|A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR|
June 6, 1979
Dear Canoe Cruisers,
From the desk of your Bow & Stern editor, this looks like it's been a terrific season. A great bunch of new folks joined us this year, and the preseason training program really went well. (Only improvement needed: Dick Allen and I learn to backpaddle down the pool without ending up in the parking lot!).
There were some great trips; the Hudson was run four weeks in a row by some of our more experienced paddlers.
This issue of the Bow & Stern features some funny and fine poetry - which is fitting in such a poetic mode of water sport as canoeing. We also have the Summer Schedule highlights, so stay tuned.
Tonight, enjoy the food, the special slide show and other happenings and get ready for the Summer Season.
|First Annual Limerick Contest|
Some cruisers with poetry penchants|
Are labeled below as the entrants
In our contest of rhyme,
"Ridiculous" to "sublime",
Ranging from the "light-hearted" to "trenchant
A whitewater racer, named Ace
This whitewater racer named Ace
There once was a paddler named McGraw
There once was a paddler named Sneed
and for your continued reading pleasure...
April 28, 1979
We were cruising on the White
Said the "Cruiser" with obvious pride
As he searched for the down-river side
In Class I and II I do well.
Huntington River: March 21, 1979
|Participants:||Dick Trudell, Rich Brainerd, Kim Brainerd, Walt Barkan|
It was the first day of Spring and the weather was warm and sunny-- a perfect day to play hooky from work and do a little paddling. The water level was low and the river, consequently, was scratchy; but for the first time out, it made for a pleasant though uneventful trip.We put in about 3:30 and paddled till about 5:30 while the temperature continually dropped. It was getting a little chilly by the time we ended, but nonetheless proved to be just the spring tonic we needed, and the harbinger of a good season ahead.
Huntington River: March 31, 1979
|Participants:||4 kayaks and 10 canoes including Dave Keenan, Gary Schillhaumer, Larry Thomson, Bruce Leavitt, Rich Brainerd, Jillie Rawson, Kim Brainerd, Jim Higgins, Eloise Clark, George Agnew, Normand Lavoie, Bill Agnew, Peter Alden, Robert Klandl, Sue Alden, Darwin Merrill, Alan Roberts, Dick Trudell, Dick Allen, Dave Boedy|
Only one spill, which occurred just above the bridge in Huntington Village. Self-rescue, and no problems. Temperature was around sixty degrees, overcast, with little wind. A heavy shower occurred at the end of the run, but the river level was ideal, and the rapids during the last two mile stretch were just great.
The high point of the run was about five minutes after we put in, when a deer swam across the river, just ahead of the lead canoe.
Upper Lamoille: April 1, 1979
|Participants:||Dick Trudell, Rich Brainerd, Walt Barkan, Kim Brainerd, John. King, Dave Boedy|
The weather was a little chilly and the day overcast, but the water was fairly-high and it didn't take long to warm up. At Dave's suggestion, we put in several miles higher than the Greensboro Bend put in, and were surprised to find some good white water in this area. If the water level is high, this affords some additional good paddling and should be considered. A mean old rock grabbed out at Dick's boat and put a hole in the bottom. Not wishing to play submarine on the river, we pulled out at Greensboro Bend for repairs. With the gift of some napkins from one of the homes in Town (that lady sure was surprised to see a dripping wet, wet suit clad, whitewater freak at her door), we made a duct tape repair and put back in.
The water level was high enough to give us plenty of waves and holes to play in and sparked some local attention from the kids on the bank, who keep asking us to tip over (In 40 degree water -- are you kidding?) Below East Hardwick the river had picked up a considerable amount of water. That drop just above the motel seems to be getting bigger, too. We had made big plans about playing in the waves on the ledges at the last turn in Hardwick, while the drivers went back for the cars. Something about paddling hard for a couple of hours sure cuts into your enthusiasm, and after a few attempts at surfing the wave, we headed for the take out and a modest change of clothes on the side street. The duct tape repair held on Dick’s boat and showed again the importance of carrying a roll of duct tape with you on the river.
Lewis Creek: April 8, 1979
|Participants:||8 canoes including Frankie Strathairn, Robert Durkin, Bill Mikell, Alice Durkin, Jeff Mikell, John Teague, Chris Mikell, Bob Klandl, Will Mikell, Hank Ellis, Bryce Lyndes, David Boedy, John King, Mary Holden/Bob Holden, Bob Lindemann|
Very low water level, beautiful sunny day. No one tipped over. Eddy turns practiced.
