The Crooked Canes Journal


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A Paddle on the Cedar River Flow ~ Sep 17, 2012

Journal entry by Ray Bouchard



We couldn’t have asked for a better day. The sky was blue, except for the occasional passing cloud, from mid-morning until the time we left. The 5 of us launched our vessels into the sheltered bay, comforted by the fact that there was hardly a breeze stirring. But in true paddlers tradition we were met by a bit of a headwind when we made the final turn into the Flow and began heading south towards the entrance to the Cedar River. It was just enough to make life interesting but not enough to curtail the usual socialization that takes place when friends haven’t seen each other in a while. In short we were jabbering so much we hardly noticed the little bit of extra effort that was needed to propel ourselves forward. A significant portion of the reeds at the far end of the Flow had turned brown; probably evidence of the recent hard freeze that had been forecast. The red color of the maples merely confirmed my suspicions. I wouldn’t say the color had peaked yet but there was enough of it to betray the fact that the nights had been colder here compared to where I live. The channel through the reeds seemed easier to follow this year so I didn’t have any trouble finding the entrance to the river. This is also the first time in recent memory that I haven’t had to fight a stiff current when I tried to paddle into the opposing current. Needless to say it’s also the lowest I’ve ever seen the water level in the river. Fortunately there was more than enough water to float our boats all the way to our destination. We arrived at the lean-to after paddling about 4.5 miles, and none too soon. About 15 minutes prior to our craft hitting the beach I heard the all too familiar intonation of the famed expression, “When’s lunch Ray” to which I jokingly replied, “In about 5 more miles”. We had a visitor from the lean-to greet us before we even had a chance to grab our lunch. It appears that he’s hiking the NP trail end to end with the notion that at some point he’ll post a blog on Facebook about his adventure. If the blog attracts enough readers then perhaps it will also attract advertisers. Assuming enough of his readers’ purchase things from his advertisers then he’ll be able to earn enough money for his next adventure. He did mention something about hiking in South America. For a moment, albeit a very brief moment, I wished that I had thought of that idea when I was just a young Whipper Snapper. Then it dawned on me; computers hadn’t even been invented back then and there was no such thing as the Internet so I couldn’t blog even if I wanted to. Darn! Anyway, when he learned of the lousy forecast for today, Tuesday, he decided he had to leave ASAP in order to reach the next shelter before dark and the ensuing rain and wind. Hopefully he’s as warm and dry as I am at this moment. I almost forgot to mention that after a leisurely lunch, Charlie offered everyone a kiss; I mean a Kiss. Eric and I looked at each other not knowing how to answer such an impertinent question, until he finally held out a plastic bag with the word “Hershey” on it. Then it was, “How many can we have?”. Our bellies filled, and our sweet tooth satisfied, we finally headed back the same way we had come. It didn’t take us long to reach the open waters of the Flow and would you believe, there was hardly a breeze stirring. Actually we were a little disappointed because in theory it would have been at our backs by now and Thora and Charlie’s umbrellas would have propelled them out of sight in a matter of minutes. Fortunately for the rest of us their “sail” kayaks didn’t quite work as planned. It was good too because it gave everyone time to enjoy the gaggle of Canada Geese near the eastern shore as well as a pair of loons swimming and diving in the more open waters. The other 4 were out of the parking lot heading for home around 3:30. I preferred to linger a little longer; sipping my coffee and eating a snack by the shore while I watched the rays of the sun illuminate the trees whenever the large clouds would allow it. It was so peaceful and quiet during that short time that I couldn’t help but make a wish. I wished that it were possible for all people, all over the world, to have experienced a day like this one with the 5 of us. Thank you Rose, Eric, Thora and Charlie for sharing this day with me.

9/19/12 - Ray Bouchard added 19 photos.

19 photos



We're heading towards the south end of the Flow where we'll enter the Cedar River - by Ray



Lunch at the Lean-to. Seated from L -> R are Eric, Charlie, Thora and Rose - by Ray



They're cheering because they're about to re-enter the Flow following lunch. It's amazing how a little Hershey's Kiss can re-energize you - by Ray



Little did they know that I was going to lead them through a 5' high bed of reeds - by Ray



OK, I lied to you. Holding the camera slightly higher gives you a much better perspective and the sense that there was an open channel. - by Ray



A gaggle of geese "hiding" in the reeds - by Ray



There goes Charlie. He's off and running with the wind; at least for a few minutes. I think he's on to something. - by Ray



And there goes Thora trying to beat Eric to the finish line. Eric needn't have worried though because the gusts were short lived. - by Ray



Speaking of the finish line, there's Wakely Dam and our cars. - by Ray



A Fall scene in the protected bay - by Ray



Photo by Ray



There were a few healthy looking Asters but not much else this late in the season. - by Ray



The gate was open so if you registered your vehicle you could drive another 23 miles to Limekiln Lake. I suspect that high ground clearance and a 4 wheel drive vehicle would be a good idea. Snowmobiles make use of the jeep trail in the winter. - by Ray



This was my parting view of the launch site as I began a slow sojourn back to Route 28. Fall arrived early here. - by Ray



A view of Wakely Pond from the shoulder of the Cedar River Rd. I'm going to have to come back and explore it one of these days. - by Ray



Photo by Ray



Another lovely view along the Cedar River road. - by Ray



I saw at least 3 dozen turkeys along the Cedar River Rd. as I slowly headed for home. More often than not they were in someones front yard. - by Ray



OK Peter, this one is for you. I just wanted you to know that you aren't the only one to spot a moose in the wild. I offered to share my strawberry yogurt cone but it just ignored me. Maybe next time. - by Ray



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