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Bow and Stern - March 1, 1986

Bow and Stern - - March 1986

Bow and Stern

March 1986

A Letter from the Editors

Dear Fellow Paddlers,

New that the sun is beginning to gather strength, and the snow is beginning to melt, it is time to think of the coming paddling season. This year's snowfall, with so much still on the ground, promises a fine whitewater season. For all of you who have not entered the fascinating world of whitewater, the clinic will provide a great opportunity to join the rest of the river rats in safely paddling our rivers.

This season brings with it a change in the presidency of the club. Under Al's guidance, the whitewater clinic has been expanded to include kayaks, in addition to tandem canoes, resulting in substantial growth. This has also resulted in a much more even balance between tandem and solo canoes and closed boats. Thank you Al, for your leadership over the past six years.

Our new president, Rich Larsen, has been involved in NVCC affairs for many years and is an accomplished canoer and a budding kayaker. Good luck Rich. May the wind be at your back, and may you do combat rolls as required, during your reign.

Many thanks to all the contributors to the Bow & Stern. In this issue you will find several original cartoon, drawn by Chuck Thompson, to brighten up the issue. Once again, Thanks!

See you on the rivers,
George & Margaret McIntosh

Minutes from the June Dinner Meeting

The annual June dinner meeting was held on Wednesday, June 12 at 6:00 p.m. The business meeting was called to order at 7:10 by President Al Roberts.

Al thanked Paula Gerlack and Marion Thompson for organizing the pot-luck dinner this year. The Treasurer's Report and Minutes from the Spring meeting were read and accepted.

Committee Reports

Bow & Stern Co-editor Margaret McIntosh thanked the many who had contributed to this issue of the Bow & Stern. The participation has been very good from club members.

White Water Schedule Chairman Rich Larsen said the weather was good for paddling this year, although a little light on good water levels. There were no equipment losses or major injuries this year.

White Water Training Co-Chair Rick Davis The training session was held the end of March/beginning of April. There were a few changes this year, i.e., the YMCA pool was used and classroom sessions were held at the College Street Congregational Church. A detailed report of the clinic is on Page 5 of the Bow & Stern.

Summer Events Chairman Charlie Thompson The schedule is on the last page of the Bow & Stern. Charlie thanked all the trip leaders for a full schedule. If anyone would like to be a member of a "polar paddlers" group, trips will continue as long as weather holds.

Conservation Chair Ray Gonda There is a formal report in the Bow & Stern on all current activities. The Missisquoi project is not yet built; Boise Cascade is continuing in negotiations for power transmission lines. On the West, the quest ion of racing vs. recreation has yet to be resolved. A study group has been formed to resolve who gets what releases.

New Business

There will be roll sessions during the summer, if you are interested contact Rich Larsen.

This is an election year and Charlie Thompson will chair the nominating committee.

No further new business and meeting was adjourned followed by a slide presentation on the Pipestone-Winisk Rivers.

Respectfully submitted,
Mary Lavigne

Biennial Election Meeting

The biennial election meeting was held on Sunday, December 15 in the hall of the College Street Congregational Church. President Al Roberts opened the meeting by welcoming all in attendance and minutes from the June dinner meeting were read and accepted.

New Business

Charlie Thompson proposed the office of Secretary-Treasurer be divided into two positions in order to ease the burden on one person and to have more people involved in the club. The motion carried, so there will now be four elected positions in the club. The separation into Treasurer-Membership person and Secretary is effective now.

The nominating committee Chair, Charlie Thompson, read the following names for elected club officers President - Al Roberts; Vice President - Charlie Thompson; Treasurer-Membership - Cathy Chamberlain; Secretary - Betsy Schneider.

Also nominated from the floor for President - Rich Larsen. Mike Fullerton was nominated for Vice President, but declined because of the distance he lives from Burlington.

Voting for President was done on paper ballots, and Rich Larsen is the new president. So the elected club officers for the next two years are

President: Rich Larsen Vice President: Charlie Thompson
Secretary: Betsy Schneider Treasurer/Membership: Cathy Chamberlain
Congratulations to all the newly elected officers.

A big 'Thank You' to Cathy Chamberlain for organizing the refreshments for the evening.

Rick Davis proposed a committed of three people to help promote the growth and vitality of the club. The three members would be Rich Larsen, Al Roberts, and Mike Fullerton. Motion carried.

Bob Schumacher held an auction of odds 'n ends float bags with proceeds going to the club. The auction netted $68.50 for the club. Thanks Bob!

No further new business and the meeting was adjourned followed by slides of members' summer and fall trips.

Respectfully submitted,
Mary Lavigne

Conservation Corner

************ MEMBER ALERT ************

state legislative proposals

A number of proposals for water quality, upland stream and and lowland rivers protection have been introduced in the house and senate and referred to committees for this session. Other proposals exist which may ultimately factor into ones already in the legislature. The outcome of this plethora of approaches could affect our surface waters for decades to come. At the time of this writing it is impossible to predict what the final form and content of legislation will be which will actually reach the floor of both houses. However, whatever the final form, the RESULT WILL DIRECTLY AFFECT CRUISERS AS MUCH OR MORE THAN MOST CITIZENS.

Your help is needed to ensure passage of strong and comprehensive legislation. The opportunity to contribute in such an important way to something that affects our interests is very rare. Please don't lose the chance to take advantage of it. Call or write to your own representatives and senators and request that they support the strongest protective upland streams and lowland rivers policy for Vermont.

Do this soon!

"Vermont Whitewater Rivers" Report

A 286-page survey of Vermont whitewater has reached draft form and has been distributed to selected reviewers. The cruisers have submitted 20 pages of comments in the review process giving two new river descriptions (Moose & Browns) and updating some existing descriptions (primarily the New Haven). The purpose of the report was, ". . . to produce an atlas of Vermont whitewater streams and to evaluate their importance for fishing, boating, biological and geological conservation and water quality." The study is intended to he used as an aid to the Department of Water Resources in managing the waters of the state and as factual background material for consideration by the Vermont Fragile Areas Committee.

