This part of the countryside has been famous for many year among artists, poets, and travelers, who savor the high cliffs overlooking the Connecticut River and the Oxbow. For example, here's a painting by Thomas Cole of the Oxbow from Mt. Holyoke:
|Thomas Cole painting of the Oxbow from Mt. Holyoke|
It looked like a fun place to kayak to me, and we haven't had our kayaks out in a couple years. Plus, I could actually go across the Connecticut River and pick the trail up from the other side. That's not something I had expected to be able to do, but I really wanted to get on the water. I have memories of coming to the end of the NET spur in Connecticut, almost at Connecticut River shoreline, but finding a power plant in the way. That was frustrating. So close and yet so far. Here, the trail comes off of Mt Tom and has a brief road walk under I-91 to arrive at a state boat ramp.
|Looking west: M-M coming down from Mt Tom to the left to the boat ramp|
An importantly, my husband thought it looked fun, too, and so we set our kayaks in the water on a Friday morning, deliberately avoiding the weekend powerboat traffic. There were a few older fishermen using the boat ramp, but everything was pretty quiet and peaceful. We also had perfect weather an no wind.
|Mystery Snail, and invader from Asia|
At one point I got out of the kayak onto the classic floodplain filled with willow and silver maple, along with yellow flowers I believe were nodding bur marigold.
|Floodplain with willow, silver maple, and nodding bur marigold|
|Nodding Bur Marigold, a native of wet borders|
|This is as far as we got. Because we're lazy kayakers.|