This was the first overnight trip of the year, and it was highly anticipated. Not just because we would be paddling the only stretch of the Connecticut River still classified as wild and untamed, or because we wanted to see how cold we could be and still sleep compfortably in a Hammock, but because we just love being out there – on the water. To the point where a couple of buddies made the 4 hour drive up from Connecticut and sufffered through the 5 hour return ride home. It’s a guy thing.
Our enthusiasm did get the best of us. What was suppose to be an easy 20 miles “let’s paddle, fish, and make camp early”, turned into a 30 mile trip where we did all we could to make camp before sunset (and then pull out before sunset the next day). The draw to a longer trip was that the preceding 10 miles to our original put-in had some nice current, and due to low water levels, a few rapids – something that the Connecticut River rarely provides. But our reward of fast water on the first day quickly turned into punishment on the second day.
As our energy and the sun started to wane, so did the current. Lot’s of switchback in the river with a driving headwind made the last 10 miles a lot more work then we had anticipated. But it lifted off the winter cobwebs and we’re ready for some more paddling adventures this year.