Friday, September 2, 2011

Knee Deep in the Big Muddy

This morning, I headed out on the cargo bike to run some errands, starting with a trip to the DMV office in Wethersfield to renew the lapsed registration for my rarely-driven car. Unfortunately, you can't do that any more. The asinine notion of not being able to renew a motor vehicle registration at the freaking Department of Motor Vehicles and the built-in delay inherent in doing so by mail left me in a moderately foul mood. While planning my morning loop, I had toyed with the idea of a side trip to see how the ferry landing area had fared in all of the flooding. Now, the mood-lifting power of an extended ride made it a necessity.

I rode through Old Wethersfield and under I-91 to the northern entrance to the meadows by the Putnam Bridge. Within a hundred or so feet, I saw the sun-baked mud of the high water line. Within a few dozen feet of that was the damp mud of a more recent water level. Within a tenth of a mile or so, my hubs were submerged in the gently flowing murky water. I opted for a U-turn when it it got knee-deep (roughly at the first break in the shade in the above photo). My panniers are rain-proof, but not fully submersible. I found myself wanting a 29er for the first time I can recall.

I backtracked to Ol' Dirty Wethersfield and picked my way southward through the local streets that lay between the Silas Deane Highway and the river until I came upon a trail entrance in Rocky Hill. Bicycles were not listed on the battered sign of prohibited trail users, so I forged ahead along what quickly proved to be debris-strewn singletrack. The trail had suffered a fair amount of downed trees and limbs-- some fresh, some older, and wasn't in the best of shape. A large, recently fallen tree eventually thwarted my southern progress, so I backtracked and followed another trail that eventually led me to the old railroad tracks, which I followed south until the ferry landing came into view. The Yuba continues to prove way more capable off-road than it has any business being, semi-slick tires and all. That said, riding the railroad ties made me wish my imaginary 29er had some suspension as well.

Not surprisingly, the ferry and the boat launch were most definitely closed and the Ferry Park parking lot was submerged. I headed home, wending my way northward through Rocky Hill and Wethersfield, following a quiet and scenic route through Mill Woods Park, Wintergreen Woods, Goodwin Park and the Trinity College campus. The morning's DMV disappointment was miles and worlds away. Registering the car doesn't seem particularly important any more.


Tony C said...

Boo hiss. I most definitely hate the DMV. Not going to the DMV is a super perk of car free.

Erik Jorgensen said...

Huzzah for the Pete Seeger reference!