2021-2022 Canaan to Old Lyme, Solo Paddle

Starting Date: 
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
Starting Location: 
Canaan, VT
Days On The River: 

2021-2022 Connecticut River Paddlers Trail (17 Days)
Canaan, Vermont to Old Lyme, Connecticut. If you want more detail information email me, I will be glad to share information. Tim Walsh

The 17 day solo paddle took place during the summer of 2021 for 8 days and the spring of 2022 for 9 days. The 2021 trip covered 150 miles and the 2022 trip covered 200 miles for a total 350 miles.

1st Day. Tuesday, July 6th, 2021. Launch Site: Canaan, VT
Boat Access, RR (South Of Route 114 Bridge) RM 367.3
11.7 miles. Holbrook Point Campsite, RR RM 355.1

2nd Day. Wed., July 7th, 2021.
20.2 miles. Maine Central Trestle Campsite RR RM 335.4

3rd Day. Thursday, July 8th, 2021.
* Portage #1 Wyoming Dam.1/4 mile across Guildhall Rd.RR RM 317.8
23.3 miles. South Guildhall Campsite RM 312.1

4th Day. Friday, July 9th, 2021. 69th Birthday
* Portage #2 Gilman Dam & Campsite (no amenities) RL RM 296.7
15.4 miles. Gilman Dam Campsite RM 296.7

5th Day. Saturday, July 10th, 2021.
* Portage #3 Moore Dam .75 Mile (edge of rocks & trees) RR RM 285.9
* Portage #4 Comerford Dam RL RM 278.4
18.3 miles. Comerford Dam Portage Trail, Stealth Camp RM 278.4

6th Day. Sunday, July 11th, 2021.
* Portage #5 McIndoes Falls Carry 1/4 mile, before bridge RL RM 271.7
* Portage #6 Ryegate Dam & .25 Mile RL RM 267.9
21.4 miles. Horse Meadow Campsite RL RM 257.0

7th Day. Monday, July 12th, 2021.
23.5 miles Birch Meadow Campsite RR RM 233.5

8th Day. Tuesday, July 13th, 2021. End of 2021 Paddle.
Ledyard Canoe Club/AT Crossing-Bridge RL RM 217.5
16.1 miles.

Total Miles 1st Section 2021: RM 367.3 to RM 217.0 = 150.3 Miles

Start of 2022 Paddle.
9th Day. Tuesday, May 24th, 2022. Launch Site: Wilder Dam
* Portage #7 Wilder Dam, RL RM 214.5
* Portage #8 Sumner Falls 200 yds. RR 1/2 way point of S-S RM 205.1
13.5 miles. Burnham Meadow Campsite RM 201.0

10th Day. Wednesday, May 25th 2022.
20 Miles. Charlestown Public Ramp Stealth Camp RM 178.0

11th Day. Thursday, May 26th, 2022
* Portage #9 Bellows Falls 1.5 mile RL RM 171.0
Windyhurst Campsite RL (long paddle, 7 mile gap) RM 160.7
17.3 Miles. Windyhurst Campsite RM 160.7

12th Day. Friday, May 27th, 2022 (Thunderstorms and Lighting, 2 nights at hotel)
12.8 miles. Riverside Hotel/Seabees Bridge. Chesterfield, VT RM 147.9

Zero Day. Saturday, May 28th, 2022. Riverside Hotel. No paddling.
Thundrstorms & Lighting (bought back brace and food)

13th Day. Sunday, May 29th, 2022 Launch Site: Riverside RM 147.9
* Portage #10 Vernon Dam RR RM 139.1
23.4 miles. Riverview Pavilion Stealth Camp RM 124.5

14th Day. Monday, Memorial Day, May 30th, 2022
* Portage #11 Turners Falls Dam 2.8 Miles RL RM 119.2
17.6 miles. Whately Oaks Campsite RM 106.9

15th Day. Tuesday, June 1, 2022. RM 106.9
* Portage #12 Holyoke Dam RL 1.5 miles HG&E Shuttle RM 83.4
28.2 miles. Holyoke Row Facility RM 78.7

16th Day. Wednesday, June 2, 2022.
Enfield Dam, No Portage Needed (Class I rapids, go RL) RM 64.5
30.4 miles. Connecticut S. RR Bridge, Sandbar/Stealth Camp RM 48.3

17th Day. Thursday, June 3, 2022
Goodspeed Operahouse/E. Haddam Landing RL @ bridge RM 14.9
33.6 miles. End of Paddle

Total Miles 2022: RM 214.5 to RM 14.9 = 199.6 miles
Total Miles 2021 & 2022: 150.3 + 199.7 = 350 miles

On the forth day of my trip I turned 69 years old. I have over 40 years of working in education as a teacher, coach, athletic director, and principal. I retired from the Air Force with over 20 years of service, most of those years as a Reservist. I sectioned hiked the Appalachian Trail, which took 14 years. I ran my first and only Marathon at the age of 63.

