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Bow and Stern - June 1, 1975

CHIOTT RACE

The Chiott Race will be sponsored by the Club again this year. It will be held as part of the Burlington Fourth of July celebration and will include four flatwater classes as in the past: men, women, mixed and children. The men's distance is 2-3 miles and the others are about 3/4 mile. These races are a continuation of lake canoe races held regularly in the early part of this century and revived by Clarence Chiott in 1966. Please call Norm Lavoie at 863-5456 to volunteer assistance for starting, time keeping, etc.

MINUTES OF ANNUAL MEETING

The annual meeting of the Northern Vermont Canoe Cruisers was held at the College Street Congregational Church on March 2, 1975. President Normand Lavoie presided.

The following officers were elected:

President Normand Lavoie
Secretary-Treasurer Ed Amidon
Whitewater Chairman Gardner Hopwood
Flatwater Committee Chairmen Fred Fielder
Safety Chairman Dick Trudell
Executive Committee At-Large Kathryn Lambert
Peter Alden

Gardner Hopwood discussed whitewater season planning and Fred Fielder discussed the flatwater season.

Congratulations were offered to Jim and Kay Henry for their success in the 1974 open canoe nationals on the Nantahala River in North Carolina. Jim is the national C-1 downriver champion and Jim and Kay are the C-2M slalom champions! This year's nationals are practically next door on the Moose River in Old Forge, New York, on August 23-24.

A letter was read from Dr. Homer Dodge, our oldest and best known member.

Members were requested to write Congressman Jeffords protesting funding of the planning for the St. John's River dams. The Treasurer's report was read and summarily approved.

Peter Alden tied in some great whitewater slides with a well-prepared safety talk. AWA Safety Code cards were distributed. The pastor of St. John Vianney Church presented a slide show on Algonquin Park which combined some of the historical background of the voyageurs,etc. with modern canoe camping.

Refreshments were served and members also enjoyed a canoe exhibit including Canoe Imports (Schumachers), Mad River Canoes (Henrys) and Millbrook/Berrigan Canoes (Berrys).


Respectfully submitted,
Ed Amidon, Secretary

TRIP REPORTS

Mad River : April 5, 1975

Canceled due to heavy snow conditions.

Lewis Creek : April 6, 1975

Leader: K. Lambert
Participants: 6 canoes, 1 kayak.

We had just had the big snowstorm on Thursday and Friday before this trip and there were approximately 15 inches of snow on the ground. The river was quite low at the covered bridge where we take out; the ledge above was about 1 foot out of the water. The river was runnable, but there were many areas where we were scraping and sticking. I would say that it was as low as you would ever want to run it.

We had two canoes of new paddlers; both of which did fine. The only incidents on the trip were when Norm Lavoie was driving us back to the put-in spot and paid more attention to the river than the road and took us off into a ditch. Good strong hands got us out with no problem.

Fred Fielder and Freddie decided to try to run the Falls at Paul Aschenbach's and ended up wet and cold; no major problems, however.

Huntington River : April 12, 1975

Leader: R. Hopwood
Participants: Approximately 12 canoes.

Beautiful day but water conditions very low. Two runs made on the two-mile section just above Huntington Gorge. Many new members attended and some excellent training was accomplished.

Mad River : April 13, 1975

Leader: J. Henry and A. Roberts
Participants: 9 canoes, 1 kayak.

Cold and mostly cloudy. River low but runnable. First run was made from about 1 3/4 miles south of Waitsfield to the second bridge at the Pines roadside rest area. A pleasant run was had and no mishaps occurred.

A second run was made after watching the start of the Sugarbush Ski area fun race and was completed by mid-afternoon.

Lower Lamoille : April 19, 1975

Severe adverse weather and water conditions - cold and very high winds. Very high water with large standing waves. Several mishaps and one canoe lost.

Huntington River : April 20, 1975

Leader: K. Lambert
Participants: 7 canoes.

The group of us decided not to do the scheduled trip on the White River as the water was very high, and we thought the Huntington would be fun. It was a magnificent trip! We put in at the bridge in Huntington; from there to the next bridge was fast water, not too many rocks or big waves. Between the next two bridges was a stretch of good river with many rocks, several ledges, and some good standing waves. Between the last bridge and the take-out spot above the Gorge, the river was fast with several ledges, big waves. The last ledge where the river bends away from the road needed to be looked over. Covered canoes could run it in the center; open canoes did better on the far left hand side. We took out about 500 yards above the usual take-out spot on a grassy bank opposite a new cedar-shingle house. The owners were very willing to let us take-out there, even though the land is posted. We were a little hesitant to go any further since the water was so fast and we didn't want to get too near the Gorge. It was a very fast trip. We put in about 12:30, and were finished by about 2:15 p.m. The water level was perfect; about 2 feet higher than when we ran it the weekend before.

