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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 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

Last 12 Months...

Browns River - Westford Tuesday Jun 19, 2018
Saranac in May (1) Sunday May 13, 2018
Lower Mad River Wednesday May 9, 2018
N. Branch Cold River / Cold River Monday Apr 30, 2018
Patterson Brook (and people to boat with) Wednesday-Sunday Apr 25-29, 2018
Mascoma River - from Mascoma Lake Saturday Apr 7, 2018
Green River Release Fall 2017 Saturday Nov 18, 2017
Missisquoi #1 Saturday Sep 9, 2017
Ottawa River Friday-Monday Sep 1-4, 2017
Running late in Quebec Saturday-Sunday Aug 12-13, 2017

Last 12 Months...

Browns River - Westford
Tuesday Jun 19, 2018
Organizer: Chris Weed
Difficulty: nov-int WW
Level: medium
Author: Tony Shaw

A summer whitewater outing in these parts requires a dam release or a rainstorm. And rain it did. But the Monday afternoon—and overnight—intermittent heavy thunderstorms were clearly fast-moving and isolated, so we also needed a Chris Weed to read the tea leaves and ferret out a hasty Tuesday paddling plan. Early Tuesday morning the VPC message board started lighting up. By late Tuesday morning the sun had made a return. And about the time we put-on in Westford to run the Browns—1:00 pm—the Lamoille R. at East Georgia started falling from it's peak flow (1900 cfs).

I knew from my own scientific analysis here in Williston ("thousand one, - thousand two, ...") that several potent cells had passed 10 miles or so to our north—over the Browns headwaters. Those fast-moving thunderstorms - the kind that shake your whole house when the thunder hits—were impressive. God I love summer!

I debated between canoeing and kayaking, and I chose the kayak mainly because it is a bit easier to carry and load on the car—and because it was easier to extricate from all the s#@* cluttering up our garage.

So Chris and I took my 7-week-old hip for its maiden voyage in a kayak, and it was great! The Browns corridor below Westford is surprisingly remote and lovely, home to the 2 deer we saw on the riverbank and their compadres, and at least the one coyote we saw SWIMMING across the river! And of course we had the swollen, musty-smelling river thing going on. It's the "Browns", after all!

There is a new river-wide strainer in the first 1/4 mile below the put-in on Rt. 128 in Westford, but other than that all the lines were clean, and neither of us had any difficulty. My hip actually felt really great while boating, and I even went for a mountain bike ride later that afternoon. God I love healing!

It would have been fun to have a larger group on the river, but it was Tuesday after all, and with storms like these you've got to strike while the iron is hot. I think the Browns was cresting in Westford just about the time we put on (2" or so below the concrete footing at the bridge across from the put-in). It was down to 4" or so below the footing as we headed for home around 3:30.

A final note on wood

As already indicated, 40-50 yards above the rapid leading in to the broken dam (the second drop after the put-in) there is a freshly fallen tree spanning the width of the river. (It apparently went down during one of the thunderstorms on Monday, 6/18.) It has plenty of branches and foliage, so it's a bad strainer. It's danger is mitigated by the slow-moving flow at that point (at yesterday's medium level) and the fact that one can sneak past it against the bank on far river right. However, another high water event could move it downstream into the lead-in rapid or the broken dam itself, so it would be good to cut this tree at the earliest opportunity.

There is also some new wood in other locations farther downstream, but nothing that represents a real hazard (for now). However, note that the far river-right sneak route at the river-wide ledge (third major drop) is obstructed by a log at its entrance. That will be an issue if one attempts to use that route during a high water run, when the hole main ledge drop looks risky to punch. (That would be at a level approaching flood stage.)

Saranac in May (1)
Sunday May 13, 2018
Organizer: Chris Weed
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium
Author: Chris Weed

The Saranac had been running high for over a week, but by the week of May 6 showed promise of coming down to a sensible level, with little rain expected for the next several days. I posted about a possible trip, and Charlie expressed interest. By Thursday Jeremy had emailed me about the trip. Early on Friday I posted a plan to meet on Sunday morning, and Chris signed on.

By that time the gauge was down to 5.5 - 5.6 feet, a nice medium level. I hoped it would hold into the weekend, and it did. Saturday was sunny but chilly, but Sunday looked ideal, with a forecast high of the 70 or above.

