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Lower Hudson

Sunday May 2, 2004
Participants:
Kayak: Julie Prior, John Pandolfo, Frank Wells
Open Canoe: Richard Larsen, Sheri Larsen, Len Carpenter
Organizer: Richard Larsen
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: medium low
Gauge (ft): 4.0

The trip was scheduled for the Ammo, but moved to the lower Hudson because of low water in the Ammo. (Except, of course, once the trip was moved, the Ammo came up with snowmelt - but we stayed with the Hudson.) The water was relatively low for this time of year, at 4.0' at the North Creek gauge. When we got to North Creek, we learned it was Hudson River Downriver Derby Day - so we raced to get on the river first, then pulled over a ways downriver to let the racers pass. The wind was remarkably strong, and blowing upriver, to the point that the canoes could hardly made progress in the 2 miles above and below Riparius. In Spruce Mountain rapid, boats were literally being stopped and slipped sideways unexpectedly by gusts, in the middle of class II-III drops. One canoe took out at Riparius because of the wind, and allegedly the paddler hitch-hiked to the takeout with some turkey hunters, if the story is to be believed. The winds did abate before the major rapids below Mill Brook were reached. Other than the wind, there were no problems. We saw the usual collection of birds - osprey, mergansers, mallards, and finished at the Glen Bridge after about 5.5 hours on the river. The wind slowed us up by at least an hour.

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