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Archive for May, 2011

Uncle Euclid’s Camp

Nine Mile Pond is a special place for me because my family used to spend a lot of time here at my Uncle Euclid’s camp. His camp was a great big white house with a nice big front porch overlooking the pond. The kids didn’t spend much time in the house as there was a great beach and diving dock. Seems all my memories are great times with my family and all the aunt’s uncles and cousins. Tubing and cannonballs off the dock. We were in the water most of the time but there was also the greatest hammock and great big picnic table and stone fireplace for an occasional picnic. It’s a short drive from Chicopee and on the way the best memories are signing silly songs and stopping at State Line Potato Chip factory to get a “fresh” bag of chips! They were the greatest!

The Other Side!

We rarely boated, the canoe always stayed in the garage L But when we were a little older I do remember water skiing on the lake. It was like glass compared to the first time I got up on water skis on the ocean. Those good times came to an end after Uncle Euclid and Aunt Lillian pasted away sadly. The property is still in their family so a couple of years after I began kayaking I returned here with my brother Don and we found there was plenty of water to kayak on for a small pond and being out looking back towards shore and the old camp sure put a different perspective on things. On a sunny Sunday summer morning it’s the most peaceful place in the world. Especially round the bend of the pond where there are fewer houses and more Lilly Pads and Cat Tails. I’ve been back here several times and once came alone with a good book for some quite time. I was reading John Adams. What a man, what a life!

Great Blue on takeoff

We have lift-off!

I guess I was surprised to find Great Blue Herons hanging out here, never saw one all the time we swam here, oh yeah, we probably scared them all away with our yelling, diving and splashing!!! Oh what fun it was. I don’t think there would have been a way for my parents to keep 6 to 14 kids quiet enough for a Great Blue to visit!

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Don't take your kayak over this dam!

Don't take your kayak over this dam!

Aldrich Lake is another great local place to kayak.  We could throw our kayaks on the top of the car and be there in 30 minutes. We could probably make it there in twenty but of course there is the ten minute stop at Dunkin’ Donuts!  I used to drive Amherst Street almost daily when I went to UMASS. I loved this little country road with it’s twists and turns.  Then there was driving by the lake!  Many times I’d see cars parked by the road, fishermen I always figured.  Whenever we pointed to the map and said let’s go here that was a good decision.  The first time we put in was on the west side of Amherst St. there was a bit of a downhill carry. After that we found the east side was much easier.

The eastern half of the lake is a little smaller but very nice.  There is a dam at the far side above the Aldich Mills. A drive down Aldrich St to visit to the mill is worth the trip. Love the old mill’s waterwheel.  There is a nice little cove to the north.

Spring Ice Kayaking!

As you kayak into it you’ll notice some great fishing spots on the banks.  Once we got out and walked into the woods. Finding the remains of an old stone foundation made me wonder who built it and lived here so close to such a nice little lake. How long ago was it that the house standing here?   I think it’s almost like what it would have been living on Walden Pond!  In fact kayaking one cold March morning there was still ice on the lake. If you’ve ever read Walden you’ll remember the description of ice melting in the spring. How little bubbles form on the ice as it melts. As the ice gets thinner it takes on a honeycomb pattern.  Exactly as Thoreau describes in 1847

Gong under the road in one of the two steel tubes that connect the lake is a nice experience,,, that is unless you’re not afraid of spiders!  I think there were a few.  Renee told me once she and Don were doing kayak fishing here one night after supper and a thunderstorm came up so they took cover in the tubes.  Only later to be told that it’s a more dangerous place to be while on the water in a thunderstorm. UGH!

The end of the road! Beaver Dam!

There is more open water on the west side of the road.  Here the destination is Batchelor Brook.  Early season best as late season has some weed restrictions.  You wont be able to get to far up the brook but it’s good to explore.  About as far as we ever made it was what looks like the remains of an old stone bridge. It’s king of neat paddling up into the current but we never made it past.  It;s a beaver dam that was holding us back.   There were markers on the trees the last time I visited here.  This made me wonder if I could ever have the opportunity to buy a piece of property on the water.  This was nice but far from the nearest road and was a bit to darkly wooded for my taste.  Not something Diane would go for, that was sure!  So for now dream on…

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