White River : April 20, 1975

No report.

Lewis Creek : April 26, 1975

Leader: D. Rife
Participants: 15 canoes.

Hinesburg (Baldwin Road) to second covered bridge the river was low but adequate for running. The lower water gave less current but more rocks to maneuver around. There were a few upsets but no major mishaps except some cold, shivering people. The weather varied from bright and sunny to cloudy with snow flurries.

Upper Lamoille : April 27, 1975

Leader: P. Alden
Participants: 10 canoes, 3 kayaks.

Cold and cloudy with brief snow flurries. Medium high water - just nice. We met at Greensboro Bend at 10:30 and started down the river with minimum delay. The morning part of the trip was uneventful and we reached East Hardwick by 11:45 a.m. We had lunch in a snow storm and shuttled the cars down to below Hardwick.

The afternoon part of the trip was plenty exciting with a lot of action and no spills until we reached the motel. Behind the motel we had one spill caused by a canoe getting sideways to the current and the same canoe spilled again just at the downstream end of the motel where a huge curling wave is formed by a rocky ledge that juts out from the left forcing the canoeist to hug the right shore at this point.

DO NOT TOY WITH THE EDGE OF THIS CURLING STANDING WAVE OFF THIS POINT AS IT IS SURE DISASTER. KEEP WELL OUT OF ITS REACH.

The remaining part of the trip through Hardwick is relatively uneventful and the knocking down of part of the dam has left the dam and spillway comparatively easy with modest standing wave at the bottom and the worst section is the ledges just below the dam which can be negotiated to the right and another set of ledges halfway down to the bridge which has some fearsome rocks and must he carefully negotiated.

We finished the trip about 2:30 and although we wished we could have had nicer weather, it was thoroughly enjoyed.

Waits River : May 3, 1975

Leader: T. Conlon

No report.

Lower Lamoille : May 4, 1975

No report.

White River : May 10-11, 1975

Leader: R. Trudell

This year was the first attempt at an overnight camping trip for the White River and it proved to be great. The weather was perfect for both days - sunny and about 70 degrees. Saturday morning there were ten canoes and one kayak which made the leisurely trip from Rochester to Stockbridge. This portion of the trip took more time than was anticipated. Next year it might be wise to put in further down the river or else start earlier at Rochester. We ate lunch about 2:00 at Stockbridge and added two more canoes and one kayak. The water level was just right for the trip - high enough for an exciting trip, but not so high that some of the newer paddlers would have had difficulty. Gaysville was negotiated without problems - at least not for the Cruisers. There seemed to be traffic jams at the difficult spots on the river - the perfect weather brought canoes, kayaks and rubber rafts out in droves. We continued down to the former Rood State Park, now destined to be a Federal fish hatchery, and ten of us stayed the night. The evening was warm and the stars were out - it seemed a far cry from the snow storms we were in just a few weeks earlier. After supper, cooked outside after a good day on the river, we settled down around the campfire while Norm Lavoie kept us entertained with his stories. If you have ever sat around a campfire with Norm, you know what I mean.

We broke camp next morning and traveled to Sharon to do the ledges and quarter-mile rapids above West Hartford. This is a short trip and worked out well for the morning run. Incidentally, if you see a No Trespassing sign in this part of Vermont - it means what it says. Five canoes and a kayak made the morning run.

We met at 1:00 at Stockbridge again for the afternoon run. There were six canoes and two kayaks. Again the weather was perfect for the trip and the water level was about the same.

Hopefully, we can make this trip an overnight affair again. Certainly those who made it this year will vouch for the good time they had.

Lower Lamoille : May 17, 1975

No report. Upper Lamoille canceled due to low water.

Lower Lamoille : May 18, 1975

No report. Black and Clyde canceled due to low water.

Hudson River : May 24-25, 1975

Leader: P. Alden
Participants: 10 canoes.

Canoe Cruisers met at Weavertown at 9:00 on Saturday, the 24th of May. The weather was fair, the river was at 5'5" at North Creek. We had initially planned to do the West Branch of the Sacandaga but the water level there was reportedly too low. Therefore, we ran from North Creek to a point at about 3 1/2 miles past the glens where the river was visible across the railroad tracks from the road and across an open field.

