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Trip Reports

Find trips reports from 2001 and prior in the Bow & Stern Archive
All: by date By Title: A-Z By Author: A-Z Last 12 Months 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

2007...

Huntington Saturday Jan 6, 2007
Penguin Plunge Saturday Feb 10, 2007
Lower Lamoille Sunday Apr 1, 2007
Lower Mad 4/18/2007 Wednesday Apr 18, 2007
Joe's Brook - One Perfect Day Saturday Apr 21, 2007
White River Sunday Apr 22, 2007
Speaking of the West... Saturday Apr 28, 2007
While everyone was at the West... Sunday Apr 29, 2007
Ammonoosuc Sunday Apr 29, 2007
Winhall Brook during West Fest Sunday Apr 29, 2007
The Mighty Nully (Nulhegan) Saturday May 5, 2007
Hudson River Gorge Saturday May 5, 2007
Hudson Solo(Reparius to Glen) Sunday May 6, 2007
Poultney Saturday May 12, 2007
Mad River Wednesday May 16, 2007
Mill Brook, Jericho Thursday May 17, 2007
Lamoille Saturday May 19, 2007
Sacandaga Monday May 28, 2007
Upper Mill Brook (West Bolton) Sunday Jun 3, 2007
Missisquoi NWR Saturday Jun 16, 2007
Rouge River, Quebec Sunday Jul 29, 2007
Ottawa River - August 2007 Thursday-Sunday Aug 9-12, 2007
Hudson River Sunday Sep 30, 2007
Lower Moose River, VT Saturday Oct 13, 2007

2007...

Huntington
Saturday Jan 6, 2007
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: novice WW
Level: high
Author: Tony Shaw

It rained. It poured. It was in the '60's in the first week of January, for crying out loud. Why EVERYONE wasn't out paddling is the real mystery. But, as the saying goes, ''He who hesitates...is lost''. So, instead, we POUNCED!

The Lower New Haven was deemed by Jamie to be too high, so the Huntington was our back-up, by consensus.

We ran into Ray Ingram and Isaac Annis while leaving vehicles at the Huntington Gorge take-out, and Rob opted to pair up with Ray and Isaac instead and put-in at the Audubon 'horseshoe' to shorten the trip. Meanwhile, Dan, Andy, Jamie, and I went way up above Huntington Center and put-in at the Shaker Mountain Rd. bridge. Our trip lasted several hours, and there were ample opportunities for low-consequence play. I staked my claim to the first swim of 2007, about 3 minutes into the run. And a photo I took of Andy surfing found it's way into the Burlington Free Press later in the month. We all talked about the prospect of paddling each of the 12 months of the year, now that we had January under our belts, but there was no way to foretell the frigid February that lay in store...

Penguin Plunge
Saturday Feb 10, 2007
Organizer: Special Olympics Vermont
Difficulty: flatwater
Level: medium
Author: Tony Shaw

For several years I've had the notion that the VPC should field a Penguin Plunge team, given that we are all pretty familiar with swimming in cold water, with the expectation that it would be good ''exposure'' for the club. Finally, in 2007, the necessary momentum was achieved to actually ''take the plunge''.

The event will be fondly remembered for the $1100 in donations we raised to benefit Special Olympics Vermont, and being part of the record-breaking $318,000 raised in total, and the fun we had being in the company of so many zany and slightly unbalanced ''head-wetters''.

In addition, for me personally it means I get to claim February as my second month of ''paddling'' in 2007. OK, so I had no boat at the time, but I DO have photos of me IN Lake Champlain and USING my paddle!!

Next year I am sure we can get more VPC'ers to join ''Team Frozen Members'' and we can ~double our fund-raising total. rah, Rah, RAH!

Lower Lamoille
Sunday Apr 1, 2007
Organizer: Richard Larsen
Difficulty: nov-int WW
Level: medium

We had a paddling day that is as good as it gets on April 1 in Vermont. The temperature was in the mid-50s, with sun early, but clouds moving in. Water flow was almost exactly at the median for the date. The icebergs and churning brown water of a few days previous had disappeared. We put in below the dam at Fairfax, and spent about 2 hours 45 minutes on the river. The first part was floating and leisurely paddling, and then we had the decent but non-threating run through the rapids. Some did some surfing, a few practiced their rolls, and one swam a short way, but we had no real problems. We saw mergansers, geese, and other assorted waterfowl. The biggest obstacle was at the end, where we had to negotiate a Vermont version of the Khumbu icefall. The river had tiled the shores with 6-8' high ice from ice-out, and we had to work our way over the slippery walls to get up to our cars.

Missisquoi River @ Sheldon Springs - Darn Low
Saturday Apr 14, 2007
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: low boatable
Author: Tony Shaw

Only once in the past week did the temperature top 40 degrees, and so the snow that fell on and off all week was not making it into the rivers. The only familiar III-IV run that was certain to be running was the Poultney in Fairhaven, but noone seemed too interested in doing this long-ish run on such a cold day, or driving all the way to Fairhaven.

Brent suggested that we try the steep stretch of the Missisquoi that has been a mill site for over a century. This seemed like a superlative idea.

Back in the 1980's the VPC (then called the Northern Vermont Canoe Cruisers) joined forces with the AMC to lobby for recreational releases from the dam at Sheldon Springs, and described this stretch as "by far the largest most difficult rapid in Vermont ... ranging from class 3 to 5 in the range of normal runnable flow levels".

The Sheldon Springs dam (about 10 miles northeast of St. Albans off Rt. 105) has the ability to release water, but it doesn't have much of an impoundment upstream. We had precious little water for the first half of the run, and then the outflow from the Rock-Tenn Mill probably tripled the flow.

We never noticed the parking area and carry trail to the river below the dam on river left. Instead we lowered boats down the class V put-in (after ignoring "no trespassing" signs on river right). We encountered lots of BIG rocks and itsy bitsy drops in the 1/2 mile below the dam (at this level). At high water, these rocks would look smaller, and the drops would be gnarlier.

The East Bershire realtime USGS gauge (miles and miles upstream from Sheldon Springs) read 1260 cfs, and a good part of that water was diverted by the Sheldon Springs dam for power generation and mill use, leaving the main channel immediately below the dam seriously de-watered. Still, we were happy to be out paddling; we all agreed it's exciting to paddle ANY river for the first time. The temperature surpassed 40 degrees (air...not water), the sun actually made an appearance, noone swam, and a good time was had by all...

At this level, it is a class III run.

Lower Mad 4/18/2007
Wednesday Apr 18, 2007
Organizer: Norm Staunton
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium high

Sweet run. Level was higher than we estimated when we put on, but a great time was had by all. Gauge was at about 1500 when we checked it after the run. Everyone walked Horseshoe, though a bunch of us gave it a good look. Eve, back from AK, had a clean run. Tyler, the new guy from Baltimore, came to play and should be a great addition to the VT boating scene. Woody and Kirk, solid as always. One swimmer, not mentioning any names, but a safe and quick rescue and we were on our way again. Washing machine was BEEFY but tons of fun. RT 100B wave was washed out, and Bottom Drop was pretty much one wave. But, we had a great time, its a fun, clean level and everyone left happy, wet, and satisfied.

