D & R Canal Cruise & Cookout

6/11/06

     It was 9:30 and paddlers were beginning to arrive.  I was finishing off a minor addition to my canoe trailer.  A brace to reinforce the crossbars was needed.  Betty was packed and ready as usual and was greeting Jim, and Carole.  Fortunately Andrea got lost and gave me the time to finish before it became "my fault if we were late to the meeting point."

    Our drive was about an hour and fifteen minutes, one that I was familiar with since our cruise is near my son's home in Hillsborough.  We met Gail as scheduled at 11:00 am, about 2.5 miles south of exit 12 on 287 where Weston Canal viaduct crosses the canal.  We continued about three miles to Colonial Park.  After a short delay to search out the park rangers, we were given permission to drive in and drop our boats at a small dock on the canal.  The weather was almost perfect.  Mid seventies with a light breeze and bright sunshine.   

 

 We got on the water around noon and paddled South for a short time.  We came to a low bridge at Amwell Road and decided that by scrunching down in the boats, we could push our way through.  This worked fine and we continued to Blackwell Mills Road, reaching there about one forty five. 

 

     During our trip one of our members noted that there seemed to be no geese in the area.  I pointed out that we had passed quite a number of turtles approximating as much as 10 inches across.  I also pointed out that goslings are a favorite turtle food.  

  Right on the dot of two we heard that sound of drums and music in the distance.  We assumed that a wedding reception was taking place.  Later we learned that an outdoor concert was to have started at  two.

 

     As we paddled, we saw a number of bicyclists, fisherman, hikers and photographers.  We also passed one kayaker and two groups of fishermen in boats.  We stopped to speak to a few of them. 

     Our little group returned to the dock around two forty five and we talked the family seated nearby into rating our grace upon exiting the boats.  Jim won with a nine.

 

     As soon as we loaded the boats we headed for Bill's house in Hillsborough where he had agreed to host a BBQ.  Actually he provided the gas grill.  Betty had everything packaged and ready to grill. Gail was not able to join us for the picnic.  We returned home around four thirty.