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Bow and Stern - March 1, 2002

Bow and Stern -- March 2002

Bow and Stern

March 2002

The Official Newsletter of the Vermont Paddlers Club
in partnership with the American Canoe Association

Volume XXVIII, no. 1

> >

From the President

March 10, 2002

I continue to peer out my window and wonder when it will come?! The big dump, the over the top ski conditions the big spring run off. It will come, or it will be released! Whatever the weather future may hold I look forward to all those smiling faces on the river. Paddling with friends and family, young and old. I am looking forward to my soon to be 5 year old asking me what is for dinner as we head down Lewis creek into the sunset, only concerning herself in what really matters, FOOD! I look forward to making it through a few more gates at the Fiddlehead this year with my 9 year old going on 20 ("why do you want to go through that gate dad?") I am also looking forward to getting recertified for my CPR as well as taking a course in river safety. They always say, better prepared than sorry.

Those who attend spring trips should offer to write a trip report or send in photos, to enliven the June Bow & Stern. Those scheduled to organize spring trips (or just curious as to what organizing trips is all about) should attend the Trip Organizers Potluck Saturday March 16th (details below).

Don't forget that there are several more pool sessions between now and May, with space still available. Hurry and get signed up! Speak with a club officer, or check pool session availability via the VPC home page.

Looking forward to seeing your smiling faces on the river!


Trip Organizer Forum March 16th!

You are invited to a potluck for anyone interested in leading, helping to lead or increasing safety on this seasons' VPC paddling trips, SATURDAY MARCH 16th at 6:00 PM. After stuffing ourselves on the delicacies that we all bring to the dinner, we would like to talk a bit about how to smoothly run the club's paddling adventures. We'll discuss the guidelines for VPC/ACA trips as they relate to screening potential participants, managing safety on the river, what to do in the case of an emergency or accident, what should be in your first-aid/emergency kit, etc. Aspiring trip organizers (as well as past & present trip organizers) please mark your calendars for SATURDAY MARCH 16th!! Please come and share your questions, experience and knowledge so that we can have a fun and safe paddling season.
RSVP Paul Kempner, 114 Cumberland Ave., Burl., VT (658-3979

Treasurer's Report


YEAR GENERAL SAFETY/ED. TOTAL DEC 31, 1996 $684.39 $1661.22 $2345.61 DEC 31, 1997 $158.75 $1697.76 $1856.51 DEC 31, 1998 $227.70 $1374.39 $1602.09 DEC 31, 1999 $314.69 $1079.39 $1393.99 DEC 31, 2000 $343.56 $ 834.40 $1177.96 DEC 31, 2001 $773.96 $1158.63 $1932.59


INITIAL BALANCE $ 1177.96 DUES $ 1288.00 CANOE CLINIC $ 495.23 WEBSITE $ (180.00) ROLL SESSIONS $ 230.00 PHONE $ (225.00) MEETINGS / MAIL $ (887.84) ACA $ 25.00 OTHER $ 9.24 CLOSING BALANCE $ 1932.59


Who's Who in the VPC

who's who in the VPC




  • Paddling School: John Wolfe 244-8673 & Faith Knapp 649-5106
  • Publicity Chair: open
  • Conservation Chair: open


Vermont River Conservancy

Vermont River Conservancy is a 501 (c) (3) (nonprofit) organization solely dedicated to the protection of Vermont's exceptional water-related lands. The VRC works to ensure that Vermont's precious waterfalls and gorges, swimming holes, paddling and fishing areas - all the outstanding properties along our waters - are protected in perpetuity for those who follow in our footsteps and paddle strokes.

What does that mean to us as paddlers? It means that the waters we love to paddle will remain accessible, and will retain the aesthetic qualities we enjoy. It means that the feelings of solitude, challenge, and community we find when we paddle will be better protected. Vermont River Conservancy, with your involvement, can continue to protect camping sites along remote stretches of trout water, put-ins and take-outs at your favorite white water runs, and the undeveloped shore lands in between that give us clean water and the thrill of traveling through the special place only a river can provide. We need your input; please let us know what areas are special to you as a paddler, get involved as a volunteer, or, help support Vermont's unique river places with a financial donation to the Vermont River Conservancy. Visit our website at, or email us at for more information. Happy Paddling!

Matt Kiedaisch

Little River Update

On Jan. 22nd, Green Mountain Power requested a meeting with the paddling community. They started out by explaining their goals, basically getting the new license from FERC to operate the power plant at the base of the reservoir dam. Some studies requested still need to be resolved and the recreational study for the Little River below the reservoir was one of the studies that need to be resolved so they can finish with the process of the relicensing the power plant. They said they were willing to work in a partnership with the paddling communities, local groups, and Vt. agencies to improve the recreational use of the Little River below the reservoir. Then they asked us as paddlers for recommendation that might be applicable for improving the use of the Little River. Some ideas were mentioned and talked about in some depth. Green Mountain Power then stated they would review and compare with other recommendation that have also been presented by other group or local agencies to come to some workable solution for all parties involved.

Anyone who has an interest or ideas about the Little River can contact the VPC individuals who have been attending the meetings with some regularity: John Wolfe, Bob Marshall, and/or Ray Ingram.

VPC NEWS: Boaters Unite!!

