McConnell's Mill and Lake Arthur

 

May 11, 2009

 

Carl and I drove up to Lake Arthur to do a baby dedication for a couple we had

married in 2007 at Old St. Luke's, and we couldn't be so close to my beloved

McConnell's Mill and not stop briefly by, despite my cast-like boot and my cane.

I haven't been able to take many pictures so far in 2009 due to my brokenness,

so it was such a treat to be here today, even though it was rather cool, quite

breezy, and mostly cloudy.

 

 

 

We mostly come here in autumn, so when we're on this drive that passes by the main parking

area for the mill, I tend to picture it all in yellows and oranges, not spring green.

 

 

We've been coming here since the late 1980's and on our first visit walked down this

road to the mill on a glorious October day. Today, we drove down to a handicapped

parking spot by the mill, but I took this and the one below out the windshield.

 

 

I have an 8 x 10 of this very view hanging on the wall in my computer room. Only I took that one in that

first October we walked down this road over 20 years ago and everything is brilliant yellow and golden

leaves are lying all over the road.

 

 

The covered bridge just to the left of the mill.

 

 

This is the covered bridge as I last saw it...October 2007...with the river much lower under it.

We didn't come here the autumn of 2008 as we'd moved east of the city and explored areas

out that way.

 

 

Between the bridge and the mill we spotted the first kayaker, a young woman, trying to hold her place

and wait for her companions to enter the river. This river has killed a number of kayakers, one in this

exact spot where there's a backwash behind those rocks.

 

 

She was waiting for him, in the orange kayak, and he got about a yard into the river and flipped

completely upside down and was swept along toward the covered bridge for about 30 feet that

way before he righted himself. We've had days and days of rain and the river was much higher and

more filled with rapids than usual. Even the flow over the mill's spillway was completely different,

it's rather 2-stage drop that you can see in the picture below, completely gone.

 

 

This is Laura and Jeff going down the walkway behind the mill in October of 2007. I think

this one shows fairly well the difference in the water and how the spillway flow changed. Also

that triangular rock at the base of the spillway on the left is underwater in the picture above

this one.

 

 

This is the walk behind the mill in 2004 after Hurricane Ivan came through.

 

 

Here is that second kayaker again just as he was launching himself.

 

 

Two other kayakers heading under the covered bridge.

 

 

Closer up to the spillway. You can see the last two of a large batch of kayakers who were getting out to

portage around the spillway. They all got back in just below it. They were very pleased and excited about

the condition of the river today.

 

 

Same scene as picture above this one, only in October 2007.

 

 

The base of the spillway with that triangular rock...

 

 

Foundations of the mill and really close to the spillway

 

 

Looking directly across the river from between the bridge and the mill

 

 

The first time Carl and I came here, we walked across the bridge and then climbed up that curved rock and

on up the cliff-like face of the bluff above it. Today, sigh, for SOME reason...we didn't.

 

 

While Carl was watching that second batch of kayakers get their boats in the water closer to the mill,

I walked down, boot and cane, past the bridge and along the path on the downriver side a bit to take

a few more pictures because, well, I HAD to...you know!

 

 

Mossy log on the left of the downriver path.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is Joey in Oct. '07 along that same stretch of river I was photographing above.

You can really see the difference in the calmness of the water.

 

 

I came back past the bridge to watch more of the second batch of kayakers getting their boats in the water.

A number of them were women and a couple of them were older men with white beards.

 

 

Through the windshield on the drive back up the glacial gorge. I love this drive, the way the

rocks are so close to the road and some of them hang over it.

 

 

Same area as in picture above this one, only in Oct. '07

 

 

 

An arm of Lake Arthur on the North Shore and the spot where the baby dedication was set up.

 

 

 

 

 

This tree there kinda fascinated me because it had nodules all over its branches of a sort I'd never

seen before.

 

 

Grace (the mommie) and Philip (the daddy), hold Xavier for the ceremony while Carl listens to a Bible

passage being read. I was sitting in a lawn chair and there was a big picnic shelter not far to my left, filled

with their family.

 

 

 

 

 

Xavier offering a chocolate chip cookie to Carl. He ended up tossing it at him. Heh heh

 

 

Xavier was one on Dec. 12th and the ceremony was postponed from the autumn of '08 because

they really wanted Carl to do it and waited till he got past the thyroid cancer surgery and then I

broke myself in the first week of January...so the "baby" was no longer a baby when the ceremony

finally came about.

 

 

I took this out the side window of our car on the way home. This is about a mile from our house

and we drive past this area constantly...Carl does every single day on his way to work. I just love

the look of this hill and all the changes of color it goes through. Sometimes it's all golden.

 

 

Then we turn right on Silvis Road to go home and all along its edges, the wild trillium are in bloom. I took these

two pictures out the side window of the car.

 

 

 

This is my double kerria in bloom beside the front of our house. I dug up a clump of my huge bush when the

ground was frozen at the end of February 2008 so I could have a bit of it to bring with me when we moved

out here. I took this just before going into the house today.

 

 

And this...a columbine I planted here last spring. It's been interesting to see what survived here and

what didn't.

 

AUTUMN PICTURES  This will take you to the full album of McConnell's Mill I took in October of 2007

 

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