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Bow and Stern - June 11, 1980

Bow and Stern - - June 1980

Bow and Stern - June 1980

June 11, 1980

A Letter from the Editor

Dear Canoe Cruisers,

Somehow, the N.V.C.C. prevails. Even this year, with the worst snowfall (on the deficit side of the ledger) in memory, we have had fun! We've canoed from northern Maine to West Virginia, trained a great bunch of new members, taken pictures, written limericks, and generally had a blast!

And we're not finished. We have some great summer trips scheduled too. So, if we can do all that this yearjust wait 'til next year!

See you on the water,

Larry Thomson

Treasurer's Report

Beginning Balance as of 12/31/79 $177.45
Dues (49 @ $4.00) $196.00
Decals & Patches (11 @ $1.00) 11.00
Supper 219.75
Spaghetti Dinner $135.60
Postage 15.00
Printing 5.15
Church Rental (St. John's Vianny) 25.00
Balance on Hand March 3, 1980 $423.45
Profit on Supper: $84.15

Spring Meeting Minutes: March 2, 1980

After a super spaghetti dinner prepared and served by Alice and Bob Durkin, the March 2nd Spring Meeting was called to order by President Alan Roberts at 7:30 with good attendance.

Introductions were made of the new officers, Alan Roberts, President; Dick Allen, Vice President; and Melinda Dodds, Secretary/Treasurer.

Minutes of the last meeting of December 3, 1979 was read and approved. Treasurer's Report consisting of only a statement of balance in the checking account of $181.45 was read and approved.

Bob Dodds, Whitewater Training Chairman presented the agenda for the Whitewater Training session which is printed in the Bow & Stern: Blackboard session 3/26 at 7:00 p.m. Pool session(s) 4/1 and 4/2 if necessary and 1st river run will be 4/12.

Peter Alden reported that the NVCC will have a 15 minute spot on ETV Open Studio. Taping will be 3/5 and there will be four showings during the week of 3/20.

Whitewater Trip chairman, Peter Alden, is looking for volunteers to be trip leaders. Also a word to all members who are interested in attending any of the scheduled trips to be sure to call ahead before you start to be sure water level is suitable. First weekend for river trips will be 3/29-30.

Quartermaster Norm Lavoie announced he is the keeper of all the NVCC equipment and all trip leaders are to pick up safety equipment and return immediately after each trip. Films, which the club has purchased, are available for a $10.00 rental fee.

Larry Thomson announced that there also will be a form available to each trip leader to fill out and return which will serve as a trip report to put into the Bow & Stern. Also there will be the 2nd annual limerick contest.

Len Carpenter and Cindy are chairing the June Meeting, which will be held 6/11/80.

Bob Durkin will head the summer events with different trips planned for Green River Reservoir, and Moose River/Dead River and Allagash in September.

The annual H. Grover picnic will be combined with a war canoe race.

Contact Alan Roberts if anyone is interested in heading up the Memorial Day Parade float.

Dick Trudell reported on the status of the proposed CVPS Georgia hydroelectric dam on the Lamoille. A letter was written by Dick and read at the meeting stating NVCC support of the position of the State of Vermont, which opposes the building of the dam. Norm Lavoie suggested each member receive a petition to sign and obtain other signatures and mail in to Edward J. Koenemann, Director of Agency of Environmental Conversation. One was passed around at the meeting and Norm is sending his in.

Dick Trudell made a motion to discontinue the Chiott race. Discussion followed with reasons for the motion and it was seconded by Bob Dodds. All in favor. Motion carried.

Dick Trudell announced that there was pool time available for a limited number in conjunction with the Outing Club every Sunday from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. Please contact Dick Trudell

For a note of interest, a dam proposed on the Androscoggin was stopped due to impact on fisheries and recreational white water usage.

Nancy Smith suggested that the NVCC contact other recreational clubs to view their positions on proposed dam sites.

A beautiful slide show by Walt Barkan concluded the meeting and adjournment was around 10:00.

Respectively submitted,

Melinda Dodds

A Letter to the Editor

Dear Larry,

I hope you will find it possible to include these few thoughts in your next issue of Bow and Stern.

I support nuclear produced power. As I see the problem (lack of energy for a hungry and growing nation), we will have to build and use safe nuclear plants for the next 30 years or so. Our President, in his two speeches in July, has squarely presented the problem. But one of his solutions scares the dickens out of me. He wants to set up an Energy Board of some sort, similar to the Manhattan Project during WW II that developed the A-Bomb. This Energy Board or Commission will have the authority to cut "through red tape" in order to get alternate sources of energy on line in the shortest possible time.

Here is the part that is scary. Will this Board or Commission, in its zeal to bring these alternative sources on line, cut through the environmental red tape to the extent that many of our wild rivers will be destroyed by dams built to produce emergency and long-term hydro-electric power?

There are now five major ways to provide the growing and additional electrical energy needed to power our industries, homes and cities. They are: oil fired power plants, coal fired power plants, wood fired plants, hydra-electric, and nuclear power plants.

We are all cognizant of the problem pertaining to oil based generating technology. There just "ain't" enough to go around. And the amount of oil that is available is being parceled out by OPEC on a "we got it and you'll get it when we want you to get it" basis. Coal has a lot of promise and will account for an increasing percentage of our energy needs in the near and middle future. But, coal is dirty. Coal is dangerous to mine underground. In fact, the underground mining of coal claims more lives every year in accidents than any other industry. Strip mining of coal, even with our new environmental safeguards is, at best, the raping of topography. Another point to ask about coal is: Will the new Energy Board lift some of the air pollution safeguards so that coal can be burned more efficiently? If so, will our air again become gray with the fumes of a thousand coal plants?

I understand that wood fired plants can be made to burn cleaner than coal and that there is no question but that wood is a renewable resource. However, in order to make wood fired plants economically feasible, wood must be processed on site in the form of wood chips. That is, in the forest itself. I understand also that the wood chipping machines that reduce whole trees to tiny chips can be operated profitably only if they are continually fed this diet of living and dead timber. This means that whole forests must be clear cut in order to feed these machines. Old, dying and damaged trees alone, selectively cut, will not, will not, be enough to satisfy the incredible appetite of a modern chipper. Ergo--our beautiful forests, especially here in the northeast, including Vermont, may be devastated

So what we have left for a choice is that between damming our few remaining wild rivers to satisfy the Corps of Engineers or building more safe nuclear plants. These should be built and put on line as soon as possible. As I see it, there is no other choice. The nuclear plants have to be built. Once a river is gone, it is gone forever. Remember--once a nuclear plant is built, it is built for only about 30 years. This is the design life of one of these plants. It is then supposed to be dismantled.

