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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Housatonic River – Connecticut

The Housatonic River has many moods form its beginnings in the Berkshire Mountains west of Pittsfield, MA to its outflow into the Long Island Sound. Well known as the recipient of PCB’s from General Electric’s manufacturing plant in Pittsfield, MA, this led to $ 7.75 million settlement for restoration and  recreational improvements in the watershed. The good news is that the beauty of the river through much of its course has been restored.
2015-06-13 15.38.16Kayak buddy Christian and I set out to the Push’em Up fishing hole, recently discovered by us, but long known to the fishing community. A car was waiting for us eight miles downstream at the beginning of a 7 mile section of the Appalachian Trail that follows the river. We put in with that feeling of “ahhhh” that accompanies all put-ins!

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Concerns left on shore, it’s time to focus on the water, wind, sun, and spirit.

I catch (and release) my first serious fish – a small-mouth bass. Christian takes it off the hook for me.  That’s my next skill to master.

2015-06-13 16.26.18The next set of rapids is bouncy and playful with 80’s sun warming  us after what still feels like the longest winter ever! I experiment with holding the camera between my knees so that I can use my paddle to negotiate the rapids.  Not too bad for a first attempt.

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Sets of rapids are mixed in with flatter, deeper sections with quick water, class I and II’s, and some III minus thrown in for a bit of extra excitement.

2015-06-13 16.59.53The scenery is a layering of undulating high hills overlapping and festooned with trees of all varieties. The locally famous white water at the historic Covered Bridge are usually a III, except in spring when they’re a IV. We have fun with them today, definitely not terrifying!

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A bit further along, we have the late spring enjoyment of spotting a family of common mergansers high-tailing  it out of our way! I love the “hairdo” and how it speaks of speed.

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Gazing up in the sky, an immature bald eagle is being chased by some much smaller birds – always amazing  to contemplate their courage.

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In what seems no time at all we’re at the Route 7 Bridge, its graceful arch a surprisingly inspiring structure. Bouncy water, perfect temperatures, and a day that’s mellowing with golden rays. Feelings happy fatigue mixed with ample amounts of gratitude flow freely…..

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Kayaks on the Move

Our vision for this blog is as a place to share our kayaking adventures. Generally, it’s myself, Diana and Peter who will contribute on a regular basis (at least weekly is our goal). We are often joined in our kayaking adventures by our friend, Christian, and occasionally by other friends/grown children.  Our focus is on rivers – from flat water to white water class III. We use short, flat water kayaks because we find them ideal for this cross-over class of adventure.

We’re all pretty obsessed with being on the water although we have our different areas of interest.  I like taking photos and videos,  Peter loves the action of white water and Christian is an avid fisherman. We kayak year-round and all live  within 60 miles of New York City. Besides New York  (especially the Adirondacks), we range into all of New England, Pennsylvania, and forays out west. Feel free to leave comments or questions. We’re happy you found us!