A list of some 20 rivers which may have whitewater boating potential but for which no descriptions are known is contained in the report. For the adventurous, exploring and describing these rivers would be a worthwhile enterprise. If you are interested in such a pastime contact Ray Gonda. This is an excellent opportunity to get a rapid or a strainer named after you!

Upper Connecticut River Dams

A letter was sent to the Vermont Agency of Environmental Conservation in mid-January opposing any new dams on the Upper Connecticut River and supporting a similar standing opposition by the Agency of Environmental Conservation. A letter by the Appalachian Mountain Club and signed by T. Walley Williams III, its president, was also received (Al Roberts copied) which indicated opposition as well.

The reach of river from Beecher's Falls to Moore Dam some 70 miles downriver contains the longest remaining whitewater rapids on the entire river. Sixty two miles of this stretch are listed in the national inventory of potential wild and scenic rivers. Atlantic salmon are expected to reach this region in the early 90's. At least 3 separate proposals to build dams (and they are serious proposals) have been put forth within the last 18 months.

The agency has already had the opportunity to use these letters to bolster their position. Robert Shaw, the Pontook Rapid developer figures heavily in these proposals. Our involvement plays a vital role in such affairs. Our work has yet to be wasted effort.

Sheldon Springs Rapid, Missisquoi River

Boise-Cascade has had continued progress in the effort to begin construction for the hydro project. That progress has been (1) successful completion of negotiations with the public utilities and the Public Service Board on interconnects and (2) closing on a power contract. Citizens Utilities has come up with some last minute requests and concerns which have yet to he settled. It is hoped that construction can begin in the spring. Those of you with a fancy to give it a whirl may have the opportunity to do so in the spring.

West River, Jamaica, Vt.

Currently we are awaiting a response from the New England Rivers Center to the developer concerning a plan for releases for whitewater boating. We are working hand in hand with the Center and the Appalachian Mountain Club on strategy. We are not legal parties to the project proposed by the towns. The state of Vermont and the Center are. We do have such status on the competing project; there have been no significant new developments for this one.

Upper Lamoille, Village of Hardwick

The first Corps of Engineers legislation to be passed in nearly a decade contains an amendment relating to the Hardwick ice-retention project. Senator Stafford introduced that amendment which in part reads:

"In the design, construction, and location of ice-retention structures for this project, full consideration will he given to the recreational, scenic and environmental values at the reach of river affected by the project, in order to minimize project impacts on these values. Full opportunity will be given to interested environmental and recreational organizations to participate in such planning."

---- That means us, folks! ----

Then the amendment goes can to authorize a $900,000 appropriation for the project.

Publicity Committee

Mike Fullerton, Rich Larsen, Tim Marugg, Al Roberts.

The publicity committee met for the first time on February 11. We discussed several ways of attracting new members.

Slide Show: Mike Fullerton is organizing a slide show and posters for the Montpelier area. Please contact Mike if you have any slides that you would be willing to contribute.

Photo Contest: The publicity committee is considering holding the first annual Cruisers Photo Contest if there is sufficient interest. The contest would be open to the general public, and would be announced in the local papers. Entries should be a 5x7 or 8x10 print, and have a paddling theme. All entries must be received by the publicity committee no later than May 29 and would become property of the club. Judges would be selected by the publicity committee, and would not be eligible to win. Winners would be announced at the June meeting.

We are also working on a club information brochure, and water resistant 'contact' cards for folks we meet on the river. We will continue to publish information about upcoming club trips. We talked about holding a flatwater social race, but it didn't seem to be a popular idea.

Advanced Paddling Clinic

Sometime in June, I will conduct an advanced paddling clinic for kayakers with at least one year of whitewater experience. I'll include canoeists if Rick Davis can draft an ACA racer-type as an instructor.

I'll be holding the clinic on the Rouge, near Rivington, Quebec. The Rouge has an excellent mix of rapids for surfing, hole riding, and enders. River reading and Eskimo roll practice will come naturally. I am emphasizing safety, especially scouting and setting up throw lines, and rescuing other boaters.

Students should have a reliable flatwater Eskimo roil and he confident in their eddy catching ability. The number of instructors will limit the class size.

Contact Tim Marugg for details.

Tim Marugg

1986 Whitewater Training Clinic

As the snow begins to melt, leave the mountains, flow downhill and fill the rivers, the annual whitewater training clinic will provide a new group of paddlers with the opportunity to become safe, competent, and enthusiastic river rats.

The schedule is:

WednesdayMarch 12th:Registration deadline
SundayMarch 16th:Decked boat pool session
FridayMarch 21st:Classroom session for all
SundayMarch 23rd:Open boat pool session
SaturdayApril 5th:Open boat river trip
SundayApril 6th:Decked boat river trip

Pool sessions will be held in the new lap pool at the YMCA in downtown Burlington. Efficient stroke technique will be explained and practiced under the watchful eyes of experienced instructors. Waves will be created and gill development begun. Boats and paddles will be provided. Be prepared to get very wet.

The classroom session will be held at College Street Congregational Church, across the street from the YMCA. Presentations will concentrate on safety aspects of whitewater paddling prevention and recognition of hypothermia, appropriate clothing and equipment, and strategies for running and swimming rapids. Movies will be shown; bring your own popcorn. Attendance at both the classroom and a pool session is required to be eligible for river trips.

Once again, river trips will be on the mighty Mad River near Moretown. (This will give clinic participants and instructors the opportunity for close inspection of the site of the upcoming slalom race.) This section of the river is a delightful place to learn boat handling. It is playful without being threatening at all. In small groups, with an instructor and sweep boat, ferries, eddy turns, and the occasional brace, broach, and swim will be practiced. Paddlers must supply their own boats, paddles and life jackets. Decked boaters must have helmets and spray skirts, too. Other accessories may be required, and will be explained during the classroom session.

If all this sounds like fun, it is...

To register, call or write to Rick Davis, Canoe Imports, RR 2, Box 2000, Shelburne, VT 05482. Phone him at 985-2992 (days) or 658-9361 (evenings). You will receive a registration form to fill out and return before March 12th. To keep the clinic at a reasonable size and provide a good instructor to student ratio, the number of participants is limited.

REGISTER EARLY! Tuition will be approximately $20, collected at the classroom session.

