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Archive for October, 2011

Ready to launch...

There is one word that fully describes Tully Lake – Pristine!  Even though this lake was created when the Army Corps of Engineers finished the dam in 1949 as part of the flood control projects to hold back water from the Millers River which eventually makes it’s way to the Connecticut River.   Pristine may not be the right word for a man made lake but as you drive over the dam heading north from Royalston and look down on the lake the unspoiled beauty is all you see before you! The small park at the launch is very inviting and well kept.  It’s a jewel to behold!  Looking out around the lake it’s water, islands, and trees and nothing else.  I thank my brother Ray for introducing me to kayaking and to this great kayaking spot.  We’ve made the trip up to Tully every year for the past ten at least once a year.

The most inviting islands...

We’ve seen it with a heavy morning fog and in the full glory of autumn.  On lazy summer mornings it’s a fabulous treat to paddle around the coves and islands.  So much to explore… and when you want to get back next time to that special spot you found the trip before it’s sometimes impossible to find it thinking it was just around this bend or that island!  It can get confusing.  There is a great campsite here too. You’ll have to carry your gear in though as only tents are allowed.  There were times when we were paddling by early in the morning and the smell of bacon cooking over the campfire was just too much to bear.

Alone on an island...

The islands are great too… small in size, some have great little beaches and small trails to get from one end to the other.  I’ve often though that the perfect day would be to make the trip alone and bring a lawn chair and lunch and spend the day reading on one of these private islands.

We’ve not ever seen a lot of birds in this neck of the woods but there have been other great sightings. One in particular was the time we happened upon two very large snapping turtles interacting with each other. Your just amazed at the power and grace as they tumble at the surface of the water.  We saw them at the cove where Lawrence Brook feeds the lake.

Megan at Doane's Falls

Often we’ll park the kayaks here and take a hike up the side of the brook to Doane’s Falls.  A beautiful falls you’ve just got to see and enjoy.  It was nice seeing Megan enjoy the falls as much as she did.  While hiking up to the falls there was great field stone wall in the woods.  One can only wonder who built this wall with not much more help then a team of horses and his back.

Heading up north from the lake is Tully River and Long Pond.  This river and pond are quite peaceful as they meander north through some wonderful countryside.  A few years it was a bit tough to get over a small beaver dam, I think the poor beaver must of had trouble  keeping his dam in tact as kayakers do visit daily.

Morning mist...

Once early this season Don and I did the trip to Long Pond leaving Chicopee at 3:30 AM to be at the put in before daybreak.  That was a great experience. Eerie at first as the dark of night changed to dark blue with the trees taking form little by little.  Then a misty dawn opens our vision to see more and more as the light creeps in.  The first ducks are seen on a peninsula,,,, they were probably sleeping there all night.

There are hiking trails all around Tully Lake and Long Pond.  We often stop while on Long Pong to walk a bit.  This early morning while walking I heard a movement, I looked around but I missed him. Don who was walking ahead of me did however see a large buck jumping off into the woods.  That’s why I got up so early! I wanted to catch wildlife!  Oh well, there will be another time.

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