Sunday, September 18th I headed out for a paddle on the section of the Charles upriver from the dam in South Natick. The launch site is a small picnic area south of the river with convenient parking. The launch site is somewhat unpleasant with several inches of muck on the bottom of the river. Once in the kayak I headed upriver (downriver not being an option due to the aforementioned dam!). This section of the river is very calm. Early on in the paddle it follows Route 16 fairly closely so it's not particularly quiet.
Shortly after setting out I startled a heron from its perch on a submerged log. The heron and I had a couple more encounters as we both headed upriver. About a mile into the paddle the river takes a turn to the east as it skirts the edge of the Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, and the sounds of the road dissapate. The banks of the river through this section show no signs of human habitation, and are populated by birds and turtles.
As the river moves into Dover houses appear on the eastern shore. There were several houses for sale and I found myself imagining what it would be like to live on the riverbank. Of course these houses are well out of my price range so this was just idle imagining.
After another wild section passing through marshland where I spied another heron, the river crosses under Bridge St/Farm Rd. At that point I turned around to ensure a return to the launch site before dark.
It was a very peaceful paddle, and I intend to return again when I have more time to explore even more of this section.