GLASTONBURY - When the weather is just right, adventurers gather at Riverfront Park to take-in info, put-on gear and set-out for a kayaking expedition on the Connecticut River.
But this isn't an ordinary paddle. It's a chance to be on the water as evening transforms into night, courtesy of L.L. Bean. "We’ve been doing Outdoor Discovery School since the 1970s," says Program Coordinator Austin Gregg. "We started up in Maine. It’s really just part of our history, our company. We’re all about getting people outside and experiencing the outdoors."
This paddle starts off with a current which sweeps the kayakers into Crow Point Cove, an incredible, unexpected sight at sunset. The pace is slow and serene. "I didn't even know this was in my backyard," says Melanie Fiddler of Glasonbury. "It's beautiful here, so peaceful." Gregg adds: "In a kayak, you have a lot more ability to get closer to nature. You don’t have that noise factor that’s scaring off the wildlife." Sure enough, paddlers spy a protective resident. "We just had a beaver give us a warning signal," says Gregg. "It’s recommended to give him a wide berth and respect him."
And just like that, a glowing orange orb appears through the trees. "Wow, that's something," says a paddler. L.L. Bean provides refreshments - cheese, crackers, grapes, chocolate and sparkling cider - as guests take-in the incredible full moon. As the sky darkens, they turn-on headlamps for safety during the paddle back to shore. Senses are heightened as they glide through blackness. "You’re powering that boat," says Gregg. "You’re moving at your own pace and it’s that ability to connect with the environment. "Wasn’t that amazing, spectacular and gorgeous," say Bill Oldman of Cromwell
and Barbara Garofalo of Newington. "It was really different, yeah, it was great, really cool."
This beginner-level tour - guided by experts from the South Windsor store - lasts 3 hours. The price - for paddles age 10 and up - is $59.00 per person and includes the use of a kayak. Click here for more information.