Housatonic River Canoeing

Housatonic Canoeing
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A couple hours north of NYC, runs the less than mighty Housatonic River. This picture was taken in the Spring of 2005 just before the bright green buds on the trees burst into a dark green canopy.

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Pop and Bud and I took to canoes while the Spring run off increases the flow. The river had some wonderful obstacles to glide through.

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Along the banks are a diverse collection of small cottages.

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The architectural styles are surprisingly diverse. Many can only be seen while drifting by directly in front.

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These charming little fishing bungalows are probably worth a half million.

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Much of the trip is through remote areas with dense vegetation growing tight on both banks.

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I like the way hill covered trees appear to rise right out of the water.

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Somewhat more than half the way through is a town that is a step back in time. This covered bridge marks where you jump out for lunch.

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There is a restaurant and a diner and a half dozen little shops to browse. Directly across from the bridge is this place that makes furniture.

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Looking into the covered bridge reveals the massive plankings that support this structure. The windows on the left give you a good view of the only real rapids on the trip.

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This is really the only time we put on the life jackets and paddled on our knees. Keeping your center of gravity low makes it more likely you will stay in the canoe.

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This was also where Poppie decided he wanted to be the solo canoeist. Bud and I shot the rapids first and turned to watch dad successfully navigate the rapids only to flip bottoms up in the still waters at the base. You would have to experience how heavy a sunk canoe is drifting with the current down the center of the river. Dad had little luck clinging to its side and pulling for shore. He also had no success in getting one of his boys to jump in for an invigorating swim for shore. We finally figured out that we could steer the sunk canoe by guiding the bow with our floating canoe.

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Paddling to shore, Bud and I chatted about how happy we were not to be in the front seat of Poppies canoe because he would surely be explaining with deep conviction how that son had tipped them into the drink.

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The year before, I had done this same trip with my friend Tracy who decided she wanted to try the back seat for a while. Not long after starting out, we were heading dangerously close to one of these fly fishing guys that you will occassionally pass. Digging into the water from the front of the canoe, I could manage no effect on the steering and finally just pulled my paddle in. I could have reached out and knocked this guys hat off as we drifted by him backwards down the stream.

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For the most part, its a very quiet glide through the more scenic side of Connecticut and it sure beats a day in the office.



Try it yourself