It was a late start to the CNY kayaking season (May!!!), but a great start. Twelve paddlers brushed off their boats, loaded them onto racks (new and old), and gathered to launch into the canal. Bill brought a blowup kayak. He was able to launch, but it soon needed adjustments that made a 10 mile paddle impossible. Maybe next time he will have the kinks worked out. The rest of us were: Kathy, Sue, Eric, Yingzhen, Dave L, Fish, Hugh, Amy, John, Me (Kim) and newbie Caz who was comfortable parting the river in his whitewater kayak. The current was against us at the start so it took some muscle. Wildlife was mostly from above – eagles, vultures, osprey, heron, honking geese and some smaller birds. Ribs of an animal rested near the launch and the skeleton of a deer was on the shore at our break site. They were someones winter sustenance. Maybe it was the sasquatch Amy got a picture of. The tree trunks revealed how high the water had risen in the past, but today the water level was not high. There was plenty of head space under the island bridge. A horse trod over the bridge behind several horse trailers. Well, that was a new animal to spot on this paddle.
The current was with us in the canal on the way back. It was nice moving along at 4mph without trying. We heard and saw several long trains heading west. Near the launch we heard a car slam into the guard rail by the bridge. Police arrived, but no ambulance, so we guessed the driver was ok.
We discussed our meal options and ended up selecting Brendas on Route 31. The specials included chicken and biscuits and a turkey dinner which more than half took advantage of. I ordered broiled scallops and would give them 5 out of 5 stars.
The temperature was a decent 63 degrees at the start. Just one or 2 layers were needed. Three were bold enough to wear shorts. The promise of 10 percent cloud cover was a lie. We did not see direct sun (not a bad thing).
The total mileage was 10.7. I hope you all get a chance to rest those shoulder, arm and core muscles we worked out today after the long winter, and I see you on the water even stronger next week.