If you did not receive email welcoming you to the new "VPC News" email forum, you should SUBSCRIBE NOW! With over 220 paddlers already subscribed, VPC News promises to be THE conduit for staying up-to-date with VPC activities and for paddler-to-paddler communication.
The executive committee will use VPC News to keep club members informed about front-burner issues the club's officers are handling. Moreover, VPC News will enhance opportunities for rank and file members of the VPC to pipe up...volunteer their services...organize impromptu trips...sell stuff...or get their non-VPC friends involved in club activities. Our goal is to have nearly 100% of VPC members subscribe, so send an email TODAY to with "SUBSCRIBE" in the subject line and your name in the message body. If you already have begun receiving VPC News emails, please add to your email address book NOW, and begin using it regularly for URGENT messages, FOR SALE or WANTED messages, and any other paddling-related communications.

Fiddlehead Canoe/Kayak Slalom 2002

This year like all the other years the Fiddlehead Slalom will be held on Mothers Day, the weekend of May 12. Anyone who knows they are going to sign up to race, please do it as early as possible. Anyone who is not sure can sign up on Saturday; late registration will be available until Saturday mid afternoon. This year the race organizer is going to have one class, which will be free, Open Canoe Rec. solo. All you need to do to qualify is fill out and sign the ACA waiver. Anyone who is an ACA member must know their membership number and anyone who is not a member will have to paid $5 for a one time event. There is one more requirement to qualify for the free class. You have to have a mindset of having a good time and do not expect to be the best, just do the best you can and improve your whitewater paddling technique. Don't let the word RACE manipulate your mind set. If you make a mistake out they on the course, so what, its not the same as making a mistake in a class four drop where your life could possible be put in danger.
Volunteers are always needed on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday so if you have some free time on any of those days (5/9 thru 5/12) and are willing to come out and enjoy the outdoors feel free to call Ray Ingram (802-879-4286). It is a four-day event for Ray, and he can use all the help he can get for setting up and running the race. Thanks for reading and hope you all have a safe run off this spring.

Happy Birthday VPC (Paddle America Club)

January 2002 marks the first Anniversary of the Vermont Paddlers Club as a designated Paddle America Club (PAC). Eric Bishop first proposed affiliating formally with the American Canoe Association as a PAC several years ago; by 2001 most leaders in the VPC agreed: this was long overdue. The transition from renegade paddling club to ACA affiliate has been a smooth one, though many VPC members still don't fully appreciate the extent of our ACA ties, or the ramifications therein.

Since 1880 the American Canoe Association (ACA) has been a leader in outdoor recreation and conservation. In 2002 the ACA will actively fight for curbs on jet ski use in sensitive areas and national parks, fight efforts to emasculate the Clean Water Act, and fight for paddler interests in general on Capitol Hill. It will train and certify more than 3,000 canoe/kayak safety instructors, and provide support and assistance to over 200 local PAC clubs, coast to coast, which organize more than 700 paddling events and programs per year! The VPC can (and should) be proud of it liaison with ACA!

Additional benefits which befall the VPC as an ACA Paddle America Club include guidance managing risks inherent on paddling trips, regular announcements (via mail and of races, clinics, and recreational events, Paddler Magazine for all ACA members 6 times a year, discounts for ACA PAC members on book and/or gear purchases at or, and legal representation/liability insurance for trip organizers found negligent in connection with VPC events they helped organize. In return, the ACA expects near 100% ACA membership among members of its Paddle America Clubs. At press time, February 2002, only about 50% of VPC members have sent in their ACA membership dues; we need your help in bringing that number up!

Just to clarify how ACA enrollment and renewal works, identify yourself with 1 of the 4 statements here:

  1. I was an ACA member before joining VPC.
    You are entitled to lower ACA member rates than you have been paying, so long as you remain an active member in a Paddle America Club. Just write "Vermont Paddlers Club PAC" on your next ACA renewal notice and pay the discount renewal rate ($15 individual or $20 family).
  2. I was a VPC member before joining ACA.
    Henceforth your yearly VPC renewal ($8) and ACA renewal ($15 or $20) will be billed separately. Watch your mail for renewal notices from each club (Jan. 1 from VPC, anniversary date from ACA).
  3. I joined VPC/ACA simultaneously at the $23 (individual) or $28 (family) rate.
    See #2 above.
  4. I have not joined the ACA.
    Please use the enrollment form at the end of this newsletter and JOIN TODAY!

100% ACA participation is expected of PAC's. Until you join the ACA you (and each member of your family) will be required to pay the $5 fee each time you join a VPC trip. Moreover, ACA non-members are precluded from coordinating any club trips or teaching in our annual whitewater clinic. Please take a minute to complete the form on the last page of this newsletter and mail your $15/$20 directly to the ACA ASAP. Your card(s) and window sticker(s) will arrive in about 4 weeks.

Remembering the Novice White Water Clinic 2001 (the kayak view)
by Marcy Gibson and Chas Billingsley

Last season's Annual VPC Novice White Water Clinic happened the weekend of July 13-15, 2001. Fifteen novices (eleven kayak and 4 canoe as well as 2 observers who may be back this year to participate) were introduced to white water paddling through the efforts of willing and tireless organizers, instructors, safety boaters, release gurus, boat haulers, chief cooks and bottle washers, and many other volunteers who handled the countless tasks necessary to hold an event like this. VPC volunteers included Marcy Gibson, Tony Shaw, John Wolfe, Faith Knapp, Michelle Seamans, Bob Marshall, Chris Weed, Eric Bishop, Ray Ingram, Pete Cassebeer, Paul Carlile, Fritz Senftleber, Holly Godfrey, Chas Billingsley, Peter and Sheila Herman, Linda Weiss, Gary Hafer and others whose names are not in my files- but helped just the same.

FRIDAY NIGHT. The introductory classroom session held at the Williston Federated Church began with clinic and new member registrations, meeting/greeting and learning each other's names.

