Ian A. Dunn
A Slow Train Comin'
The sun is shining, and it is a very hot day; somewhere around ninety. Yesterday, we had the wood stove going. But, in spite of the fluctuating temperatures, Spring has certainly come now, the trees all have young, green leaves, the birds are calling, the grass is growing, and the pollen is covering the vehicles.
At the end of Winter, we decided to buy some kayaks, so we went to the store to look at them, there was a certain model we were after but they didn’t have many at the store only one for display. We did some shopping around, and finally decided on The kayak. Well, wouldn't you know, they had sold out everywhere. You wouldn’t think kayaks would be such a big thing during the pandemic, but it appears this is the case. Maybe with people being out of work, they are trying out new things, and doing more ‘out of doors’.
Whatever the case, we ordered two kayaks and two paddles online, not knowing the former were sold out. So, we waited and waited … to quote Dylan, “There's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend”... It was quite the wait. Eventually, one of them showed up, and we brought it home. Even though the other hadn’t come yet, we decided to take it out on the water anyway.
In our town, there are two mountains, the North and South Uncanoonucs. They are low peaks, a bit over thirteen hundred feet, but are still a nice feature to the landscape, and you can see them clearly when you come into town down Route 114 near the cemetery. At the base of one of these is the Uncanoonuc Lake, a 23-acre body of water, which is fairly shallow. That was our destination, so we loaded the kayak onto Webster, my 4Runner, and set off for the lake.
It is only 5 minutes from home. Supposedly we had went ice fishing here when I was little, but I don’t remember it, so it may as well have been my first time on this water. Around it are dirt roads and hiking trails, and the mountain rises up above the lake.
We put the kayak in the water, and I strapped on the life preserver. I set off from the bank, and made an unsteady path through the water. It was a bit of work to go straight, and to remember which paddling techniques to use when, but I was out and moving across the lake. The kayak is designed for fishing, so it is wide and stable, not overly fast, and leaves a wide wake across the water.
Out on the water, I saw old water logged tree stumps, and large boulders sticking up through the surface, making granite ‘islands’. On one, I saw the remains of someone’s fire. A little over a hundred feet from shore, there is an actual island, albeit small it did host trees, shrubs and nesting birds.
When we decided to leave, I disembarked from the kayak and we reloaded it on top of the roof. We headed for home, and even though it was getting dark, I drove home the long way, over the roads which go in a more round-about path, up closer to the Mountain.
So that was the first time in a kayak, and the ‘first’ time in Uncanoonuc Lake. Of course, the kayaking will be better, whenever Dad gets his…but it was still an enjoyable time, right here in our own home town!