Joe's Brook - One Perfect Day
Saturday Apr 21, 2007
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: medium high
Author: Tony

April 21 seemed early for a scheduled Joe's Brook trip, but the fickle spring weather was decidedly in our favor on this magnificent Saturday. We worried a bit about how many downed trees we would find blocking our route after the April 16th Nor'easter howled through upper New England 5 days before, but thankfully almost all the potential strainers were duck-able. One huge and potentially lethal tree remains lodged near the bottom of the class IV Covered Bridge Rapid, and a portage is (for the time-being) prudent. A carry on either side is feasible. As we've seen in the past on early outings here, occasional thick ice shelves extending from the banks out a few feet and over-hanging the swift current were the more prevalent hazard.

Across Vermont this particular day was so sunny, so warm, so splendidly spring-like, that Ruth Page on VPR actually penned a story about it a few weeks later. It was a huge treat to spend a day like this on Joe's Brook...one of the most naturally lovely and sparsely developed watersheds in all Vermont!

The day started with some mis-communication around the meeting spot. This seems to happen more often than it should, and in this case I take full responsibililty for proceeeding with only 1/2 the group down to the Powerhouse Road put-in before the others had arrived at the West Danville wayside where we agreed to meet. It's always windy and chilly first thing in the morning at the pull-off beside the ice-covered Joe's Pond, while the powerhouse put-in is private, sheltered from the wind, and equally sunny.

We got on the water about 10:30am, and did not finish until ~4:30pm, as Joe's is long and some of it's blind corners and steeper pitches require scouting, especially on the first run of the season. Tina Scharf helped with the shuttle, which was greatly appreciated!

It was Eve's introduction to Joe's, and the playboat she paddles lacked sufficient volume to pop easily out of some of the holes she found herself side-surfing in, including a sticky one half-way down Corkscrew - the opening class IV pitch. Confidence was bolstered when we all hit our landings at Dew Drop Inn, and John showed us the zig-zag sneak route (if you can call it that) through Pinball. Eric and I managed to FLIP the inflatable Shredder when we failed to skirt the monster hole at Great Escape (where a tree trunk partially blocks the entrance), and I am still a bit battered from the epic swim that followed.

Eve paddled extremely well, but shortly after our lunch stop at the covered bridge she decided she'd "had enough" and dragged her boat down a rutted former logging road to the car we spotted at Morse's Mills. I came to the same decision about 10 minutes after Eve, and the two of us towed our vessels trudging through a dense knee-deep spring snowpack where moose tracks were plentiful 20 or 30 minutes out to Morse's Mills. It was exhausting. Meanwhile, Jamie, John, Dan, and Eric were having a super run down through the most continuous and steep section of the river at a really playful medium-high level. Apparently a couple of the holes were grabby, even for those in creek boats, and there was some window-shading to reminisce about while we changed into our dry clothes at the take-out.

Energy levels were sagging and it was past 4pm as the foursome still paddling took out below the bridge at Morse's Mills, but it wasn't very hard to persuade them to get back on the water and finish the trip. We had scouted The Gorge from the right bank during the am car shuttle, so we knew we wouldn't need to stop and scout there. The rest of the drops in this section, 2 of which are III-IV's, were all free of strainers, and we made our way very quickly to the take-out where Eve and Tina were waiting. It was heartening to see Jamie, Dan, Eve, and Eric paddle with such aplomb - all apparently getting better with experience (and age?). As for John, the group never quit praising his boat-handling expertise, his river-reading skill, and his gift for teaching. Having him along on this trip gave everyone else a boost of confidence in class IV waters, and made the trip safer as well.

At medium-high levels Joe's Brook is a 7 course meal for solid class III-IV boaters who are ready for a bonafide class IV experience. On top of which it is spectacular in its beauty and remoteness. With all the talk about small-scale hydro-dam construction to help curtail global warming, it might be time to nominate Joe's Brook for Wild and Scenic River status, to be sure it stays open for recreational uses. Creekers (and others) should think seriously about writing letters to our elected officials in opposition to any such development on gems like Joe's Brook.

White River
Sunday Apr 22, 2007
Organizer: Richard Larsen
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: very high

The Moose was the scheduled trip, but was deemed to be too high. The White was very high as well, but Craig Carline, Paul Savard and others had run it the day before and reported it to be enjoyable - so, we went. Craig and Paul were correct - it was really at a fun level, as long as we avoided a few nasty spots. The temperature was in the 70s, and the day was gorgeous. We put in on the Tweed River, and paddled to the White and down through the waves to the first bridge. Below that, things picked up some, culminating in the rapid near the old abutment at Stoney Brook. The left bank collapsed here 4-5 years ago, and the rapid straightened and moved to the left of the abutment. The main drop also migrated upstream 150 yards. This was just a really fun and wavy drop. Below that, there was a pourover that we intended to avoid, but one boat wallowed through it by mistake, but stayed upright. One kayak flipped above the pourover, and went over the rock and through the hole upside down - but then rolled up, and all was well. Below that, at the lunch ledge, the center and right sides were a continuous and fairly enormous wave / hole, so we all stayed left and avoided any carnage. At the Gaysville Bridge, we met Chris Weed, who had car trouble, and he floated the rest of the way with us. One kayaker took out at the next place we came to route 107 - body sore from being in the boat too long - and walked back to the cars. We all made it to the takeout on route 107 about three hours after put-in, including the time for the lunch stop. Since the river was flowing so fast, we moved downstream faster than normal.

Speaking of the West...
Saturday Apr 28, 2007
Organizer: Brent Osborne
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: medium
Author: Brent

What was forecasted to be a miserable & rainy Saturday, turned out to be one of the sunniest days on the West River that I can remember. Nine paddlers met at the school field in Jamaica, VT at 9:30a. After gearing up, shuttling vehicles and introducing ourselves, we put on the lower west shortly after 10:00a. The lower west quickly splits into left (main) and right (narrow) channels. We opted for the right channel which provided continuous class II paddling. A classic VT covered bridge was still holding onto a few tree limbs: signs that flows were much higher in previous weeks. The scheduled 1500 CFS release was augmented with a medium-flowing Ball Mountain Brook depositing its flow to the west just below the put-in for the lower section. We all took turns catching surfs on-the-fly and playing in the last rapid before the take-out at the new route 100 bridge. Geoff, Fe & CJ planned on running the lower section again, while the remaining 6 of us made the trek to Ball Mountain Dam. We carried up and over, then down the switchbacks (it's really not that bad), and then briefly scouted the first rapid, Initiation. We all agreed that the river looked lower than we had paddled it in the past, bringing a few more rocks into play. After an easily fixed equipment malfunction on a demo boat, we all successfully ran Initiation without even a roll, let alone a swim. The rest of our paddle was uneventful - a typical April paddle on the West River. There was plenty of surfing and play to be had. Some hit boof rock, while others were content to float by it, catching a water-level view of boaters launching off the feature. We eddied out above the dumplings and refreshed our memories as to the best line. All ran it without a hitch. We were off the river and back in the school field shortly before 3:00p, at which point Brent, Eve & Kelly decided to carry over the dam and run the upper west again. On this second run, all three of us ponied up, faced our fear and hit boof rock head on. Matt and Amos were on shore to photo-document the event.

Three runs on the West River in a single day can really work up an appetite and the volunteers at the community church in Jamaica came through BIG TIME! For $8 we were over-fed with all-you-can-eat rigatoni, homemade marinara & meatballs, garlic bread and salad. A local bluegrass band jammed in the corner and we celebrated Elwood's 78th(?) birthday with a grand assortment of pies in the Pie Room. While it didn't seem too many paddlers took advantage of the pasta supper, the local residents were gracious hosts and I'd certainly recommend this event to future West Festers.

While everyone was at the West...
Sunday Apr 29, 2007
Organizer: Dave Gurtman
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: low boatable
Author: Ryan

An easy Sunday probe session (or not).....

Dave was looking for a crew to get on the water. He rounded up Chris Weed and myself and I brought Ty into the fray. Instead of the usual suspects we thought it would be a fine idea to poke around on something new and Friday I had walked some of the drops on the Top Mad. They looked pretty channelized and would go even with dropping water levels. So we met at the Warren General Store at 12:30 and after some messing around there, some scouts to the put in and running shuttle we were on the water about an hour later (give or take). The run started off with a great little drop into a mellow pool to set you up for a 4 tiered drop with the third tier waiting to flip you. The water slams into a ledge at a 90 degree angle and piles up so you really need the proper orientation and brace. Ty aced it Dave and I flipped but got our roll in time for the last drop there. Hard to tell, but a little more water might have eased the abruptness of the drop. There was some boogie water and smallish ledges and then the next significant drop was a fun slidish right to left move. It was a must make because if you fell off the slide you were going to hammered in a slot. After this move you needed to be quick to get river right because the main flow of the current was headed under a pretty substantial undercut. All ran it cleanly... After this drop there is lots of boogie water and minor drops and waves. The valley is really beautiful up this high and my guess is it is seldom seen from the seat of a boat. This continues on with two passes under Rt 100. When you get back to the west side of 100 Stetson Brook joins to double the flow of the Mad and not too further below this you come into more bedrock ledges and some small gorges. One we all walked was very undercut and had a nasty stopper in it...More flow very well might have allowed safer passage, but we weren't going to chance it yesterday. We threw in a good deal of sticks to see what the water was doing and lost all the sticks...So if they didn't get through none of us wanted to be in there with the sticks if we got stuck...With another mile or so of class II water and IIIish drops we came to the Warren Falls. What a spectacular place. It looks like it would be a fairly clean drop (actually 3 major ones) , but the entry drop and the exit drop were wood choked which means we will be back some day to give it a go when the wood moves on. Below Warren Falls a short bit is a slot drop of about 4 feet. It spills into small chasm that is severely undercut on the right side and the bottom of the drop is highly retentive. This was the sight of our only carnage of the day (me). Every drop that day we got out to look it over carefully. This one we paddled up to and boat scouted. I thought it was good to go dead center. NOT!!!! Anyways, I found out how sticky the hole is and how undercut the right wall is. The guys went to school on my fiasco and ran it on the left side and all aced it no prob. I've paid homage to the water gods...hope the don't need anymore for a while. Below this is more mellowish boogie water and the final substantial drop. It is a two tiered ledgey thing that was run to the right on the first ledge and then to the left of a large boulder for the second ledge. From there to town it was more of the same boogie stuff. We took out above the Dam in Warren.

All in all it was a great day on the river. We spent a good deal of time setting up safety and scouting unknowns. I think everyone agreed with another couple hundred CFS it would step up the difficulty, but the level it was at let us get a good feel for what this gem can offer up. If you decide to give it a go at a higher level beware of potential strainers as there were a few did the limbo under that would come into play at a higher level.

Check the pix in the gallery.

Cheers

Ammonoosuc
Sunday Apr 29, 2007
Organizer: Richard Larsen
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium high

The day was supposed to be the better of the weekend days, but it was really fairly miserable. On and off light rain was the staple of the day, on the river and during the drive over and back. The water, of course, was recently melted snow, probably 35 degrees, and the air temperature on the river was at best 50 degrees. As the rain continued, Sheri Larsen, being wiser than the rest of us, decided not to paddle, and met us at each bridge to provide logistical support - and brownies at the end. Because of time constraints, one boat took out at the first bridge (Pierce Bridge). The other boats continued past the dam, and took out two bridges downstream.

The water level was a quite wonderful 4.05' at the Bethlehem Junction gauge. At this level, nothing is rocky or scratchy - there are big chutes through every rapid. Of course, the water is a lot pushier, and the waves a lot bigger, but there is nothing overwhelming. All of the major rapids required attention to features 40 and more feet downstream, and strategic manoevering to get away from the worst places. There were fewer obstructions, but you would be in real trouble if you waited until you were almost upon some of them before reacting.

Boat Breaker Rapid had an added feature - a tree trunk that extended 6 feet out into the main left-side channel about 2 1/2 feet above the water, right across where we normally make the entrance move. But, at this level there was a big-wave route just beyond the tip of the tree, so we ran the waves with the tree tip grazing the left side of our helmets.

Powerhouse Rapid seemed in some ways easier than when the river is lower, because of the higher water covering some rocks. The waves were big and powerful, but with good, strategic boat placement even the open canoes could get through without taking a lot of water. It would have been a nasty place to swim, but no one had any trouble.

We pretty much cruised down the river, with no stops to 'play'. From the put-in at 'The Big Pine Tree' to Pierce Bridge took just over 1 hour. There was another hour of on-water time to the next bridge, plus 30 minutes for the portage around the dam and lunch. From that bridge to the take-out bridge was about 35 minutes of on-water time.

Winhall Brook during West Fest
Sunday Apr 29, 2007
Organizer: Brent Osborne
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: medium low
Author: Brent

After a full day on the West River the previous day, we were feeling adventurous and decided to scout some of the tributaries of the west which seemed to be running @ low-medium levels. While Ball Mtn. Brook looked enticing, especially with the light turquoise/metallic color of the water, we decided it was a bit above our group's skill level. We opted instead for Winhall Brook, a class II-III run just north of Jamaica. The level seemed to be a bit above low-boatable. We looked for the gauge that is mentioned in Lessels' AMC guide book, but were unable to find it, even once we were on the river. With butterflies in our stomachs, we put on the river at the Lower Taylor Hill Rd bridge, parking at the old school house on the corner. The run was mostly continuous class II with a bit of rock dodging (but surprisingly little hull scraping on the riverbed), & 3 easy class IIIs, the first of which we got out and scouted. The guide book recommends taking out just before a class IV rapid in S. Londonderry cleverly named Londonderry Rapids, but our scheduled take-out was at the confluence with the West River another mile or so downstream. We eddied out just above Londonderry Rapids (Caution: This rapid comes up quick, the eddies are small and this rapid must be scouted!) and scouted from the undercut ledges on river right. There are several options for running this rapid, even in low water, but as the guidebook says, the best approach is from either the extreme left or extreme right. Those running the rapid chose their lines, while those who were portaging set up safety on the river right. Ok...that math doesn't add up...We paddled through or portaged around Londonderry Rapids without incident and floated the rest of the way to our campground at the confluence with the West River at Winhall Brook Campgrounds. The 4.5+ miles we paddled took 1.5 hours with 2 rapids scouted and paddling conservatively so as to properly boat scout the rest of the river. This is a great continuous run for an intermediate group of boaters and provides a sense of solitude and adventure that is tough to get as a veteran of the West.

The Mighty Nully (Nulhegan)
Saturday May 5, 2007
Organizer: Ryan
Difficulty: nov-int WW
Level: low boatable
Author: Ryan

Oh the mighty Nully....

Should be a song title...I can see it now Gordon Lightfoot singing it - HA!

Anyways - the day started off with a debate about what to drive to to run, the Nulhegan at about 1.5 hours drive time or the Clarendon Gorge with roughly the same time in the car. It was a nice day so why the heck not head out on an epic....

To start off with the only thing epic about the Nulhegan other than the drive to get there was the flatwater sections inbetween the two class III gorges (with more water Class IV for sure). Lucky for us (and lucky for them) we ran into Martin and Bernard. They had come down from Sherbrook to paddle the Nully as well and didn't have a shuttle ride. We snagged Martin and he gave us the low down on the creek as we ran him up to his car and then he helped us set shuttle so we didn't have to endure the 4 mile hike back up to the put in. They had put in up river of the Stone Dam road put in to snag a gorge that us usually not run and suggested we do the same. (Thanks for the tip on that one Martin) Probably the best section of water on the entire run.

So for beta on the run. We put in a good mile above the regular Stone Dam Road put-in(Silvie O Conte Preserve area). Found a good area to park and bushwacked down to the river. There was decent read and run rapids through here up to the initiation gorge. On thing to take note of was the beauty of the river. This is a true northern VT float with multiple moose crossings, the spires of cedars all around and just an abundance of wildlife. The first gorge/rapid is worth a look when the river is pumping. There were several ledges through here and most of them were boofable and the holes on the back-sides were pretty benign, but again at higher water would serve as a good class IV test piece. We ran it twice to get some photo ops. Both Dave and I agreed it was a little more fun the first time through just sort of going with the flow instead of trying to be so precise on the second run. Heck I had to roll on the first run at the bottom because I got flipped. From this gorge it was flat water to the Stone Dam Road put in. Below the Bridge on Route 105 the Nully begins a pretty consistent drop (I think Mark L. said it was around 80 ft/mi) and this continues on for the better part of a mile. This was a fun rapid that I would say was at the low end of a III on the day we ran it, but at a higher level would be very pushy and I would bet you could give it a solid IV between the holes and ledges. After this long rapid the river mellows in its last couple of miles to the confluence/take-out with the Connecticut.

Both dave and I agreed it had a good vibe to it and would give a novice/budding intermediate paddler a chance to feel like they were on a widerness run and see some bigger rapids while they were at it. At higher levels the two gorge sections would be fun to catch enroute to another river elsewhere - but an extended day trip just for the paddler looking to snag class IV on the Nully would be bummed about the drive time if it was more than 30 minutes....just my impression.

All in all, it was a beautiful day to try a new river and go for a senic drive. Got to enjoy a couple of good brews & excellent burger too at the Pub Outback in East Burke for an added bonus.

Cheers

(Pix to follow)

Hudson River Gorge
Saturday May 5, 2007
Organizer: Rod Wentworth
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium

I have been doing a Hudson gorge trip the first Saturday in May for a number of years now. The weather can vary from 80°with lots of black flies to downright cold. In fact, I almost feel cheated if the weather isn't a little miserable.....it is a rite of spring. This year it was the cinco de mayo trip, and our group was small - 3 kayaks: Jamie Dolan, Jim Poulin, and Rod Wentworth. We got on the river in time to beat the rafts and stayed ahead of them much of the way. With this year's late spring, there was not a black fly to be found. The day started out cloudy but eventually grew sunny and warmer.....not hot but very comfortable. The level was about 5.5 feet with the bubble. There were few other boats on the river, which had us speculating about why, when the Hudson some years back could get a bit crowded. Was it the race being held further downstream? Or is it just that river running has gone out of style? Whatever the reason, we enjoyed having the river almost to ourselves. The sometimes terrible paddle out at the end was the best I can remember - water moving along well plus a tail wind to make things almost effortless. I hope to see a few more paddlers in 2008!

Hudson Solo(Reparius to Glen)
Sunday May 6, 2007
Organizer: Frank Wells
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: medium
Author: Frank Wells

The official trip got canceled because I was the only one signed up,but I decided to go anyway.Rode bike shuttle first(6.5mi)then did the run,very beautiful,great weather except for a bit of a tailwind,no spills or excitement.only saw one party(about5K1&1C1)on the river.,but a lot of excitement at the put-in(it was the finish of the annual downriver race)

Poultney
Saturday May 12, 2007
Organizer: Eve and Dan B.
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: low boatable
Author: Eve Soutiere

Originally posted as a Black or a White trip, we did neither and decided to find some water to boat in. Dan and I settled on the Poultney the day before the trip. Four of us showed up at the reasonable hour of 10:15 am and got ready for the sunny, yet chilly day.

The first obstacle was to put in without clipping ourselves on the submerged fencepost or the cement weighing it down. All were successful. We ran each drop, except the last and the slide, twice. Each of us took three runs down the slide and were able to find creative lines/methods for running it. Dan intentionally ran it backwards, Chris eddied out and ran the right side, Kristy tried really hard to launch her demo Jackson Fun off the rock itself, and I (not quite intentionally) tried to sidesurf the bottom hole. The last drop only got one run off each of us. Everyone else took the far left line, I chose the far right, at the top, and all of us ran left of center to the bottom. Although there were a few combat rolls, no one swam, lost gear, or even pouted!

All in all, it was simply a gorgeous day. The flat water intervals between the drops offered great bird viewing, the sun shined brightly all day. A good day for me to say goodbye to Vermont! Thank you VPC for everything!

--Eve

Mad River
Wednesday May 16, 2007
Organizer: Jim Poulin
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: medium
Author: Jim Poulin

Nine hardy souls came out to run the Mad on a cool and rainy night. The river Gods blessed us with about 2 inches of rain in the past 36 hours. I estimate the river was around 800cfs when we put on and about 1300 when we took out.

We had something old (big long old school boat), something new (cute little play boats), something borrowed (an old school play boat) and something blue (again, the long boat).

There were a few mishaps along the way. The number of boaters made rescue and equipment pickup a quick process and we continued our progress downstream.

One scary moment occurred near the last rapid when one of our group was upside down for quite some time. A hand of god was needed to get him upright and it took a minute for him to come to his senses. (I spoke with him the morning after via e-mail and he is OK) It reminded everyone in the group the need for safety and alertness on the river.

Of note: there is a big tree at horseshoe. It does not interfere with the run but makes scouting a bit tricky. There is also a tree hanging down on the right wall in the next rapid after horseshoe (one I call alleyway and I have heard others call washing machine). It is avoidable and even if you hit it you just end up with small branches scraping along your helmet.

JimP

Mill Brook, Jericho
Thursday May 17, 2007
Organizer: Paul Dawson
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: low boatable
Author: Paul Dawson

Check from 117 for water levels- ALL rocks visible upstream must be covered. We ran it 24hrs after a heavy ran and although most rocks were covered, it was a bare minimum level. Quite a few fallen trees mean portages- more of a nuisance than a danger, though. Ran the Hydro dam on the left side- very clean run- no signs of a danger of a vertical pin as described in a previous post. I'm open to going in with a chainsaw if someone is willing to help.

Lamoille
Saturday May 19, 2007
Organizer: Kristy Hart
Difficulty: novice WW
Level: medium low
Author: Kristy Hart

After organizing shuttle with the assistance of our lovely shuttle bunny, Dawn, we put on around 1pm. The level was low but easily boatable and fun for eddying and small wave play. A few swims were had by some new to the sport, but self/assisted rescues were swift and smooth and recovery was quick.

Smiley's wave was friendly and enjoyed by a few in the group as the rest waited graciously. The run was overall very mellow with play spots throughout. 5 chutes had some good play in the center, although Jim found his own spot in a slot on river right.

We got off the river around 3:30 safe and sound, a good time had by all. Special thanks to Ann Smith for the loaner boat until mine arrives!

Sacandaga
Monday May 28, 2007
Organizer: Kristy Hart
Difficulty: nov-int WW
Level: medium
Author: Kristy Hart

Six of us rallied to get to water on this gorgeous Memorial day, suffering through parade traffic we met up at the Sacandaga Outdoor Center around 11:45 to set shuttle. All of the group were sporting play boats and ready to hit the few play spots at the top of the run. After some good surfing we headed down to plod through the flatwater section where everyone tried back deck rolls and bow stalls. We tried to hit more waves heading into the last feature.

Those familiar with the work in progress at the SOC will be disappointed to hear no progress has been made with the feature/play section, is the same as last summer. Word from the SOC folks is that they have new engineers, but need to wait until March to work on it when the lake is drained and it is dry.

We continued past the confluence and up the Hudson a little to play in another wave, do stern squirts and swap boats out for fun. Amos sure looked fine sporting my new PINK Jackson!

A second run was had by most of the group and Amos filled in as camera guy at the last feature-see photos section. The afternoon was not without more parades with the group pulling up the rear of the Lake Lazurne parade...see photos of how Grayson and I added a 'float'!

A great day had by all!

Upper Mill Brook (West Bolton)
Sunday Jun 3, 2007
Organizer: Chris Weed
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: too low
Author: Chris Weed

THIS WAS A SOLO SCOUTING TRIP.

On the way home from the safety boating at the novice clinic I took a detour down Browns Trace and Nashville Road to look at the above-mentioned reach of Mill Brook. I went to the end of Nashville Road (past the golf course entrance), where a couple of unpaved town roads split off of it.

One road heads west (north?) into the federal reservation that contains the Ethan Allen Firing Range (Jericho-Underhill). Upper Mill Brook marks the boundary of this property; the road crosses it (one-lane bridge).

The other road heads up into the hills overlooking West Bolton from the northeast. The brook along this road is steep. It contains some nice class 3-4 ledge drops, punctuated by elbow-breaking gnar. The accessible upper end of this section is a lovely little swimming hole nestled in a ravine; it was partially filled with stones and gravel by a flood event in the early 90s, according to local (35-year) resident I spoke to there. She also said that the brook is spring-fed and runs all summer, but seems to respond to local rainfall only if it is very heavy (2+ inches?). Above the swimming hole the brook is beautiful but constricted and choked with boulders and wood, narrowing into a tight, unrunnable gorge. It may open up again higher up; I didn't explore beyond the upper gorge. The road appears to continue well beyond the swimming hole; I'm not sure how far.

There is another gorge 2-300 (?) yards below the swimming hole; which inspires a comparison to a miniature Huntington Gorge. The brook opens up again after this, and appears to be runnable (and hikeable) down to the bridge into the federal reservation.

From just above the bridge the creek is definitely runnable; at a runnable level this would begin about 2 miles of class 2-3 continuous whitewater which is initially somewhat technical. The section gets progressively easier, and eventually crosses under Nashville Road; this might be the only viable takeout, but I didn't confirm this. Mill Brook meanders for a few miles through marshy bottomland, before the gradient picks up again on the way to the Winooski.

In summary the sections I scouted are either much more difficult than the more popular Nashville Road to Route 117 segment, or easier but considerably less interesting. That said, they run through beautiful wooded land, and are worth consideration when the popular class 3-4 section is running high.

WARNING: There are several strainers, some of which span the creek. At high flows some of these may be difficult to avoid.

Hudson Gorge - If you release it, they will come...
Sunday Jun 10, 2007
Organizer: JimP
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: low boatable
Author: JimP

You know how the usual river trip goes: you have five folks signed up on Monday for the upcoming weekend trip. By Wednesday you are down to three. Friday you lose another one and then Saturday morning you steadfast paddling partner bags and you end up paddling the river with a local guy named Homer in which you spend the whole run fishing him out of the river. Well folks, THIS WAS NOT ONE OF THOSE TRIPS! In some weird sort of inverse energy (bizaro-world for you Seinfeld fans) it turned out totally different. Yes indeed I had five boaters signed up on Monday. By Wednesday a few more jump on. When I checked my e-mail late Saturday to see who bagged out I found three more paddlers were coming along. Then you add an unexpected paddler at one of the meeting points and two more at the put in and you end with a very large group. Nineteen hardy paddlers to be exact!

And then there was the timing. We had paddlers coming from various sections of Vermont, from New Hampshire and from just outside New York City. One would figure we would be waiting around at the take out/put-in for quite some time. Jamie offered his rule of thumb: 5 additional minutes for each additional paddler. Well NOT true to form, everyone arrived at the takeout early and all within 5 minutes! We packed up and on our way to the put-in by 9:30 (which was the planned meeting time) placing us at the put-in exactly as the water started releasing on the Indian.

