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Lower White River

Saturday Mar 30, 2013
Kayak: Mark Cook, Dottie Dupey, Grant Leibersberger, Heidi McCullough, Rod McIver, Chris Weed
Open Canoe: Tony Shaw
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: novice WW
Level: medium
Gauge (ft): 5.13
Gauge (cfs): 1430
Author: Tony Shaw

Running at a lower-than-normal ~900 cfs for most of the preceding week, the USGS online gauge at West Hartford dissuaded our group from attempting to run the (planned) "Upper White" from Stockbridge to Bethel. In hindsight, when the gauge suddenly popped up over 1400 cfs on Saturday morning, we probably would have made it down The Upper...

Spring - that is to say, March - 2013 proved to be much better suited to sugaring than boating. But today it was about as nice a March day as you could want for a get-out-the-cobwebs class I-II river trip. We waited 'til noon to meet, to let the day to warm up some, and put-in close to 1:30 (once a loaner PFD for yours truly had been procured). Thanks to Mark and co. for making that happen!

The 2.5 mile stretch to West Hartford was bathed in sunshine with a moderate, steady tailwind. The ravages of tropical storm Irene are still evident in many places along the banks, but not much in the riverbed itself. This is in contrast to the upper White, where many parts of the riverbed AND its banks bear no resemblance whatsoever to pre-8/28/2011.

We played to our hearts' content at the 8 or 10 low ledges that make the Lower White popular throughout the summer months, and no one got into any trouble. We stopped on a sandy beach to stretch our legs at one point and eat hors d'oeuvres (thanks, Heidi). At the take-out Mark shared his wife's macaroons with us all. I would paddle again with this bunch, any time! Paddling time: 2:45. Daytime high: 51 degrees.

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