With the low water level the first half of the trip was very easy but there was a nice run to Horse Race Rapids and under the bridge at the Glen. There was also a nice shoot about 1/2 mile beyond the Glen but the next 3 miles were not very interesting. It would be possible to take out immediately past the shoot but there is a rather long hike up an embankment to the road at that point which we did not explore.

The trip was finished about 4:00 after a leisurely run and a long time spent ferrying the cars beforehand.

The next day, Sunday, the 25th, we met at 9:00 at North River. The river gauge was at 4.1 feet and this provided ideal water through the gorge.

The water in the Indian River was a might low but no serious troubles were experienced there. We had only one spill in the staircase below Blue Ledge and moderate damage to an ABS canoe.

We took that opportunity to eat lunch and dry out but about that time the sun came out and the rest of the day was beautiful again. We made the trip through the gorge in record time finishing up about 3:15 and it was a very delightful run.

We estimate the ideal water level for this group of canoe cruisers might be from 4' to 4'4" although higher levels could be tackled by the more experienced members. Two people stayed around for a trip on the 26th but most of the party had other things and left after the gorge trip.

HUDSON RIVER WHITEWATER DERBY

As usual the Canoe Cruisers had a strong contingent in the Hudson River Whitewater Derby at North Creek this year. Those making the trip included: Pete and Julie Alden, Freddie Fielder, Bobbie Lambert, Bill Fake and son Tom from Lewiston, Maine, along with two friends from the Penobscot Paddle and Chowder Club. John Berry and son, John, were there as usual and Clyde Smith was spotted at the starting gate.

The novice slalom and slalom on Saturday were blessed with beautiful warm sunny day and the first place prizes went to Bobbie Lambert in the Novice Slalom for single open canoe, a class which she shared with the men as there were not enough ladies running for a separate class.

Pete and Julie Alden took the first place prize in the C-2 Family Novice Slalom and in the Giant Slalom John Berry took second place in his covered single canoe.

On Sunday the race down river, John Berry and his son, John, took a first place in the Covered Canoe Event and Pete and Julie Alden the first place in the C-2 Family.

Instead of trying to buck the traffic in Riparious we had shuttled out cars to the Glen and after completing the race stopped for lunch, and then jumped back in the canoes and ran down Race Horse Rapids. The water level was 6'5" and made a very lively run with huge waves and no rocks down the middle of the stream. The open canoes hugged the shore and the covered boats had a ball looking like a fleet of porpoises coming down the middle of the stream. It was a successful run although marred by a steady drizzle.

After pulling out at the Glen and driving back to Riparious we found parking near the center of the town very easy to find and we got there just about ten minutes before the awards were distributed. This timing is recommended for anyone making this trip in the future as it converts a dreary wait into a lovely bonus river run and solves the parking problem completely.

JOHNSON WHITEWATER WEEKEND

Poor weather - including high winds and snow squalls - marred the weekend but a healthy representation from the Canoe Cruisers was spotted, including Glen Findholt acting as official starter in the downriver race. All Canoe Cruisers placed within the top three in their classes in the downriver, including George Frechette and daughter, Jim Henry, Clyde Smith and daughter, Ed Amidon and Louise McCarren, Horace Strong and Bill Koch. The downriver race is mainly a flatwater race but with one healthy pitch over Ithiel Falls. open canoes are not permitted in the slalom due apparently to one severe drop with high waves.

WINOOSKI RAFT RACE

The boat designs varied from early swimming float to basic KonTiki, the strokes were almost non-existent and it took some competitors three passes to get across the starting line, but the 1975 Great Winooski River Raft Race was exciting and, as usual, good fun. For those of you who were on the Lamoille that day or the White the next, the conditions need no further description. The water was super high and the usual chutes before and at the trestle were wall-to-wall standing waves. The course fit the well-known description of war - hours of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror - and the terror was more common this time than in normal years.

We had had nothing but bad luck the past two years with huge oil drum rafts and went for speed this time with a lightweight model of styrofoam topped with a 4 by 10 sheet of plywood. With seven on board it was totally unacceptable, so the final crew was reduced to four, making it only slightly less stable than a half-full canoe. In the first set of rapids the high flotation worked fine and we were almost dry (no more than 6 inches of water washing over the raft at any one time). The moment of truth came at a two-foot ledge before the trestle though where, before several thousand bloodthirsty (not to mention drunk and/or stoned) onlookers, our true seaworthiness was demonstrated as the raft instantly and effortlessly flipped over. The raft and hangers-on went under the trestle more or less on edge and then settled ceremoniously bottom-side up. To our great surprise it was very stable that way, so we climbed back on and finished without further incident. Several crew members tried to claim later that the whole operation was either a "minor design correction" or an eskimo roll, but our looks of horror as it all happened made that story tough to sell.

