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Thread: An adventure at Duxford

  1. #1

    Default An adventure at Duxford

    A quiet paddle with my daughter near Lechlade turned into a family adventure near Duxford this afternoon. It was all starting well enough with the two of us planning to go out for a quick paddle but then the rest of the family decided to join us as well. My original route quickly got altered for a jaunt around Duxford, slightly further east. Although Paddlepoints didn’t show any put in locations, I was assured it was a popular swimming spot, and the route was set - a loop around past Shifford Lock. In our haste to get out the door we didn’t really notice the warning signs and weir symbol on the map. Perhaps this was an omen of what was to come





    Launching at Duxford wasn’t too hard - its a short portage in from the road and you can put in on the far side of the ford quite easily. We set off down the Thames which quickly narrowed and caused some fun for all.








    After a while fighting our way through the narrows, we came to what will now be known as “The Tricky Tree”. I’ve got lots more names for it, but we’re trying to sell the positive aspects of the trip to our youngest child! A large tree (or perhaps several) had fallen down and was blocking the route from one side to the other. The banks were completely overgrown so getting out was impossible. On one side the tree was slightly submerged and you could almost pass but then our canoe ran aground.

    We managed to push the inflatable over, but had no joy with the canoe. There was no choice but to abandon ship and make like koalas up a tree while we pushed the canoe over the blockage, and hoped desperately our lone kayaker might catch the canoe, turn it round and push it back to us. The pictures don’t do the struggle justice, it was quite tricky with many cross words - all three of us balancing on a tree in the water while we tried to manoeuvre ourselves back into the canoe without falling in. Eventually we succeeded and headed on down to Shifford Lock.








    The lock keeper didn’t seem to impressed with our idea of doing the full look back to Duxford, and thought we’d end up back at the lock in a short while once we’d seen the weir. He hadn’t counted on quite how much we wanted to avoid The Tricky Tree again. Shifford Lock Cut was very pretty, much wider now and fun for all.







    When we got to the weir on the third side of our triangular route we quickly decided the lock keeper was right. So we headed upriver a bit, trying to find a way around the weir, but no joy. So we turned back towards Shifford Lock, but by now the kids were getting rather hungry and we were running out of food. Our quick little jaunt was getting close to 3 hours.

    Rather than try to take hungry children back over our submerged tree, we decided instead to opt for a rather long portage of almost a mile, directly back across the island to the ford we had started from and on to the cars. A long tiring way to end our adventure, and we decided we’d all earned takeaway pizza on the way home.







  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    SW France
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    Proper mini adventure even included a big portage.
    Well done.
    Ps was the pizza any good ? Hmmmmmm pizza
    MarkL
    www.canoemassifcentral.com
    Open Canoe hire/outfitting in the Massif Central
    ”We will make your trip work”



  3. #3
    Join Date
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    An adventure indeed. I think I’d have tackled tricky tree again rather than a mile long portage but we are all different. I may be more different than most

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    It sounds like you had quite an adventure! It’s quite a coincidence actually as there is little about the duxford loop on this forum - I know as I had a look before setting off on Saturday from tadpole bridge on astand up paddle board. Despite having to take second fiddle to your epic tale I’ll write it up latter today if only to plug the missing link from the weir down to the ford. I recollect the tree - I suspect solo on a sup I found it somewhat easier than your caravanserai but at least you didn’t have 3 swans standing guard on the downstream side


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Sansum View Post
    It sounds like you had quite an adventure! It’s quite a coincidence actually as there is little about the duxford loop on this forum - I know as I had a look before setting off on Saturday from tadpole bridge on astand up paddle board. Despite having to take second fiddle to your epic tale I’ll write it up latter today if only to plug the missing link from the weir down to the ford. I recollect the tree - I suspect solo on a sup I found it somewhat easier than your caravanserai but at least you didn’t have 3 swans standing guard on the downstream side
    I remember those swans! We had to go past them on a narrow part, me paddling and my wife ready to fend them off. Would be interested in how you found the other part of the link as we're keen to go back and paddle upstream to finish off the loop.

    p.s. MarkL the pizza was fantastic, nice thick crust, very cheesy, might become a regular occurrence after canoeing

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Nice one.

    So, now on your list will be;

    Kelly kettle
    Cooking pans
    Small cool box

    and then you can make your own lunch and a brew :-)

    The main thing is, did the youngsters enjoy it?
    Simms ..

  7. #7

    Default

    Now that's an excellent idea, thanks.

    The kids loved it - hard work at times but many happy memories. Yesterday we went to see a performance of Swallows & Amazons in Oxford... we've all been assigned ranks now and I'm officially promoted to "Ships Boy" apparently

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    I do like a tricky tree so your blog appealed greatly to me.....nice day out!
    A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope - Epictetus

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Wantage, United Kingdom
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    Finally wrote up my coincident circuit David.


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