TO BE CONTINUED...

Lower Mad River
Wednesday May 9, 2018
Organizer: Jim Poulin
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: low boatable
Author: Jim Poulin

Ten of us gathered on a warm (80 degrees) spring day.  This was the "Team Edition" trip.  We had the following "teams":

Team Centrifuge: JimF & Max  (they were fun to watch flopping all over the place)

J-Team: JimP & John

Eddy Hop Team: Hugh & Steve

Team Chris: ChrisW & ChrisM

Father / Daughter Team: Paul & Rita

And we will not make mention of any swim team members...

Since it was so sunny and warm we took our time getting through the first few rapids.  Yes, there is still wood in the S-Turn rapid but we all missed it.  We burned so much daylight by the time we hit the Route 100 bridge we needed to hustle a bit to get to the take out by sunset.  We made it with a few minutes of daylight left.  By the time we took out the temps were still in the mid 60's!

Everyone has a great time.  Why can't all days of paddling in Vermont be 80 degrees with enough juice to get us downriver?!?

jimp

N. Branch Cold River / Cold River
Monday Apr 30, 2018
Organizer: Scott G
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: low boatable
Author: Scott G

In the winter of 2018, after spending most of my adult life living north of 89, I moved to Middlebury.  This move placed me in striking distance of a whole new cache of creeks and streams many of which I had never paddled.  On the afternoon of Monday April 30th, after missing the peak runoff event of the past week (visiting family in NC) I took the opportunity to explore one I had been wanting to check out for a while - the North Branch of the Cold.  

The North Branch is a small stream tucked to the southeast of Rutland in a surprisingly remote valley.  Its waters originate on the northwest aspect of Killington and travel south before meeting the main branch of the Cold just below the Brown Covered Bridge. 

The put-in I chose was where Notch Road crosses the river just below Mclaughlin Falls - a potentially runnable 2-stage falls dropping perhaps 30 feet in total.  As I was travelling alone it was something I didn't inspect closely.  From the pool at the base of the falls it is a little over three and a half miles to the main branch of the cold with an elevation loss of 650 feet.  The first mile drops 200 feet and contains fun constricted boulder and bedrock rapids.  Wood was an issue in some, but otherwise it was surprisingly decent boating.  Unfortunately the quality boating ends and for the next 2 miles the creek was shallow, gravely and wood infested, the sort of tiring and boat abusing stuff that deters one from returning.  Redemption is found in the last six tenths of a mile after Mendon brook enters on the left, adding flow.  Below here the creek drops 170ft over small and continuous boulder rapids, reminiscent of the Big Branch only tighter and slightly less steep.  Of the run I found this to be the most enjoyable and a great way to dull the memory of the previous 45 minutes in the flat section. 

While the boating on the North Branch had its highlights, as an overall run it is not something I would likely recommend.  That being said the valley has a very remote feel and contains a beautiful birch and maple forest.  Something about it reminded me strongly of the White Mountains.

At this point you are deposited into Cold River proper.  I chose to hike up from the confluence another 3/4 of a mile to add a bit more to the afternoon.  From here down to the Cold River Road bridge it was an incredibly fun III+ romp.  There was one dangerous river wide pine about 1/2 mile above the covered bridge directly after the river makes a nearly 90 degree turn to the left.

This section felt like a smaller E. Branch of the Pemi both in character of rapids and scenery.  The 3 miles contains continuous wave trains, small holes and a few boulder strewn rapids to maneuver through.  With the flow on the low end of the spectrum it was low stress - aside from worrying about wood.  If you were to find this with a lot of water it would be a fantastic run, but also more serious due to its continuous nature and the likely addition of a few sizable holes.

At the take out bridge I was worn out.  6½ miles of boating, plus a good amount of time with the boat on my shoulder had drained me.  Unfortunately the real fun was just starting with a nearly 8 mile bike shuttle up some seriously steep back roads still to be done.  The shuttle back to the top is rather indirect, requiring you to travel north into Rutland before back-tracking south and up Notch Road where there are a couple of gut-busting hills to impede progress.  I'm not too proud to admit I was forced to dismount for a time.

Finally arriving at the car, out of water, stamina and daylight, was a relief.  In total the adventure took about 4 hours start to finish.

Was I glad to have done it?  Definitely.  I can't think of a better way to spend my free time than exploring a secluded river valley tucked into the Green Mountains.  Will I be back to the North Branch?  Definitely, except next time will be with a fishing pole and a backpack with beer.

As for the Cold proper, as has been stated before, it is an underrated, often passed over run that I would argue ranks as one of the best class III runs Vermont has to offer.  At higher levels it would sure to please those looking for more challenge and serves as a great backup to when the Big Branch is too high.

So the next time the water is up down south, make sure to give yourself time to get a run in on the Cold.

Patterson Brook (and people to boat with)
Wednesday-Sunday Apr 25-29, 2018
Organizer: Late snowmelt
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium
Author: Mike

Heading back from field work in Montpelier on Wednesday, I noticed that all the little creeks in the Mad River Valley were starting to fill up.  I made a slight detour to check Patterson, finding it at a pretty much perfect level… with no one to paddle with of course. Sort of the story of spring 2018… not really much of anyone out boating, despite the extended, late, healthy snowmelt season we enjoyed. Fortunately, a few emails later Chandler was heading over.

With one to two inches of water running over the gauge rock this run is amazing!  Things are not too big but everything is nice and fluid… a true perfect medium. We did two efficient laps on this wonderful creek, stopping to check for wood in a few places.  Things are actually in good shape wood-wise, though there is some wood hanging over the runout of the diagonal holes that looks like it will fall in pretty soon and make a nasty log jam.  Other than that there is just a lot of green moss, a few waterfalls dropping into the river and some really nice class III-IV rapids… like there’s always been.

On Thursday Robyn wanted to head over, and brought Catherine, Tom and Anders as well.  The level was a little bit lower but well within the nice medium range. We did two more really nice laps.  An added plus this time was how clear the water was. It’s hard to convey just how good this run is at a nice level… it’s active, interesting paddling but really forgiving… you’d be hard pressed to find an undercut, sieve, pothole or bad pin spot on the run.

I paddled elsewhere on Friday and Saturday, but folks were interested in heading back Sunday morning.  We had myself, Tanner, Anders and… Dave! It had been a few years since I’d boated with Dave, and in fact it was Dave who had shown me this run 8 years ago.  The level was a fluid low, just spilling over the middle of the gauge rock. We did two more laps on this surprisingly chilly day.

After that I went to take a quick look at Thatcher Brook down in Hancock.  It is a very interesting looking run.

So that is how to enjoy snowmelt, and it’s also nice to see folks actually out paddling after work!

Mascoma River - from Mascoma Lake
Saturday Apr 7, 2018
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: nov-int WW
Level: medium low
Author: Tony Shaw

I put an early April Mascoma River trip on the VPC spring schedule hoping for a 70 degree day. Instead we got barely more than half that, topping out at just 40 degrees. The sun shone brightly all day, which helped a great deal, and the wet snow that had fallen overnight clung to the trees prettily during our first run. The rail trail that parallels the river and crosses it several times was covered with enough snow that a x-c ski shuttle would have been possible, though we weren't prepared for that. The Mascoma here is maybe 25 feet wide on average - free of river-wide strainers (today). There were 4 kayakers for each of our 2 runs (Chris F., John, Sarah, and Tony in the AM, with Chris W. subbing in for Sarah in the PM). The state of NH funds the real-time river gauge (de-funded years ago by the USGS) which looked plenty fluid online throughout the week. But then mysteriously Saturday morning the dam operator lowered the flow from 700+ CFS to approximately 475 CFS - still fluid but rather tame from start to finish. The paddle through the woods is attractive and we enjoyed the many read-and-run II-III rapids, the most technical of which is the final one - Excelsior. Be sure to scout the low head dam (a mandatory portage) from the take-out, whether you choose to park on river right in the posted "lot" near the rail-trail bridge or on river left in the swimming pool parking lot a couple hundred yards downstream. Dartmouth holds a slalom race on this stretch of the Mascoma each April - the same weekend as the Wells River Rumble.

White River Watershed Not So Micros
Friday Mar 30, 2018
Organizer: NOAH
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium
Author: Noah Pollock

With spring finally starting to emerge from the snow drifts, Anders and I made a plan for some Friday afternoon paddling. With the demands of law school, Ander's paddling is basically limited to the White River watershed on most days, so we chose two rarely run runs - the West Branch of the Tweed and Locust Creek. Mike McDonnell had given me beta and Anders was eager for some obscure boat bashing paddling. We drove to Pittsburg, and left a car at the bridge over the West Branch of the Tweed - the White River Partnership and FEMA had conveniently purchased and removed a house here, and its a great public access point now. The water level looked great! We drove east until the road ended at a snowmobile trail, and then proceeded to drive a little further, Anders testing his 4x4 truck capabilities on the snow covered road. Eventually we stopped and walking our boats through the woods, following  the sound of the river. Behold, there is was! For good measure we hiked upstream, putting in above a snowmobile bridge. The river here is like a mini Patterson - clear, bouldery water, ledgy rock walls, fun little drops. Good stuff. After the obligatory sneak around a strainer we carried on for ~5 miles? There are several distinct drops in this section, which is great for a micro, including a set of ledges right above and below a bridge. What a fun river!

Next stop, Locust Creek, which is visible on Rt 107 between Bethel and Stockbridge near Rt 12. We parked at the gas station to scout the drop below the bridge. Left side looked chocked with wood, but right side was clear, first time in a couple years. Leaving a car here we proceeded to drive west toward Barnard. Gradually the river became smaller and smaller, so before we ran out of water we stopped at a side bridge and set off downstream. The river here was mostly quickwater with occasional Class II drops, made more challenging by a badly leaking boat on my end. Soon we came to a more intense rapid with a horizon line beneath a side bridge, and pulled over to scout. The river here descended a jumble of boulders and through a narrow slot - probably only 5' wide. Class IV+ with pinning potential? We elected to portage and seal launched into the mini gorge. Carrying on to Rt 107, we descended the final drop, which was bigger and more fun then it looked from above. Anders rolled twice here, more times then his entire Grand Canyon trip the week prior. We took out by an old road above the confluence and walked back to the gas station, happy to have explored two, close to home, not so micro creeks!

Green River Release Fall 2017
Saturday Nov 18, 2017
Organizer: MWL
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: low boatable
Author: Ryan

Is it the last or not.  That always seems to be the question when Morrisville Water and Light give the boating community a release out of the Green River Reservoir.  With ongoing disputes between State Agencies, the power company and boating community over a water quality certificate, there is no telling if there will ever be another release or if the dam/reservoir will even exist in a few years.

 

The above is a lot of pontification though and on 11/18 MWL opened up one of their tubes at the Green River Reservoir and put its full flow at the turbine's full generation into the river bed for whitewater enthusiasts to enjoy.  The water was flowing by 10am and as I was driving away from the river as the last one up at the put in gathering my gear, there was still flow to boat in the river at 3:30. 

 

I noticed plates from Maine, NH, CT, MA, NY and QC in addition to a bunch of the local crowd at the river.  I also saw a ton of happy faces to be on the water and be on the water with friends from the Northeast.  Expectations were set for a low water release and group after group hopped on the river for a run.

 

My first run of the day I had the pleasure of paddling with Brad C, Mainer and Phillip Williams.  This was Phillip's first time on the Green and he even shuffled around his work schedule to get on it.  We were the last to put on for Lap 1.  I was in no rush and wanted to just feel out the river.  Odd, I know, this is somewhere around the 45th time I've run this river.  However, only have been in my boats 8 times in 2017.  So Phillip, Mike and I put in below Moonshine for a mellower start to our day.

 

Right off we were all bopping through the squeeze point and working our way through the first several early rapids to the flats.  The river was at a forgiving and easy flow.  The rocks were less so.  Its amazing what 2 inches on the river gauge will do to that river.  2'3" is heinous, 2'5" is considerably more fluid and 2'7" changes the river to a friendly non-boat braking run.  We were in the realm of 2'3" to 2'5" and there was a lot of rock bashing early on.

 

Down to Humble Pie I could feel my gut tighten and mouth go dry.  I've run this waterfall so many damn times and have had some gross swims in it.  Today was not a day to swim, it was also not a day to try to pull off a flawless combat roll with a bunch of layers under my drysuit.  A flip would  be a PIA for sure, so I needed to be sure I was on line and had that boof stroke ready a the lip.  Off I went and through the entry rapid.  I was off on my strokes and had to stutter to get my boof stroke in where I needed it.  I nailed it and didn't even get wet above my chest.  I guess after enough runs I am starting to finally get it dialed.....MAYBE.

