Paddling on the Ashuelot River

This weekend the forecast said bright and sunny but it changed a bit and we were back to some rain.  It’s funny how the camping experience changes on rainy days and one of the drawbacks of a seasonal site is you can’t plan your camping tips around the weather.  When we went into the camper thee was a definite rotten food smell.  This was new as the camper has still maintained its “new camper” smell this whole time but we could smell it.  After checking the fridge we discovered the smell was coming from the sink.   During the week, Lee came out and drained and flushed the tanks and although he had put some water in the black tank (you must do this to avid hardened pyramids of poo) he did not put any water in the grey tank.  I put some chemicals down it and once we took our showers Saturday morning the smell finally dissipated, but definitely a lesson learned is to leave some water in BOTH tanks.  Part of the problem with being parked seasonally is there is no motion to agitate the water and clean the sides of the tanks.  The sensors in the grey tank say 2/3 full even when its empty so there is definitely residue of some sort stuck to the sides.  We do the best we can not to let any food particles go down the sink, but seriously this is next to impossible.

We were able to grill out burgers Friday night though and after 25 years of marriage I have finally gotten Lee to watch the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series.   For those who are fans getting him through Season 1 was a challenge, but we finally hit season 2 and he likes it better.  This was the thing my girls and I did together growing up and we are all huge fans of the show, so it’s nice to be able to finally share that with Lee.  So far that’s been our rainy night activity 🙂

Saturday we woke up and it was cool and overcast.  Lee put the boat in the truck, but I wasn’t thrilled about paddling in the weather…but we waited it out and around 12:30 drove down to the Ashuelot River.  We put into the river by Matthews Road i( right by one of the 7 covered bridges in Swanzey) and although there isn’t an official boat launch there we managed to navigate the mud and get it into the water.  Our plan was to paddle upriver until we got tired and then turn around and float/paddle back.  I will say I love going downstream, but not as big of a fan of going upstream 🙂  That’s work!!  IT was absolutely beautiful though and although somewhat overcast we had a wonderful time.

 

The covered bridge by the river entrance

The covered bridge by the river entrance

Pretty view of covered bridge through the trees

Pretty view of covered bridge through the trees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View of the bridge from the river

View of the bridge from the river

As you can see from the construction its old old

As you can see from the construction its old

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The water was muddy from the rain

The water was muddy from the rain

We paddled right under this tree hanging out over the water

We paddled right under this tree hanging out over the water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We saw a turtle on this log but it jumped off before I could get a picture

We saw a turtle on this log but it jumped off before I could get a picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the way back we decided to get a little adventurous and went into a couple of alcoves and side streams.  It’s fun but you couldn’t really see how deep it was so we had to really communicate in order not to get stuck .  We also saw along the river bank some mussel shells.  I had no idea the river had muscles in it…so I looked it up when we got back and they are Eastern Elliptio Mussels  .   The animals apparently know because there were lots of shells along the river bank.  We went over to the bank at one point so I could get a rock for my collection and we saw many of them.   All in all it was super relaxing and after two paddling trips I am definitely hooked…although my arms and shoulders are sore again today 🙂

We went down this side stream to the left as far as we could go

We went down this side stream to the left as far as we could go

Who new the river had elliptio mussles?? The animals apparently

Who new the river had elliptio mussles?? The animals apparently

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We got back to the campsite and I started to get things ready for dinner for our friends Mark and Cricket.  As you know if you’ve been reading I like to try out new recipes, especially foods made over the campfire, but I have only subjected Lee to the results of those experiments.   Mark and Cricket are the mellowest couple we know  so I thought I would try out some new items on them.  I did warn them though that usually I only had a 50% success rate 🙂  Cricket and Mark came about 6pm and Cricket brought me some flowers from her yard as a housewarming gift.  So sweet and very beautiful.  Plus the little flower holder does two things…looks pretty and doubles as a small vase.

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Housewarming gift from Cricket and Mark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We took them on a tour and Lee and I watched the food until finally everything was done.  Turns out I had some good karma coming for being adventuresome because they liked everything!! Chicken, Baked potatoes, Grilled Carrots, and Bacon wrapped corn on the cob all were declared winners!  The bacon wrapped corn was particularly interesting.  It had some kick because of the chili powder and the bacon flavor enhanced rather than drowning out the taste of the fresh corn.  I am a corn purist being brought up in the heartland but this was really good.  If your interested in the recipes I have them below.

Mark and Cricket eating

Mark and Cricket eating

Chicken, Corn on the cob, carrots, and baked potatoes 100% cooked over the fire

Chicken, Corn on the cob, carrots, and baked potatoes 100% cooked over the fire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After dinner we stayed up talking for a long time.  One of the things I don’t like about our seasonal site is we are surrounded by VERY loud neighbors.  On the nights they are in sounds like they have 20 people at their sites.  The conversation is pleasant not obnoxious but they are loud.  One of the coolest things about having people over to visit is it helps tune out what they are doing…although we all know how to use an appropriate level outside voice lol.  Again, one of the downsides of a seasonal site.  When we had loud neighbors last summer we shrugged it off for just one weekend and moved on, but these folks are for the summer.  They are nice people don’t get me wrong, but we like to camp for the nature and relaxation and they are definitely in the camping to socialize/party group.   All in all it was a another great weekend though and it was so nice that Cricket and Mark came out to share it with us.

 

Lesson Learned

  • Do not empty the grey tank completely or you will get a rotten food smell

 

Bacon Wrapped Corn

  • 4 ears of fresh corn
  • 4 bacon strips
  • 2 TBL chili powder

1.  Husk the corn and place on a large piece of foil

2.  Wrap corn in a piece of bacon

3.  Sprinkler with chili powder

4.  Close the corn in foil and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.  Flip once after 10 minutes

Preparing corn for the grill

Preparing corn for the grill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Potatoes Baked in Foil

I’ve tried several recipes to make baked potatoes on the grill and this one actually worked.  This is how we’ve always made potatoes in the oven and it works equally well over a campfire

  • 4 medium Idaho potatoes
  • butter

1.  Scrub potatoes and poke with a knife to create a steam release

2.  Place on large piece of heavy-duty foil folded over to double thickness

3.  Rub potatoes with butter or margarine (use your hands it’s fun and makes your hands soft)

4.  Wrap potatoes completely

5.  Place potatoes directly on coals on the outside edges of the campfire

6.  Cook for 1 hour turning every 15 minutes

 

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2 thoughts on “Paddling on the Ashuelot River

  1. Hey spent some time yesterday visiting campgrounds. Up until now every place we have gone to we have never been, we relied on word-of-mouth. Finally had some time to take a drive. Tried to visit three that were clustered close together. Couldn’t get to one because of some issue with a freight train. The first one we visited we were pleasantly surprised, much nicer than the website. The second one should be condemned and closed. It was like a junkyard with six 40 year old dumpy campers. Trash everywhere, no one around, chained up pit bulls, campsites weren’t even marked and didnt even have gravel pads, just wide spots in the weeds. Lots of abandoned buildings scattered around. Might have been quite a place in the 70s but I find it hard to believe they are legally open. Hard to believe how increbily misleading their website is. SOOO glad we visited first, can’t imagine how awful it would have been to roll in there with a reservation!!

    • It’s crazy right the variety of places and all still called campground. Google maps is a good way to eliminate some terrible ones. They can’t lie about the aerial view

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