Volunteers are needed to make classroom presentations, instruct at the pool and river trips, and run safety boats and shuttles on the river. If you have previously completed the clinic and would like to help, please call Rick to offer your valued and appreciated assistance.

We hope to see you in the pool, classroom and river.

Trip Reports

The Rouge: April 13, 1985

Participants: Tim Marugg, Jim Poulin, Chris Spicer, Dick Trudell

This trip was scheduled for the Hudson Gorge, but moved to the Rouge due to lack of water in the Hudson.

We arrived at the Canyon section put-in, at CIP Harrington, about 10 am. We scouted the Canyon before unloading our boats, since we were uncertain of the conditions, and neither Dick nor Jim had run the Rouge before. It was a good decision; ice still blocked the small lake below the Canyon.

We regrouped at the Sept Chutes (seven falls) put-in, cautiously hoping for a clear channel. Nature rewarded us for our persistence; the raft guides training at the put-in told us that the river had iced out only days before. The guides were impressed, by our determination, or our insanity; I'm not sure which.

The water was very high, and very cold. We stopped often to scout the drops, unsure of the water level, the debris, and the ice. After a careful look at Elizabeth's Ledge, Dick decided to run. The rest of us watched him and decided to carry.

After another scouting stop, we arrived at the Washing Machine. Fortin's Guide de Riviere Sportive au Quebec gives this drop a class 5 rating. We understood why. The washing machine terminates a difficult class 4 rapid, with very little chance for rescue in high water. Most of the river funnels into two huge, recirculating holes on river right. Chris Spicer was able to catch the eddy above la machine. The rest of us were able to avoid the holes.

The portage around the falls was an epic right out of Dr. Zhivago. We were uncertain of the start of the lower trail, and took the high trail, in order to keep our distance from the falls. After a major climb and descent in six inches of snow, we rejoined the other trail, and began the treacherous carry along the cliff trail. Eventually, the trail became so steep and icy that it took several people, hanging onto trees, to pass each boat along. When we had transferred all the boats, I picked mine up, and watched helplessly as Jim's Mirage slid down the icy slope, and disappeared into the abyss.

Jim took off along the cliff trail, trying to keep his boat in sight. I climbed down a steep ravine into the canyon, and Dick and Chris lowered my boat to me. Chris climbed down to help me into my boat, certain he could climb up again. I sprinted down the river, and lifted over the last falls in record time. I finally saw Jim's boat as it passed under the railroad bridge, heading for the ice pack on the Ottawa.

I caught the boat, dumped it out, and attached a towline, about fifty feet from the ice pack. After a long paddle back to the take-out, I collapsed on my boat, and let my heart slow down. Dick paddled down a short while later, and Jim appeared on foot. Darkness was falling, and nobody had seen Chris since he helped me into my boat.

We held a quick vote, and headed up the bank, looking for Chris. When the cliffs and the river stopped us, we realized that we were on the wrong shore, and that we had no way of rescuing Chris if he was, as we suspected, trapped at the base of the ravine.

As we were holding a high pressure "What in Hell do we do NOW?" session, Chris came paddling around the bend. He had come out of the ravine to find everyone gone, and cautiously made the slippery portage using his throw line as a safety line.

We counted our blessings, and headed for an old fashioned Canadian sugaring party, where we devoured mountains of excellent home cooked food. After a good night's sleep and a leisurely breakfast, we decided to call it a weekend and made tracks for home.

Tim Marugg

Sacandaga River Tubing Trip: April 20, 1985

Leader: Rich Larsen
Participants: (Family members and friends) McIntosh (7), Thompson (5), Gerlack (5), Larsen (2), Anne Chetham-Strode, Al Roberts, Collie Chambers, Cathy Chamberlain

The third annual tubing trip was held, as customary, on the main Sacandaga River in the three mile section between the Stewart Bridge Dam and the Hudson River. This remains a fine family trip, with the precaution that it is whitewater, and that local rafting companies do not take customers less than 10 years old. The weather cooperated in 1985 by being warm and clear, we ran the entire course once, then made a number of runs on the lower part. Take out this year had to be on the south side, as the rafting company enforced its ownership of the north shore. The release was turned off in midday (approximately 12-2), which was something of an inconvenience. Also, we were reminded of the honesty of some of our fellow men when two people tried to steal some of our inner tubes, only to be scared off by the timely arrival of the drivers to the cars. In spite of the above, we stayed relaxed and had an enjoyable trip. The highlight of the trip to the author, but probably forgotten by others, was his first successful kayak roll (still no combat rolls however, but maybe they will come someday).

Rich Larsen

White River: April 21, 1985

The weather was sunny in the seventies, thirty hearty souls dressed in rubber suits and paddled down the White River from Stockbridge in 7 kayaks and 15 canoes, to the takeout below Gaysville. To increase the challenge of the trip a couple of people tried to do part of it outside of their boats - a very good day.

Bill Gerlack

The Ouareau: April 27, 1985

Participants: Tim Marugg , Jim Poulin, Eric (?) , Chris Spicer, Robin Spicer

The river was in flood and we had to portage several times through about three feet of snow. I was underdressed with only thin polypro under my drysuit and running shoes instead of wetsuit booties. Robin Spicer did not have the skills to run the river at this level. Robin took several swims, and had to carry several drops that were run by the rest of the group. These delays contributed to my hypothermia problem.

Chris and I made a short run just upstream of a section that was impassable. Chris rolled in the drop, and came up bleeding a lot. He made it to shore under his own power, and I field-dressed his cut. When we got back to civilization, it took five stitches and some butterflies to fix Chris's face.

Chris's cut was caused by his Romer helmet, which has a flexible polyethylene shell, and a system of straps inside designed to absorb impacts. When the helmet hit the rock, the unsupported edge bent inward and sliced into Chris's forehead. I would recommend that anyone using that type of helmet should get rid of it.

The trip was a valuable safety lesson for all of us, and can be summarized in several points:

  1. Weather can he deceptive in early season paddling. Overdress.
  2. Rivers in flood can be several classes more difficult that at normal levels.
  3. Your group is only as strong as your weakest paddler.
  4. A first aid kit IS important.