With this many paddlers we needed to split up the group. The Old Schoolers (or Grey Beards, take your pick) led the way. With the group spread out there was lots of room to hit eddies, jump on waves, get stuck in holes and generally enjoy the warm temperatures and WARM WATER (yes indeed, everything was working in our favor).

The group reconvened at the confluence of the Hudson and then we paddled as one very large group. Smiles all around (especially for the first timers) as the Indian never fails to provide the goods. It was constantly amazing to me to look around and see this parade of paddlers!

At one point early in the trip, Julie took a quick break on Mark's raft. The other paddlers gave her major amounts of grief for being lazy so she scrambled up on mid-river rock and performed a perfect belly flop from about twelve feet up! Hoots and hollers followed and no more mention of her being a slacker.

Hudson was low, just under 4 feet with the bubble) but still fun. There were holes to dodge and rocks to hit. The surf wave just above the Narrows entertained all. The Narrows provided some of the biggest water fun of the day and everyone was smiling after that one. For a number of paddlers this was their first trip down the Hudson and not knowing what to expect, they were pleasantly surprised.

We stopped for lunch right after Soup Strainer, Harris Riff or whatever that rapid is called. At this point we lost the bubble of water but no one seemed to care.

We continued down through the last few rapids. Some play was had at Greyhound but everyone was pretty tired. Even the flat water paddle out didn't seem so bad.

To continue what was turning out to be the perfect paddling day, there was not a single swimmer. I don't think there were more than a couple of unplanned fish counting experiences. There were a couple of scraped knuckles from our play at Greyhound but that was about it. (short of a few sore muscles I imagine)

There were good byes at the take out, a few adult beverages were consumed, pictures were taken and promises made to recreate this experience at the Ottawa on August 11/12 (shameless plug). To steal a quote from Grayson, everyone left with a perma-grin firmly attached to their face. I am sure there was some good sleep had that evening - or maybe even on the ride home!

Wildlife sightings. A few critters also shared their day with us. On the way to the Hudson a wayward goose tried to attack Jim's car/boats. Some evasive maneuvers kept the goose from being impaled on the kayaks. There was also a mean looking snapping turtle on the road that we made a wide swath around. We even were entertained on river by a beaver.

But the story doesn't end there. A couple of us needed some caffinated beverages for the ride home. A quick stop in North Creek lasted a bit longer than expected as there was a bluegrass band playing on the porch of the Old County Store. Some of us were lounging in the Adirondack chairs for a bit before heading on. Then there was the sudden flashing of headlights in my read view. When I looked ahead I knew the reason - this was a full on creamie alert! Once satiated with various dairy products it was truly time to say good bye and put this trip firmly in our memory banks.

Missisquoi NWR
Saturday Jun 16, 2007
Organizer: Ricky Battistoni
Difficulty: flatwater
Level: medium high

We got on the water at 8:30 (while the Larsen's were all snug in their bed). We headed downstream and as we approached Metcalf Is. we saw a few rare Black Terns, a few Great Blue Herons (though we didn't see any nests on Shad Is. - they seemed to all be on the far side of the island). We then made our way across the two bays - the wind picked up a little... and as always seems to be the case in paddling - it was a head wind. On our way across I spotted an Otter, which was a nice surprise to the wildlife viewing. We then after a little searching found the entrance to Dead Creek and began working upstream.

We stopped for lunch (complete with a tablecloth - thanks to Janet). Note: open boaters are overpackers... but as a kayaker - we take advantage of this fact - and appreciate it very much.

We finished the 10 mile journey uneventfully on a glorious day of paddling. Total trip time approx. 5 hours.

Rouge River, Quebec
Sunday Jul 29, 2007
Organizer: Will
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium low
Author: Grayson

Well, I guess somebody ought to submit a report for this trip because it was a good one! Six of us met for a run (or two) on the Rouge River in Quebec on Sunday. It's about a 3-hour drive from Burlington, and has a great mix of significant drops and fun play features. All the big drops are discrete, and can be easily scouted or portaged. Best of all, it runs all summer long! The section we paddled is only a 3 or 4 mile run, so most of us ran it twice Sunday. The level when we ran it was 52.5cms (about 1850cfs), which is a medium-low-ish flow. Photos and video clips at the below links.

Scott's photos

Ryan's photos

Grayson's photos

Grayson's video clips

RIVER DETAILS:

Now, I've found no good online descriptions of the river, so I'll do my best to describe the section we paddled in detail below for any VPC paddlers who might want a little beta before heading up there themselves. DISCLAIMER: This might not be entirely accurate, but it's probably better than what you might find just by googling around. :)

RAPID DESCRIPTIONS:

1. Family Rapid: Class-II/III rapid with some small play features. Much of it is visible from the road to the put-in.

2. Elizabeth's Sill (aka Sister Elizabeth): Class-IV-ish discrete pool-drop. When you see power-lines crossing the river, and an obvious horizon-line ahead, that's Elizabeth's Sill. Scout river-right. Common line is to hit the small-ish eddy on river-right just above the drop, and then peel back into the current and aim for the large tongue to punch the mush at the bottom. It's a fairly violent hit at the bottom, with lots of squirly water, but nothing really retentive, and plenty of time to recover afterward in a big pool, so low consequence. Beware of rafts! They like to congregate below this drop to try and surf the mess at the bottom of it, and you can't always see them as you approach the drop. Look to people on shore or below the drop to signal when it's clear: vertical paddle means go, horizontal paddle means wait.

3. Reactionary, Forbidden Wave, Draino: Class-III/IV-ish features. I don't have great recollection of these, I think because they weren't that significant at the low/med water level we had Sunday and/or were easy to avoid, but I'll relay what I can about them. Reactionary (perhaps also called Corkscrew) is a corkscrewing hole near the start of the rapid after Elizabeth's Sill. Forbidden Wave (perhaps also called Hawaii 5-O) is a wave you'll want to steer well clear of, especially at higher flows. It's on river-right as the river makes a turn to the left and is pretty easy to avoid if you're aware of it. Draino is a hole on river-left/center a little above Mushroom that gets nasty at high water levels but is more tame and easy to avoid at lower levels. Stay right as you approach Mushroom to avoid Draino.

4. Mushroom: Class-IV-ish discrete drop. Scout river-right. As you approach Mushroom the river narrows a bit with rocks on both sides, and you'll see a pretty obvious horizon-line with only a surging plume of water visible not far beyond it. The surging plume is the Mushroom. Time to pull out on river-right to scout. The Mushroom is a surging dynamic wave that forms at the end of a long tongue of water. It looks intimidating, but the best line is actually to aim straight for it with some momentum to keep you going through it upright. Washing Machine is just below, so roll up quick if Mushroom knocks you over so you can make it into the huge eddy on river-left to wait for a clear shot into Washing Machine.

