I did this paddle again, from Browncroft Avenue up to the point where Baycreek puts in for the Ellison Park shuttle. (Actually there is a pretty hefty rapid just upstream from that put-in so I doubt I’ll ever get upstream from there.) I’ve done it before, such as when I wrote about it last August in Rants and Revelations Â» Todayâ€™s paddle. It’s over 90 degrees out today, and the prospect of a shady stream seemed like a great idea.
I’m a little concerned because the little parking spot I park at had new “NO TRESPASSING” signs. The parking spot is in front of a small fenced off area that fences off a small brick structure that belongs to the Monroe Water Authority. I can’t imagine that a service truck from the Monroe Water Authority is going to show up at 4:30pm on a Thursday before a long weekend.
The stream was running extremely fast and high today. In previous paddles, there have been places that required me to push along the bottom and even to get out and drag – those places were deep enough to keep paddling, deeply in some places, and shallowly in the place I’ve had to get out and drag before. It was hard work, and I’m actually surprised I made it all the way to the turn-around point. I felt a bit Damiano Cunego today – in today’s stage of the Giro D’Italia, he kept sliding off the back of the leading group, but catching back up to it again and staying within contact to finish a pretty decent 5th. Or maybe I was more like MickaÃ«l Buffaz who yesterday while on a long solo break-away actually climbed off his bike and tearfully begged his coach to let him quit, but recovered and pedalled well for the rest of the race until he was eventually caught near the end. And I would paddle hard and get tired, then stop for a swig of water, and be ready to paddle some more. Of course, I had the knowledge that it was going to get way easier after I reached the turn-around point.
The wild life was pretty sparse today. A lot of ducks, a pair of grey catbirds, a pair of goldfinches bathing in the stream, mourning doves, swallows. I didn’t see any geese on the way up, but by the time I got back there were a couple of pairs near where I put in, including one that had at least 11 fairly large down covered babies. There were a lot of people out walking their dogs, and I nearly had to repel boarders in the main “dog park” part of Ellison Park.
It was a great paddle, but I worked too hard, and my elbows and shoulders are feeling it.