We survived.

Tim Marugg

Androscoggin River: June 22-23, 1985

Participants: (OC1) Adrianne Brown, Pat Farr, John Blackmore, Chuck Thompson, (OC2) Bill, Jason and Adam Gerlack, Tibor and Ostara Bido, Steve Dingle and Cuc Huynh, Marion and Charlie Thompson, (K1) Margaret and George McIntosh.
Saturday Only - (OC2) Tom Kastner and Friend (K1) Jim Morris.
Sunday Only - (OC1) Norm Lavoie, Eric Bishop, (C1) Ray Gonda, (K1) Melanie Israel, Dave Behany.

The Androscoggin was at its best this weekend. The weather was hot and sunny despite the rain Saturday night. The bugs were pretty good for June, and there was a great group of cruisers. The mood of the trip was very relaxed and slow. No one, well almost no one, was in a hurry and we spent a lot of time playing in every hole and wave. John claims the weather was my doing! He says that the rain Saturday night was caused by my sleeping and losing control, but as soon as I awoke, it started clearing up again. John gives me much more credit than I deserve. Thanks John.

We had an incident of a cruiser taking an unplanned swim, losing his paddle and having it get trapped underwater on the rock near the Errol bridge. This happened not once but twice - a grim reminder of the dangers of entrapment. Fortunately, the paddles were recovered without further mishap in both instances.

The campground seems to get more crowded every year. We camped on some sites along the road, close to the entrance, since the campground was quite full. Future trip leaders might well consider telephoning in advance. Moose's (the caretaker) telephone number is 603-482-3373.

The Androscoggin is a great place for learning and improving our skills. The water is relatively warm and spills usually don't result in long swims. Steve and Cuc out for their third trip, including the whitewater clinic, had a ball and surfed on every wave they could find.

George McIntosh

White River: June 30, 1985

Participants: (OC1) Adrianne Brown, (OC2) Karen Feller and Randy Rutherford, Ostara and Tibor Bido, Pat and Bill Russell, Marion and Charlie Thompson, Fred Jaeger and Russ Kinaman, Margaret and George McIntosh.

Several cruisers swam, but only two unintentionally!

For the first time in three years the weather cooperated and we had a delightful trip. Blue skies, a few puffy clouds and temperatures in the high seventies. The water was a bit higher than previous years, 9 inches at the hand painted gauge on the interstate bridge, which was high enough for water to be flowing over the breached dam below Sharon for it's full width.

This section of the White, from Sharon to West Hartford, is ledgy with wide ledges every few hundred feet, calling for some maneuvering to pick the deepest channel. One of the ledges caught a canoe a little off course and their gunwale grab wasn't strong enough to keen them upright. The water was so shallow they didn't swim very far.

Quarter mile rapid sneaked up on us and we were into it before we realized that this was it! The higher water fooled us. No one swam here and all seemed to enjoy the white-water.

Later in the afternoon, when the sun got hot, we guys enjoyed the scenery as several ladies were seen along the shore, enjoying the sun, topless.

The White River is one of the prettiest rivers around for an easy summer paddle. Some maneuvering in current is required. Just to make the trip more interesting. Everyone seemed to enjoy the trip and the flatwater canoers liked the chance to try a little whitewater.

George McIntosh

The Rouge: July 6, 1985

Participants: Jay Appleton, Anne Chetham-Strode, Tim Marugg, Alan Rexford and from the Bluegrass Whitewater Association, Barry Grimes, Cynthia Grimes, Sali Rose, and Carlos.

This was a wonderful, uneventful trip. We had great weather, made new friends, and introduced some of the Cruisers to a new river. The BWA paddlers had dinner with us afterward, and we have stayed in touch since the trip.

Tim Marugg

Dead River/Kennebec: July 13-14, 1985

Participants: Jay Appleton, Al Roberts, Pat Ezikial, Allen Plumb, Alan Rexford, George McIntosh, Adrianne Brown, Anne Chetham-Strode, Mike Fullerton.

This was the trip that almost wasn't. The weather was the fine stuff the Dead River crews almost take for granted, but when we arrived at Webb's Store we were greeted with: "Shall I give you the bad news now?". It seems the release had been cancelled. The Kennebec was swollen by recent heavy rains, and there was no release from Flagstaff Lake on the Dead to avoid adding to minor flooding problems downstream.

Al Roberts, Adrianne Brown, George McIntosh and I ran the Dead anyway, and the rest of the closed boaters took on the lower Kennebec. (Anne ran the Gorge on Sunday).

The Dead with no release was a nice float, with the biggest challenge being the endless legions of stones to be dodged. The larger rapids toward the end were playful, but on the whole it probably wasn't worth six hours on the road.

The lower Kennebec was described as good (6500 cfs) and a possible open boat run, especially at the somewhat lower normal release levels, though that would produce a less interesting closed boat run.

All returned home hoping the water would normalize in time for the 27th-28th trip.

Mike Fullerton

Magalloway/Diamond Rivers/Umbagog Lake, NH & ME: July 13-14, 1985

Participants: OC2 Betsy & Rick Schneider. Ray Gonda & Mary Lavigne, Russ & Jeff Kinaman
Travel: 3.5 hr. drive

This excursion was characterized by pleasant weather, plentiful wildlife, beautiful scenery and no-see-ums. Base camp was set up and left at Aziscoos Campground on Rt. 16 approximately 15 miles north of Errol, N.H. near the Maine/NH border along the Magalloway River on Friday evening. Betsy & Rick waited for the rest of us at the restaurant in Errol where they had taken their dinner. After a short social we proceeded to the campground at dusk to set up, leaving the reporting-in until morning. This was Betsy and Rick's first trip with the club. Russ and Jeff were with us on Forked Lake in the Adirondacks in the previous year.

The events for the weekend were two separate day trips. The first day we floated the Magalloway from Wilson's Mills to the next bridge downriver . A diversion was provided by hiking up the Diamond River Gorge and exploring it by floating down its rapids in life vests. The ladies walked the road and watched where possible. The second day included a paddle across Lake Umbagog and several miles up the Rapid River where we disembarked and continued by foot exploring its class 4 rapids. A brief swim at the river's mouth provided a pleasant diversion at lunchtime. When returning across the open lake we wrestled with high winds and waves in the midst of a warm summer rainstorm.

