Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Conneticut River

South Burlington, VT

Last week we took TJ on a cruise up and down the Connecticut River.  That river and its valley were things that I never paid much attention to before.  From years past, I was familiar with the river down near Windsor, CT.   From 2012, we saw some of the beautiful stretches of the river up in NH.  But, the Vermont sections, no.

I wanted to cruise and to camp on the primitive camping sites along the river.   However, we are still in the early learning stage, and I could not be confident of estimating travel times to get there well enough.  The sites, are widely separated by 25 or more miles.

So what we did was to get a camp site in Brattleboro to use as a base camp.  Then we took two day trips, one south (into Massachusetts) and one north, with the Vernon, VT dam as the mid point.

What we saw was much prettier than I expected.  Up and down the river, we saw only a handful of farms or homes.  Most places, we saw only the high river banks, the trees on the banks, and the beautiful mountains on either side.  A check with Google Earth however, shows that behind those trees on the banks are lots of farms, roads, houses and civilization.   I call that "the veneer effect", and I've blogged about that before.  Visible from the water is a thin veneer of seemingly unspoiled wilderness.

One other thing we learned.  99.9% of the river banks are too steep and too thick with undergrowth to be able to go ashore.  That I did not expect.  The few spots where we could stop could be an hour or two hours apart!

At the north end of our second day, was Putney, VT.  Our river cruising ambitions, include stopping to explore small towns that we have never seen before.  What did we find in Putney?  Lunch, a library where I could check email, The Vermont Spinnery (see below), and Curtis' BBQ stand.    It was charming.

Nice Eagle or Osprey Nest

The Vermont Spinnery where they make yarn

The knitted entrance to the spinnery
Vermont Route 30

On the way back, we found roads and sections of Vermont that we've never seen before.   Particularly nice was Vermont Route 30 from Manchester, to Dorset, to Wells, to Fair Haven.  Wow, what a pretty valley, and not tourist infested!   I'm ashamed (and delighted) to admit that we are discovering more about Vermont this summer than we ever did the many years we lived here, or cruised on Lake Champlain.  

When you live on a cruising boat, and you do not have a car, you see and experience wonderful things, but there is also much you can't see.

1 comment:

  1. I always wanted to design and build a really big "jon boat" house boat. Steel hull to take the bumps and snags. Big enough to live simply and well. Small enough to do a great loop route and smaller rivers along the way. Two small outboards would make turning easier and even one small outboard on the bow to help turns. Couple of 25hp ones should give enough power to fight a mild current with not too much fuel use. There are a LOT of places a couple could explore. The Great Lakes? Forgetaboutit.The Mississippi alone would take years. Then you have a lot of southern Louisiana. Swampy little places to meet and eat Cajan. Sort of an Americanized version of a European canal boat. Ken


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