Upper Lamoille: April 22, 1979
|Participants:||6 kayaks and 8 canoes including Bob Klandl, Warren Kitzmuller, Darwin Merrill, Karen Kitzmuller, Rick Larsen, Bob Schumacher, Sherry Larsen, Bill Mikell, Rich Brainerd, Jeff Mikell, Kim Brainerd, Dick Trudell, Mel Doherty, Dave Boedy, Dave Keenan, Steve Sease, Peter Alden, Phoebe Morse, Chuck Haddon|
This was a very water-wise group. (Editors Note: Should we call our sport "wise-water canoeing"?). The river was only slightly below optimum level. No spills.
Boreas River: May 5, 1979
|Participants:||Dick Trudell, Kim Brainerd, Steve Page, Roger Gelson, Rich Brainerd, Chris L.|
|Water:||Hudson 5.6, Boreas -0.5|
The mighty Boreas! After reading Gabler's description and hearing horror stories for the last four years, we finally worked up the nerve to give it a try. The Hudson Gauge was 5.6, the upper Boreas gauge was destroyed, but the Minerva gauge read minus 0.5 (Runnable levels are minus 1.0 to plus 0.5).
The first encounter is a technical S-turn with a good drop at the end. To add interest, right at the last part of the drop there is a cross current which throws you to the right or turns you around. Shortly downstream there is a runnable 8 foot waterfall to add excitement to the trip. There is a two stage drop down the middle. Dick was the first to run the falls and was thrown by a cross current to land high and dry on a protruding ledge in the middle of the falls. He was able to rock himself off the ledge and slip down the rest of the falls. The others picked a different route or portaged. Not much exciting happens for the next mile, and beyond that there is a long stretch of flat water before the real rapids begin.
The following 2.5 miles average 90-100 ft. drop per mile and are closed boat waters. A great deal of technical maneuvering is required to avoid rocks and holes, and there are a lot of cross currents and foamy water to splash through. There are a couple of Z-turns to make it a good gradient. At a minus 0.5 gauge, the river was technical but not dangerous. It is, however, no place for an inexperienced paddler.
We pulled out at the Minerva bridge and Dick and Steve continued on down to the Hudson and North River takeout. This provided some friendly joking for the rest of the weekend, as they were left standing in the cold wind for an hour at the take out, while the others leisurely went about getting changed and shuttling the cars. This writer invites a dissenting reply from those warm and dry paddlers who made us wait. (Editors Note: See below). That night we camped at the Sacandaga Park and next morning had a great breakfast of blueberry pancakes prepared by the Brainerds.
Hudson River : May 6, 1979
Second day of the weekend, the gauge was at 5.4 and the weather overcast. The Indian River gauge was at 2.0. We put in just below the waterfall on the Indian and paddled Class III water all the way to the Hudson. The Hudson was moving quite fast, and there was a lot of volume to it (3660 cfs). At this level, the river should be attempted only by closed boats.
We did have plenty of company on the river, as it was race weekend and there were a lot of boaters out. The major rapids were definitely Class IV, and the flatwater stretch to the take out went by quickly due to the high flow in the river. There were six boaters that night that didn't need any encouragement to go to sleep.
Addendum to a May 5 trip report by a Mr. R. Trudell:
Just in case some mention was made of certain people waiting for a ride at North River....
Before they left we warned them that paddling out the last baby-wave six miles from Minerva bridge on the Boreas to the Hudson at North River would take less time than packing up four boats, gear, and people; driving out the four miles of class III dirt road in Dick's Cadillac of a Jeep; driving back the seven miles of windy paved road to pick up the shuttle cars at the top; driving back down the 28 miles out of our way to get then at North River. But, no. They had to rush down the rivers, not even stopping to surf Big Kahuna. They better be glad that they weren't left up North River without a shuttle.
Hudson Gorge: May 13, 1979
|Participants:||6 kayaks including Kim Brainerd, Rich Brainerd, Mel Doherty, Bob Schumacher, Bob Dodds, Dick Trudell|
A Hudson Ballad|
by Kim Brainerd, May 1979
Old man Hudson was running; they saw
The Indian was gauged at 1.5 or so.
OK Slip Brook slid into the fro
Punch down through the right side, it's easily done,
White River : May 22, 1979
|Participants:||Dick Trudell, Dave Boedy, Fred Jordan, George Agnew, Bill Agnew, Pete Alden|
Medium water level and cool temperature. Trip was enjoyable but uneventful.
