Day 24: VRC site East Branch Nulhegan to the Samuel Benton campsite on the Connecticut River (16.6 miles)

I woke to the pleasant sound of the gurgling stream and none of the predicted rain.  The weather has just been beautiful, day after day after day.  I feel so badly for Peter, who did most of the NFCT in the rain in 2013!

I had considered returning to the water for the last couple miles of the Nulhegan, but the access down the East Branch by my campsite was just too shallow and rocky.  

The East Branch of the Nulhegan near my tent

Instead, I walked again, rewarded with cool morning air, a picturesque barn to photograph, a deer, and a cemetery.  There were Wheelers  (my mother’s maiden name) buried there, but also many with French names.  The inscription on the stone below was actually written in French.  

Bloomfield, VT and North Stratford, NH mark the end of Map 6 (official photo below) and the start of a much-anticipated 20-mile paddle down the wide, speedy, straight, glorious Connecticut River.  So after a very long time in Claudette and Dean’s Place, fueling up and writing, the distant rumble of thunder sent me scurrying to get started.


There are nothing like towering clouds and a single bolt of lightning to keep you moving along.  Past a sulphurous spring that the Abenaki and early settlers believed had healing powers.  Past a bald eagle wheeling against an angry gray sky.  On flowed the wide Connecticut with occasional rips or easy rapids, toward the first possible campsite near the granite foundation of an old railroad trestle.

Safely arrived, there was a very familiar green canoe…Sydney and Marji had taken a shuttle from Island Pond to Bloomfield after their new wheels failed to arrive.  They reported that this campsite was dismal, making the decision to go on another 6 miles an easy one.  The storms passed and we set up camp at this site with a sandy beach, new composting toilet, and lots of flat tent space at the edge of a hayfield.  Tonight I had mosquitoes for company instead of black flies, so it was a quick swim and avocado, tortillas, fruit salad, and tea for supper.


Late evening on the Connecticut, weary and hoping that the next campsite will be more attractive.
Sunset gilds the sky and my tent…and I feel thankful for generous landowners like this farmer who allow camping on their property.

3 thoughts on “Day 24: VRC site East Branch Nulhegan to the Samuel Benton campsite on the Connecticut River (16.6 miles)”

  1. Hi Laurie,

    Well you are on the section of NFCT I really want to paddle. Good to know the campsite at the RR Bridge isn’t great. Will have to seek alternatives for when I do this paddle.

    Keep smiling and I look forward to more of your adventures.




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