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First, the drift. Wilson has bugged me to do a kayak through Peterborough. The Contoocook River flows through the center of the town and there are several lovely waterfalls that aid it on its way Northeast. We started at the southern end near the retirement community of Rivermead. Though Wilson swore he had scoped the river out from the road, I met several hairy “white water” situations in the beginning. The river was swollen from all the snow melt and recent rains. I just don’t weigh enough and every rock sent me air-borne as we navigated the small falls.


The river finally widened and smoothed out


The Back Side of Depot Square


Houses along the river


Coming around the bend into Depot Square


Kayaks out at Depot Square


I would have a dock or a at least a garden seat…

Finally, it widened and smoothed out as we came out of the woods and hit downtown. From the Job Lots shopping center parking lot to Depot Square in the center of town, it was lovely and calm. We followed a Merganser duck, flushed several red-winged blackbirds and saw turtles sunning on submerged logs. Oddly, none of the houses along the river had any sort of open space. I would have gardens right to the banks and a sunny spot to sit and think, and maybe drop a fishing line.

Then came the brilliant idea. Peterborough has a parking problem. It is a tourist destination with nearby lakes and mountains. There are plenty of fun shops and excellent restaurants. The town is struggling with a way to accommodate the local trade, and swells to straining under the tourist and day visitor vehicle crush.

Why not do a river cruise through town? There is plenty of parking at the Job Lots shopping center and even though there is a nifty bike path along parts of the river, it is just too far to walk to town.

Here’s the part about Sy Gregg. The Gregg family is New Hampshire Landed Gentry. If anyone can get things done through the state and town bureaucracy it is either the Gregg’s or the Bass family. Sy is working on a plan to build a parking garage on a recently acquired  property in town. My suggestion is to have river barges take the customers on a lovely tour through town from the remote parking to the heart of Depot Square (which Sy owns most, if not all of it.)

I picture those stout pontoon barges ferrying folks to dinner and movies, shopping and art galleries. Add a historical guide about how the town and river have changed and you have essentially a “DUCK BOAT” tour of Peterborough! I can’t imagine the red-tape involved but as I said, if anyone can get it done, it would be Mr. Gregg and company.  If that doesn’t work, I have a lovely antique covered bridge I would like to sell him to take customers over the river, from the proposed parking garage to the Square…

Brilliant!  I want the marketing rights!

8 comments on “A Drift Down A Lazy River, A Brilliant Idea, and a note to Sy Gregg

  1. Touring NH says:

    Had you portaged the dam, you could have continued to my house (almost) . I’m not sure that in August the river would be deep enough, even for a small pontoon boat, but you are right, if anyone could get it done it would be Sy or Stan.


    1. You may be right about the depth of the river in the summer, hmm, back to the drawing board…


  2. alinekaplan says:

    This is a great idea. Why don’t you call Mr. Gregg and talk it over with him?


  3. I bought a kayak late last fall but haven’t used it yet. It looks like fun.


    1. It is the calmest, most peaceful way to get from point A to point B I have found. Next to riding through the woods, kayaking takes me away. Thanks for stopping by!


  4. mariekeates says:

    Your idea sounds brilliant. It would be really different floating sown the river to go shopping. The houses along the river here have mostly made very good use of their gardens and river views. I’m always insanely jealous when I walk past.


    1. Thanks Marie. I don’t understand why more homes don’t embrace their unique view!


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