Instructional agenda included: demonstrations of basic and necessary gear, safe boating practices, "Cold, Wet, and Alive," the ever-popular video on the dangers of hypothermia, the VPC virtual river trip down the Marugg River, "Whitewater Primer" the video favorite sure to jump-start the excitement and anticipation first-timers experience (not-first-timers too), and a half-time break for refreshments, of course.

This first session also includes the final planning for the "who needs what kind of boat or other equipment and who has spare boats and gear" game. Everyone came away from this evening session with new information: an understanding and appreciation of basic paddling skills, equipment, and safety procedures.

SATURDAY MORNING. On-the-water training began at the Waterbury dam put-in, near the Little River State Park. Somehow enough paddles, boats, spray skirts, and flotation were found for all attendees. John Wolfe showed up as usual with a full quiver of boats lashed to his truck. Just how many boats DO you own, John? The kayakers spent the entire day at Waterbury, in and out of boats, and in and out of the water.

Wonder-of-wonders, Vermont weather was cooperating and the warmth of the July sun, along with well-practiced instructional methods from Faith, Michelle, and John, put everyone at ease. The novices learned basic strokes, wet exits-both planned and unplanned, boat control, and Eskimo rescues.

After a delicious lunch prepared by Chef Fritz and a team of helpers, more advanced instruction continued with boat leans, turns, bracing and draw strokes, races, follow-the-leader, and an introduction to rolling. Practice of this last was entirely optional- and a few novices opted to try it- at least one was spotted by the end of the day snapping off a few rolls! The canoeists left after lunch in search of whitewater, which they found just 500 yards down the road, thanks to Ray Ingram's connections inside GMP. The Little River at 400 cfs provided 2 or 3 miles of ideal riffling class II water for the eager novice canoeists, preparing them for the bigger, faster Otter Creek run planned for Sunday.

In the course of this day, the first most amazing transformation occurred, as a group of enthusiastic but tentative newcomers (some were admittedly a bit nervous, having only eaten butterflies for breakfast!) became comfortable in their boats and on and in the water. The smiles, laughter, concentration, determination, camaraderie and a spirit of support and encouragement became the order of the day- everyone relaxed and had FUN!

SUNDAY MORNING. This was the big day-the culmination of newly acquired knowledge and skills-put to the test- on moving water. Kayakers gathered on the Little River in Waterbury for a negotiated release from Waterbury reservoir; while the canoe crew disappeared to Otter Creek below Belden's Falls Dam. Several club members showed up to tag along as safety boaters- including Chris and Chas (K1) and Ray, Pete, and Paul (OC1).

During this day's event, the second most amazing transformation occurred. Novices were excited, enthusiastic, and just a wee bit jittery. Some were obviously very jittery- and openly expressed their doubts about being able to do this thing. The release was already occurring as one by one we moved carefully onto the rising river. A brush-up instructional on eddy turns, with repeated practice in and out of our "home" eddy before moving downstream relaxed the group a bit. Michelle and John did a good job of calming nerves, demonstrating techniques, and discussing river features and strategies. Bob Marshall provided on-the-fly demonstrations and encouragement to everyone.

As we continued down the river, amassing tightly in each "stepping stone" eddy, the self-doubters gained confidence, sprouting huge grins at every achievement. The more confident cheered the less confident, at every turn. The most confident, including teenagers Kyle and Corey, caught on quickly- and blasted down the river like seasoned hot shots, seeking out waves and play spots.

There were lots of swimmers- not only providing the opportunity to demonstrate safety and rescue techniques once more; but bringing smiles to once nervous faces and relaxing tense muscles at the same time- as the whooping and hollering, splashing and cheering joined the sounds of the rushing river water. This group was enjoying the river! Even the youngest (the under-12's) in the group, Emily and Hanna, made it all look oh-so-easy! You go girls!

If the smiles and excited chatter at the take out are any indication, the novice clinic was a great success. The exhilaration and enjoyment were not only for the novices though. Joy of that sort is infectious, and the more experienced beginners and intermediates from previous clinics caught it for sure, while the very advanced (did I say extreme?) John and Bob particularly, seemed to be having great fun as well- occasionally letting loose and performing tricky maneuvers that dropped our jaws and popped our eyeballs.

The Club gained a few new members, new friends bonded, old friends enjoyed a reunion; the participants came from far and near: like plucky Karen- who came all the way from Ipswich, MA by herself, camped out in chilly temperatures, and wasn't there rain one night, too?- that's determination! And Tobin, also out of state, who had planned the trip for his son and himself; but at the last, when his son couldn't get away from work, came alone and had a blast anyway! We heard tandem canoe pair (and newlyweds) Kelvin and Jennifer paddled aggressively together in the big waves on Otter Creek, christening their brand new Mad River Explorer (QUITE the wedding gift!) while avoiding any swims. Sam and Karen in OC1s paddled with alacrity as well, and both seemed contentedly hooked on whitewater!

So why not decide right now to join in the fun- and volunteer to help out with the planning and execution of the VPC 2002 clinic?

Ingram and Wolfe win President's Award by Tony Shaw

Ray Ingram and John Wolfe each have been deserving of the VPC President's Award for a long time. In November I finally got around to awarding it.

Each has organized countless official VPC trips and/or impromptu trips over the years. Both have given of their time generously to the VPC Novice Whitewater Clinic for as long as I can remember (Ray in his canoe and John in his kayak), providing a positive and memorable experience for paddlers new to the sport...and new to the club.

