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This was much better. This time the sun was shining, the temperature was in the high forty’s, the river was free of ice and flowing nicely, though still in its banks. Under these conditions, our eleven and a half mile trip from Tunnel Mill to Boone Forks’ Access went fast.
The bank full and fast moving waters had interesting currents and undercurrents. Bubbling water here, a strong eddy there and whirlpools elsewhere added to the experience. So was using a sea kayak for the first time since last fall. Rick and I were careful not to let the sometimes strong headwinds grab the high paddle blade and flip us.
Off the river with time to spare, we paused at the bar, A J’s, in Stratford. It appeared to be the only bar in town and there were no restaurant signs in sight. We probably should have eaten the microwave popcorn and not the frozen pizza. Even eating only half of the pizza was a two-beer affair. The best spin I can put on this part of the trip was that it had character. It also was smoky, with bad food. Though the food wasn’t as good, the atmosphere was easily a few steps up from Pete and Shorty’s in Clarksville.
Still, even considering that wretched pizza, it was worth it. The wildlife abounded on this stretch of the Boone River with its wooded bluffs and sometimes open fields. White-tailed deer, red-tailed hawks, turkey buzzards, black capped chickadees, beavers and otters were some of what made it another wonderful adventure. That, and the fact that neither of us went swimming in the fast moving, but still cold waters.
Tunnel Mill to Boone Forks, ~ 90 minutes at 4200 cfs.