Hudson River Gorge Memorial Day Weekend: May 27, 1979
|Participants:||Dick Trudell, Rich Brainerd, Kim Brainerd, Peter Alden, Walt Barkan|
The Hudson Gorge had been run three weeks in a row. With no rain, the gauge at North Creek had dropped to 3.1 feet by May 24. The time had come (or so it seemed) to put away the boats and paddles and do some of the "put-off" chores. Besides, this next week was the Memorial Day Biggie, with hordes of cars looking for non-existent gasoline. Thus, everyone planned to stay home, plant the garden, and pursue other mundane suburban delights. Then just when shores looked darkest, the weather darkened. Yes, indeed. At the eleventh hour, the heavens sent a reprieve. Rain fell for three days straight. The rivers rose. We diehards scraped together an impromptu and unprecedented fourth trip to the Hudson, in as many weeks.
At 7:00 A.M., at Wesson's Diner, five boaters appeared: Walt, Dick, Kim, and Rich with kayaks; Peter with a canoe. The North Creek gauge read 4.6 feet. The Indian River was at 1.2 feet. The black flies were at 0.3 feet. Therefore, the five stayed in the middle of the river playing in the holes. The Indian River approach was at a moderate level and was enjoyed. The rest of the trip was leisurely and enjoyable, with a fine water level. Playing led to several rolls and a few wet exits. Especially playing in the ender chute at the staircase rapids. Dick won (as usual) the award for "the most holes surfed". Kim received "the most vertical kayak of the day" award. Walt, recalling a hole on the upper Lamoille last year, was presented with "the longest time in a bracing position" award. Both Peter and Rich were awarded "the clean run of the day".
The only tricky part of the trip was the shuttle done on three cylinders.
Good weather, no mishaps, enough gas, and back at Wesson's before dark. Maybe now the season is over?!
Mill Brook: May 28, 1979
|Participants:||Dick Trudell, Rich Brainerd, Kim Brainerd|
Have you ever seen the little brook that feeds into the Mad River just below the Highway Department salt shed? Ever wondered what it would be like to run? After noticing there was high water on Friday afternoon, a very early trip was set for Saturday morning. We were able to put in one mile above the access road to Sugarbush North. This section down to the access road is very narrow and scratchy, and probably not worth the effort. The next stretch (2 miles) is definitely interesting, requires technical maneuvering, and is a Class III - IV stream at a good water level. The drop is 100 ft./mile which would rank its drop among the more difficult rivers, but it is not dangerous because of its low volume. There are several good drops and holes on Mill Brook, but not much room to play in. There is one portage near Gallagher's Mill about one-half mile from the end. The run is restricted to closed boats or competent solo paddlers in a canoe.
|Some Highlights of the Spring 1979 Whitewater Season|
by Richard Allen
The season started with a superb day on the Huntington. The date was March 24th and the water was high. This allowed us to put in just South of Hanksville. The river here starts with a Class III drop of about four feet. We scouted it from shore and picked an unobstructed route. Like most drops of this size there is always a point where the canoe is teetering and you wonder If you are going over. We ran it cleanly and eddied out in a pool just below. Peter Alden can got some of the credit for guiding us safely through.
The demands of the river soon took their toll on one father and son team. They met their first dump with a change of clothes. After the second dump they pulled out at a bridge and hitched back to the car. The 65 degree air temperature lessened the threat of hypothermia. We lunched on a gravel bar and talked of winter camping. Between the initial drop and the quick left turn above the bridge in Huntington, the biggest challenges are the trees that lean into the river.
This turn in Huntington presented several routes due to the high water. It is usually safest on the left and more challenge on the right. It can be seen upstream of the bridge in Huntington Village. From here to the Audubon Pool it is mostly flat water.
The Pool is formed by a sharp right-hand turn in the river. There is a parking area here that provides easy access to the river. It also makes a convenient spot to rest. This marks the start of the Audobon rapids. It is a continuous Class 2 section with scenic tree-lined banks. The river pulls away from the road to the east and then cuts back to the northwest, passes under the road, heading north again. This section also ends with a large pool formed by the river piling up against a high rock ledge on the left bank.
I enjoy the Audubon section because of its constant action and the intimacy of the river.
From this last pool there is a couple of miles of flat water until the rapids become continuous above the Gorge. On this day there were several spots where we look in water due to high waves. Here you have to be careful not to get too involved in showing off for the spectators, for the Gorge is just around the bend. It is best to pull out well above the Gorge so that you have a margin for error. I made this resolution after a scary moment at our take-out close to the Gorge. All in all, it was a grand Way to start the season.
