After tracking the weather this week and seeing the possibility of record high temperatures in the forecast, I knew this would be the first kayak run of the 2016 season. The late warm weather in December of 2015 allowed for late trips and there really wasn't much of an off season. Less than 4 months is great for around here. All week I was struggling what I should choose as the destination for the first trip of '16. Going back through old videos, Milford Pond came up. I hadn't been there since mid-summer last year which was our first trip there. The pond is only about 10 minutes from my home, and seemed like a good plan for our run today.
The put in I use here is pretty easy to get to. If you go to the Target in Swansea, and turn left on Milford St from the exit behind the store, the put in is right there across the street. It's a little steep going down, but once you get in your all set. This put in is right next the dam between the Milford Pond and Cole River on the south side of the pond. There is another dam on the north side, which was our destination point for the trip.
Last time we went to Milford Pond the water was covered in green algae. It was so hot that week, and as we started across the pond it looked like a completely different pond than what I remembered. The water was pretty clear, and shallow. Lack of snow this winter definitely lowered water levels. You could see by looking at the shore that the water was over a foot lower than the high water mark. There were portions of the pond where we were barely floating in less than 3 inches of water. The transition on the north end of the pond going from the pond itself into the river flowing from the dam was incredibly shallow. We had to push over the sandy bottom to get ourselves into the deepening river. At one point the shallows drop off into a deep trench from the flow of the river, and we were able to make our way under the bridge on Wood St. Just beyond the bridge, downed trees blocked our way and we were forced to turn around and head back. I think if the water levels were higher, we would have been able to make it all the way to the upper dam, but low levels exposed all the trees which were preventing us from passing.
Heading south in this upper section was quick. The river was flowing pretty quickly, even with these low water levels, so we glided back to the shallow section where we had to once again pull our way through the sand. It took us a little while but we made our way back to the deepening pond and worked our way south. The wind was really blowing in our faces and Desmond was getting a little chilly. We decided to make a pit stop at a large rock outcropping along the side of the pond. We climbed up top and it was sheltered from the wind by some big pine trees. The rock was covered with a rug of moss and the sun was bright and warmed up quickly. It was literally the perfect spot for a break. We sat in the moss and relaxed until we were ready to move on.
The trip from the rock to the put in is pretty short, so we stopped at the dam on the south side to take a look. The low water levels allowed us to get right out and walk along the dam to take a look. It was pretty fun, and Des was enjoying himself throwing sticks and rocks over the dam. After a little bit we jumped back in the kayak and make the 5 minute paddle back to the put in.
I could not have been any happier with our first trip this season. Even Desmond kept saying how great of a first trip it was. He really enjoyed it, and how could I not be happy with that? Hopefully we have a great season this year!
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