The best way this area can be characterized is by the expression "civilized wilderness". The entire region is heavily forested and has many streams, lakes, ponds and bogs. Yet it is all very accessible. The variety of wildlife is exceptionally diverse and plentiful and is frequently encountered. On previous trips our experiences have included an encounter with an inquisitive family of otters and having a cow moose and her twins wade across the river and stroll into our secluded tent site. Both events occurred along the Magalloway. This trip proved to be no exception.

The first night a common snipe provided us with entertainment by repeatedly performing its ritual "wing-song" courting ritual over the campground. The first morning's sun revealed a black bear and her toddling at the edge of camp in the bush. They did not appear to be attracted by the covered garbage cans. Several raucous ravens seemed bent on emitting every sound known to man during our breakfast hour (and some likely unknown). An osprey zipped by after breakfast. Several other hawks end ospreys were seen. Beavers, greet blue herons and families of mergansers provided interest on the river.

Moose, osprey, loons, ducks and a marsh hawk likewise provided interesting viewing on Umbagog. Whitetail deer and beavers were seen in the evening. An encounter with an interstate field trip of the National Audubon Society came as no surprise. I've seen many ducks, geese and black cormorants here in October.

The Aziscoos campground would make an excellent base camp for a variety of trips. Within ½ hour from camp is enough to satisfy both the most ardent whitewater freak and also the most laid-back "just enjoy nature" type. The flatwater in the area does not require "trip leaders" since one can't get lost here and access is excellent. It's a paradise for the explorer and connoisseur of nature. The whitewater likewise is nothing to sniff at. The Rapid River, the Androscoggin at Errol, and the upper Magalloway all offer challenging water. The Swift and Dead Diamond Rivers may offer opportunities for river exploration. The Magalloway even offers a spectacular rapid with 1/3 mile of mostly class 6 when at runnable levels which is accessible by bushwhack or by rappel from the bridge. This rapid has been run at least twice.

A weekend similar to the one above is being planned for summer 1986 -- likely a 3 day event. We expect it to be a highly social atmosphere.

Aziscoos Valley Camping Area / Rt. 16 / Wilson Mills, Maine
Mr. & Mrs. Norman Littlehale tele 207-486-3271

1985 rates $2.50/night/person includes:

  • an armload of wood
  • hot showers
  • clean facilities
  • electrical outlets
  • picnic tables
  • fireplace & garbage can

Ray Gonda

The Path of the Pinball: July 15, 1985

Alan Rexford and I met in Moretown at 7 pm, after a torrential rain on a hot Vermont Monday afternoon. The Mad was dry. We set out over the mountains for Bristol hoping to find more water in the New Haven River.

The New Haven wasn't much better than the Mad but we decided to run it. Thank God for plastic boats.

The put-in at the church was out of the question so we put in just above the bridge at the center of town. The run was extremely technical, and we picked our way carefully among the exposed rocks. The ledges behind Lathrop's sawmill were barely covered, and we carefully boat scouted each one to avoid vertical pins. After scraping down to the next bridge, we took out, and decided against a second run. Even plastic can only stand so much fun.

Tim Marugg

Hudson Gorge, N.Y.: July 21-22, 1985

Participants: OC2: Sam Doran & Ray Gonda
Travel: 2.5 hr drive

Sam, from East Fishkill, N.Y., who had called me to invite me to do the Lehigh Gorge in Pennsylvania was the only taker for this weekend river camping trip - I was interested in a real challenge to help prepare for the Norway/Finland trip which would begin the following week. What I judged could be fashioned into a class 2 river trip by lining where appropriate could have been so only if nearly every rapid were to be lined. The river continually becomes easier at levels lower than 4 ft. until it reaches levels somewhere in the range of 3.5-3.0 ft where it reverses behavior and begins getting mere difficult. The gage sat at 2.9 ft on this weekend. Calling it scratchy would not do justice to the river at this level. Rugged would be a better word.

At levels from 3.5 to 5.0 feet the greatest difficulties are waves and getting water in the boat. At 2.9 feet it is in essence a new river made more difficult by the need for quick powerful maneuvering among and over more rocks than can be kept track of - in generally heavy current - minus the waves that are present at higher water. The last 4 miles from the Boreas River, which I though we would have to carry, presented with only occasional wading for brief shallow spots. The overnight camp was set up just around the bend above Big Nasty. From camp short hikes were taken to a 200 foot waterfall in a box canyon and to across the river where an ascent of the deer trails among the opposite canyon wall yielded an eagles-eye downriver view of the whole of Big Nasty and also the mile-long rapid upriver. Distant mountains could be seen in all directions; in all a very satisfying experience. Especially the blueberries.

Between Blue Ledge and Staircase we saw at least 50 people, mostly early-teenagers, with small groups scattered elsewhere. We didn't have the opportunity to fish but the fishermen we encountered said it was excellent.

In summary, we lifted over one bouldery ledge about ½ mile below Indian River, ran staircase without the gear and lined big nasty. The "last mile" rapid was very difficult and we broached momentarily in the very worst drop near the ledge on river right. Semi-broaches were rather common on this trip by often being nearly unavoidable. I don't believe a solo paddler with gear would be very successful at this level unless he were (Gov. -ed.) Arnold Schwartznegger. I could be wrong. It was great training for the canoe! Our sentiments were that it was a very demanding but very gratifying experience.

Ray Gonda

Winooski River: July 21, 1985

Participants: Pat Russell, Chuck Thompson, Margaret and George McIntosh, Sharon and Brad Herrman, Phil Calloway, Phil Trent, Marion and Charlie Thompson, Al Roberts (helped with the shuttle but didn't float)

With George along we were assured a sunny day, which it was. We arrived at the put in at the Middlesex dam just in time to see the water flow from the power plant shut down (11:00am). This made the trip a little scratchy, but in the warm sun no one cared. Pat and Chuck stopped to play in the small rapid below the Rt. 2 bridge. Pat, on his first kayak run, even took a swim; who says the Winooski isn't a challenge!? The lunch stop on the ledges in the gorge provided everyone with a chance to sun, play with Pat's kayak, and swim (intentionally). Takeout was up the high bank where the river is close to the River Road a couple of miles above the Bolton Dam. (Take out just above Bolton Dam onto the construction road is possible, but if the gate by River Road is locked, which is normal on weekends, a quarter mile portage to the cars is required.)

