Fall Foliage Paddle on the Wallkill River
by Martin W.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
(Yesterday's Fall Foliage looked more like...
Fall Foliage Paddle on the Wallkill River)
Since there wasn't much of a change in the foliage color yesterday on the Wallkill River - still mostly green - I have have scheduled another Wallkill trip for Sunday, October 20th all with the hopes that maybe by then we'll have an actual "Colorful Fall Foliage" excursion.
But getting back to yesterday's trip, we had 13 paddlers attended with 9 kayaks and 3 canoes. The paddlers were... Herta D., Wil F. May F., Mark D., Susan R., Elenore H., Jean F., Richard H., Barbara P., Alan R., Harris R., guest Nancy S., and myself.
The trip itself went well for all - except for that beaver we encountered - it was deceased... no more... actually quite dead and it didn't get better. Temperature must have been scraping close to 80 (WTF.. this is October isn't it?) At the put-in access on Rt. 565, signs were posted by the Federal Authorities that all Federal Lands (which the Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge is part of) are closed due to those moron's in Washington shutdown... but we got them on a technicality - the sign plainly said all Federal "Lands" were closed to the public... they didn't say anything about Federal "Waters" so the anarchists in us proceeded on. Go ahead, just let them try to lock me up! Hey, we're smarter than those dumb-asses in Congress!
The water level was extremely low but still mostly passable without much haulin' and a few "shakin' an' bakin'" and with little current to help us along it required a bit more endurance to complete the 8 miles to Oil City Road, but the group did well with no problems. Lunch was taken next to a rather large beaver dam feeding into the river - and then about 100 feet downstream we found that expired beaver floating in a log jam. Too late, we already finished lunch.
Not much wildlife was observed, just a few hardy turtles, some other birds including a sparrow taking a lengthily shower under the beaver dam at the lunch spot and a couple of Herons. We stopped at Bassett's Bridge for a pit-stop for a few and after me hyping up the infamous and death-defying "The Rapid" we ran the 3 seconds of minor excitement on this section of the Wallkill which I think disappointed most everyone. In a short time we came upon the "Redneck Campground" which surprisingly was completely deserted. Arriving at the take-out at Oil City Road we loaded up the boats and defiantly flipped that posted "Federal Lands Closed Due To Government Shutdown" sign the "bird" indicting what most of us think of Congress.
Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary