The Vermont Paddlers Club

Meet new friends, and paddle better!

Browns River Afternoon

Friday Apr 15, 2011
Kayak: John A., Ken E.
Open Canoe: Tony S.
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: nov-int WW
Level: medium high
Gauge (ft): 7.50
Gauge (cfs): 6000
Author: Ken Emery

A mid-forties sunny day with light winds prompted Tony to dust off his trusty river alchemy and algebra books for some extrapolations on the Browns flow, coming up with, "it could be good." Sure enough, a moderate flow (Lamoille - E. Georgia was reading around 6,000 when we started) made for an active run with plenty of water. The flow was roughly level with the footing of the cement bridge on the far side of the river at the put-in just south of Westford.

We could tell immediately there was a nice flow under the Rt 128 bridge and around the bends on the way into the village where we scouted the dam pulling out, river left, just after the covered bridge. Then we all ran the very left short slide that presented a little roller-derby bump at the bottom. Tony led the way for John and I, giving us a refresher on how to do a slow smooth roll. We took the same slide/hip-check line but opted to practice our roll a little later.

The S-turn rapid with the sentinel rock above the small exit ledge reminded John and I to work harder on our boat control in twisting current, as both of us careened off the pillowed guardian but managed to stay upright.

We again scouted from river left and each decided to sample different lines over the river-wide ledge. Tony took a line on the far right and stepped neatly down with a carve left. John chose the far left straight drop burying his nose pretty deeply but clean. I ran left of the center rock, upon which Tony had managed to balance his canoe and take up position with safety rope.

The last drop was also scouted river left before we all elected to run the center where there was enough water to consider alternatives and make adjustments before completing the second drop. Shortly after the double ledge we came to the island where the main channel goes river left. Tony and John river-scouted the right hand channel that needs at least the level of flow we had to run it, and before counting to ten Tony dropped in and neatly eddied out. John followed next. Learning a lesson about the-one-you-don't-scout and giving way to what-the-heck moments, I followed but choose a poor line hard left and bounced down through the small rock-garden allowing myself a brief cool-off at the bottom, learning that John had also taken some brief refreshment there.

What often becomes a slow paddle out from that point on was more lively today requiring only occasional paddling while enjoying the sunshine and taking in the early spring scene including a brown furry mammal (Otter?) and evidence of the recent high water along the banks.

We pulled out at Rt. 128 and traded grins and comments about each getting an opportunity to practice our roll and how I'm still at the duckling stage in the whitewater world.

Please log in.
For Username, enter either 1) the primary email address you've specified in your member profile, or 2) the Username assigned to you upon joining the VPC.

Once you are logged in as a VPC member, you will have access to your member profile, and members-only content on the website. If your login attempts fail, please email the webmaster. Include your name, and (if you know it) the username you were assigned.

red code
Page Views: Link CheckerValid XHTML 1.0Valid CSS
© 1996-2020 The Vermont Paddlers Club
Report a Bug
The 'My Favorites' list uses cookies...
Add this page to 'My Favorites' Remove this page from 'My Favorites' Trip Reports Message Boards Site Map
Current PHP version: 5.6.40