 

he rest of lap one went with out incident other than I completely broke the bottom of my boat out on the last rapid.  Serves me right for charging hard for the big boof on River right.  I got my boof "good".  But that came at the price of a HUGE smashed in hull and a funky crack that would need welded later.

 

We wrapped up and I probably had 20 gallons of water in the boat.  Alot of folks were done and headed home.  I was too.  But for some reason I brought a second boat.  The usual crew (Vickers, Schott, Mainer, Murphy and Crannell )was aiming at a second lap and poked at me to join them.  It didn't really take a whole lot of convincing and before I knew it I was filling float bags in my SCUD.  UGH, nothing like paddling a toaster down the river.  Although the boat is more or less built for low volume abusive runs like the Green.  It boofs just by thinking the word "boof" and can sneak in and out of eddys  the size of your bathroom sink.

 

Lap two - it was cold and we were moving fast.  I ran Moonshine right off - love that line and boof!!!  Everthing else went cleanly early in the run.  Two of the group had pretty major cracks in their boats so they were springing through rapids and then dumping water.  That made it easy for me to keep up in the SCUD.  Mainer kept an eye on me though, knowing I'd goof up somewhere.  I did in the double drop above Lumber Yard.  That rapid at one tube is as hard as any rapid on the river.  At 2 tubes it is a nice green tongue top to bottom.

 

Lumber yard was a walk due to low water and a tree in the line.  The last few rapids including PITON all were a blast in the SCUD and we wrapped up pretty quickly.  It was what may have been the last day in a boat of the season for me, so I was grateful to get that second lap in.  I think all that were on the river that day were happy that we saw a release for the end of the year.

 

Off to the local watering hole at Lost Nation...

 

Thank you MWL and thank you Green River.  See you in 2018

Missisquoi #1
Saturday Sep 9, 2017
Organizer: Broken turbine
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: low boatable
Author: Mike M

Rain in early September brought levels back up and just a week after Beaverfest I was thinking about a Missisquoi release.  As it turned out, Enel had to take a turbine off-line for repair, dumping an extra 800 cfs into the river and making for a very fun Saturday.

 

We had a modest level of around 1000 cfs... lowish but still fun.  Per standard Missisquoi protocol, we did laps as a big group (numbering at least 10 people), and were pleasantly surprised to see a couple Quebec friends show up too.  I don't remember how many laps we did... I think four as a group then Noah and I finished up with two more.

 

Most excitingly, I found a great new line through bottom of the S-Turn rapid that is really quite unique and amusing... in a good way!  Don't be fooled by the run only being a mile long... there is a lot to do here.

Ottawa River
Friday-Monday Sep 1-4, 2017
Organizer: JimP
Difficulty: nov-int WW
Level: medium
Author: JimP

Seventeen hearty soles headed nord to the Ottawa whitewater region for a weekend of laughter, spills and chills.  The Ottawa never disappoints.

Well, we have always wanted to come earlier in the year to catch the Ottawa at a higher level than our normal zero feet or below.  This year the river gods helped us out and gave us a Labor Day weekend level of around 7 feet!  So, this meant a couple of things.  New lines on the Middle Channel (Little Trickle & Angel’s Kiss) and no run down the Main Channel.  On the positive side of the ledger, it was a pretty quiet river in terms of number of paddlers.  Most of the big play features (Baby Face, Garberator and Pushbutton) were underwater at these levels and this kept many boaters away.

 

Friday September 1

For most it was a travel day.  Some came after work, some spent the whole day traveling.  The Cheese Heads had already been in camp for a week!  I guess if you are going to drive that far, you should make the most of it!

Sarah and Brock drove directly to the put in for a burner Middle run.  When they encountered the higher level, they ran cautiously and walked around a few unknowns rather than take time for scouting (it was getting late in the day).  All in all, a successful first run.

 

Saturday, September 2

River level: 6.75 feet

The gangs all here!  The plan was to open with a Middle Channel run as we normally do.  After listening to harrowing stories from the Cheese Heads about the Main, we were reconsidering if a Main Channel run would be in our afternoon plans.  Didn’t really matter because with all the scouting we needed to do and all the play that had to be done, we didn’t get off the river until 4pm!

