Journeys with Jim: Icy river causing plenty of issues near Kent

Published on Wednesday, 24 January 2018 22:51


With all the news about the ice clogging up the Housatonic River in the town of Kent, I was interested in seeing it for myself. Last week, I journeyed up to that part of the state. At the covered bridge in Cornwall, the river is completely open water and fairly high.

As my wife and I drove south along Route 7, we viewed open water until we arrived in the center of the small town of Kent.

I had hoped to be able to continue south to the area known as Bull’s Bridge but that proved to be impossible as the state police had blocked Route 7 at the intersection of Route 341. There were a number of people parked on the 341 bridge over the river, so we also stopped and walked across the bridge to get a look at the ice.

Just as we walked to the far end of the bridge, two large busses past by and turned into the Kent School property. We later learned that they were evacuating the 600 students from the school. From our vantage point on the bridge, it looked like more than half of the school property was inundated by the ice.

We returned to the truck and drove across the bridge and onto Skiff Mountain Road. From there, I made my way onto the Stanley Works property via the dirt road along the river. At one point, the ice was just about onto the road which made for a bit of slick going for a moment. After clearing this hurdle, we made our way up the road to the turn around and parked for a bit and walked near the river.

It was just amazing to see the huge chucks of ice all kind of smashed together with pieces angled up and down pointing in every direction. It was funny to witness a pair of muskrats along the river bank who seemed to be completely unfazed by the dramatic change in their world.

A friend of mine was in the same area just a few days ago and told of a deer carcass he saw out on the ice. It appeared to him that coyotes had been feeding on the deer. How the animal came to be there in the first place will remain a bit of a mystery. Perhaps it injured itself trying to cross the river ice or most likely it was trying to escape the pack of pursuers.

The natural world that surrounds us with all its beauty can be very cruel and even deadly at times. Just this past weekend, tragedy struck when two waterfowl hunters from Connecticut perished in the icy waters of Long Island Sound when their small boat capsized in Mumford Cove just off Groton. A third hunter managed to make it to safety.

I’m sure that their day started off with all the excitement and anticipation of another memorable hunt only to end swiftly and sadly. My heart goes out to the members of their families for their loss.

Posted in New Britain Herald, General Sports on Wednesday, 24 January 2018 22:51. Updated: Wednesday, 24 January 2018 22:53.