Thursday, November 20, 2008

Reflections on Our NH Paddling Season

"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order." (John Burroughs)

Someone asked me recently what I like about quiet water kayaking, as in, "What's the thrill?" Well, there is no thrill really. No speed, no cheering crowds and no adrenaline rush of victory. And that's exactly what I love about it!

I love the peacefulness, being close to nature, being on the water. When you're kayaking, you can touch the water, smell the water lilies, watch a dragon fly, listen to the call of the loon. It's like hitting the "pause" button in the daily grind of life.

With that said, let's take a look back at some of our favorite spots this season. Be sure to send us comments and let us know about your favorite places.

A Perennial Favorite: It's no secret that we love Gilmore Pond in Jaffrey. Call it serendipity. Each time we've paddled here, everything seems to come together. The bluest sky ever, the warming rays of the sun, crystal clear water, an eagle soaring overhead. I realize that not everyone will score a "hat trick" when it comes to Gilmore, but we've been lucky each time we've paddled here.

Worth the Effort: The Turkey Ponds in Concord aren't the easiest to access. There's a bumpy, rocky road to the put-in. But they are definitely worth the effort. There's virtually no shoreline development and when we paddled here, there was very little boat traffic. The plant life, intriguing granite rocks, small islands and lots of acreage make for a very pleasant paddle.

Most Peaceful: For us this year, it was Willard Pond in Antrim, NH. Again, there's virtually no shoreline development and motor boats are not allowed. The water is clear; loons and other wildlife dominate and there's a view of Bald Mountain. Not a large pond, but very inviting, relaxing and easy to access.

I don't know about you, but I'm already looking forward to next season on the water. I just joined a kayaking group near Hampstead, NH. They use the internet to plan trips together and it seems like a diverse, friendly bunch of all ages and skill levels. While there are times that Doug and I just want to get away and enjoy the peace and quiet together, there are also times when we'd love to venture out to new places with new people. Check out the group on MeetUp.com.


monika said...

We joined the kayak meet up group this year too. But have not yet on on a trip with them. Maybe next season.

Anonymous said...

Hi Monika,
Maybe we'll meet at a "MeetUp" event next season. I was especially interested to read about the moonlight paddles. Not something we've tried before and would love to try it with a group.
Thanks for writing!