The weather for the first training session couldn't have been worse; 35 degrees with snow, rain, slush, and a raw wind. For that reason I hesitate referring to the day as one of the highlights of the season. Nevertheless we had an excellent turnout, a good stretch of river for novice training (the Mad for a mile or two below Morton), and enough experienced boaters to really individualize the instructions.
Bill Agnew and I run the drop at the put-in twice; the first time successfully on the left, the second time unsuccessfully on the right. My wetsuit got its first test and performed admirably. This dump gave me a chance to observe peoples' reactions to someone in need of help. Rich and Kim Brainerd jumped immediately in their canoe and came to our aid. Some other people seemed overly-concerned about the possibility of losing some minor equipment.
The Upper Lamoille gives the boater some of the larger waves and holes to mess about in. The water lever was just right on April 22. About 15 boats met in Greensboro Bend. The river at this point is very narrow and uninteresting. But you do get a good idea on some people's attitude about rivers and riverbanks. It makes a convenient dump; out of sight, out of mind. There are some sections of the Huntington that have also been ruined with junked cars and washing machines. Eric Evans was referring to the rivers of the Mid-Atlantic region when he said, "Each mile of riverbank...resembles the fallout from a stock car demolition derby..." He could just have easily been talking about some sections of Vermont's rivers.
The Upper Lamoille soon enters a picturesque wood reminding you that you are in the Northeast Kingdom. The trickiest section above East Hardwick is a set of rapids under a road bridge that is currently under construction. There is a good place to eddy out just below the bridge on the right. The rapids here have been complicated by giant stone blocks in the middle of the river. These blocks are often used for riverbank "improvement".
The carry around the dam and cascades in East Hardwick is like a walk in the past. It is not hard to imagine how important water power once was to this town. The waterfront is lined with several abandoned wooden frame buildings, each one with a story to tell.
We had lunch here and a few people did some more ferrying of cars. the rapids below East Hardwick soon peter out into flat water. When you see Haynesville Brook entering on the left, look out! Here the big stuff starts and gets more that way right through the famous Motel Rapids and downtown Hardwick. Several canoes pulled out above this stretch and watched the rest of us from shore. The waves were big. I was prepared for the first ledge just above the motel. This one had flipped me several years ago and had left a permanent scar on my canoe and my psyche. The entire section was negotiated by all without incident. It makes a slam-bang finish to a demanding run.
The April 28th trip on the White River was blessed with perfect weather. But you never would have guessed it by looking out the window about 7 A.M. in the Burlington area: gray and rainy. The ride through Granville Notch was beautiful. Moss Glen Falls was roaring with spring run-off.
The water was high and the river was crowded with several other groups. One large group was launching a raft race at the campground below Gaysville. Two men in a Cadorette provided us with our closest calls. They swamped several times and were soon convinced to pull out at the campground. one of them broke two safety rules after his dump: he didn't get upstream of the canoe and he tried to stand up in the middle of the river. Like the above-mentioned incident on the Huntington, I feel part of the blame can be placed on a too-shallow canoe. There is a lot to be said for a canoe depth of 13 to 15 inches.
It was a glorious day with a river at its best level for fast cruising and large waves.
|NORTHERN VERMONT CANOE CRUISERS|
SUMMER EVENTS 1979
Greetings Canoe Cruisers,
Below you will find a list of club events for the summer. Due
to the high cost of gas and the possible shortage thereof, we
should attempt to carpool and share expenses. By contacting either
myself, or the event leader we should be able to put you in touch
with others interested in going.
These events will hopefully be announced in the Free Press, under the Sports Calendar section, the week before the event. In any case, you should contact the leader, myself, or the Schumacher's at Canoe Imports for details on the summer happenings.
Have a good Summer, and happy paddling!
DATE EVENT LEADER
June 9,10 Androscoggin Weekend (NH) A. Roberts
July 15 Chiott Trophy Race R. Dodds
July 21,22 Flatwater Overnighter A. Roberts/ Cedar River Flow (NY) R. Allen
Also of interest is the for info Eastern Division C-Class contact Open Canoe Sailing Race (VT.) R. Schumacher
July 28,29 Dead River (Me.) A. Roberts
August 11 The Grover Picnic/Regatta R. Allen at Sand Bar State Park
August 25,26 Androscoggin "Whitewater" R. Durkin
September 1,2 New York State Overnighter R. Dodds
September 29 Androscoggin Day Trip A. Roberts