We are all confident that between now and 30 years down the road, other--even more efficient and. safe forms of energy will be developed. Synthetic fuels? Fusion power? Solar power and its cousin, beamed microwave solar power? Thermal? These will all come in time. And, hopefully, more efficient and less environmentally damaging ways of extracting our underground resources will be developed. But, in the meantime, during these next 30 years or so, we have to find a way to save our forests and rivers.

A safe nuclear technology is the answer. Let the word go out--"Don' t dam our wild rivers . . . build safe nukes". Let your Congressmen know your thoughts on this matter. Let us consider the NVCC to be in the forefront of this push to save our natural heritage.

Robert A. Bryan
A member--NVCC
12 Sandhill Road
Essex Junction, Vermont 05452

The Second Annual N.V.C.C Limerick Contest: 1980

From the ranks of our river regattas
Come the "cruisers" composing cantatas
As you read them, below
I hope you will know
That they've written some spiffy sonatas

A Beginner's Ode to Canoeing
If your life is in stagnation,
Then try Risk Recreation?
If you're up for the fight,
When the river is white
Canoeing may be your salvation!

At first we learned every rule
And then we were off to the pool.
Success nearly met
Until we got wet?
At last a chance to get cool?

So next we attempted the Mad
Which really wasn't so bad.
The morning went fine
And we stopped to dine
Then we paddled again!! Egad!

We were somewhat unprepared
And perhaps a little bit scared.
But the dam was met
Without getting wet.
We were thankful that we had been spared?

We really weren't sure what to do
When the rocks came into view.
We needed to talk,
Ended up on a rock!
Stranded in our own canoe?

The crowd stood laughing on shore.
All around us the river did roar.
Their shouts of aid
In the roar did fade.
Our course up to us to restore.

We may have made many mistakes
While we bounced our way through the wakes.
But we learned a lot
And were very well taught,
And survived without any breaks?

So now there is no stagnation.
Were involved in Risk Recreation?
We think it will do
To pursue the canoe
If it isn't our sole transportation!

Jane Mekkelsen
Mary Woodruff
Memories of N.E. Boating
There once was a boater named Ted,
Who dreamed of a run on the Dead.
He felt a big jolt,
Fell out of his boat,
And awoke on the floor near his bed.

When traveling on the Lamoille,
And forgetting the work-a-day toil,
Look around at the losers
And remains of their cruisers
Wrapped on rocks like aluminum foil.

The only Ompompanoosuc,
With rocks around which to pick,
At some levels is scratchy,
Making some canoes patchy,
Especially when at Five Drops they stick.

The White, a river of note,
Has often provided a float,
With many NVCCer's
And Boston AMCer's
There's hardly space for a boat.

Then there' s Lewis, the ultimate Creek
Which separates the mild from the meek,
With teachers and students
And new boats and new dents,
They were jammed in the creek for a week.

The Huntington's early spring flow,
Turns and twists in many oxbows.
Frequent are dangers
From sweepers or strainers
Not to mention the class 6 Gorge below.

The Mad River frolic and fun,
Gets all boaters out for a run.
In rain, sleet, and hail
It's shiver, paddle, and bail,
But could someone sometime arrange for some sun?

Kim Brainerd
There was a new paddler named Bill.
While drawing he had a cold spill.
Said Larry in fun,
It couldn't be done
But that was their training trip thrill.
George McIntosh

A canoeist who lived in Montpelier,
Above Bolton became most peculiar.
He ranted and raved,
Shouted and waved,
Went over the falls, hallelulier!
Andrew Nuquist

The following are the other entries in this year's contest. I know you'll enjoy them too.

A canoer from east of Port Kent,
Looked backwards wherever he went.
Hit a rock with a crash,
Just before he went splash,
And as for his canoe, it had bent.
Andrew Nuquist

Although he thought himself cool,
Larry was known as a fool.
He wore a life jacket
And brought a food basket
While paddling the length of his pool.
Andrew Nuquist

Spring Training
The day was wet, dreary and cool
When the cruisers held their Spring school.
They first stressed safety, teamwork and skill
In order to have a safe white water thrill.
Then with canoes and paddlers afloat
We tried what we learned in the UVM Moat.

Cross-draw, pry, J-stroke and sweep.
For the beginners these were quite a treat.
The trip was filled with eddies and V's,
Most of which we navigated with E 's.
And only a few got the ultimate thrill,
The chance to experience, an icy spill.

By the end of the day we had learned quite a bit,
How to turn and ferry and even sit.
But I think the most valuable thing that I found
Was the friendship and kindness that seemed to abound.
So thanks to the cruisers, I've learned more than a sport,
I've learned to enjoy it with lots of support.

Bill Crowe

A Paddling Saga

In Oregon, the Vermont news I hear
There's no whitewater season this year
No snow on the peaks
Then no rain in weeks
Don't bother to un-mothball your gear.

But, lo, a few diehards perverse
Won't be daunted by bad weather's curse
To paddle in March
Takes plenty of starch
Now immortalized in epic limerick verse.

The Hudson

Peter and Steve and Dick
Thought they'd turn an early spring trick:
The Hudson River flow
Was a perfect five point 0
And in March the blackflies aren't thick.

Now Dick and Peter and Steve
Found something up Ma Nature's sleeve:
The road closed by snow
And a low Indian flow
Tough sledding, you'd better believe.

On Steve, On Dick, On Pete;
With ice floes they had to compete
They came through unfrozen
Like a tribe of the Chosen;
Their paddling skills can't be beat.

Rick Brainerd

The Northwest fills a kayaker's dreams.
All four seasons we're out on the streams.
Weave been down more than twenty,
And still there are plenty
Of rivers that we've never seen.
Rick Brainerd

A kayak instructor named Joel
Taught a student the whitewater roll.
"Now you are ready
To get out of this eddy,
Go stick your nose in a hole."
Rick Brainerd

The 1980 White Water Season
The Winter was exceedingly brown.
There was barely enough snow to cover the ground.
The Spring brought little rain.
All the Cruisers could do was complain,
And hope it would be better next time around.
Dick Allen

H-e-e-e-e-r-r-r-e's Peter!
Three Cruisers named Pete, Dick and Bob
Were bucking for Jack Barry's job.
So they appeared on ETV
Delivered their lines so easily
(pick one)
That no one noticed Dick was dressed like a slob.
That now they are followed around by a mob.
Dick Allen

What's That on the Right Bank?
We were floating on the Lamoille River
The rapids were hardly a quiver.
We beheld a wondrous sight,
Reminiscent of a rummage sale in flight.
Two guys had flipped, stripped, and shivered.
Dick Allen

The Ballad of Jane and Mary
Two young ladies named Jane and Mary
Decided to try something a little bit scary.
So they signed up for white water training
And practiced all the strokes without complaining.

They vowed to be nobody's fool
As they negotiated the UVM pool.
But one lean led to another
Someone yelled out, "Oh Brotherl"

And those two spunky women
quickly ended up swimming.

Dick Allen

Trip Reports

Huntington River: Saturday, March 22, 1980

Participants: Dick Trudell, Walt Barkan

Sunny afternoon with a low to moderate water level. Plenty of ice still left in the river, but there was no deference to paddling. The level was high enough to provide an opportunity to play in some of the waves and the opportunity wasn't wasted. Not much snow left in the woods so a short season is probable.

Dick Trudell

Lower Lamoille: March 29, 1980

Participants: Dick Trudell, Walt Barkan

This trip started after the cruiser trip since Walt was working late. The gage was at 9.5 and this provided ample water at Two Island rapids for surfing and playing in holes. We found one tricky hole that liked to eat up the boats. The major problem on the river was the ice chunks floating down with us. They were large and numerous and you had to keep an eye out for them if you were surfing or else you could get bumped.

Dick Trudell

Hudson River: March 30, 1980

Participants: Dick Trudell, Steve Page, Peter Alden

Paddling the Hudson in March--probably an early season record o Water level was at 5.0 with the Indian running at 1.0. There was some ice still clinging to the banks of Indian Lake when we arrived. We had to park at the dam since the road to the Gooley Club wasn't open. The Indian was a little scrapy but still plenty of water for a nice trip.

When we reached the Hudson, the river upstream of us was filled with ice chunks piled up in the shallow areas. It was quite pretty. Fortunately, there were very few large chunks floating down the river to hamper our trip. The water was cold and this inhibited much of the playing that we normally do. The air temperature was nice though, so we had a very enjoyable trip down. The only problems we encountered were a couple of leaky boats that will need some touching up.

Wouldn't the Hudson be nice at 5.0 in August?

Dick Trudell

Lewis Creek: March 30, 1980

Participants: Dick Allen, Al Roberts, Larry Thomson, Bob Durkin, George Agnew, Bill Agnew, Fred Jordan, Louise McCarren, Martha Amidon, Ray Gonda, Dave Boedy (8 canoes, 1. kayak)
Water: medium

An enjoyable run on a scenic stream. It would have been an excellent day for white water training. Everyone carried around the chute.

Dick Allen

Easter on a River: Lower Lamoille: April 6, 1980

Participants: George McIntosh, Doug McIntosh, Tom Goff, Andy Nuquist, Paul Rogers, Bill Morr, Steven Gold, Jim Higgins, John King, Ellen Fein, David Boedy, Peter D. Alden (7 canoes)

Beautiful day. River at 7.5 ft. We put in at Fairfax Falls Power Plant. Made a leisurely trip. At this level rocks well covered. Rapids almost washed out. Trip very easy. One tipover due to misjudging of eddy line at five chutes. No big waves.

Peter Alden

Whitewater Training Trip: Mad River, Moretown: April 12

The weather was overcast with rain now and then (which if it happens again next year will make it a tradition). But spirits were high and the water was moderate. A large number of new members (over 20) and experienced teachers were paired up on a ratio of two boats to one for the training run, stopping to practice all the techniques that had been covered in the chalkboard and pool sessions. One boat dumped early in the trip but the former occupants self-rescued without incident. Everyone arrived at the take-out spot feeling a lot had been learned that morning, and looking forward to the longer run after lunch.

On the second run, the trip leader and his partner demonstrated a difficult technical maneuver known as the "Downriver Dump in Heavy Crosscurrent". A number of the novice paddlers were fortunate enough to witness this rare event. After a refreshing swim, the two paddlers rejoined the group and the run continued to the dam (which also claimed some victims, who were quickly rescued) and the "split rip" rapids which added some spice to the end of the trip.

The day went very well. This section of the Mad River is certainly an excellent teaching area.

Larry Thomson

Hudson River: April 12-13, 1980

Participants: Dick Trudell, Roger Belson, Walt Barkan, Frank Cook, Wade Crawshaw, Jim Michaud, Bill Adamson, Paul Pribula, Dave Stanley Steve Anyzeski

How do you describe the Hudson Gorge at 6.9--only one word--intense. The river bad been high all week--up to 9 feet on Thursday. Roger brought a group of his boating companions up from Connecticut for a. run on the Hudson at high water. None of us had run it that high before, but we had a large, strong party, so we decided to give it a try. The Indian wasn't flowing too strongly--1.5 ft. (they had just shut down the gate when we arrived). A pleasant run down the Indian brought us to the Hudson. It was immediately evident that this was not going to be your normal trip on the Hudson--the water was high and moving fast with a lot of volume. The first waves below the Indian were much bigger than normal--an indication of what was below. The first major rapid was above Blue Ledge and there wasn't much blue water in it at all--everything was white and foamy. The waves were typically 4 ft., irregular and running in every direction, and all the rocks that normally show were covered and had big holes behind them.

We pulled out below Blue Ledge to scout the Staircase--it was quite a sight. Large turbulent waves crashing down culminated with a couple of 8 ft. waves at the bottom. You could keep right most of the way down but you couldn't miss the final mayhem at the bottom. One by one, we went down, to the final exhilaration of having made it. The river didn't stop--the next half mile offered up four feet turbulent waves, high volume and a fast current. Your focus of attention was just the wave ahead, and looking over the top when you came to the crest, you had to pick out any holes distinguishable by a different wave and color contrast. Then a mad paddle to miss the hole and look for the next one with no place to rest and no safe eddies. Several more smaller rapids followed until we came to Big Nasty. Again we pulled out to scout the rapid--nothing but white foam, high waves and big holes. The right-hand side wasn't too safe as a miscalculation could throw you into the Soup Strainer in the middle--the left route looked the best and proved to be. It was wild and turbulent but what a feeling to make it.

One more major long rapid again before the railroad bridge--a repeat of the above and down to Greyhound Bus. The size of the hole was twice as big as seen at 5.0. Fortunately the left was still clear. The final four miles to North River went fast at that level. The rains had picked up during the day and we didn't feel like camping out. After a good meal at Smith's Restaurant, we stopped at a motel for a room. We must have looked pretty bad (a bunch of wet tired river rats) because the manager suggested politely we try elsewhere. We did and got a good night's sleep.

The next morning, after breakfast, we decided to try the East Branch of the Sacandaga. After driving over there we decided it was too low to run and drove back to redo the Hudson. Sunday's trip was a repeat of Saturday's - the gage was 6 feet but there was some sun. Needless to say, there was a group of tired but happy boaters leaving North River that evening.

Dick Trudell

Club Irregulars: Upper Lamoille: April 13, 1980

Participants: Peter Alden, John King, Len Carpenter, George Agnew, Richard Larsen, Bo Denhaa, Dave Boedy, Ray Gonda, Howard Hanson, Jim Higgins, Ginny O'Brien. (6 canoes)

Alternate trip for those diehards not wanting to do Lower Lamoille again. Temp. 50 degrees, partly sunny. After a lot of rain, river at medium level in spite of no snow cover. We met at Greensboro Bend at 10. Two canoes were taken four miles farther up and ran that section while the cars were ferried to Hardwick. (worked out well)

The group was skilled and made the trip uneventfully. No mishaps or spills. This is a great trip for seasoned paddlers. Can be very tricky for intermediates.

Peter Alden

Contoocook River, New Hampshire: April 19, 1980

Participants: Dick Trudell, Roger Belson, Connecticut boaters

A weekend in New Hampshire for a change of pace. Surprisingly, only 2+ hours and 160 miles from Burlington (all interstate) to the Contoocook. The weather was beautiful--sunny and warm-and the water level was at 8.4 (medium level). The run is short, but it can be done several times in a day. It is easy to just paddle the rapids section, as old Route 9 runs next to the river. There are plenty of holes and waves to play in on the way down. The river was Class 3, except for the last final rapid--Freight Train Rapid--which was a Class 4. Open boats, with caution, could make the trip except for Freight Train Rapid, which would have to be lined.

Dick Trudell

Swift River, New Hampshire: April 20, 1980

Participants: Dick Trudell, Roger Belson, Chris L., Wade Crawshaw

The second day of the weekend and the weather held sunny and warm. We had slept in a campground along the Kancamagus Highway and after a good breakfast in Conway, put in above the upper falls on the Swift. The water level was low (1.0) but for the first time on the Swift it was enough. The river is boulder-filled, making it a technical run as you weave your way in and out of the rocks. When we got to the upper falls, we scouted them and decided they were runnable. It was a 1.5 ft. vertical drop into a pool, but there was no backwash or keeper at the base o You had to line up just right or the current would tend to swing you sideways over the falls o At any rate, we provided a little excitement for those AMC boaters putting in below the falls. For the next two miles the river would wind and drop through pools. At this low level the run was 2+ except for the Class 3 drops every 100 yards or so. I keep thinking how much the river would change with another foot of water in it. The river drops 40 feet per mile and is continuous rapids. (For comparison, the White River drops 11 feet per mile and the Hudson drops 29 feet per mile). We reached the lower falls and again scouted them. Wade and I decided to run them. Wade took the right-hand course--over a drop and through a slot--and I took the left--through a chute and over the falls. Again, there was no backwash at the bottom of the falls. Lower falls drops 10 feet but can be taken in stages.

Another two miles of rapids brought us to the Gorge. Again, we got out to scout this rapid (it is rated Class 4 even in low water, and a Class .5 in high water). There is a series of drops that you have to run a zigzag course through. At low water there are some eddies to catch on the way down and a good pop-up hole just before the last drop. Another half mile brings you to the Staircase. It is a short rapid--about 1.5 yards, but consists of three close-spaced drops with holes in the middle. It would be rated a Class 4 at low level and a Class .5 at high level. It definitely needs to be scouted. The next couple of miles are technical Class 3 rapids. We spent about 6 hours on the river. Incidentally, the river is 140 miles and 2+ hours from Burlington. With the Saco and Pemigewasset right next door, this is a great weekend trip for closed boats.

Dick Trudell

White River (Stockbridge to below Gaysville): April 20, 1980

Participants: George McIntosh, Karen McIntosh, Peter Alden, Al Roberts, Normand Lavoie, Wayne Ellis, Roger Foster, Harry Beatty, Don Schoedle, Bob Durkin, Janet Brunet, Tom Reiss, Mary Woodruff, Jane Mikkelsen, Blair Lavoie, Jay Philoon, Roger Foster, Chris Beatty (3 kayaks, 8 canoes)

We met above Rochester at 10, expecting some beginners would do that section. But since the water was low and beginners few, we grouped them and all went to Stockbridge. The weather was fine at 55-60 degrees, except for a few showers on the way home. All made the trip easily with time for instruction and practice. (1 kayak learned the first half of an Eskimo Roll)

Just at the last pitch before the takeout, we came upon two other parties. One was hauling a splintered fiberglass canoe ashore (no life jackets). The other with an aluminum canoe firmly stuck around a rock. With many bands heaving, we lifted the canoe over and free. Moderate damage. No one spilled on the boxcar rock this trip. Almost a first in my experience.

Peter Alden

White River: April 26, 1980

Participants: Wayne Ellis, Jay Philoon, Bill Crowe, Larry Thomson, Andy Dunham, Dick McIntosh, George McIntosh, Mary Woodruff, Dick Allen, Janet Brunet, Bob Durkin, Kevin Breen, Al Roberts, Al Stirt, Rosie Stirt, Steve Clancy, Mariana Sophia, Andy Nuquist, Ed Amidon, Martha Amidon (11 canoes, 1 kayak)
Water: low, but runnable

This again proves to be one of the most popular rivers in Vermont. Many other paddlers in sight, particularly a large group from Massachusetts. With such a large group we split into two sections. We bad one tip in Gaysville. Ed, Martha, and canoe were rescued easily. The sharp bends prove to be the trickiest parts of the river.

Dick Allen

Hudson Gorge (Unofficial Trip): April 30, 1980

Participants: Peter Alden, Dick Trudell, Steve Page (3 kayaks)

We met at Wesson's at 7. The Indian River Road was closed due to snow beyond the dam. Level was 1 foot. Beautiful. This may have been one of the earliest tries through the Gorge. The river upstream from the Indian was half covered with ice chunks, leaving only a narrow channel. No ice was encountered below. We saw five whitetail deer drinking from the river. At the Stair Case and Big Nasty it was aim for the channel and pray. The current does not allow for second choices at that level. Being an early trip, I for one was out of condition and found the trip tiring. I also added some new leaks to my kayak and had to bail some. Overall a nice level for kayaks. Experience only.

Peter Alden

Lower Lamoille River: May 3, 1980

Participants: Al Stirt, Rosie Stirt, Jane Mekkelsen, Mary Woodruff, Janet Brunet, Jay Philoon, Dick Allen, George McIntosh, Doug McIntosh (4 canoes, 1 kayak)
Water: 6 feet, low, but passable. (The gauge is located under the Rt. 104 bridge at Fairfax)

One of the most perfect spring days to date. Bathing suit canoeing. This was an "unofficial" trip, but it proved attractive to novices because of the short drive and the easy rapids. Below Two Islands Rapids we spied what first seemed to be a campsite. On closer inspection, it became evident that two fellows had tipped. They had strewn every stitch of clothing over every available branch to dry. One of them was discretely cowering in the bushes. Try to imagine someone tossing a full laundry basket from a low flying plane and you will come close to visualizing the colorful scene. It turned out to be a perfect way to spend a perfect day, the canoeing that is.

