Saturday, April 19, 2008

Kayaking and Homemade Ice Cream

It just doesn't get any better than this! We took advantage of today's gorgeous weather to head to Gilmore Pond "on the spur of the moment." Of course, when you act spontaneously, you tend to forget things...like the binoculars and the new clips to secure our paddles to the kayaks (these should come in handy while we're busy doing other things like fishing or snapping photos.)

No matter what, Gilmore Pond never disappoints us. Within 15 minutes of being out on the water, we were watching a young bald eagle soar the thermals. Now that looks like fun! We also heard the tremolo of a solitary loon and later caught a distant view of this beautiful bird; I'm guessing his or her mate was sitting on a nest.
Aside from the wildlife, another highlight of Gilmore Pond for me is catching that illusive glimpse of Mount Monadnock. The mountain doesn't dominate the pond at all, it's just there in the far reaches, working its quiet magic.

The water temperature was probably no more than 50 degrees today. But that didn't stop three young men from taking an extended dip in the pond (brrrr!). From what I could tell, it was a springtime rite of passage for them.

We have a Gilmore Pond tradition ourselves. We almost always stop at Kimball Farm Ice Cream after a paddle at Gilmore (see the directions below). As you drive to Kimball Farm, you might think you're headed out to the "middle of nowhere." But when you arrive, you'll find hordes of people standing in line to order a delicious homemade ice cream cone or a lobster roll. There are plenty of picnic tables, an indoor restaurant, and a gift shop here. Be forewarned: portions are very generous at Kimballs. We split a small ice cream and it's more than enough for the two of us.

Directions to Kimball Farm: From Downtown Jaffrey, head east toward Peterborough. Shortly after passing Jaffrey Town Center, take a right onto Hillcrest Road. Drive uphill past a cemetery and then downhill until you come to a stop sign in front of Jaffrey Water Works. Turn left onto Turnpike Road and Kimball Farm is about 1/4 mile on your right.

Directions and more details on Gilmore Pond: Until I figure out how to put a link from one post to the next, just scroll down to my earlier post from April 11th.

Note: We have a saying in New England: "If you don't like the weather, just wait ten minutes." We went from cold, rainy, snowy days to warm temps in a very short time. That's why we were able to get out on the water a lot earlier than expected this year.
There's more to kayaking in New Hampshire than Gilmore Pond. I'll post trip reports from last season to Dubes Pond, Long Pond, Willard Pond, and other places soon...I promise.

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