The weather was incredible this weekend, and we had to choose from hiking or canoeing. I hadn’t gotten Jess out on the water yet and so I pushed for a canoe trip. Fortunately, she was game.
We decided to stay close to home and simple; we put in on Quaboag Pond, in Brookfield, less than a half mile from our house. Jess hadn’t been in a canoe since she was a child, so she was a bit nervous at first but it didn’t take long for her to realize how stable of a platform it was as long as the water was calm.
Our initial goal was to hug the shoreline of the pond and do a little fishing when opportunities arose. Though the air was fairly calm at our house, once we were on the water we encountered some pretty stiff breezes. That, and given the wonderful weather, there were plenty of bass fishermen out along the shoreline as well, meaning that hugging the shoreline wasn’t possible, we had to keep diverting around the fishermen. When the wind would pick up, the boat felt a little less stable, and it was clear Jess wasn’t having as much fun as she hoped.
So, we made a course correction, turned around, and went under the bridge and onto the slow-moving East Brookfield River. This river connects with the Sevenmile River in Spencer as well as Lake Lashaway. The air was calm once again, and we could paddle (or not) at our own pace. We admired several large beaver dens and listened to the many birds nesting in the area. Turtles would hop off logs and rocks as we approached. A huge hawk soared overhead, and sandpipers (we think) pecked at the marshy shoreline for food.
It really was beautiful and calming; everything I want out of a canoe trip (except for catching fish, but you can’t have it all!). We saw several other kayakers but we all gave each other plenty of space. It was almost sad to turn around and head home, but our arms were tired and Evie was leaving gymnastics soon. We got a solid couple of hours of paddling in, though, and we know we’ll be back.