Nahanton Downstream

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Sunday, I paddled downstream from Charles River and Canoe and Kayak’s Nanhanton Park location. Unlike the upstream side, which runs about 14 miles, this is about a two mile trip before you have to stop just short of the Silk Mill Dam. The river is narrower, and the trees crowd the river, providing lots of shade. There are many more human structures nearby, starting with the radio towers looming in the distance. Continue reading

Last Paddle of the Season

Today was my last kayaking trip of the season. I’ve had a season pass this year at Charles River Canoe and Kayak, and wanted to go one last time before they transfer over to the  Weston Ski Track for the winter. The weather was sunny, but seasonably chilly — a little over 50°, I’d guess. With water temperatures in the forties, though, wet suits were required,  so I wore my diving 7mm suit.

I wasn’t the only one on the river, either. As I was getting ready on the dock, a guy in a dry suit was returning on a stand up paddle board, and I saw a couple of other folks in kayaks over the course of the trip. It was fairly comfortable while I was in the sun; slightly chilly when I was in the shade. All the maples, and many of the other trees, had lost all their leaves, but the oaks still had their leaves, brown, but just beginning to drop. Continue reading

Swans

I was kayaking downstream on the Charles one Saturday evening this past July when I came upon a family of swans.

Swan Family

Swan Family

Papa Swan was not at all happy to see me; whenever I started to get close, he’d paddle rapidly toward me, and start hissing, while the mother stayed close to the younger ones.

Papa Swan to the defense

Papa Swan to the defense. Note the bow wave on him.

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10 Mile Paddle

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Sunday, I did Charles River Canoe and Kayak’s Shuttled River Trip from their Nahanton Park location. You meet at Nahanton Park in the morning, and they drop you and the kayaks ten miles upstream, at Charles River Park, a small turnout along Route 135.

The scenery is very nice along the way, and the weather was perfect. Some parts are very wild looking — you’d never know you were close to civilization. In other parts, you’re drifting under bridges and past some very impressive homes. Continue reading

Up a Lazy River

I took advantage of the nice weather on Sunday to spend some more time on the Charles. Earlier in the afternoon, I went in town to go rollerblading for the first time in a long time. I started in Allston, and skated up the bike paths, then crossed over the Anderson bridge to Memorial Drive and skated up to Western Avenue. There was a dragon boat race there, so it was really crowded. It was fun to be back on skates, but boy, was it painful. My legs just aren’t what they used to be.

After getting back to the car, I headed back out to Newton to go kayaking. I’d gone downstream last week, so this week I was determined to go upstream, all the way to the Route 16 dam if I could.

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Kayaking the Charles

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Despite the clouds and mist, I went kayaking along the Charles today. I headed downstream against a fairly stiff breeze out of Charles River Canoe and Kayak in Newton. Along the way, I saw a number of swans, a bunch of canadian geese, and the fiberglass animals that one of the homeowners has deployed along the way. Continue reading

Warm December

The unseasonably warm weather continued today. With a high around 54°, it felt more like October. I took the motorcycle out along Route 109 to 27 to  Route 16, past the Weston Ski Track, where they weren’t making snow yet, to Route 30 and back.

I then loaded the bicycle into the car, and took a ride along the Charles. My legs have been stiff and sore lately, so at the start of the ride, I wasn’t sure how far I could ride, but by the time I hit the Mass Ave Bridge, things had loosened up nicely, and I ended up going as far as the North Harvard Street bridge.

Boathouse Boathouse on the Cambridge side of the river, taken near sunset

It was beautiful around the river, but the earliness of the sunset was a reminder that it really is December. I’m wondering how long it will be before the weather catches up.