John's love for teaching led him to obtain his ACA whitewater instructor certification for kayak a couple of years ago, and he has been leading the kayak portion of our novice clinic ever since. John also teaches kayaking to individuals and groups as a paid instructor for a paddling specialty shop in Stowe, and provided the AMC recently with a number of additions/corrections for their latest edition of the AMC River Guide. If you doubt John's zeal for kayaking just peek inside his garage, where you will find TWENTY boats!

Ray's love for racing predates 1994, but that is when it became apparent to the VPC, with the inaugural Fiddlehead Slalom Race. Now in it's 9th season, the Fiddlehead Slalom has a racecourse and category for every skill level, and the enthusiasm for paddling this event generates is contagious. Watch out, or you too might catch it!

Ray has become an accomplished C1 and OC1 racer in his own right. In 2001 he won the Open Canoe Nationals master division for the 3rd year in a row! Moreover, he has been pro-active and steadfast in his public support for paddler-friendly dam relicensing provisions. He helped organize the 2001 Little River recreational release feasibility study from Waterbury Reservoir, and has submitted written proposals to the state water resources agency and the FERC in this regard. His latest homegrown project reportedly is a whitewater rodeo event, perhaps on the Mississquoi in Sheldon, VT. Stay tuned...

The original VPC President's Award, a forged-nail and wooden Portageur sculpture made in the Jericho Vt studio of Jack Chase, was awarded first to Rich Larsen (1997) and Andy Meilleur (1999), so Ray and John are in good company. This award naturally went to Ray (the canoeist). Now, thanks to a gift from Steve Smith of Colchester in 2000, we have a second VPC President's Award. Steve's handcrafted metal sculpture of a kayaker in rapid descent I like to call "Fall Line Fanatic", and rightly goes to John (the kayaker).

Inspiration...that is the least tangible (but arguably most significant) contribution made by paddlers like Rich, Andy, Ray and John, and I thank them for their leadership in this absorbing sport. I wonder who next will catch the fever...

Trip Reports June-September 2001

Third Branch/Randolph to Bethel: Friday June 8

Leader: Faith Knapp
Participants: (OC1): Virginia Hoeffding, Linda Gardinier, Brian McAvoy, Mary Eysenbach, Faith Knapp, Mike Jacobs; (OC2): Helen Selle, Peter Anderson
Water: medium low

I had originally hoped to try the Second Branch but the water from the weekend drained too quickly. So we moved the trip to the Third Branch. Put in now is at the southern end of Foundry Park. This new construction is where the original Vermont Castings plant was located. We also dropped one car at the bridge across from CampBrook Rd and one at the lumberyard in Bethel. This river meanders through this picturesque valley and one never knows how many blow downs there will be or major obstructions. Most things we were able to paddle by with maybe one area needing to be walked around. Sunny, warm, day. Water for swimming was a bit chilly near the put in but further down, it warmed up. Most of us took advantage of it. The trip was uneventful and it was a nice lazy day to swim, enjoy the scenery, and bird watch. The river picks up more current about 3/4 Mi. before the bridge and continues with nice riffles and Cl1 water to Bethel. Mike, Helen & Peter continued down to the lumber year. We left for the ski lodge where people were expected to be coming in.
-- Faith Knapp

White/Bethel to Sharon: Saturday June 9

Leader: Faith Knapp
Participants: (K1): Ruth Kelsea, Mary Eysenback; (OC1): Kurt Navratil, Sally Mayfield, Bob Mayfield, Tom Sawyer, Diane Sawyer, Virginia Hoeffding, Linda Gardinier, Helen Selle, Leslie Hollweg, Tom Todd, Brian McAvoy, Faith Knapp; (OC2): Peter Anderson, Mike Jacobs, Tony Baroni, Linda Baroni
Water: medium low

Clear sky, sunny and warm. Put in at Fox Stand Inn fishing access in Bethel. This is a relatively quiet section but we made the most of what there was. Lunch and lots of playing at the rapid above the law school. Each ledge on the way down to Sharon was played by most. Swimming was excellent and welcome with the warm water. No wetsuits today. Only swimmers were as a result of playing at the rapid.
-- Faith Knapp

White/Sharon-W.Hartford: Sunday June 10

Leader: Faith Knapp
Participants: (K1): Ruth Kelsea, John Barrows, Irene Barrows; (OC1): Kurt Navratil, Sally Mayfield, Bob Mayfield, Virginia Hoeffding, Linda Gardinier,Mike Jacobs, Leslie Hollweg, Tom Todd, Bruce Healey, Faith Knapp; (OC2): Tony Baroni, Linda Baroni, Helen Selle, Peter Anderson, Mary Bachelder, Karen Bachelder, Tom Sawyer, Diane Sawyer
Water: medium low

Another sunny, blue sky, and warm day. We were on the water at 10:30. This group had only one thing in mind and that was to play. There was some great surfing going on. With the water level such as it was, it encouraged those who had not tried to front or side surf to do so. Lots of laughs, encouragement, hoorays and pictures were the theme of the day. Lunch was at the Sharon dam and we probably spent close to 2 hours there. We lost some paddlers here who had a long trip home and other commitments. Swims only as a result of playing too hard. We finally got off the water around 6pm. This has always been a great weekend and it certainly lived up to expectations again.
-- Faith Knapp

Poultney River to Carver Falls Dam: Sat. June 16

Leader: Eric Bishop
Participants: (K1):Matt Holmes, John Barrows;(OC1):Eric Bishop, Faith Knapp, Nancy Gero, John Jenkins
Water: USGS = 3.48 ft. (low boatable)

The Poultney River from the Rte. 4 bridge near Fair Haven flows north, forming the Vermont/NY border for about 4.5 miles to Carver Falls Dam. In this stretch are 4 big ledge drops, several smaller ones and the occasional small rapid. The water level was, we felt, the lowest you would want to try this run and made the big drops, while still visually intimidating, pretty straightforward. At higher levels these ledges would become much more difficult and at much higher levels( 4.5 on the gauge?) a couple of them might be for experts only.