5. Washing Machine: Class-IV-ish discrete drop. Scout river-right. When you scout Mushroom, just walk down a bit further to get a look at Washing Machine too. The line is to punch straight through a meaty hole near river-right. River-left through center is big pour-overs that you'd do well to avoid. I think the hole you have to punch is actually more retentive at lower levels, and at higher levels gets more flushy but with more squirly water below it. Plenty of time to recover in the big pool below this drop. Getting recirc'd can be violent, but is typically short-lived as the hole will spit you out on its own pretty quick after flipping you over vertically a couple times (not that i'd recommend it). Look for the weak point in the hole and aim for that with good momentum and weight forward to avoid getting recirc'd. As with Elizabeth's Sill, the biggest danger at Washing Machine is rafts. They like to surf the hole right where you need to punch through it, and you can't always see them as you approach the drop. Luckily there's a huge eddy on river-left between Mushroom and Washing Machine where you can hang out and wait for someone to signal it's all clear.

6. Surprise: Surprise hole in the middle of some easy rapids not far after Washing Machine. Can catch you off guard if you're not paying attention, but it's nothing that can't be pretty easily punched. The river will funnel you straight into it as the main flow goes between a couple large rocks (i.e. I don't remember there being a way around the hole) but just know it's coming and it's easy to punch through. Not far below the Surprise hole there's a smooth and very friendly surf wave with pretty good eddy service that's well worth a stop.

7. The Seven Sisters: Class-V/V+ series of falls. Portage or scout river-right. When you see remains of an old bridge pylon type thing in the middle of the river, The Seven Sisters are just around the corner. There's a beautiful play wave/hole on river-left just before the river-right take-out eddy for the portage trail, but if you surf here just be certain you don't swim or it might well be your last. The Sisters are very serious class-V drops that some folks choose to run, but only in low water. You can easily get a good look at the first two, and they're quite impressive (see photos). The portage trail on river-right is very well trodden, and easy to find and follow. It'll put you back on the river just below the Sixth Sister, where the most obvious way into the water is via a fun 6 or 8 foot seal-entry. Ferry across some easy quick-water to river-left to scout or portage the Seventh Sister, which is the least intimidating of the seven, and probably more of a class IV+ rating at most levels. The common line is to boof the big tongue on the main drop to avoid the recirc below and either side of it, but that spits you straight toward a large rock downstream with not a whole lot of time to recover, so be sure you stay upright or roll up quickly to steer clear. Scott ran this line and rolled in time to miss the rock, the rest of us walked the drop. Matt said there's also an option of running a sneak route far river-right at somewhat higher water levels, but even then it's bony and not a lot of fun. Just as easy to walk it on river-left.

8. Exit Rapid: Class-III-ish rapid with some good play. There's a real nice play wave near the middle/end of this rapid. Dynamic and fast with pretty good eddy service. On warm summer days the rocks on river-left of this rapid bloom with hordes of sunbathing French Canadians. This used to be primarily nude bathing territory years ago, but it seems the full-nude bathers have moved upstream as the Exit Rapid banks have become popular with a younger bikini-clad crowd. Don't be surprised to see full-nude bathers at the lower Sisters drops.

RIVER GAGE:

www.canot-kayak.qc.ca/info_debit/index.html

conversion: 1cms = 35.3146667cfs

runnable: 25cms to 150cms+

best: 40cms to 120cms

DIRECTIONS:

This is the lowest section of the Rouge River before it flows into the Ottawa. It lies just west of the town of Calumet, in Grenville-Sur-La-Rouge, Quebec, about 30 miles west of Montreal. Use Google Maps or similar to get you to the intersection of hwy-148 and Chemin de la Riviere-Rouge (or click here). Just west of Chemin de la Riviere-Rouge (road sign might say Chemin Kilmar instead) on hwy-148 is a camp on the left (south) side of the road where you can park for your take-out (actually on the Ottawa, just after the confluence). This is on the east side of the hwy-148 bridge across the Rouge. The camp charges a few dollars per person for you to park there and take out. To get to the put-in, drive up Chemin de la Riviere-Rouge (aka Chemin Kilmar) and follow signs to the raft company called 'Propulsion' where you can park for $5 per car and then carry boats across the road to put in on some flatwater a little above the start of Family Rapid. Be sure to bring small bills for put-in/take-out fees because, while they might accept US Dollars, they'll probably have change only in Canadian Dollars if at all.

Ottawa River - August 2007
Thursday-Sunday Aug 9-12, 2007
Organizer: JimP
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: medium
Author: JimP

The Summary:

Twelve paddling souls (OK, technically 11 and a shuttle bunny/hiker/video technician/yoga instructor) headed nord to test the warm, warm waters of the Ottawa River near Beachburg Ontario. It was a two, three or four day trip as some folks headed up as early as Thursday while everyone was there for the weekend. The water levels were perfect for play (between -1.5 and -1.75) and the weather couldn't have been better, sunny and warm without any liquid sunshine whatsoever.

Thursday paddling consisted of a park and play at McCoy's rapid later in the day by Amos, Kelly and Simone.

Friday was a big day with a morning park & play, a Middle Channel run and a Main Channel run with almost the whole crew.

Saturday consisted of an early morning park & play, back to camp for breakfast/naps and then a Main Channel run by everyone as now John and Shawn had finally made their way to camp.

By Sunday both energy levels and adrenal glands were depleted. Most opted for park and play and just a few did a full Main Channel run.

Some random stories that come to mind:

The Thursday night caravan made a few stops and dealt with some traffic issues at the normal spots. Leaving Burlington at 5:30 and arriving at River Run at 12:30 in the morning - a 7 hour trip. John coming up Friday evening, missing traffic and juiced on Red Bull made it in a Canadian land speed record of 4.5 hours!

A tip of my hat goes to those that paddled a full twelve hours - 7am to 7pm - on Friday (I think the list included Dan, Simone, Grayson and Kristy). That was a long day of hard play! The rest of us got in nine to ten hours but felt like slackers compared to the "Iron Kayakers". Probably explains why no one was up past 9pm Friday night.

A taste of Phil: All the first timers (and even a few of the Ottawa veterans) got introduced to Phil on their first ever run through McCoy's.

Both horseshoe holes (left and right) in McCoy's got to munch on some Vermont boater meat on the very same run!

From my point of view the paddling crowd seems smaller than in past years. The wait for the key play spots were long because we were such a big crowd! But there is always the raft traffic to contend with. Not too bad on Friday or Sunday but Saturday was full on rubber.

Any multi day paddle will have its share of bumps and bruises. This trip had a few paddlers on the Injured Reserve list: Jim (shoulder), Amos (neck) and Will (flu). Didn't keep them from paddling but maybe slowed them down a bit. Luckily at camp we had Dawn's Massage Therapy and Johnny's Chiropractic Services. Plus I did notice a few very large bottles of Ibuprofen kicking around.

