Source to sea

I live close to the Connecticut River, within the Connecticut River watershed. The river, and the valley it runs through, is the arena for a lot about the things I do for fun, and has been since I came out here as a grad student in cough*1983*cough. We have paddled sections of the river from Bellows Falls VT to Northampton, MA. We have hiked all the marked trails (and several unmarked) on the edges of the valley, stopping at places where the view is good for a picnic. We have ridden bicycles over most of the roads between Brattleboro VT and Granby, MA within the valley, and from the eastern border fault to the western hill towns.

What I have never done, and what I have thought about for a long time now, is paddling the river from the beginning to the end – source to sea. The Connecticut River Conservancy has a page of people who have done similar things, either in one fell swoop or in sections. This is the summer I am going to work my way down the river, by boat where possible, in a boat of my own making when possible, from the top to the bottom, north to south, well spring to Long Island Sound.

I am definitely going to have to do it in sections. I’ve invited a friend to come along as well. She writes, and has summers off, so we can do a fair amount in parts of July and August. The next thing is to decide how exactly we want to do this – we need guidelines, and goals, so we’ll know if we are doing roughly what we mean to be doing.

I’ll write more, as it becomes clearer what we want to do.

2 thoughts on “Source to sea

  1. I can put you in touch with friend Erik who coordinated the UMass Outing Club Connecticut River Challenge (CRC) in the 2000s. He has maps of all the stretches, take-outs, portages, obstacles, etc.. We’d drive up to First Lake on the Canadian border on Friday night of Patriot’s Day Weekend, put on wet suits in the dark hours of the late night / early morning (sometimes in snow), and paddle canoes in shifts down the river over the 3-day stretch; two people paddling, two trying to sleep in the van, and two driving the van, and they’d rotate out every few hours or so. The dream was to get all the way to Long Island Sound over the weekend, but typically we’d make it to Northampton, depending on how much spring melt we had, how enthusiastic we were about paddling, and whether Moore Reservoir was still iced over and had to be portaged.


  2. What a great thing!!!!! I look forward to your posts about this grand adventure!!!

    Sent from my iPhone



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