At the put-in we were hassled quite a bit by the landowners on the New York side. Our feeling was that you should stick to the Vermont side, park shuttle vehicles at the nearby Welcome Center, and get on the river quickly. Just below the put-in was a big drop that required scouting and the NY side was the only place to do it. The landowner mentioned earlier showed up and again wanted us off his land. We did not resist, just explained our purpose and kept going. I would advise running the shuttle on the Vermont side so as not to even drive by the landowners house, which is on the S side of Rte 4 a few hundred yards west of the river.

Otherwise the trip, on a warm and sunny day, was uneventful.
--Eric Bishop

Lewey Lake @ Indian Lake, N.Y.: June 2001

On June 22 - 24 of this year a group of 8 or so paddlers set off for a weekend of canoeing and camping based at Lewey Lake, a New York State Campground near Indian Lake. Although rain was predicted, "It always rains in the Ads" so we went anyway. Leaving on Friday morning via the Grand Isle Ferry, we arrived at the campground in the early afternoon. We had lunch and spent a while setting up camp. Then we launched our canoes right off the campsite onto Lewey Lake and paddled around the lake in the late afternoon. The lake is just off the highway, and has private camps for about 300 yards at the Northern end.

During the night it rained off and on, and we were glad to have a fly over the picnic table, and a screened tent to accommodate preparation and eating meals. No critters were encountered. On Saturday the rain seemed to hold off so we took the canoes on the cars to an access a few miles South past Speculator. After crossing a wide spot in the Sacandaga River we found outflow of the Kunjamuk River a small tributary. In the winter we have amused ourselves by skiing up a very nice XC ski trail alongside this river. We went up only 3 - 4 miles to a lunch spot on a bridge. A carry over this bridge would lead to several miles more canoeing. At this time of year there was a gentle current against us making the corners tricky. A gentle rain had become torrential at times and we were happy to finish lunch during a break.

Due to the heavy rain in the afternoon some struck camp and drove home. The rest put up with a quiet afternoon and stayed over for a short paddle on Mason Lake on Sunday morning before returning. Another option in this area would be camping on Indian Lake, just across from Lewey Lake. This area is open to motorboats, and is bigger. The good campsites are reachable from a boat launch just across the road from the Lewey Lake Campsite. The area is typical Adirondak Lake country with meandering rivers in wide floodplains making access difficult and views few and far between. The solitude and the bird life are great. And it is only a half-day from Burlington.
-- " Paddling Pete" (Alden)

Deerfield Fife Brook: Tuesday June 26, 2001

Leader: John Wolfe and Michelle Seamans
Participants: (K1):Bob Marshall; Brad Seamans; Laura Machasiak;(OC1):Michelle Seamans;(C1):John Wolfe
Water: medium

We had a nice day for this trip down the Deerfield.

Very few people on the river due to bad weather in the evenings. Brad, a new VPC member, joined us from Connecticut and had a stellar run! Bob enjoyed the run in in a Wavesport Z demo; I think he's hooked. John ripped it up in the hole in the Gap...nice wave wheels in that C-1 John! Shane will be jealous of you! Laura and I were happy to have such good company on the river!
--Michelle Seamans

Magalloway River, NH: Aug. 17-19, 2001

On a free weekend a group of paddlers (some GMC members) set out with canoes and camping gear for Wilson Mills, ME, just over the NH border from Errol. We put up camp at the Aziscoos Valley Campground a large meadow on the banks of the Magalloway River. This river flows from a dam at the Southeast corner of Aziscohos Lake. There is a short stretch of whitewater below the dam. After picking a sheltered campsite at the edge of the river we took the boats up river to an access where flatwater with current prevailed. We practiced a few eddy turns to bring the flatwater folks up to speed, then went off downstream and back to the campsite.

On Saturday morning after breakfast we shuttled cars to two potential take outs, then put in from the campsite. Being dam controlled the river flows right up to the bushes along the banks making lunch stops or takeouts tricky. Highway 16 runs along the river here but traffic is light and it is hardly visible. We found a little cove for lunch but some preferred to eat in the canoe. From there the river continues through extensive wetlands with meanders, backwaters and blind alleys. Even having Geodetic Survey maps and a paddle with prior experience failed to keep us out of navigational troubles. Perhaps a DeLorme atlas would have helped. Eventually we made it to the takeout and finished for the day.

The third day was spent on the lower stretch of river to Lake Umbagog, and other local waters. Eagles were reported in the area but we saw none but we encountered four moose (or two moose twice). There is a nice set of rapids below the dam and under the bridge in Errol.
-- " Paddling Pete" (Alden)

Lowes Lake, New York: Sept.16, 2001

Four canoes made a trip to Lowes Lake, near Tupper Lake, NY in Mid September. The weather turned out perfect with a gentle rain arriving as we departed on day four. The trip began on day 2 at 9 at Tupper Lake. The road to Lowes (also called Bog River Flow) turns off Rt 30 and hugs Horseshoe Lake turning left (South) to Lowes lower dam on the Bog River. Lowe was an entrepreneur of 100 yr. ago who bought and developed this property to produce forest products, Maple Syrup and a wide variety of inventions and products, and a railroad line for access. The two dams have been recently upgraded and hold back an extensive reservoir with many bays and Points. It also is shallow and has large bog islands and big waves in wind. There is a brochure available from NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation, which shows the features, rules, and campsites. There is a Boy Scout facility on the lake, which needs to be avoided during the season. We saw eagles and osprey and loons - the last of the fledglings and a few adults.