Charlie Thompson

Dead River: July 27-28, 1985

Participants: Alan Roberts, Rich & Sherri Larsen, Charlie & Chuck Thompson, Eric & Greg Bishop, Pat Russell, Mike Fullerton, Dave Behany*, Melanie Israel*, Ray Gonda*. (* Saturday only.)

This was a durn sight better than the one two weeks before! We had water and then some. The announced release was 1300 cfs but Ed Webb felt it looked more like 1500. There was excitement for all on Saturday as Poplar Hill Falls claimed 5 out of 10 boats with one wrapped and slightly damaged. The whole day was one of rescue and be rescued with only two of the participants making it home dry. No serious problems arose though, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable day.

Sunday was even better with just about the same water level and only two swimmers, neither serious. The weather was positively McIntosh and an early start on the shuttle gave us a good run and an early start home.

Once again the Dead proved its status as the A1 summer stream in these parts.

Mike Fullerton

Rouge River: July 27-28, 1985

Participants: OC1: Chris Greene; C1: Al Plumb; K1: Jay Appleton, Anne Chetham-Strode, Tim Marugg, Al Rexford, Cindy Sprague

La Riviere Rouge flows due south approximately 120 miles to its confluence with the Ottawa River in southern Quebec. We paddled the final 5-mile section, rated class III-IV, which is pool/drop in character. Allow 4 hrs. for the drive from Burlington, and about 5 hrs. for a run. You can camp at the put-in.

The weather both days was bright and sunny, and the gauge read 12-14 inches below the line: a good level. Everyone was psyched, but admittedly nervous. Tim is very familiar with the run, and proved an apt guide (he paddled with us the first day and then moved on to the Ottawa). Our group paddled well the first day, cheering each other on through the big drops. Cindy won the snorkel award. Chris Greene was the star of the weekend, successfully paddling, ferrying, and bracing his Explorer down all the major drops without a swim on Saturday-- the crowds were impressed. But on Sunday the Mushroom managed to fill him up and he took a brief aquatic tour of the lower Washing Machine. The second day everyone was mentally fatigued and did not paddle as well - something to keep in mind.

The Rouge is a challenging big water run at summer levels. We all learned a lot. Waves 4 ft. high are common, and there are some nasty holes. Spills are to be expected, and a guide is necessary for a safe first run. There is a sizable portage around the spectacular 7 Sisters waterfalls. The river is also notable for the breathtaking fauna basking in the warm summer sun.

Jay Appleton

The Rouge: July 28, 1985

Participants: Anne Chetham-Strode, Chris Greene, Tim Marugg, Alan Plum, Alan Rexford, Chris Spicer, Cindy Sprague

Chris Greene made the first upright run through Elizabeth's Ledge in an open canoe. Or so the raft guides told us, after they had watched in amazement. Cindy Sprague took a nasty swim, starting in the class 4 above the washing machine. I attempted to rescue her, but could not hold a ferry in the current with her hanging onto my grabloop. She let go for the washing machine, and was rescued by a throw line from shore. Anne also swam through the washing machine, and Chris Spicer rescued her boat from the next rapid downstream.

After the portage, Anne was not feeling well, and requested a non-stop escort to the take-out. That was a small sacrifice for an otherwise perfect trip.

I'd like to recommend that all of the kayakers in the club use a rescue belt like the one Anne and I have started using. It is a nylon-webbing belt with some form of quick release, and has a carabiner attached with about ten feet of thin line. The carabiner can be clipped onto the grab loop of a canoe or kayak for towing, or can be used as a handhold by a swimmer. The key advantages are that you can maintain your ferry angle, and you won't rip a swimmer's fingers off if you go through a hole. If you get in trouble, you get rid of the whole thing with the quick release on the belt. I carry a knife, for insurance.

Tim Marugg

Stillwater Reservoir, N.Y.: August 24-25, 1985

Participants: OC3: Joann & Terry & Jonathan Ranney, John, Julie & Eric Schroeder OC2: Mary Lavigne & Ray Gonda
Travel: 4 hr. drive

This trip had rain. It started raining Saturday morning, just before we put in and continued to rain day and evening. We set up camp in the rain, ate in the rain and paddled in the rain. We willed, nonetheless, that we would enjoy the outing. The ducks which climbed the sand bank to beg for a handout on several occasions at the campsite helped divert our attention to more pleasant thoughts. Much time was spent around a campfire cooking and eating, actually a rather cozy and enjoyable experience. But to spite us it rained Saturday night. It rained Sunday morning when we broke camp and headed back to the cars where we ate breakfast on tables under a roof with tarps set up for windbreaks. Then it stopped raining. The subsequent visit to the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake proved to be an unanticipated delight.

This was the first and only trip for the Schroeder family who are relatively new to the area and to the club. I hope we see them again - they are nice folks with a positive attitude. The Ranneys are wilderness paddlers from Richmond who would like to locate other family groups to share trips with.

Ray Gonda

St. Regis Area: August 3-4, 1985

Participants: Bob, Alice & Tim Durkin, Bill & Jason Gerlack & Tom White (guest), and Patches, Collie Chambers, Mike Armstrong, Hoopie Lanpher, Mike Fullerton.

This was a great overnighter blessed with perfect weather. We put in at Little Clear Pond and portaged to St. Regis Pond where we camped on the central island. We enjoyed a warm evening with loon concerts and a display of meteors. Various person(s) went off on their own for exploratory trips seeing everything from chipmunks to vultures.

Future trip leaders should note that a camping permit is needed in this area for any group of 10 or more. There is no charge and advanced arrangements can be made by writing or calling J.R. Rupp, Forest Ranger, RD#1, Saranac Lake, NY 12983, 518-891-0255. He's a thoroughly nice guy, but you gotta have that permit. Groups of fewer than 10 don't need to worry.

