The Crooked Canes Journal


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Battenkill Paddle ~ Jul 7, 2011

Journal entry by Wanderer



Hi everyone,

Nine enthusiastic paddlers showed up at the Greenwich meeting place for what would turn out to be one of the best days on the Battenkill in recent memory. Unfortunately, Ray Bouchard arrived with his Hornbeck canoe – having forgotten that the Battenkill is notorious for destroying delicate watercraft and decided to return home to cut and split wood – UGH! In hindsight, Ray may have been able to survive the twelve mile paddle unscathed but it wasn’t worth the risk. Dropping off a couple of shuttle vehicles at the Route 22 takeout we proceeded to the Stateline put-in. With some instructions from our leader, Tom, it wasn’t long before the six kayakers and two canoeists were on our way. Partially swollen from a recent rain the river was slightly high and had a good current – and in many places only minor paddling was needed to adjust your direction. In some of the more tricky places Tom threaded the group through without incident, stopping occasionally to re-group and visit a little. On our way we saw a blue heron, a mother merganser with her 12 chicks and some lucky ones were able to see an osprey dive and catch his lunch. It didn’t take long before everyone was ready for lunch and before we knew it we were at the Georgi Museum and Park Center in Shushan – a favorite lunch spot 7.5 miles into our trip. To our surprise Diane, her sister Donna – visiting from Seattle, and their parents stopped by for a visit. We were also joined by Doris who planned on paddling the last part of the journey with us. The weather was perfect and the grounds were very relaxing – the only thing missing were hammocks! As always, lunch had to end and the nine of us were on our way. The river seemed a little wider in this last section and we were thankful for the slightly high water because some of the sections can be rather shallow – but not this time and the last 4.5 miles went by rather quickly. Just upstream from the Rexleigh Covered Bridge, Tom gave us a little history behind an old, decaying building. Originally built as a wooden grist mill in 1794, the property was sold , the wooden building replaced with the current stone structure - becoming a cement factory, wool & garment factory, marble mill, munitions factory during the Civil War and even a hippie commune during the 60’s and 70’s – known as the “Rexleigh Pottery Mill” until it burned down in the 80’s. Not much further downstream we arrived at our take-out and made the required shuttle to pick up the rest of the cars. A little too close to dinner so we skipped the customary ice cream stop. Great trip everyone – thanks to Tom, Don, Dale, Fran, Claire, Ray Boucher, Linda and Doris for making this a memorable paddle.

Peter, for Tom

7 photos



Visiting at Georgi, L to R - Ray, Tom, Diane, Donna, Don



Visiting at Georgi, L to R - Dale, Fran, Linda



Monster Tree at Georgi



Tom and Doris Working Hard



Tom and Claire



The Mill at Rexleigh



Group at Rexleigh Covered Bridge



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