Sunday, July 31, 2011


I spent a good part of my youthful summers in a row boat. My father and brother loved to fish so I did get a lot of chances to throw out a line or two, but most of my experience in the boat was just going out and adventuring. While most of the kids I grew up were hanging around the city, bored and/or getting in trouble, I was hanging out at our old roadside camp off of the Pawkatuck River in Ashaway, Rhode Island having myself a grand ole time. I would go out in the boat for hours sometimes looking for turtles, but most of the time not doing much at all. I knew that part of the river very well. I knew where all the good stumps were to find sunning turtles, I knew where to find the swans and where the good rocks were to jump off for a swim. The river was mine.

Of course, I live very far from the Rhode Island / Connecticut border these days. The only river close to me that comes close to Pawkatuck, in regards to me knowing it well, is the Lamoille River. My boat of choice these days is a kayak. Getting the kayak to and from the river is more of a chore than the actual kayaking. It is a short drive but tying the boats firmly on the roof of the car is time consuming and taxing. It is not like having a cabin on the river where you can just leave your row boat there by the river at your beckoning.

The Lamoille is quite beautiful. Yesterday we were heading into a turn and we were looking at a hill (possibly a small mountain) whose reflection was hitting the water just right. With its green reflection almost as livid as the actual mountain, we appeared to be floating into a double mountain. We put the boats in the water in Jeffersonville near Bert's Boats and went up stream until we were hungry. We stopped on an island and had a picnic dinner before heading back. Downstream is my preferred mode of transportation.

The Lamoille was named "La Mouette" by Samuel de Champlain, the French word for gull which he witnessed at the river's source. At some point in its history, the name was changed to Lamoille by accident when some map maker forgot to cross their T's. I haven't seen any gulls on the river yet, but plenty of heron. No La Moilles either.

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