Mike Fullerton

Lake Lila, N.Y.: August 22, 1985

Participants: Ray Gonda & Mary Lavigne
Travel: 3 hr. drive

Access to this 7000 acre designated wilderness area on the Beaver River is controlled by virtue of a 6-mile long dirt road with a limited size parking lot at its end. This road and the land along it belong to the Harry Webb family, kin to the Webb family of Shelburne Farms. Also the number of available campsites is limited and camping elsewhere is prohibited. The outlet of this lake reaches Stillwater Reservoir in just a few miles but the entrance to these separate lakes is miles apart. The Beaver River link is private property, still belonging to the Bostwich branch of the Webb family.

The lake is several miles long with beautiful islands. Its shores offer sand beaches, granite ledges and wooded tableland with some marshland at the inlet. The grand and huge Nehasane Lodge, which stood on its banks, was torn down to aid the area to return to its natural state; one month after our first trip there it was gone. Many of its adornments now reside in a cabin at the Shelburne Museum. Wildlife along the lake is abundant. I've seen whitetail deer, beavers and otters. Always there are the loons. A beaver almost upset our canoe as we paddled some distance up the inlet stream during our first trip there. (No it wasn't a rabbit!)

A brief hike to several of the bluffs surrounding the lake offer interesting scrambling and superb views of the lake, bluffs and forests which surround this priceless jewel of the Adirondacks. A complete write-up of the area including details of the purchase of it from the Webb family is contained in the Sept/Oct 1979 issue of Adirondack Life.

Ray Gonda

Green River Reservoir, Vt. : September 9, 1985

Participants: (OC1): Charlie Ryan (OC2): Mary Lavigne & Ray Gonda
Travel: 1 hr. drive

Our companion for this trip was Charlie who is an adventurous outdoorsman who spends time with his large sailboat exploring distant lakes or skiing the headwall of Tuckerman's Ravine at Mt. Washington. What started out to be a cloudy, windy day soon turned into one of the finer days of the season. The views to the northwest toward Jay peak revealed mountains mottled with dark shadows of clouds intermingled with the brilliant golds and reds of the birches under a crisp blue sky sprinkled with white puffy clouds. Wildlife included black ducks, great blue herons, loons and goldeneyes. After exploring several inlet streams along the way to the extreme of the northwest arm of the lake we sailed much of the way back, paddles in the air.

Finally we explored a ledgy island with several campsites on it. The water around it was clear and full of aquatic life like crayfish. After catching a few of these, then skipping some rocks out across the water, we paddled & sailed back toward the car. The final ½ mile was a constant struggle with a powerful headwind and lots of waves. A great way to spend a day.

Ray Gonda

Lamoille River: September 29, 1985

Participants: Chuck Thompson, Margaret and George McIntosh, Sharon and Brad Herrman, Phril Galloway, Phil Trent, Marion and Charlie Thompson

Another lovely day (Thanks, George). Although it was too early for the peak of the foliage season, we found nice color here and there along the riverbanks and adjacent hills. Put in was at Johnson below the falls and take out was a couple of miles below Ithiel Falls on the River Road. Ithiel Falls provided a bit of excitement on an otherwise "flatwater" trip. After considerable scouting, Phril chose to walk around while Phil floated through solo like an old pro. Brad and Sharon made a second run while Chuck ably demonstrated the wave surfing capabilities of the Delta 1. Lunch on the gravel bar just below the falls gave time for relaxation in the sun and the usual demonstrations of rock skipping before following the final meandering section of the Lamoille to the take out. I won't mention Phil's and Phril's demonstration of the "Bow-High-Up-Bank-With-Partner-Still-In-Stern" take out technique.

Charlie Thompson

West River: October 5-6, 1985

Participants: (Apologies to any who are not listed) Sheri and Rich Larsen, Al Roberts, Cathy Chamberlain, Sharon Breed, Charlie Thompson, Pat Russell, Sharon and Brad Herrman, Len Carpenter, Bill and Jason Gerlack, Peter Alden, Mike Fullerton, Chris Green, Al Rexford, Greg Johnson, Pat Ezekiel, Kathy McGrath, Jay Appelton, Dave Behaney, Melanie Israel, Cindy Sprague, George Terwilliger, Lene Gridrod, Bob and Marvie Campbell, Dick Allen, Artie Allen, Renee Mercaldo, and Rick Davis and Anne Chetham-Strode on their way to North Carolina.

The West River weekend is more of a collection of mini-trips rather than a single club trip. Accommodations are at multiple sites, and the on-river trips are an ever-changing mix of boats on the upper and lower rivers. This year's main canoe group camped outside the park at Winhall Brook Campground, but a number of kayakers did stay at one of the park lean-tos. The fall release was at a good level, 7.1 to 7.2 feet, or around 1600 cfs. The weather was generally overcast, and Saturday noon had the added treat of a downpour of rain. The resulting runoff caused class III whitewater in the parking lot. The lines for the upper shuttle were long at times on Saturday, but at least the recently instituted crowd control kept the violence down. The lower river take out on Route 100 remained closed, with the left shore one mile downstream now being used. On the river, the lower part was fun, with no one getting trashed; the upper part provided its usual excitement, with a few swimmers testing the water at the dumplings. Some of the more fearless kayakers (Rexford, Appelton, Johnson) allegedly eddied behind the pillow rock in the dumplings, but this was not observed by this author.

Rich Larsen

Ocoee & Nantalala Rivers: October 7+++, 1985

Participants: Anne Chetham-Strode, Rick Davis, Alan Roberts, Bob Schumacher, Dick Trudell, Mike Fullerton (in spirit only)

Rick and Anne arrived at the Nantahala Outdoor Center on the evening of October 7 and spent several days hiking while awaiting the arrival of the rest of the crew. Bob and Dick wheeled in after a marathon drive on Wednesday. The Ocoee River, which usually runs only on weekends in the fall, was up, so the cruisers assaulted it and were assaulted in turn on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. On their return to N.O.C. Saturday afternoon, they saw a familiar figure in an unfamiliar setting: Al Roberts on a mountain bike on the shores of the Nantahala River.

