Sunday, July 3, 2016

On The Blackstone Canal

I so happened, through geocaching,  to find out about a kayak-navigable canal in Rhode Island, The Blackstone Canal. I believe it was dug in the 1820's, when Everyone was trying to Connect All Waterways. Now, there are "canals" on the map, but they always seem to be either dry or closed to boat traffic, so I was slightly excited to find this.
Day started inauspiciously. Forgot my directions, much driving around to find a put-in spot. Actually put in near the northern terminus, an interesting area with historical sites.
From the banks, it looked a little rocky & junky, but the water was deep enough, and I had few problems with snags. There were a few trees to go around. It was like a paddle down a lazy river.
I got skunked on 2/2 caches, which was a disappointment, but at least they got me here. I went about a mile each way. 
A lock, near the Blackstone river. I think it was the type of canal that uses the river's flow to fill the locks.
Once I returned to the put-in spot, I found the area historically interesting. 
An old New-English Mill, being converted into condos. 

Marking the site of an old mill.
There was also the Kelley House museum, by the canal, with a few ranger/curators. The was an old fellow, probably an octogenarian, in a uniform marked "volunteer". He took my picture when I launched the 'yak. 
When I took out, he admired the kayak & complimented my workmanship. When I was loading it onto the car, he said "boy, I envy you!". 
In fact, I envy him.