don’t get that large by being stupid”. I covered most of the lake and couldn’t scare up any fish although we saw lots of them. We visited all the usual haunts, checked out the fallen wood sculptures, went up the little river and even built a cairn. I don’t think you could have gotten much better weather for kayaking. I had purchased a cheap little waterproof video camera so we spent a little time playing around with that. Unfortunately there was little in the way of wildlife to film. On our way back to the dock, Eileen came across a wren which had built a nest in a hollow log. It put up such a fuss though we decided to leave it in peace.
Year three is off to a slow start. This is actually the first time that I have blogged on any of my blogs since Walker stole the music. I know it is time to get on with my life but it is hard. It seems like much of my thought and energy has been drained by the current political situation. It is not like we have not been doing anything. We have actually spent a lot of time working on the yard and general maintenance. We had a great spring for birds and had a large group of Orioles and Indigo buntings that stayed for a couple of weeks. We had a family of Orchard Orioles which I had never seen before so that was fun. There are two groups of baby robins running around the yard and a nest of baby blue jays in the cedar in back. Today we finally headed out to Waldo for our maiden voyage of the year. It was a beautiful day. As usual we quickly made our way up through the flowage, slowing only to stalk a blue heron that was feeding along the bank. Unfortunately, the dragon driftwood had lost its jaw and looked far less intimidating. Otherwise we found everything much as we remembered it. We went up past the bridge that is usually about as far as we can go without some major pruning. I was sad to see somebody had thrown small air conditioner over the bridge. Regrettably, as Eileen and I have often discussed, when you start charging to dispose of small appliances some people will resort to unscrupulous disposal methods. We stopped at the bridge to build a cairn, our first of the season. It is kind of amazing that we are half way through June and I just made the first build of the year. Perhaps the rest of the summer will be better.