Apparently the raft race is no more after this year's mess. As an example of safe and sane whitewater sport it ranks with going over Niagara Falls in a nail keg, or beginners running the National at Stowe, but it did have its spirited moments as a semi-official rite of Spring.

LETTER FROM WINOOSKI VALLEY PARK DISTRICT

Dear Norm:

Just a short note as per our phone conversation last evening.

The WVPD has had some work done on the Lower Winooski Gorge Access. A man with a bulldozer from the Vermont National Guard has taken down the high ridge that partially blocked the way behind Grossman Lumber and thereby made it easier to carry canoes to the river. The owner of the adjoining property, Mr. Matte, will allow parking of cars on the western end of that land, the old mill site! He prefers that people do not park cars on the eastern part! The District will put up a sign on this parking area but it may take some time to get it in place.

I'm sorry I don't have time to draw a map of the area, but I think most of your members know it well enough to understand what we are talking about.

The Access area on the Lower Farm, Ethan Allen Farms, is of course open and in good shape. To reach it take Saratoga Avenue or Village Green off North Avenue. Go to the end of either street where they come together and continue on a gravel road down over the hill. Do not go by the house; that way is blocked, but take the wheel tracks under the bank and go to the river behind the house. Don't go left out in the big field; that track is used by fishermen and the man that is cultivating the land.

Hope this explains it to some extent.


Sincerely,          
Ottar Indridason

LETTER FROM CONGRESSMAN JEFFORDS RE: ST. JOHN

Dear Canoe Cruisers:

Thank you very much for your letter of concern about the inclusion of money for preconstruction studies for a possible dam on the St. John's River in the President's budget request.

Representative Silvio Conte of Massachusetts will sponsor an amendment to remove this money from the appropriations bill. On both economic and environmental grounds, I tend to support this amendment. It is my understanding that the proposed dam would provide only peaking power and be of only minimal importance in satisfying New England's energy needs, adding less than 1% to the total New England energy supply. To accomplish this we would spend one billion dollars and impose man's will on the last major wilderness area in the Northeast.

Yet I am troubled that New England as a whole has not been willing to offer any contribution to solve the nation's energy needs. And I would like to hear from you concerning what you believe New England can do to help. Specifically, do you favor (1) offshore drilling for oil, (2) construction of a major refinery, (3) construction of additional storage facilities for petroleum products, (4) additional nuclear plants, or (5) coal-fired electric generating plants?

How am I to answer my colleagues from Texas and Louisiana, for instance, who say we in New England continually complain about high energy costs but will do nothing to share the Nation's burden in solving our energy shortfalls?

Thank you for writing and I look forward to hearing from you on this vital matter.


Sincerely,
James M. Jeffords

LETTER FROM DR. DODGE

Dear Canoe Cruisers:

I have just received the colorfully covered report and announcement of the annual meeting of the Northern Vermont Canoe Cruisers. I am always mindful of my being an honorary member of NVCC and that I have been told that I am not to pay dues. But no one has told me that as a penalty for not turning up at the annual meeting I should not make a $3.00 contribution which is enclosed.

I have read the current issue of "Bow and Stern" with great pleasure and wish I might have been with you on some of the trips. Unfortunately, long drives are now involved although I have managed so far to get to the Hudson River Derby races at North Creek, N. Y. I have been counting on doing so again this coming May but a recent removal of my gall bladder is cramping my style and I don't dare yet predict the future. It is helpful to have plenty of canoeing a few feet away on the Patuxent River which is classed as "flatwater" but is often blown up by winds to uncanoeable heights. As I look up from my desk I see a large number of square miles of the Patuxent.

It is a delight to me to see what NVCC is accomplishing. Many of the names are new but there are still some of the ones whom I well remember.

I am enclosing a copy of our annual report or "Xmas card" for 1974 which will tell you of an exhibit which has been worked out by the Thousand Islands Museum, Clayton, N. Y. There is now little wilderness about the St. Lawrence River but pleasant canoe trips can be made and you will be welcomed at the Museum.

Good canoeing for members of the NVCC.


Cordially,
Homer L. Dodge

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