The Vermont Paddlers Club

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Kennebec

Thursday Jun 10, 2004
Participants:
C1: Alden Bird
Organizer: Alden Bird
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: medium
Gauge (cfs): 4800
Author: Alden Bird

Wow, what a great river! My long-boat friends had been telling me about this for years -- storys about sky-scraping stern squirts, enders with the whole boat out of the water, 8-ft surf waves . . .

Anyway, after walking almost the ENTIRE 5-mile shuttle (although I was at least picked up -- by some blond female raft guides!) I was quite ready to "turn off my mind, relax and float downstream."

It was wonderful. I took off down the gorge with the raft company's "video boater" who needed to get out ahead and stop to take video of the rafts. He was kind enough to show me the gorge. It was the best kind of river-running -- big, harmless and unfamiliar. I think William Nealy, rest his soul, would have described our grins as "illegal!"

This river reminded me how few big-water runs we have in New England. Earlier in the week I had run the Tewkesbury section of the J-C in Quebec, another big-water river. It was nice to be able to take a solid stroke without cracking bottom -- and to be able to fall 8 feet straight down -- off the back of a wave rather than off a waterfall.

The only problem was that I had my stubby little creek boat. Next time I'll bring my slalom boat and get in on those big enders. Or maybe I'll bring my 17-ft sea kayak.

Think about the enders!

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