Saturday, April 24, 2010

Normans Kill Paddle

On Sunday April 18, we got in the kayaks and set off on an urban adventure... adventure good for the spirit and soul, keeping us in touch with the twists and turns of life! We usually think of going north for an adventure but here we found one in our own backyard.

A fantastic trip of 13 miles or 21 km... Put in at Route 155 crossing of the Kill and taking out at the Steven's Farm before the bridge over the Kill to Delmar (you can reach it by turning at the Normanskill vet's office just near the bridge).

We put in after spotting a car at the farm and returning to the Route 155 put-in. Very easy getting the boats in here. The paddle started at about 1:40pm. No rain and cool spring air.

This nice map shows our route. Paddling was easy until the first road crossing at Johnson Road where immediately after the bridge a downed tree turned over two of the paddlers and a third had the smarts to go left and drag his boat over the trunk. Careful here since the water ran quickly under the downed trunk and easily turned us over.

Thoroughly soaked, and back in the boats we continued on, meandering through a pleasant landscape where just the peaks of suburban houses let us know we were not far from civilization. Lots of bird life: kingfishers, great blue herons, spotted sandpiper, bluebirds,and even a pileated woodpecker later on.

Through these meanders we crossed over two more downed logs both of which had been "improved and enlarged" by beaver activity. One paddler sighted the waterway engineer on his rounds. Careful here since logs are slick and maneuvering really requires some finesse. Both crossings are possible even with canoes but be prepared to get wet and take your time.

We thought this paddle would take at most a couple of hours and we crossed the second obstruction at 5pm. Who brought the snacks?

From there we paddled smoothly crossing under the bridge over Krumkill Road and Route 85 then New Scotland Road. In the home stretch there and somewhat familiar territory on the banks of the golf courses, Albany MUNY and Normanskill CC.

Amazing adventure. Some fast moving water. Some shallow rapids requiring a push... Thanks to my brother Jon and to my husband Ricardo. Great outing though we were thoroughly chilled when we brought the boats out at 6:15pm.

That pizza sure tasted good and the hot shower was par excellance!