The first stage is about 2 miles in a winding river, under a railroad trestle and to the Upper dam, which was also the site of Lowes mansion or lodge. The water access is crowded but the track is a road of about 500 yards, which crosses at the dam. Then there is about five miles of river coming out of the Lake in a myriad of odd shaped islands. Basically there is a route on the left and a route on the right. Don't go without a map and compass. GPS could be helpful. Pick an island or a shoreline with a campsite and make yourself at home.

We spent 3 days exploring the Lake by canoe and by foot. There is an access road along the North shore and from this branches off a trail to Cranberry Lake. At the western end is another trail to the Oswagatchie River system. One could make this portage using and intermediate stop at a small pond along the way. One could make a three day weekend trip but it seems to me to lend itself to a more leisurely pace with time to explore. For reservations call 1 (800) 456-2267. For more information call D.E.C. at (315) 386-4546 or (518) 863-8216.
-- " Paddling Pete" (Alden)

Magalloway River (NH): Saturday-Sunday August 25-26, 2001

Leader: Tony Shaw
Participants: (K1):Mark Braunstein, Pat Taft;(OC1):Ken Glusman, Tom Todd, Faith Knapp, Mike Smorgans, Eric Bishop, Randy Allen, Tony Shaw;(OC2):Eric Bishop & Tony Shaw
Water: USGS = 1200 cfs (medium high)

Most of the group met in Errol, NH at 6 PM Friday to convoy into our cabin together. Johnson Brook is a lovely cabin a few miles east of Wilson Mills, ME in the Dartmouth College Grant, available for rent to those with Dartmouth ties. Our plan was to paddle the class III Magalloway at 1200 cfs both Saturday and Sunday.

Johnson Brook was built around 1995. It sleeps 10, with gas lights, gas stove, gas frig., woodstove, and screen porch. The visitor logbook is rife with moose and bear sightings in the Grant (most plentiful in June) but the only moose spotted on this trip was along Rt. 16 near Errol.

I had called Saco Bound in Errol and they confirmed that the Magalloway releases would go forward as scheduled despite the summer 2001 drought.

The weather was spectacular both days on the river, and the cosmos were laid bare for our wondering eyes in the faraway recesses of the Grant each night. Randy brought a tasty Chicken Mole for Friday dinner, and dinner Saturday included Tom Todd's famous lobster stew and Eric's spaghetti. When all were too full to eat any more, we broke into Tony's blueberry/peach pie and Tom's baklava. Ken and Eric kept us laughing with jokes from Prairie Home Companion, and from Ken's seemingly inexhaustible store of jokes from his Brooklyn youth. Deviating from the Dartmouth tradition, we drank WAY too little beer, and sang WAY too few renditions of "King of the Road".
The brooks and rivers in the Grant were exceedingly dry, but still we enjoyed looking over the Swift Diamond at Ellingwood Falls from the access road, and also peering straight down 100 feet into the Diamond River class V section.

1200 cfs released from 8 am to 4 pm. We arrived ahead of schedule Saturday morning, allowing time to drive up and marvel at the class IV maelstrom that cascades for a half mile from Aziscohos Dam to the put-in (maybe next year). We managed to get in 3 runs Saturday and 2 runs Sunday, as the class III section is less than 2 miles in length. Everyone was paddling with confidence by the end of Saturday, and on Sunday we were feeling pumped! The only casualty was Mark's wedding ring (oops!). Eric brought both his solo canoe and his Caption, so some of us got the chance to take a tandem run. There were surprisingly few others on the river each day, which heightened our enjoyment of it to be sure. This is no Dead River Extravaganza!

At 1200 cfs the first quarter mile is more pushy than it is technical. After that it calms down to intermittent class II-III most of the way. I usually prefer rivers where there are some easier warm-up rapids before you get to the challenging ones, but I was keen to try the Magalloway anyway. Next year I think I want to go for one of the 900 cfs weekends (early August), a level that I suspect is less pushy and more playable.

Tom's Volvo was the second casualty of the weekend; it shed a fog light while traveling on the well maintained Grant access road, which bounced and punctured his transmission fluid cooling line. He managed to limp home anyhow (it's a Volvo, after all)! Making the Grant cabin reservations and getting folks to confirm/commit/pay for their lodging required many emails back and forth, but it was worth it in hindsight. I think we should go back to the Grant in the spring one of these years, and plan to paddle the pristine class II Swift Diamond.
--Tony Shaw

West River below Jamaica State Park: Saturday September 29, 2001

Leader: Tony Shaw
Participants: (K1):Peter Carlile, John Floyd, Hanna Senftleber, Fritz Senftleber, Emily Shaw, Sue Strang;(OC1):Tony Shaw;(OC2):Paul & Rita Carlile
Water: USGS = 1200 cfs (medium high)

Many of the VPC "regulars" stayed home as Ball Mountain Reservoir was too low to provide a 2 day release after the dry summer. Nonetheless, Saturday was a busy day on the river, and the Jamaica State Park campground was full.

It was a VPC "family affair", with all four members of the Carlile family joined by two Senftlebers and two Shaws. We also enjoyed the up-beat company of John Floyd, who helped getting swimmers and equipment to shore when necessary.

A cloudburst at the put-in did not dampen our spirits, and quickly yielded to a warm & sunny afternoon. This is a full-on class II run when dam is releasing, and a close call with a strainer near the top gave us some trouble. Later on we met up with Paul and Douglas Kempner (whose father-son bonding is solid) and Tor Bortz. We joined them for picnicking and spectating at the last rapid above the Rt. 100 bridge, where Emily had her first ever class II swim.

