Friday, December 3, 2010


12-02-2010   0530 hrs   4 degrees C

Late night followed by an early morning.  I could not get enough signal in the Leesport Lockhouse so early this morning I needed to take some equipment on a hike around the bustling community searching for a spot.  I found it at the Burger King.

I got caught up in the weather and meeting and greeting I forgot to include some of my sightings for the day.   3 common mergansers; 1 red-tailed hawk being mobbed by 2 crows; estimate of 25 juncos; 4 chickadees; estimate of 10 mallards; 42 high flying merganser looking waterfowl (after consultation probably migrating red-breasted mergansers); 1 fire extinguisher; 2 pumpkins; and 3136 polycarbonate bottles of one variety or another.  That was Day 1.

I got a late start from Leesport (10 am) with the need to cover some miles.  I told Beverly that she made the place so comfortable I wouldn't want to leave, well it was hard too.  So, I wrapped up, making sure I did not forget anything inside, because once I locked the door, that was it, no getting back in.  I wanted a parting shot from such a wonderful night.  Many of us have set the timer to only hurriedly run into the shot...right.  This one posted is the second shot.

On my way.  River flow was in my favor for making miles, but not in my favor for photography.  I would be moving along, see something, and sometimes till I got the camera out...missed it.  Paddling upstream in this current is something I only did for a few shots.

Today's travels took me through downtown Reading.  This is Peacock's Bridge about four miles upstream from downtown.  This is named after the canal lock that was located there.  Built in 1855 by the Reading Railroad, it features nine total stone arches with these round openings.  From the river it was really magnificent!

I was traveling at a good clip and arrived for lunch where the Tulpehocken creek meets the Schuylkill River.  Confluence Point.   Hit my SPOT locater and called into Mary to check in, also gave my evening host, Phoebe Hopkins a call.   This was also the place where the Union Canal met up with the Schuylkill Canal.  There are remnants of a grist mill on the Tulpehocken.  Also my first rattle then sighting of a belted kingfisher, I love this species.      

Carpenter Steel Company was founded in 1889 by James H. Carpenter.  The process of air-hardening quickly established them as a steel pioneer.  This is an early look followed by my photo today of the river.

Continuing downstream with the idea that I do not want to be looking for my destination after dark.  But I still can't help but savor and try to capture some of the scenes from my vessel. 
My arrival.  Thank you Lorah Hopkins for documenting.  I pulled up and within a minute or two was  welcomed by Phoebe, Lorah, and Loyd Hopkins.  This was my first introduction also to the oldest home on record in Berks County, the Mouns Jones home.  Now I know Mary mentioned that I would be sleeping in this structure.  But the Hopkins thought I would be more comfortable for the evening in the White Horse Tavern.  Since I live in an old tavern I quickly settled in and felt right at home.  

And once again I was fed like a king.  After the hearty soup course came the entree of pork and sauerkraut.  A dish a Pennsylvanian Dutch boy like myself can't resist.  It should be obvious for folks reading this that I am not losing weight on this trip, at least not yet.  So, let me introduce you to my hosts.  From left to right, Phoebe Hopkins, a board member of the Historic Preservation Trust, Lorah Hopkins, the former executive director, Doug Eisemann, the very big task of caretaking Morlatton Village, and to the far right, Loyd Hopkins.  I did not have to sell these folks on Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, they are already life time supporters.  Loyd mentioned visiting and meeting Maurice Broun back in the day and   Lorah was on a sanctuary led trip to Belize in the early 1990's.   We even took an unannounced drive over to roust sanctuary friend Linda Ingram, but could only leave a note of my stopping by.  Linda, next time I come all that way to visit by canoe try to be home.  

Then we needed to vacate the grand dining/gathering room for the next community centered activity.  The Amity Colonial Dancers.  They were rehearsing for an upcoming event at the Daniel Boone Homestead.  The type of dance is the ancestor to the more modern form of square dancing, this is referred to as Reels and English country dance.  It sure looked like a lot of fun.  Caretaker Doug seems to make himself scarce during their rehearsals, according to Susan Miller-Speros, a member of interpretive services with Berks County, he has been roped in to aiding them when they are short of partners.   Doug, go on, get in there!  

Yes, George Washington did pass through this establishment on his travels.  There is no documentation that he actually slept here at the Inn, but I was told if he ever did sneak in a nap, it would have been in the very room I was given for the night and blogging from right now.  I am feeling very special indeed!  I want to thank the Hopkins and the Preservation Trust for making me feel right at home. 

I would like to share a poem that Lorah Hopkins wrote previously while reflecting on a river with a fly rod in hand.

From the Mountain
To the Valley
From the Valley to the Sea
The Blue Traveler Journeys onward
Today the River spoke to me

Thank you so much Lorah for sharing this poem, it is very fitting for my journey!

Observations of the day:
50 plus mallards
2 red-tailed hawks
5 belted kingfishers (2 pairs)
1 red-bellied woodpecker
1 flicker
1 downy woodpecker
many juncos
3 canada geese
and a river friend named Adidas.

Daylight has broken and I got a lot of miles to go!

Todd Bauman


Wanderingdoc said...

Sounds like you're having a ball Tod. Wish I could be along especially when treated to such good hospitality at days end. You should be making great time with the high water. Good paddling.
Bill Anderson

Wanderingdoc said...

Looks like you're making great time. Good to have high water. Wish I could be along with you, especially at the end of the day when you're treated to such great hospitality. We'll miss you Saturday. you'll be the main topic of conversation, to be sure.
Good paddling ........Bill Anderson