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Browns River - Westford

Wednesday Apr 10, 2013
Kayak: Paul Carlile, Ken Emery, Brock Richardson, Chris Weed, Brian Wilcox
Open Canoe: Eric Bishop, Jack Daggitt, Tony Shaw
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: novice WW
Level: medium low
Gauge (ft): 6.50
Gauge (cfs): 4270
Author: Tony Shaw

We got some overdue rain on Tuesday, bringing up the Browns to a respectable level - 4" below the bridge footing at the put-in. For a river with an average gradient of just 24 feet/mile, the Browns has its share of technical features - 5 in all.

First up is the collapsing dam on the way north out of Westford, where Tony's canoe nearly got back endered in the hole, where Eric counted fish, and where Brian and Jack (upon witnessing this mayhem) opted to carry.

The beefy diagonal wave near the bottom of the S-Turn Rapid extracted a pair of swims, giving Tony some early season throw bag practice. Many signs of beaver activity were noted along this reach, not to mention 2 real live beavers.

Paul enjoyed the first major ledge so much he carried back up to try an alternate boof move. Up next, the Double Drop was the one place where we could have used a tad more water. But at least now it is free of strainers, thanks to Ken, John A., and a chainsaw in 2012.

Both sides of the island were explored at the last drop, without incident - also clear of obstructions thanks to Ken and John's 2012 handiwork. The "path" up from river right before the VT 128 bridge is a little easier to negotiate than the one on river left below the bridge, but either way works.

Brock noted ½ way down that if only the water quality was better this would be a classic New England novice whitewater run. To which I replied, but hey, then it'd probably not be "The Browns".

3.8 miles, 2 hours

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