On the Basha Kill – New York

Sometimes when plans go awry, it ends up woring out.  Looking forward to a new paddle down the Neversink River, we arrived with the rain! It looked like it might have some intention of sticking around so, Christian and I headed upstream to do a bit of fishing. It was a lovely spot, the overcast skies didn’t produce any more showers until a few hours later, giving us time to finish up our fishing (zero fish) and head to the Basha Kill.

The Basha Kill is an amazing place to kayak.  Long ridges to the east and west create a feeling of being in the Basha Kill Universe, protected and cut off from all the problems and petty concerns of daily life.

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Under moody skies, we headed north from the northernmost put in -into the most swampy area. The chatter of red-winged black birds along with robins, yellow finches and other friends accompanied us as we meandered through the prodominently pickeral weed swamp.  Cattails were swaying while parents picked  off nesting material for their broods. The occasional swamp rose added a splash of color in an otherwise green universe.

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At one point in the Basha Kill’s history, some mad-scientists wanted to turn this part of the watershed into a mushroom growing area, replete with massive, windowless building.  Fortunately, the outcry was heard and mushroom growing went elsewhere.

The Basha Kill is actually a managed area for wood duck and black duck nesting. The DEC was instrumental in recreating this swampy area as it had been drained off to grow crops for the D&H canal workers and passengers.  We’re thankful for the DEC!

We spot duck nesting boxes as we chase channels that look like they will lead to the tunnel under Route 17, but I end up mis-directing us. It’s actually a very familiar dead end.

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I must say, we weren’t too unhappy with the opportunity to turn around and lengthen our stay.

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After checking a couple of other channels, I concluded that making it up to the tunnel that goes under Route 17 was just a noisy undertaking.  No sour grapes here!

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At the take out, we were met with an interesting spectacle.  Six fisherman with  seven fishing rods propped up in folding chairs, small canopy in case of rain, and a barbeque.  Looked like a ritual Saturday night at the water’s edge.  We swapped a few stories and were on our way.  Sometimes meandering through the day is just as lovely as meandering in a swamp!  (Diana)

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