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Green River Release Fall 2017

Saturday Nov 18, 2017
Kayak: Approx 40 boaters
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

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