A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Nashua river with Diane, Jason, and Ian

July 12, 2015
Emilie Phillips

Having started the summer with Lake Potanipo,  I wanted something slightly more interesting, so we went to the Nashua River down in Shirley. And, for the heck of it we invited Diane, Jason, and Ian along in our canoe.

We put in just above the dam at Front Street in Shirley. We paddled downstream towards Oxbow National Wildlife refuge, although we were paddling at such a leisurely rate we never made it to the big oxbows.

Ian at the boat house

Ian at the boat house

We did make it to the old boat house ruins. I suggested a rest stop there for everyone to wiggle. Diane sank in the mud when she stepped out of the canoe. Ian kept trying to tip over their canoe, so I suggested while we were resting that he should try out my kayak. My thought was it was the tippiest of the boats, and he might learn a lesson if he flipped it over. Ian thought paddling in the kayak sounded great. I set him up with Isaac’s little paddle. At first I tried to stand on the broken down rocks that had fallen off the boat house wall, but Ian wanted to paddle out farther. Rather than try to wade out in the sucking mud, I just jumped in and swam alongside. I figured I could probably do a reasonable hands-of-god rescue on a 5 year old and a greenland kayak even while swimming.

Isaac and Emilie swimming

Isaac and Emilie swimming

Ian had fun, didn’t flip, and eventually paddled back to shore. I convinced Isaac to come out swimming too. He was not happy swimming or floating in his PFD, but settled for clinging to Mom. Tyson jumped in too. Eventually we ended up with Jason taking Isaac in the canoe in the middle of the river, Ian wanting more kayak rides, and Diane stranded on shore behind the mud. We put Ian in the tandem with Tyson and Diane safely in the canoe, and everyone was happy. It actually worked reasonably putting the kids with the wrong parents. It’s one thing to demand your own parents do everything for you, but another thing to ask some other adult.


We had time to paddle just a little farther up river. I spotted a little waterway coming in from the left. Sometimes they just lead to a small swamp, other times you find something interesting. This time I way lucky and found a series of ponds and streams that just kept going. The other three who haven’t paddled much were quite surprised.

On the way back, I poked into a few more water inlets, but none nearly as good. Everyone else floated lazily down river. Tyson found a pitch fork kind of thing, but with the tines built at a right angle to the handle rather than straight out. Isaac entertained himself by telling Mom to flip over. I obliged for a while until I was too waterlogged from rolling.