Dick Allen

Hudson Gorge: May 10, 1980

Participants: Peter Alden, Chris Stone, Tom Conlon, Cameron &Conner, Peter Conlon, Dick Trudell, John Lazenby, Steve Sease, Tom Driscoll, Tom Fyles (5 kayaks, 3 canoes)

The North Creek gauge was at 4.0 when we stopped, so it looked like a good trip for the open canoes and the kayakers who had never run the Gorge before. After shuttling cars and suiting up, we put in at Indian River. They were releasing a good deal of water (it was above the painted gauge, but looked to be about 3.0), so the Indian River was quite exciting. One kayak hit a rock and popped the seams. Since a duct tape repair was chancy and the Gorge inaccessible, a. hike back out the India River appeared more prudent for this paddler. When we reached the Hudson, we thought the exciting part of the trip was over as the gauge had read only 4.0. As we paddled down, it seemed that the rapids were more challenging than they should be at 4.0 and the trip turned out to be a lot of fun. When we reached the bottom, the gauge read 4.8 and looked like it had reached 5.0. Apparently we had floated the swell down from the Indian River which had added another foot of water. For those who were running the Gorge for the first time, they sure got their money's worth.

Dick Trudell

White River: May 17, 1980

Participants: Bill and Matt Agnew, George McIntosh, Doug McIntosh, Karen Zeller, Dave Arlington, Janet Brunet, Arthur Allen, Al Stirt, Rose Stirt, Ed Amidon, Martha Amidon, Dick Allen, Eugene Weltin, Elizabeth Weltin (6 canoes, 2 kayaks, 1 c-1)
Weather: "Super", said Ed Amidon
Water: low

We split into two groups--open boats and closed boats. A thank you to George and Ed for guiding the open boaters down the river. Lunch in the traditional place. Our entertainment was a parade of teenage kayakers dancing downstream. We also observed a couple in a Kevlar Explorer zip past sans PFDs. Janet, Art and myself enjoyed playing and practicing eddy turns at the bend in Gaysville. (This was one town that was wiped out in the 1927 flood. The river dug a new channel and created instant rural renewal. The old riverbed and some foundations are still visible.)

A mile or so above the take-out, the river splits and the main route takes you to the extreme right smack dab into some super strainers. Just below this, we saw the Kevlar Explorer beached in an odd spot. No one in sight. Soon the lady appeared and recounted how they had been caught up in the trees and flipped. She requested we look for various paddles and pieces of gear further down the river. Her husband had hitched a ride back to Hancock to the car. We helped her get the boat up to the road with a few words on how PFDs and spare paddles are wise things to have along. They were lucky--the major hassle was a lost wallet.

Art and I camped at the White River Valley Campground. Sunday dawned cloudy. After a quick breakfast of granola, we drove upstream to a put-in opposite the Tweed River, off the back road to Stockbridge. We made a quick run down to the campground in a light rain. We were on the way home by 10:30.

Dick Allen

St. John's River: May 23-31, 1980

Participants: Al and Don Roberts, George and Doug McIntosh, Fred Jordon, Kevin Breen, Bill Crowe, Larry Thomson

Paddling the North Maine Wilderness with "St. John's" Al
A Gastronomic Guide to the St. John's River
If Supper is Shish Kabob, This Must be Turner Bogan

Al Roberts has a theory: the weather on the St. John's River is always good on the even numbered years. His theory was supported again this year, helping to make the trip a memorable one. Another memorable facet of this trip was the food. That began with a delicious 4:00 AM breakfast, graciously provided by Alice Durkin. She and Bob had hosted most of the participants the night before, even though at the last minute Bob was unable to make the trip.

Underway by 4:30 AM, the drive to Baker Lake seemed much quicker than when I last made it in 1976. This was perhaps due to the C .B. Radio chatter back and forth between us (Bill, Kevin, Fred and I) and Al and Don Roberts as we went. (The radio in George and Doug's car was "on the fritz".) The Mt. Saint Helens volcano also provided a spectacularly colored sunrise on route o In support of Al's theory, Fred pointed out that by the time we reached Baker Lake we had enjoyed more sunshine than last year's voyageurs had seen all weeks

When we reached Baker Lake, we were greeted by three out-of-shape black flies that buzzed us for a few minutes and then left for a health spa to take the cure. We wouldn't see many more until the 7th night on the river at Fox Brook.

We packed the canoes and paddled four miles down the St. John' s to Turner Bogan campsite. There, the first of many delicious meals (mostly cooked by Don and Al) was enjoyed. Since we had all been up for about 17 hours, no one had trouble falling asleep that night.

The next day's canoeing was very relaxed with sunshine and fishing the order of the day. Out goal was Doucie Brook and we reached it by late afternoon, despite some breezes, which came up after lunch. They proved to be a harbinger of the next day's run.

On Sunday, we planned to travel about 26 miles to historic Ninemile Bridge. This proved to be the most different day because those breezes had become a northeasterly headwind which blew almost constantly under overcast skies. On wide stretches of the river, we attempted to escape the winds near shore, but often found ourselves paddling through whitecaps. (As this tale is told and re-told, the size of those waves will probably become exaggerated. Let me state right now that they never exceeded a height of more than six feet from trough to crest.)

We easily made the decision to stay two nights at Ninemile, giving us a day for hiking, fishing and relaxing. It was at Ninemile that Al, who had been dumbfounding all of us with the supplies and equipment he had remembered to bring, really scored. He produced a folding, backpacker3s version of a frisbee! We also baked the first of two cakes we would enjoy on the trip. "St. John's Al" had struck again.

After our extended stay at Ninemile, the plan was to canoe to Basford Rips, camp there and run Big Black Rapids the next morning. But Basford Rips is not accurately located on the North Maine Woods river map, and we passed it. When we realized this, we decided to go all the way to the Big Black River (about 30 miles total paddling). Since this section of the river had more quickwater, this run--though long--was not as difficult as the "day of the headwinds".

Big Black Rapids was a big confidence booster for the "first-timers", since it was a bit higher than the '76 trip and had a lot of waves but few rocks to dodge. Great fun! And then a great campsite for another two-night stopover. The weather through this part of the trip was cool and overcast. We got drizzled on for a few minutes at a time, but never had a real rainstorm.

At Big Black River the weather was partly sunny, the food was great, and an old piece of sheet metal was used to set up a grant reflector oven that we could sit in and keep warm during the evening campfire. We baked our second cake and allowed as how this "roughing it" sure was the way to go.