At the take-out we ran into new VPC members Pierre LaFrance and Cindy Norton. They were paddling in a pair of brand new kayaks they had just bought that morning, and were stoked! Cindy emailed later: "This was my first weekend at West River, but it will not be my last. I had a blast!!" We invited Cindy and Pierre to join us for the much-anticipated potluck at the Campbell's Saturday night, but they were due back in Randolph and thus couldn't make it this time.
The potluck at the Campbell's after the West is as good as the paddling itself, if you want my opinion. This time, Marvie entertained the young girls with her late mother Chloe's fabulous doll house, while Bob kept the male faction entertained recounting the 3 alarm brush fire he accidentally set last spring. This account unraveled as we stood, where else, in front of a roaring bonfire! Dads and daughters arrived home after midnight, exhausted.
--Tony Shaw

Web Wise

The goal of the Vermont DEC Water Quality Division is to maintain and enhance the quality of Vermont's lakes, rivers, and wetlands to support healthy ecosystems and appropriate public uses. Division programs address many issues, including physical and chemical characteristics of surface waters, aquatic habitat, stream flow, stream morphology, invasive exotic species, wetlands, and river corridor management.

Their website is well crafted and informative. It includes a list of public meetings to consider attending, and a link to PROJECT W.E.T. (Water Education for Teachers).

Surf to (DEC Water Quality Division Homepage)
~OR~ (Project WET)

USGS On-line River Gauge Funding Status By Randy Mead

According to Gary Shultz at the Vermont Dept. of Environmental Conservation (in ANR) the state is NOT going to abandon its support of the USGS on-line river gauges for the next fiscal year. The cost will be shared by two other agencies of state government who also rely on the gauges: Agency of Transportation and Emergency Management (part of Dept. of Public Safety). Remember that this is for the state portion of the funding. At this time I am unaware of what the status of the federal share is for next fiscal year. I recently wrote to VT US Senator James Jeffords expressing our interest in keeping the funding alive at the federal level. I received a staffer reply assuring me that he would do what he could to ensure the continuation of the funding for USGS on-line gauges.

There will be a move afoot next year for a share of the state costs to be borne by the power companies who have hydro-dams on the rivers supported by the gauge system. They apparently use the gauges to determine when and where to make hydroelectric power.

The more contact we make with our elected officials, the more likely it is that the funding will be continued. This appears especially important on the federal level. So take some action. You can contact our political officeholders by going to the VPC web site and clicking on Water/Weather. Enter your zip code under the Political Action header to get email and other contact information.

Editor's note: Average gauge operating costs in Vermont are $11,300 per gauge per year; the state's share of this cost is $5,650 while the USGS pays the other half. Gauges slated for decommissioning in the original proposal included the Mad River Moretown gauge, the White at West Hartford, the Moose River, Williams River, Poultney River, Otter Creek, Winooski River, and Lamoille River at 5 Chutes. Says Brian R. Mrazik, USGS Hydrologist: "make your concerns known to your state legislators, who will eventually say yea or nay to the funds."

2002 New England Slalom Series Race Information

* Salmon Slalom - Class I slalom on the Salmon River on 3/24, in Colchester, CT
* Punch Brook Slalom - Class III slalom on the Farmington River on 4/7, in Burlington, CT.
* Blackwater Slalom - Class II+ slalom on 4/27-28, in Webster, NH. 
* Kenduskeag Slalom - Class II+ slalom beginning on 5/5, in Bangor, ME. 
* Fiddlehead Slalom - Class II+ slalom on the Winooski River on 5/12, in E. Montpelier, VT. 
* Covered Bridge Slalom - Class II+ slalom on the Housatonic R. on 5/19, in W. Cornwall, CT. 
* PSNH Amoskeag Slalom - Class II+ slalom on the Merrimack R. on 6/9, in Manchester, NH. 
* Riverfest Slalom - Class II+ slalom on the Merrimack River on 9/8, in Manchester, NH. 
* Esopus Slalom - Class III slalom on the Esopus Creek on 10/6, in Phoenicia, NY 
* Farmington Slalom - Class II slalom on the Farmington River on 10/19-20, in Otis, MA. 

Complete NESS Info:
Overall Schedule:
Entry Forms -
NESS Mailing List - (eMail or Postal Mailing List)

Vermont Paddler's Club Spring Trip List 2002

[ Add a Trip ]     [ Safety Code of American Whitewater ]     [ Disclaimer & Waivers ]     [ VPC Homepage ]     [ Dam Releases ]

See schedule notes (below) for more info.