Sunday was spent on the Ocoee, Bob and Al in open canoes and the others in kayaks along with literally thousands of other people in (and out of) kayaks, canoes, and rafts.

Monday and Tuesday were spent on the Nantahala highlighted by the Club president running Nantahala Falls in reverse. Wednesday was a sort of rest day. Rick and Anne left on Thursday, while the others paddled a section of the Nantahala usually covered by Fontana Lake, now a nice Class II-III stretch exposed by the summer's drought.

Then everyone left for home by various routes.

The trip was great fun, especially because the Ocoee was running for so much of the time. Water levels in naturally flowing rivers were very low, so only dam-controlled rivers could be paddled. Weather was terrible: only one short shower during the day, never colder than 65-70 degrees and often in the low eighties. Miserable. Trip members often thought of New England fall as they took off another layer and basked in the sun.

Next year? Well, yeah, I suppose we MIGHT do it again.

Rick Davis

Canadian Missisquoi River: October 12, 1985

Participants: 0C2: Bill Schulltheis & Sally Blondo, Ray Gonda & Mary Lavigne
Travel: 2.5 hr. drive

Mary and I went prepared to stay the weekend on the river but quickly and easily accommodated ourselves to the constraints governing Bill & Sally's time -- a day trip. It's not that they weren't hardy enough for fall camping; in fact, they planned to spend 3 weeks in late Oct. and Nov. living deep in the Adirondack wilderness hunting deer far from any road or building. To do this would entail travel by canoe and living in a tent for the duration. An enviable undertaking!

This trip was typical of most of my previous trips this season in being a mix of fair and outstanding weather and skies. A visit to Grand Falls preceded a search for a put-in. After several false starts, a put in on the south side of the river under the railroad bridge proved to be reasonable, but ropes are needed for the steep embankment. The river was typified by abundant wildlife along its pathway north. The first 1/3 river meandered pleasantly and endlessly with good current. It was narrow and intimate. Then to Glen Sutton it was flat and considerably wider.

We surprised a band of Canadian geese at a bend in the river and floated to within 30 feet of them before they unexcitedly lumbered off the water and into the air. The Canadian extension of the Green Mountains was wearing its final gold and red mantle for the season. Muskrats, beavers, squirrels, goldeneyes, scoters, and a hawk provided our entertainment for this trip; oh yes, and the band of horses.

The put-in is in North Troy and our take-out was in the Canadian village of Glen Sutton. This was about 5 river hours. Another ½ hour would have brought us to the takeout on the U.S. side of the border. Be sure to check in at both the Canadian customs where the river enters Canada, and with the U.S. customs where it re-enters Vermont, before proceeding with the trip and tell them what you are doing. You will need identification.

Ray Gonda

Lower Lamoille: November 9, 1985

Participants: Anne Chetham-Strode, Chuck Thompson, Pat Russell, George & Margaret McIntosh.

The recent rains had brought the level up to over 7 feet so a few of us made last minute plans for a trip. Although overcast, the day was reasonably good, with the temperature about 35 degrees. We started amid comments like: "it feels colder here than in town."

The "Polar Paddlers' Swim Team" claimed its first member about half a mile from the start when his paddle was grabbed by a rock. We noticed some snow flurries about the same time. The remainder of the trip was uneventful, but cold.

George McIntosh

Summer Roll Sessions - Indian Brook Reservoir: Tues. evenings, summer 1985

In the wilds of Essex Town, at the end of a short class IV road, was the site of a lot of splashing and laughing this past summer.

Every Tuesday evening, a group of cruisers got together after work to practice their eskimo rolls and to socialize. The meetings were not limited to kayaks as several canoes were usually present. (Very few rolled although a few tried).

Averaging about ten, the group varied in size from 4 or 5 to about 15, with a mixture of beginners and experienced paddlers. Those of us who were regulars felt we had improved our rolls, and those who were there occasionally had an opportunity to practice their rolls under the watchful eyes of more experienced rollers and with a friendly kayak bow within reach, ready to provide an eskimo rescue.

Following the sessions, many of us usually retired to Zachary's for pizza and an opportunity to "discuss" our achievements, (or drown our sorrows). At the end of the summer season, when the nights were getting cold and short, the Larsens invited all who were present to a barbecue at their home. A fine ending for a summer of very enjoyable dinner rolls.

Indian Brook Reservoir is a beautiful, unspoiled, man-made lake about a mile long, only a few minutes away from downtown Essex Junction. At this time, a private group, 'Friends of Indian Brook Reservoir', is trying to convince the Town of Essex to purchase the reservoir from its present owners, a group of developers, for recreational purposes. Many of the Cruisers attended an open house last fall to help promote this endeavor.

This coming summer we hope to continue the roll sessions with even greater participation. Who knows, maybe even I will develop a dependable roll! For information contact George or Margaret McIntosh, or Rich Larsen.

George McIntosh

1986 Whitewater Schedule

Date Trip Leader Telephone Comment
Mar 29
Leader's Choice Jay Appleton 879-6079
Mar 30
Open (contact w/w Chairman)   899-4129 Easter Sunday
Apr 5
Open Boat River Training Mike Fullerton 456-8701
Apr 6
Intermediate River Al Stirt 933-2125
Apr 6
Closed Boat River Training Anne Chetham-Strode 658-9361
Apr 12
Lower Lamoille Ray Gonda 862-6164
Apr 13
Intermediate River Mike Fullerton 456-8701
Apr 19
Intermediate River Charlie Thompson 878-2536
Apr 20
White River George McIntosh 879-6076
Apr 26-27
Ammonoosuc River, NH Peter Alden 863-6585
Apr 26
Local River George McIntosh 879-6076
May 3-4
Sacandaga River NY Al Roberts 899-4129
May 10-11
West River Release Rich Larsen 879-6828 Mother's Day W/E
May 17-18
New York Rivers Mike Fullerton 456-8701
May 24-25
Hudson River NY Al Roberts 899-4129 Memorial Day W/E
May 31-Jun 1
Hudson River NY Ray Gonda 862-6164
Jun 21-22
Androscoggin River NH T.B.D.








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