On Thursday, we broke camp at Big Black and headed downriver planning to stay at one of the campsites above Big Rapids. The weather was warm and sunny and at Fox Brook Rapids campsite we found two things: black flies and bear scat. We thought we might have a visitor that night, but none materialized except the photogenic moose who came out on the opposite bank that evening.

On Friday morning, we started our last day of paddling with one thought in mind--Big Rapids! And they were terrific! A mile and a half of continuous waves, rocks, ledges, holes and eddies! We leap-frogged down through them, photographing each other from eddies whenever we could. Again, I was aware that the river was a bit higher than in 1976, and the waves near the bottom (especially on the right side) were higher. Everyone came through in great shape, with that strange combination of exhilaration at having had a great run, and let-down because you know that s the grand finale of the trip. With those feelings flip-flopping inside us, we continued on our way to St. Francis, the ultimate take-out spot.

That night we splashed on our best french bug-dope and went to the big city (Fort Kent) for dinner.

We had had a great trip with great friends. Our enjoyment of the whole week was mirrored, I think, in our shock that it was over so soon and a letdown feeling as you realized that tomorrow would riot bring another day' s paddling on the river. Then, thoughts of returning home take over and spirits rise. But there's always next year. Maybe next year will be exception to Al's rule?


  • Getting up at 3:00 A.M.
  • The zany chatter on the C.B. radios.
  • The trout George McIntosh "caught" when it jumped into his canoe with its own can of bread crumbs.
  • The hot peppers at lunch.
  • The shish kabob, the ham, the chicken with hot sauce, the "buffalo throw" (ask Al), the salad bar, etc., etc.
  • The headwinds.
  • Discovering Doug McIntosh was a "gorp" addict.
  • Waking up to 30 degree weather with ice on the canoes.
  • Doug and Al's cooking.
  • The flakiest conversations in the North Woods.
  • Al Robert's hat.
And for me (L.T.), having waited four years to go back, just being on theSt. John's River again!

Larry Thomson

West Virginia Whitewater Trip: April 26-May 3, 1980

Participants: Dick Trudell, Roger Belson, ChrIs McGray, Jim Michaud, Dave Stanley, Jerry Stanley

The trip began the first of the year with some telephone calls between Vermont and Connecticut. "How about a week's trip in West Virginia? Pick up a guide book and look at the possible trips." It sounded great - a chance to do some really great rivers in a southern state as a vacation; so plans were made for the end of April. As our "snowless" winter unfolded, the trip appeared to be the only good whitewater that we would encounter all season, and the anticipation grew.

I left for Connecticut on Friday morning and five hours later picked up Roger and Chris in Waterbury, Connecticut. We headed west and met Jim and Dave at an interchange. From there we drove till the wee hours of the morning to a small town outside of Pittsburgh. This was Dave's parents' home and we spent the night there and Jerry, Dave's brother, joined us for the week. We made some tentative plans for which rivers to run, decided which ones were "must" runs, but knew we would have to follow the gage reading and run what was up.

In general, we took two cars down and camped in State Parks. Instead of packing a great deal of cooking gear, we decided to eat in restaurants and travel light. This turned out to be a good decision because we didn't have any spare time, space, or inclination to fuss with cooking during the trip. A normal day consisted of breaking camp, finding a restaurant for breakfast, driving many miles to the river, shuttling the cars and putting on the river about 11 a.m. The trip would last five to six hours, the reverse shuttle undertaken, a restaurant found for supper and then more driving to the next campsite and setting up camp late at night. We never took time to relax and do anything since we were there to run rivers.

There Is a very good network of river gages in West Virginia, with a central phone number, so you could plan your trip a day or two in advance. We used the gages and the "Wild Water West Virginia" guidebook to determine what we would run.

The week turned out to be one great experience after another and we worked our way up to harder and harder rivers. We knew we wanted to do the Blackwater River, rated Class 5; the Stoney River, rated Class 3-5, and had dreams of doing the Upper Youghiogheny, Class 5, only if all conditions were ideal.

The following pages are a day by day account of the runs:

Saturday - Cheat River gage 1.6

Albright to Jenkirsburg Bridge, 11 miles
Rated 3-4 at gage readings up to 1.5; above that reading, rated Class 5.
Generally a pool/drop river with 38 rapids over its length.

The run was a good warm-up run, not too difficult overall and the rapids allowed a lot of playing. The river is one of the best known and most often paddled rivers, and there are a lot of raft trips down it. It was once regarded as one of the most difficult rivers in the East before techniques and equipment improved.

The road to the takeout is Class 5, winding along steep banks on the sides of the mountain (one way). The raft companies generally run small vans into this last section and then transfer people to buses when the road gets better. We were lucky enough to get a ride with one of the raft companies, making our shuttle much easier. The put in is a campground and is very easy to get to.

The river is strewn with hugh boulders and the banks are draped with laurel and rhododendron so the scenery is really quite nice.

It sprinkled a little during the day and we met a fellow on the river who told us that the Middle Fork of the Tygart was a good run after a heavy rain. That night it rained quite heavily bringing all the rivers up. We spent the night in Audra State Park on the Middle Fork of the Tygart River.

Sunday - Middle Fork & Tygart gage 8.0, high water

Audra State Park to Tygart Junction, 6 miles
Tygart River to Buckhannon River, 5 miles
Runnable range 2.5 to 5.5

After raining all night, the river was up. Normally rated a Class 4 river, it was all of that. There was a continuous drop with some bigger drops to spice up the trip. It was a very technical run, requiring a lot of maneuvering to run the drops between the rocks. In many cases you couldn't see the bottom of the rapid from the top, but behind many of the boulders you could catch an eddy to rest in and look ahead at what was next.

The river continued to rise as we went down (it increased in height 2 feet during the trip) and the drops became more difficult. The last few drops before the junction of the Tygart were near Class 5. When the Middle Fork joined the Tygart, we were definitely in Class 5, very high water, very pushy and very fast.

There is a railroad that borders the Tygart and half the group decided to walk out the last 6 miles. The rest of us headed down the Tygart very cautiously. We soon became accustomed to the big water and ran the center of the river (it's actually safer there if you have a good roll and can maneuver to avoid the hydraulics), Some of the big holes we had to paddle up out of and there were a lot of wave tops to throw you around. Once we reached the Buckhannori we had to paddle upstream 100 yards to the take out and wait for the others to catch up to us. It was a very satisfying run.

That night we camped in the Blackwater State Park.

Monday - Stoney River & North Branch of Potomac gage 4.2' (Stoney), 5.6' (North Branch)

Runnable range 4-6
Class 3-5

A small river, aptly named, with low volume and a gradient of 76 ft./mile

The rapids were pretty much continuous and technical with some good size hydraulics. We had two broaches on the run - during which we almost lost one boat, but were able to get it off with ropes. The river got progressively more difficult as we neared the North Branch - overall a Class 4.