Will invented a new move at Garburator that he modestly named "The Will". I have heard rumors that it is the "must make move" for the upcoming Ottawa Rodeo on Labor Day weekend!

While only Kristy and Jim made use of the hot tub after Friday's final run, the full crew piled into that thing on Saturday spilling out most of the water. Beers provided by Grayson and Will made for a warm and wet cocktail hour at River Run.

We all showed our Canadian heritage on Saturday night/Sunday by sporting maple leaf or Canadian flag tattoos. Some went for multiples!

Every night the Canadian Camp Cleaning Network (i.e. raccoons) paid a visit and made sure there were no scraps of food lying around when we woke up. They need to work more quietly as they can make quite a racket when tossing the pots and pans off the tables.

And speaking of tables! What class we had! Simone brought tablecloths and we lined up three picnic tables to create a family dining experience and general hang out spot.

We set a trap one night for the raccoons (Simone's boat held up by a paddle with an ear of corn dangling as bait). The only thing it caught all night was Jim stumbling back to his tent.

Dawn was the winner of the first annual Ottawa River golf tournament. We won't mention the fact that she was the only entrant.

On Saturday's Main Channel run we stopped and looked at Coliseum (a prudent thing to do). While some scouted, others ran to show the two most common lines (left or right). While waiting at the bottom for Shawn and Will we realized that neither of them had run the rapid before and we did not have a guide/probe boat to lead them down. There was a discussion in the eddy if they would take the right line or the left line. Pretty soon we were all shouting our preferred line as they headed into the maw. We were all confident that our personal line was very best and these Coliseum rookies would follow said line. Well they showed us, Shawn went right and Will went left. They are now veterans.

Saturday night the campsite was filled with music as Johnny G was accompanied by vocals, bongos, a djembe, a tambourine and other percussion instruments. There were also a few pig poems and groover stories to round out the evening. I think a few adult beverages were also consumed. We must have sounded like we were having a good time as a number of other campers came by to join the fire circle.

Most of the paddlers partook of the official food of the Ottawa River Poutine.

Jim had trouble finding his tent every time he came back from paddling. Someone, maybe the larger raccoons, made it into a mobile home, moving it about the campsite. (note to readers: the word "about" is pronounced "aboot" in Ottawa-River-speak)

Even though we left at different times there was an impromptu reunion at the Highgate border crossing as John, Dawn, Jim, Kristy, Grayson, Will and Rod all managed to get to the border at roughly the same time. The thirty minute wait went quicker with a few tired hugs and some Ginger-O cookies.

Anyone ready to sign up for next year???

Hudson River
Sunday Sep 30, 2007
Organizer: JimP
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: low boatable
Author: JimP

Nine adventurers headed off to do the Hudson Gorge on Sunday September, 30 2007. Given that it had not rained for the better part of the last decade the river was quite low. With the bubble from the Indian River it was about 3.75 ft on the North Creek gauge.

In this motley crew we had seven first timers for this run. This made the two wily veterans a bit concerned but that proved completely unfounded - everybody did great. Well the rookies got to see it at a low level for their first time - maybe not such a bad thing.

It was a beautiful day. It was only 44 degrees at the put in as we were getting ready but the sun came out in force and we enjoyed temperatures in the 60's while we were in the gorge. I've got to mention, if I haven't already, that it was really low! But we scraped by.

The Indian was fun and bouncy as usual. A quick stretch stop at the confluence of the Hudson and we were off on the low, low river level.

There was some surf to be had just above the Narrows and everyone nailed the Narrows. In fact there were no swims all day. Could that be because it was sooooo low???

We kept on until Soup Strainer to keep with the bubble. After everyone cleaned that one we lunched in the sun and watch the low, slow Hudson roll past.

From there the group meandered down the remaining few miles. The last couple of miles were very relaxed with many of us paddling with our feet out of the boats while dodging the rocks that were everywhere since there was so little water.

Once at the takeout we ran shuttle, said goodbyes and hit the road. All the first timers want to come back when the Hudson has a bit more bite. A fun time was had by all anyway but the group consensus was THE LEVEL WAS LOW.

Lower Moose River, VT
Saturday Oct 13, 2007
Organizer: Dave Coyne
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium
Author: Mike Baseler

Dave Coyne and I ran the lower moose (East St. Johnsbury- Passumpsic river) at a level of 6 feet on the Victory gauge. The run is about 4 miles, the run starts off with a bang with a big wave train under the first (car bridge) with good surf. Right around the bend is the biggest drop on this section, so scout carefully on river left right after the first bridge. There is a sneak line to the left side of train bridge pillar, but it's a little scrappy at 6'. The main line has a monster hole dead center that spans 80-90% of the river, not a place I would really like to be. Dave says it's a bit more tame at around 5 ft, (min suggested). The line of choice at this level was to start off in the eddy just above the bridge and boof the far left side and skirt the big hole directly under the bridge. The move was intimidating, but luckily no one got munched today.

After the railroad bridge there is about 2 miles of quick class I water until you hit the next section. The next rapid is a series of 3 ledges all about 3-4 feet high. Once you get to the ledges the run picks up and the rapids are close together.

Right around the next bend the river runs directly into the Maple Grove Farm factory and makes a definitive S-turn under another bridge. Once you get behind Maple Grove there is a fun class III, that consists of a big bouncy wave train, run right down the middle, watch for wood on the left side. From there to the next significant drop is pretty straight forward class II+.

Once you go under Rt. 2 again the river makes a definitive sharp left turn. Be careful here. The next drop is a big rocky ledge about 8 feet tall, the biggest single drop on the river. Stay left and scout. A cliff that juts out blocks your vision and if you miss the eddy right behind the rock you are committed to the drop. There is a simple line far left side if you follow the green tongue of water along the left bank. After this there are 2 more little ledges before you hit the confluence of the Passumpsic.

This is a really fun section, I think I would prefer it to the upper section from Victory down. Overall I would rate this as a class II-IV run to be in agreement with the guide book. Once you get down by the mills, past Maple Grove, there was unfortunately a lot of dumping that had been done and the river banks are riddled with tires and metal pieces.

The river runs directly along Rt. 2 the entire way so there's lots of opportunity for road scouting. To get to the take out take Concord Ave. across the bridge. Make a left onto Elm St and park back near the baseball fields. To get to the put in take Rt. 2 east for about 4 miles until you see a gravel pull off just past East St. Johnsubury on the right side of the road. If you want to skip the first big drop and the quick water section you can park and put in at Petty Co. Junction off of Rt. 2.

VPC trip reports can provide an important historical basis for 'current use', a legal doctrine that can affect the regulatory process - dam relicensing, new dam construction projects, etc. But only (obviously) if we (WE) write them! So, be sure to share and preserve the memories of your latest paddling adventures by submitting a trip report.
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