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Crooked Creek May Morning


The morning trip through Crooked Creek follows a route that brings a myriad of contemplations as well as a collage of contrasting colors. I have done this trip many times, although it is rare to have this piece of peace to myself. The early season has an unusual silence…the fisherman and the tour boats are nowhere to be found. My morning coffee was greeted by a loon about 30 feet off the camp shore.

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Crooked Creek, Photo by Ian Coristine ©
www.1000IslandsPhotoArt.com

As I left the camp dock, I paddle though the deep green river towards the end of the tip of Indian Point. Even though we are early in the season, the pike weed beds are already visible, they have already begun to sprout to the river surface (The advantages of a kayak as opposed to a weed tangled motor).

 

Turning towards the mouth of Crooked Creek, I span the large bay, which of course has our cormorants and herons looking for easy meals. As I paddle towards the mouth, I look down in water’s bottom to see what the rites of spring have brought us. Small perch and bass are getting acclimated to their new life, before making their way to the mighty fleuve.

As I meander through the mouth of Crooked Creek, the water color takes a remarkable change, from the river green to a pitch black. Pitch (pine) is actually the culprit for the tone. Night black even with the sunshine. I can’t see a foot down from the surface. The cattails are on both sides of me still in their dormant brown. When you are so low to the water lever, it looks like a vast field.

I make my way under the route 12 bridge. A couple of kids are trying their luck at bullhead fishing. As the water is still very cold, the fish are quite good this time of year. In all my time up here, I have never caught one, although I have eaten many (all pre-June). Another traditional rite of spring.

 

As the Crook bends and winds southerwesterly, there are still a couple of old abandoned camps that have been engulfed by the wilderness. One of which was evidently outfitted for a heartier climate.  At this spot on the Creek there always seems to be something that compels me to continue on. Usually spotting a deer or some other creature of the North Country . Or just the view. I’ve always thought this would be ideal habitat for moose. Plenty of vegetation and marsh land near the shore. Maybe a few will choose to leave the Adirondacks and settle up here.

 

I reach the county road bridge that links up to Kring Point State Park. My trip here usually is to go the bait shop that sits next their campgrounds. Not today. Today this is my terminus, as I turn back towards the river. A few hours spent in a way that the few of us who have experienced the serenity of Crooked Creek will know.

Note: 

Crooked Creek and the Macsherry Trail are part of the Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT). Kayaks can enjoy the waterway throughout the summer.  However, motor boats are limited by the depth of water (and by weeds that are present in the bay leading into the Creek).

TILT also encourages the public to take advantage of the self guided trail which provides three miles of hiking, skiing or other non-motorized recreation.  There are ten interpretive stations along the trail providing a self-guided tour.  The trail is closed to recreation during hunting season. Access is through the trail entry parking lot on Indian Point Road in Hammond.

By James Rappaport, Indian Point

Originally from Connecticut's Farmington Valley, James Rappaport is a strategic management consultant for various publishing, radio, and cable television ventures as well as contributing writer for several media outlets.  Jim began his writing at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, where he was a feature writer as well as a managing editor for the Hill News. His work has also been featured in various news outlets, including the Stamford (CT) Advocate and The New York Observer. Jim is a resident of Indian Point in the Town of Hammond and northwest Connecticut.

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Photo by Ian Coristine © www.1000IslandsPhotoArt.com
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Comments

Mac McKellar
Comment by: Mac McKellar ( )
Left at: 10:03 PM Wednesday, June 17, 2009
A warming story and one that reminded me of a quiet peaceful river trip on the Iron River in Big Bay, Michigan on the shores of Lake Superior taken many years ago. Your story caused me to ponder the thoughts of the water color, the pike weed beds, and the lack of outboard motors, in such a beautiful setting.

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