Saturday was our only sunny day.  It struggled to reach 70 degrees but it was a nice day.  The remainder of the weekend was intermittent showers and temps that stayed in the 50’s.  There were a few full dry suits sported by members of the group!  The river temperature was balmy as always.

 

Sunday, September 3

River level: 6.70 feet

The group again voted for a Middle Channel run.  Much less scouting but still plenty of play at the various locations – Corner Wave, (really baby) Baby Face, Angel’s Kiss, Butterfly and Little No Name.  At the end the Middle Channel, group tried to determine a walking path to the Coliseum viewing stand on the Main Channel.  With that resulting failure, we ended up paddling upstream to Black’s Rapid and walked along the shore to the platform.  For our efforts, we were treated to a high water Coli viewing!  Big Kahuna was in full form and very hungry.  We watched about a dozen raft attempt the run with about a 60% success rate.  At the bottom of Coli there were a couple of motorized rafts to pick up casualties before they flushed over Dog Leg. 

A right-down-the-middle run would have you hitting the huge Kahuna hole.  Surviving that would allow you to charge through multiple other holes, exploding waves and swirlies that eat kayaks for lunch.  There was a very doable far right sneak for those not wanting to get their heads ripped off.

There were rumors of our traditional Sunday Night Tequila Night happening.  And given there were many empty tequila bottles on Monday morning, I must believe that would be true.  But I don’t remember any of it.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

 

Monday, September 4

River level: 6.60 feet

Morning camp was a bit chaotic as some wanted to get going (long drive) and others were just waking up.  But seven of us got on the river by 9:30.  Maybe it was three days of paddling, maybe it was the cold weather, maybe it was the pushier water, just maybe it was the tequila, but we had five swimmers out of our group of seven.  Yikes!  Plus an island paddle extraction that included two sets of ropes, a river fording and a rope return swim.  That was an event!

Back to camp by 12:30 to finish the packing, say our goodbyes and hit the long road home.

Until next year!

jimp

Running late in Quebec
Saturday-Sunday Aug 12-13, 2017
Organizer: Scattered thunderstorms
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: low boatable
Author: Mike M

My normal summer paddling scheme is to spend every weekend (and a couple weekdays) in Quebec.  That never happens, but some summers I've still done pretty well.  This year a new job, moving and general life stuff had me occupied, and by the time I had a free weekend in July it looked like the water was gone - depressingly early.  A good shot of rain in early August fixed that and on the evening of Friday the 11th five New Englanders were headed north hoping to snag one last bit of summertime Quebec whitewater.  

 

On Saturday we did the Taureau.  It was at a lowish level (-7"), what felt like 400 on the New Haven.  The section down to the Launiere was a little bumpy but mostly fluid if you slowed down and picked clean lines, and all the main drops were great.  Below the Launiere things juiced up a little and it felt like good, classic Quebec whitewater.  Good fun but the low water definitely makes the lines tighter and opens up some real pinning hazards.

 

Still, the setting was unchanged from last year, or last century or last millenia, especially the deep canyons, massive wilderness and the thick black boreal forest that completely blocks out the outside world and leaves you with nothing but a river to paddle.  The whitewater here is definitely good, but the setting is what will make me go back for as long as I can.  

 

On Sunday we did the Valin.  This is another hour-plus north of the Taureau.  It always has water, even during a drought, and was at a good low-side-of-medium, about 20 cms or 700 cfs.  The first half is like the Bottom Moose with big bedrock rapids and a bit of flatwater, plus one fantastic 25-footer (class III).  Then there is a portage and then a great canyon with steep whitewater the rest of the way.  This lower section is about as good as it gets and ends in a huge, half-mile-long boulder garden.  It's not difficult but it's big - take a big one from the Big Branch and scale it up by three - and you'll have the last half-mile of the Valin.  

 

This in turn dumps you onto the Saguenay fjord, where we looked in vain for whales but settled for (much better) poutine.  Still haven't found tourtiere there yet - I think you have to go farther north up towards the Mistassibi, which we should do next year!

 

Here's to many more great weekends of Quebec paddling.

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