The North Branch of the Potomac, rated Class 3-4, had 3 or 4 good difficult rapids over ledges. Some of the group decided to portage some of the bigger drops. The overall gradient is 51 ft./mile. The majority of the river was Class 3 and after doing the 6 miles on the Stoney, the rest of this trip got pretty tiring. Overall we did about 15 miles. This was one of the rivers that we wanted to run and weren't disappointed. If it weren't for the long length and windy conditions that day, it would have been much more enjoyable.

That night we again stayed in the Blackwater State Park. (P.S. We had found a good restaurant nearby.)

Tuesday - Blackwater gage 0.3

Class 5
Range -0.3 to 0.3
Gradient 112 ft./mile 7 miles

Even the name sounds ominous - it's West Virginia's longest, continuous rapids. It drains the upland organic swamps and the acid water leaches the iron from the bedrock turning the river a constant foamy brown, and hence it's name. The put in is definitely a Class 5. From where you leave the cars, you have to hoist your boat on your shoulders and walk one mile along the railroad until you come to a small bridge over a wash. Now the hard part -belaying the boats down a 450 slope for a vertical height of 250 feet. By tying 2 boats together, with one man in front and the second man feeding him the rope, the drop was made to the river. Once there you had no time to warm up as Class 5 drops awaited you.

We set up throw ropes at the big drops and studied them before running. Again, not all of the group ran them. The next big drop, after many sets of Class 4 rapids, is called the Washing Machine Slide. Here the river drops 75 yards over a flat shale bottom, picking up speed until it hits a boiling hydraulic below which required a hard brace to get through. You wanted to be confident of your run, because, just below was another boiling drop. A little farther down was a 9-foot drop over a ledge choked with rubble. The guidebooks list this one as a mandatory carry, but after studying it, we saw a chute through the center that could be run and so we did. After this drop, the pace slackened down to a Class 4 with an occasional big drop, and finally into a Class 3 for the last couple of miles.

The run was one of the highlights of our trip, but should not be attempted except by a strong experienced party. We had one serious incident on the Blackwater. Our ??? broached on a rock in an obstructed channel and was hit by the next boat dropping down. The ??? pinned on the rock and the paddler flushed out under the boat. A subsequent kayaker tipped and came out of his boat. Fortunately we had several throw lines with us and by tying two together and ferrying across, rope in mouth, we rescued the kayak. The ??? was much harder to rescue. We strung a line from shore to shore, pulled it taut and then Jim went hand over hand to the rock where the boat was pinned. He attached another throw line to the ??? and using a trucker's hitch on a tree, we freed the boat. It required some duct tape to make it seaworthy again.

Savage River, Maryland gage 2.6 to 3.3 (river rose during trip)

Class 3-4
63 ft./mile length 5.5 miles

After our trip on the Blackwater, we ate supper in Parsons. There we met a salesman who said the Savage River Dam was overflowing. Since the Savage is one of those rivers that has a short season (except for scheduled dam releases) we decided the trip into Maryland would be worth the effort. Since it was still raining, we got a motel room (one room for the six of us)in Yorgantown, W. Virginia, after a long drive. The next morning we had still more driving to get to the Savage, but made it about noon. We were sorely disappointed when we got there, as there wasn't much flow. We found the dam keeper to see if he could release some water (he couldn't) and he told us the water had just started to go over the spillway that morning. We decided to wait for a while until the water rose some more and were pleasantly surprised to see it come up fairly quickly. There is no correlation between the gage and the guide books because it normally is a measured release, but we estimated there was a flow of 1000 cfs with the runnable range 800-1400 cfs.

There were no really difficult rapids but we found some really nice hydraulics to play in.

Thursday - Little Sandy gage 6.0

Class 3-4, Little Sandy, 5 miles
Class 4-5, Big Sandy, 5.5 miles
Gradient varied

The Little Sandy drains into the Big Sandy which in turn drains into the

Cheat River. The Little Sandy was somewhat low but the Big Sandy was at a good level for a first run. The runnable range on the Little Sandy is 6.5 -7.5 and the Big Sandy, 5.8 - 6.5, so we were able to get both runs in with a 6.0 reading.

The Little Sandy was not difficult until it joined the Big Sandy. The gage is at Rockville, about 2 miles below the point where the Little Sandy joins the Big Sandy. Here there is an old lady living in an abandoned school bus with lots of animals. The bus is stuffed with paper for warmth and the road runs between garbage and junk piles - quite a sight. She was friendly, anyway. Here part of the group decided to take out and four of us continuedon. About one mile below Rockville the river dropped over three ledges into a large pool before the waterfalls. The falls are 18 feet and after scouting them, we decided if you ran right toward a roostertail at the top of the falls you could have an 18 foot free fail into the pool below. This turned out to be the highlight of the trip and we carried back up to the top to run the falls again. After this the pace became more hectic and the rapids difficult. Rarely could you see the bottom of a drop from the top because of the boulders.

The next named rapid was the room Flame, a 10-foot drop that flushed out into a big eddy. It was easier to run than it looked. The next rapid was called Little Splat and was a tricky, technical maneuver down through boulders.This was followed by Big Splat, a 25-foot complex drop. We made our first carry of the week here as the falls were unrunnable. They cascaded onto a backward sloping ledge and were certain trouble. More rapids followed requiring fast maneuvering down twisting channels strewn with boulders - definitely a Class 5 river. The river from the falls drops at ??? feet/mile and made this runs memorable one for sure.

Friday - Laurel Fork gage 0.3

13 miles
Class 3-4
Gradient 71 ft./mile
Runnable range 0.3 -1.5

This was to be a wind down trip on a Class 3 river after the excitement of the Big Sandy. Once the river leaves the put in there is nothing but high banks and trees to be seen for 13 miles. It is quite a pretty trip but got to be somewhat tiring toward the end due to the length. The first couple of miles were flatwater, but once the river started to drop, it was a continuous Class 3 rapid for nine miles.

After the run we stopped for supper and to give Jerry a call (He didn't paddle with us that day but was going to paddle on Saturday.) We had planned on another ??? day on the lower Youghiogheny before heading back home. Jerry told us he had lined up some paddlers to guide us down the "Upper Yock" if we wanted to. It was decision time - do we wind down the week with the easy lower Yock or cap it off with the tough Upper Yock. Three of us decided to do the upper and the other three the lower.

That night we camped in the State Park next to the Yock.

Saturday - Upper Youghiogheny gage 2.1

Class 5
length 15 miles
Gradient 116 ft./mile
Runnable range 1.9-2.8

To say we were a little apprehensive on the morning of this run is to understate the queasy feeling in our stomachs. To quote the guidebook, "Where do the Yough guides go on their days off? To the Upper Yough if they've got the bravado." This was certainly to be the climax of our trip.