Preparation for the Paddle
After reaching the age of 65, I decided that I had too many running friends that had knee replacements, hip replacements and back problems. I decided to walk for my cardio exercise. I started getting in shape four months before I launched. I started walking up to 90 minutes, 3 times per week. I kayaked on a small lake 2 to 3 times a week for 90 minutes. The last couple of weeks before starting my Connecticut paddle, I kayaked sections of the Chattahoochee River up stream and then paddled back to my launch point.

Gear Selection Kayak Wilderness Pungo120
Hiking the Appalachian Trail taught me to simplify my belongings. I learned the smaller the processions, the longer the hike. I use color coded bags with like items. This helps in portaging, bringing gear from water to campsites, and ease of finding items. All bags (all items) fit inside of my two 35 Liter waterproof bags (NRS Orange & Green). I label (color code) all loose bags. Group them according to usage.

All of the following bags are what I will need to set up camp each night. I keep these items in one 35L bag, and while paddling I store the bag inside kayak in front of my feet.
These smaller nylon bags fit inside Green 35L bag:
1.Brown nylon bag-Tent, ground cloth, fly and poles/stakes bear bag (w/nylon rope) 2.Navy Blue bag-Fleece blanket/sleeping bag, pillow. No need for sleeping bag.
3.Navy Blue bag- 3/4 Thermarest
4.Carolina Blue bag- Rain/Cold Gear, wet suit & HH rain jacket

These smaller nylon bags fit inside Orange 35L bag:
1.Red bag-First Aid and safety, bandages, bandaids ,bathroom kit, toothbrush, bug spray, medicines, headlamp, toilet paper, bandannas, H20 purification tablets, flashing light, etc
2.Orange (Small) bag-Clothing shorts and long sleeves, socks
3.Clear waterproof Pelican Case: electronics, chargers, wall plugs, battery banks
4.Big Blue bag-Breakfast, Lunch, Snacks and Dinner, meals are in separate bags.
5.Black bag-Kitchen/Stove/spoon & cup

Inside/Dashboard of Kayak
I always wear a PFD w/rescue knife. Extra paddle. Seat cushion. Small nylon bag for trash.
Flat Watertight Container (Pelican), wallet, phone, notes, itinerary, maps, pens, guide books, etc.
Big Sponge, clean inside/outside of boat, dry off tent in morning, get H2O out of boat.
Storage behind seat, put easy to reach drink, snacks, guide books, maps, water shoes.
Apps on phone: FAROUT

2 pair shorts, w/mesh lining
2 long sleeve, & 2 dry-fit t-shirts
Sleep ware, the other pair of shorts & shirt, pillow case put all clothing not worn in case
NRS dry suit, top & bottom for rain gear and warmth. Rain Jacket.
3 pr. of shoes: water/mud shoes, camp/paddling sandals, old running shoes/portages
1 pr. of socks Smart Wool
Hat, keep sun off head and shoulders
Gloves for paddling,
Sun glasses

Camping Gear
Big Agnus 2 person tent, w.fly, stakes & ground cloth, 5 lbs.
Fleece Bag LLB, Sleeping bag 2 lbs. 8oz.
Air Mattress, 3/4 Thermarest, 2 lbs.

Stove Pocket Rocket, one fuel canister, 1 small pot, spork, knife, bandana
Sawyer water filtration system, easy and invaluable. 2 water bottles.

Personal Items
Toilet kit: Plastic bag, toilet paper, baby wipes, small hand sanitizer, & bandana.
Soap, shampoo
Toothpaste, toothbrush w/case.
Head lamp, extra batteries.
Small towel, quick drying.

Meals for 7 days - 18 lbs. There will be places to resupply.
Breakfast: Quaker Instant Oatmeal (14), two packages per breakfast, with Trail Mix.
Carnation Instant Breakfast to use as milk.

Energy Breaks (AM & PM): Costco-Trail Mix Packages (14), Clif Bars (21), Strawberry Hydration packets (30) 1 packet per liter

Lunch: Tortillas (12) with Nutella (1 jar) and peanut butter (1 jar)
2 tortillas per lunch, usually ate lunch along water edge, also take a 20 min. nap!

Dinner: Tuna Packages (4), Chicken Packages (3), Knorr’s Pasta Sides (3), Brown Rice Penne (1), Idahoan Mashed Potatoes (3) *Pasta Sides with protein

I have log that I kept on each day. The information is long, if you would like to see more of my daily itinerary, let me know on the comment page.