SunMar 31 Huntington RiverEric Bishop899-1865nov-int WW
SatApr 6 Lewis CreekTony Shaw/Fritz Senftleber879-1655nov WW
SunApr 7 White RiverRich Larsen878-6828nov WW
SunApr 7 Sugarbush Triathlon*Race Director(800) 517-4247nov WW run-paddle-pedal-ski
TueApr 9 Huntington RiverEric Rossier453-7879nov-int WW
SatApr 13 Upper LamoilleMike Fullerton456-8701int WW
SunApr 14 N. Branch of LamoilleRandy Allen223-3771int-adv WW
SunApr 14 Browns RiverFritz Senftleber863-8354nov WW
TueApr 16 Huntington RiverEric Rossier453-7879nov-int WW
WedApr 17 Lower LamoilleRich Larsen878-6828nov-int WW
SatApr 20 Black River (VT)Faith Knapp649-5106int WW
SunApr 21 Moose (VT)Faith Knapp649-5106int WW
WedApr 24 Lower LamoilleRich Larsen878-6828nov-int WW
Sat-SunApr 27-28 Blackwater Slalom (NH)*Paul Kempner658-3979nov-int WW race
SatApr 27 Ammonoosuc (NH)Mike Fullerton456-8701int WW
Sat-SunApr 27-28 West River Wkend*open879-1655nov-int WW releasing 1 or 2 days
SunApr 28 Upper MadTony Shaw879-1655nov WW
WedMay 1 Lower LamoilleRich Larsen878-6828nov-int WW
SatMay 4 Metawee RiverEric Bishop899-1865int-adv WW
SunMay 5 Schroon River/leader's ChoiceMike Fullerton456-8701nov-int WW
SunMay 5 Hudson Derbyrace hq518-251-2612nov WW
WedMay 8 Lower LamoilleRich Larsen878-6828nov-int WW
SatMay 11 Schroon/Lower HudsonSteve Hobbs518-494-1428nov-int WW
SunMay 12 Lower HudsonRich Larsen878-6828nov-int WW
SunMay 12 Fiddlehead SlalomRay Ingram879-4286nov WW Mother's Day race
WedMay 15 Lower LamoilleTor Bortz658-9392nov-int WW
SatMay 18 Hudson Gorge MarathonEric Bishop899-1865int-adv WW Newcomb-N.Creek
Sat-SunMay 18-19 BattenkillFritz Senftleber863-8354nov WW
SatMay 25 Sacandaga (NY)Steve Hobbs518-494-1428nov-int WW
SatJun 1 Esopus Slalom (NY)*Paul Kempner658-3979nov WW race
Fri-SunJun 7-9 White/Pemi WkendFaith Knapp649-5106nov WW call ASAP/lodge incl.
ongoing2002 Pool SessionsTony Shaw879-1655FW Signup Now!
ongoingWinooski @ Chace MillNate McHugh
Tor Bortz
int WW T,W,Th eves
ongoingSchroon/Hudson (NY)Steve Hobbs(518)494-1428int-adv WW eves or Sats.
ongoingMad R.John Wolfe244-8673int-adv WW Thurs. eves post rains

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  1. Asterisked trips (*) are unofficial trips and as such are neither sanctioned nor insured by the VPC.
  2. ww = whitewater // FW = flatwater // Vt area code: 802
  3. nov = max Class II, int = max Class III, adv = max Class IV, exp = Class IV+ See Intl River Rating Scale
  4. Winter pool sessions begin soon (space lim., fee charged). Call 879-1655 (Tony Shaw) or signup online.
  5. Contact the trip organizer for information about each trip.
  6. Listed trips may be changed or canceled as water, weather, or interest dictates.
  7. Plans for impromptu trips can be relayed thru the trip organizer or online.
  8. Please give 1-2 weeks notice for overnight trips to have a say in pre-planning.
  9. Car-pooling on long (and short) trips is encouraged!
  10. The AROUND VERMONT IN 30 RIVERS promotion is underway!!!

Danger exists for participants in canoeing, kayaking, tubing, and other activities organized or advertised by the Vermont Paddlers Club. Such participation may result in illness or injury due to accidents, the forces of nature, or other causes not foreseeable. Such illness and injury may include disease, strains, sprains, fractures, dislocations, paralysis, and/or death. Possible injuries may cause serious and permanent disability.

By your participation in any Vermont Paddlers Club activity you knowingly assume the risks arising out of that activity. In so doing you release, hold harmless and indemnify the Vermont Paddlers Club and its agents, officers and employees from any and all claims and suits for bodily injury, property damage, wrongful death, loss of services or otherwise which may arise out of your participation in canoeing, kayaking, tubing and other activities, whether or not such claims or suits arise from negligent acts or omissions by the organizers and conductors of this activity, their employees or volunteers, another participant, any other person or from any other cause.

[ VPC River Gauge Interpreter ] [ VPC Home Page ]


Wanted: all around river tripping canoe: space for two paddlers + gear, no keel, around 16-17' length, contact Sam Nijensohn at or call 865-3411.

This year, I will be surveying the Mad River as part of a physical stability assessment for the Vermont Geological Survey. I will be studying the fluvial geomorphology of the Mad. If anyone wants to paddle slow, and learn some river science, we will try to paddle mainstem and any navigable tributaries sometime in April or May. Contact me if you are interested,, 454-1874. See you on the river. Lori

For Sale: Whitewater Kayak: Pyranha Attak $375
7' long, 25" wide, 33 lbs, excellent condition.
Marcy Gibson 802-899-4524 or

For Sale: Touring/Sea Kayak: Prijon Seayak $700
16 ft. long, 24 in. wide, 58 lbs., 15 in. deep.
Expedition model w/deck pack nets, safety deck lines and
2 large capacity dry storage hatches. Like new condition.
Marcy Gibson 802-899-4524 or


VPC Members are eligible to join the American Canoe Association at a substantial discount! An ACA enrollment form customized for VPC members is online --


  • Joining for the first time??
    Print and mail in the VPC Member Enrollment Form --

  • Renewing member??
    Send VPC $8/household, due Jan. 2002 (address below); the ACA will send renewal notices before your anniversary date, and send you a replacement ACA card once you renew your membership.


A printable waiver is online -- ()

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For Username, enter either 1) the primary email address you've specified in your member profile, or 2) the Username assigned to you upon joining the VPC.

Once you are logged in as a VPC member, you will have access to your member profile, and members-only content on the website. If your login attempts fail, please email the webmaster. Include your name, and (if you know it) the username you were assigned.

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