We met our "guides" in Friendsville. The first fella that stepped out of the van was wearing a Pittsburg Steelers jersey and was built like a center linebacker. The second was about the same size. Our spirits rose when the third guy was normal size. They told us that due to vandalism of shuttle vehicles at the normal put in, we were going to put in even higher on the river to a section they called the Top Yock. (As if we weren't apprehensive enough!) That would give us a couple of more miles of Class 5 water.

The trip contained 5 miles of flat water, 5 miles of Class 4 rapids and 5 miles of Class 5 rapids at a gradient of 116 ft./mile.

The trip started off with a bang. Fifty yards below the put in was a 10 foot drop followed by a tricky Class 4 rapid. It sure took the butterflies away. Following this we were into 2 miles of Class 5 water. The Yock is a large boulder filled river with the average size boulder being car sized.

Because these boulders are scattered all over the river, and the river drops away fast, you rarely can see more than 50 yards ahead of you during the drop and in the real difficult sections even less than that. Needless to say when our "guides" said "stick close to me and go where I go" - we did. Before each drop they would stop and explain the next rapid: where we had to start, what eddies we had to catch, which side of the rock didn't have a hydraulic, etc., etc. Of course, explaining a rapid and actually running it are two different things. So when they started a drop, we stayed right on their tail.

The hardest rapid on the Top Yough was called The Suckhole. Here the water poured through a barrel-sized opening that could easily trap a man. The instructions were, "Make the first drop, you have to catch the eddy on the left, ferry across to the eddy on the right, look behind you into the Suckhole, peel out hard into the current and past close to the left side of a large boulder and drop into the eddy on the right and wait. "Look out for the hydraulic next to the rock!", and off they went - now let me see? Was that the right or the left of that rock? "Hey, Wait for me!"

The Top Yock section went by pretty fast and we had made it without any serious problems. They told us the difficulty would not be worse below, but that the rapids would be longer and closer together. We were feeling good. The apprehension was gone and we were paddling strong. It was a good feeling.

Next came 6 miles of flatwater paddling to the Upper Yough, a little warm up rapid and then a series of Class 5 rapids. The names are interesting and in order, are called, Gap Falls, Bastard, Charlie's Choice, Snaggle Tooth, Middle Drop, National Falls, Tommy's Hole, Zinger, Hinzerling Falls, Meat Cleaver, Shark's Tooth and Powerful Popper. Here at Powerful Popper I got my first 1300 ??? - and that's a thrill in itself. The following rapids are Lost and Found, Cheeseburger Falls, Dosido, Wright's Hole and finally, Double Pencil Sharper, aptly named for its curling wave. That was the end of the hard rapids.

Following were 4 miles of anticlimactic Class 3 and Class 4 rapids, which would have been a delight by themselves, but after the above run, weren't even noticed.

That was it - our last run - and a great climax to the week. We had paddled the best rivers in that part of the country. That night we stopped for a smorgasbord supper on the way home and really ate and talked about the week. Then on the road again until midnight, part way back home, and our last campsite.

I had driven 2600 miles in the week to paddle 88 miles of rivers, camp out in the rain, be battered by Class 5 water, eat at greasy spoon restaurants and put on a cold, clammy, wet suit every morning. I must be nuts! Next year we are going back to do the southern portion of West Virginia.

Opening of Winooski Valley Park District: June 16, 1979

Participants: 38 canoes, 2 kayaks

Editor's note: Here is a TRIP REPORT which we missed in February, but is appropriate for the season ahead.

A very large group of friends and strangers gathered at 10:00 AM on Saturday, June 16, to help promote publication of the new Winooski River Canoe Guide. The Winooski Valley Park District had organized a good family-style outing. Twenty rental canoes provided by Canoe Imports and about twenty private boats gathered on the river edge just below the Old Forest Hills Department Store. There were 10-12 NVCC boats--sorry, we cannot remember everyone's name. Lt. Governor Madeline Kunin was there to wish us all well, but she didn't go paddling with us.

**** A word of warning about the Forest Hills access area. Beware of the poison ivy, which lines the path between the parking lot and the canoe launching area. ****

We pushed off into a small race and headed down a very placid, flat, and wide Winooski River. Our destination was the Ethan Allen Farm, a short three-mile paddle. The river was fairly clean. We noticed suds and indefinable odors only once, The Winooski has come a long way in recent years and recently was reclassified from a Class D river to Class C. This particular section of the river was surprisingly quiet and secluded. It provided an intimate look at Burlington's Intervale. Who would have known that we were so close to Church Street? At one point we enjoyed the music of the UVM Carillon, a nice touch to a hot, sultry June day.

At Ethan Allen Farm, we paddled up a shallow side creek to a good, grassy take-out spot. After pulling out canoes, we all hiked around to the new picnic pavilion. The pavilion and the soon-to-be completed outhouse and fireplace are being built with EPA funds. A good water supply is available and a marked nature trail is nearby. A very good spot for a family or club picnic.

After lunch, about half of the group left for other activities. The other half stayed around for the informal canoe races between Ethan Allen Farm and the Old McCrea Farm, a distance of 2.5 miles. We saw Norm and Sonya Lavoie start in the Parent-Child race and Bob Dodds start in the Open race. Didn't recognize anyone in the Winooski Valley district race. Nor do we know who the winners were of these three races because we left for a swim at Sand Bar State Park.

The trip was definitely worthwhile. It is important for canoeists to support water-quality improvement efforts and NVCC was certainly well represented in this event. We recommend this small section of the Winooski for families with small children and to Burlington area folks who are looking for a lazy spot for a romantic evening canoe trip!

P.S. We understand that WVPD is sending a good supply of the Winooski River Canoe Guide books to Norm. Excellent booklet. It includes comments about river, portages, wild life, and clean-up efforts.

Peggy and Jonathan Stevens

N.V.C.C. Summer Schedule

Date Trip Leader
June 14-15 Androscoggin Overnight Norm Lavoie (863-5456)
June 22 Green River Reservoir Bob Dunkin (244-5310)
July 13 Regatta/Picnic at Sandbar S.P. Moe Desilets (879-7364)
July 19-20 Androscoggin Overnight George McIntosh (879-1488)
August 16-17 Dead River, Maine Al Roberts (878-3187)
August 23-24 Androscoggin Overnight Fred Jordan (223-2925)
Al Roberts (878-3187)
October 4-5 West River (Ball Mountain Dam)

And, if you're interested

  1. Allagash River Trip, the second or third week in September. Six boat limit. Contact Al Roberts.
  2. There is interest by some club members in doing some overnight flatwater trips (such as the Moose River area in Maine, or the St. Regis area in New York State). But we need trip leaders. If interested, contact Bob Durkin.

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