Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gone Canoin' - Watervliet Reservoir

I went on a great paddle today in the new canoe. Second time taking it out, and I absolutely love it.

View Canoe - Watervliet Reservoir River in a larger map

I went to the Watervliet Reservoir, and after driving around for a while looking for a place to put in, I found a nice little trail that led down to a muddy 'beach' under a bridge where I could launch the canoe. It looked like fishermen used the place frequently (in fact a couple showed up just as I was leaving), and there were scrapes on the rocks that looked like a boat had been put in some time in the past (it was blue BTW).

Launch point

After noticing some signs that indicated I should not go on the reservoir, and thinking it over for a bit, I decided to err on the side of caution and head upriver instead of out into the reservoir proper.

No Tresspassing

The river was extremely slow moving, and relatively deep where i started. It sped up a little as I got further upstream, and there were quite a few nice little rocky and sandy shoals that I could have stopped at. There were a few little ponds just off the main river near the starting point, I explored one.

Little pond

I spotted a couple of otters, some herons, and a ton of small fish. There were a few large carp in there too, but mostly down where the river was slower near the reservoir proper. I stopped at one point and had some snacks that I'd brought.

Taking a break

I had to get out once or twice to get over some shoals or a tree, but these points were few and far between.

Some downed trees

I eventually decided it was getting on in the day, and that I should head back. It was actually starting to get kind of dark on the river (it's small enough that the trees block most of the light, and in the late afternoon it could get dark really fast).

Calm and collected

The rest of the pictures I took are available here.

On the way home I stopped at the mall and picked up a couple of things that I'd wished I'd had on the trip.

First was a waterproof bag. I didn't get much water in the canoe (except when I tried the kayak paddles) but there was enough that the plastic grocery bag I had was pretty much useless. The waterproof bag should keep me from worrying about that in the future.

I also grabbed a gorilla-pod for my camera. I took my old point-and-shoot with me and there was enough water in the canoe that sitting it on the bottom wasn't a really good idea. Also I think it would be cool to be able to get some shots of me actually in the canoe, and with the gorilla-pod I should be able to mount the camera to just about anything. I plan on leaving it wrapped around one of the thwarts, still in easy reach.

I really want to get some proper roof-racks now, since putting the canoe on and off the car is by far the most tedious part at the moment. I think i'll also pick up a removable yoke so that I can carry it a little easier, hauling it over the shoulder isn't all that comfortable even over the short distance I had to carry it from the car. Especially over uneven ground.

Also, I found out that CardioTrainer, which I used to record the trip, doesn't record times. Looks like I'll have to grab a different program for tracking my progress... Too bad, I like CardioTrainer.

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