Author Topic: Camping and paddling western Massachusetts  (Read 511 times)

John P

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Camping and paddling western Massachusetts
« on: August 28, 2020, 08:46:14 PM »
Here's a report on a trip I did earlier this week with my wife. Kathy had hip replacement surgery back in June, and she's currently trying to raise her level of physical activity, so this represented some "firsts" for her. First canoe trip, first camping trip, first swim! And happily, all these experiences went well.

We started out in a location east of the Connecticut River, in the town of Holland. The plan was to go down the Quinebaug River a couple of miles to Brimfield Lake, then turn around and come back, but the water level was so low and the river was so choked with weeds that we decided not to try it, and we just paddled around Holland Pond instead. It wasn't very exciting, and I didn't take any pictures. Plus there were enough people around that clothing seemed necessary the whole time.

Then we moved on to camp beside the Westfield River in a location I've visited occasionally over the years. I found the spot in 1973 when I had my first job, in Connecticut. When a weekend came, I promised myself that I would drive north and find a place to camp, and go skinny-dipping! My exploring instinct was pretty good, because I found this spot and got both in one place. It's not totally unknown, and people do go there to camp and swim, but as unofficial campsites go, it seems to get a low level of trash and general destruction. On this occasion, we arrived and found a man and a woman sitting by the water, and in a reversal of the usual situation, he had shorts on and she was naked. I was concerned that they planned to camp there, and if they had, I had a "Plan B" site in mind, but it's not as good. So I decided to approach them and ask how long they were staying, and it seemed best to do it naked! So that's what I did, and in fact when the woman first saw me she reached for clothing, but then she relaxed and put it down again. They said they were just there to enjoy the spot for an hour or two, so we set up our chairs and table a little way away, and read books and made a cup of tea. Eventually they left and we moved in and claimed the site. We didn't see anyone else for the rest of our time there. By the way, this is a site for railroad enthusiasts, because the main line between Boston and Albany is just the other side of the river. Business must be good for CSX Transportation Inc, because we didn't get an uninterrupted might's sleep! In spite of low water in the river, the swimming was pretty good. Since Kathy doesn't favor minimalist camping, we took our large tent, and folding chairs and table. Does this make it a "glamping" trip?

The next day we got a late start, but it didn't matter. After taking down our campsite and having another swim, we moved on to Littleville Lake. That's an artificial lake created to defend towns downstream from flooding, so it needs to be kept at low level. Even so, it's a couple of miles long, with boat ramps at each end. In hopes of evading power boats, we used the upper ramp, but in fact there wasn't a motor anywhere on the entire lake that day. I haven't got any pictures of our craft under way, but I paddled most of the lake nude, both ways.

We got dinner at a roadside restaurant with outdoor dining, but then had to finish our meal in the car when a rainstorm suddenly struck! However, just up the road on the 2nd or 3rd highest bridge in the state (depending on the tide in Boston Harbor) we drove straight toward a rainbow. All a very excellent trip.


We set up our table and chairs on a level spot overlooking the river.

I gathered wood so we could have a fire in the evening, but we never got around to lighting it. Maybe someone will use the wood.

The boat is on the ground so we can get the tailgate open.

Does that rock across the river look like a bison lying down?

With the big tent and table and chairs, maybe we’re glamping!

A fake picture, because I wasn’t actually cooking anything.


Boat loaded on car, and we’re ready to go.

Paddling down Littleville Lake, from the swampy end where the stream comes in.

Our lunch spot with flowers growing in the water.

A local resident ignored us.

I thought this picture would show how I was easting lunch with my feet in the water!

Looking down to the dam. The Corps of Engineers keeps the lake partly full, but the level might rise if there’s a flood.

The boat ramp near the dam, where we met a lady with a solo kayak. She’d gone to retrieve her car when I took the picture.

View up the lake from the boat ramp.

Heading back up the lake, with a tail wind kicking up very small waves.

An intrepid paddler!

This is the Facebook version.

A bonus—on the way home we drove through a shower of rain, and there was a fine rainbow over the French King Bridge.
               

jbeegoode

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Re: Camping and paddling western Massachusetts
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2020, 07:22:34 AM »
Maybe a hippo with big droopy ears?
Jbee
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jmf

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Re: Camping and paddling western Massachusetts
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2020, 09:39:04 AM »
or elephant
I like hiking, running, kayaking, biking, sailing, geocaching...naked of course!

John P

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Re: Camping and paddling western Massachusetts
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2020, 02:44:30 AM »
No, guys. Hippos and elephants are not native to North America. It has to be a bison.

jbeegoode

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Re: Camping and paddling western Massachusetts
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2020, 03:48:21 AM »
Okay, with big floppy ears. ;D
Jbee
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nuduke

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Re: Camping and paddling western Massachusetts
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2020, 06:35:28 PM »
Maybe it's a water buffalo...or even a wash bison?  ;D


JohnP, Great trip.  Is your wife a naturist too?  I assume, if not, that she is highly tolerant of your nudity - true?
When browsing through your excellent photos, I did get a nudity warning from Imgur.  It was just a pop up box with click button to verify over 18 years old but I thought you might like to know that Imgur have that facility so they appear to know what photos contain nudity.  It was the one of you eating lunch on the boat with your feet in the water.  Others with pictures of you skyclad a bit further into the distance didn't throw up the warning box.
John

John P

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Re: Camping and paddling western Massachusetts
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2020, 04:38:07 PM »
John Nuduke, my wife and I got together at a mature age, and I was able to make it clear that I'm a naturist, and she had to accept it if the relationship was going to work! With some forethought (you could say a little machination) I was able to make sure her first personal impressions were positive, and she's met my naturist friends and doesn't think I'm hanging around with lunatics, or at least they're no worse than I am. No, she's not really a naturist, but she'll swim nude if conditions are right--in fact a couple of the nude beaches here in New England are real favorites of hers. And we spend a lot of time naked at home while the weather's warm. Unfortunately Kathy has mobility issues (the hip replacement that I mentioned was only a partial fix for that problem) so there's no hope that we could ever do what JBG and the excellent Desert Flower do. Still, I recognize that I have blessings to count.

Imgur has been getting annoying lately. I don't know why it capriciously censors pictures--it doesn't happen immediately, and I don't know what triggers it. Someone stumbling on pictures here and there and denouncing me, perhaps?  I've taken a look at other image hosting services, but I have this spreadsheet setup that uses Imgur, and I'm not eager to learn another site's interface requirements. I'll change that one picture over and hope that the problem is limited just to that.