This was a 10-mile paddle downstream and then back upstream on the Passaic River from from Bloomfield Ave. following Hook Mountain Rd. and into the beginning of Great Piece Meadow. I started out the day thinking I would be able to go from Rags’ last day of agility class to a one-way paddle down the Passaic River through the Great Piece Meadows. The plan was set up nicely with Kathy being dropping a car off around Passaic Ave. in Fairfield and then driving me and my kayak back up to the Horseneck Rd. crossing of the Passaic River in Montville. When we arrived in Fairfield we saw the river was very low and the take out would be a mess and a and long trek so I chickened out. More importantly, it was getting late and cool and the days was getting shorter so I wasn’t confident I had time to do the trip safely before I ran out of light. I have never done this entire stretch before.
I therefore went to impromptu plan B. I took the car alone and parked in the warehouse complex off of Bloomfield Ave. and entered into the River from there. I had done this once before but that was when the river was flooded. Today, the river was low and I had to lower the kayak down a steep embankment to get it into the river. It was a bit tricky but I got in without incident.
The trip was 10 miles and just under 4 hours going down and up the lazy Passaic River. There were no places that I had to portage around but it was close at times and the water level was probably as low as it gets. The autumn colors were still around and there are some nice photographs of the colorful trees and nice reflections off the water. That is what I was going for. Wildlife was restricted to a close encounter with a blue heron. Additionally, I came upon this farm in Montville that had some shaggy horses, sheep and goats that were free to graze up to the river. So I was able to get a good look at them also.
I finished the trip at 3:15 and had a couple of hours to spare and looking back at it all, I could have easily made the journey through the Great Piece Meadows. The only thing that could have stopped me would have been a leak in the boat or something. When hauling the kayak up the steep embankment at the takeout point I discovered the boat felt very heavy. I discovered the back storage compartment was partially filled with water. Apparently, I did spring a leak and that could have been an issue on a longer trek. It looks like a pin hole in the back of the boat but I now have to look at getting that fixed or getting a new kayak for next year. Maybe it was good I didn’t do the whole Great Piece Meadows paddle. It will have to wait until next year.
The timeline of the trip based on phot stamps is provided below:
- 11:33 – First picture on the water
- 11:37 – Go under Rt 46 bridge (789 feet)
- 11:49 – Go under Rt 80 bridge (4,526 feet)
- 12:30 – Go under Horseneck Road bridge (3 miles)
- 12:54 – Approach horses and goats
- 1:06 – Turn around at blow-down (5 miles)
- 2:03 – Back under Horseneck Rod bridge (7 miles)
- 2:54 – Back under Rt. 80 bridge (9.15 miles)
- 3:10 – Back under Rt. 46 bridge
- 3:14 – Last picture on the water (10 miles)
To view a slideshow of the photos taken on this trip or to purchase downloads ($0.99/download), prints or other items, go to my SmugMug link below. There is some really nice foliage in these photos to look at, so check out the pictures. You can also vote on your favorite photos so let me know what you like.