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Trip Reports

Find trips reports from 2001 and prior in the Bow & Stern Archive
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New Haven Ledges Sunday Mar 28, 2021
Upper Saco R. (NH) Saturday Apr 10, 2021
The Ledges Saturday Apr 17, 2021
The (Friendly) Wells River Saturday Apr 24, 2021
2021 Class II Clinic Saturday-Sunday Jul 10-11, 2021
Patterson / Bingo / Patterson Sunday Jul 18, 2021
Ottawa River Friday-Monday Sep 3-6, 2021
Warner River (NH) Friday Sep 3, 2021
Shepard Brook - Trick or Treat? Sunday Oct 31, 2021
Joe's Brook - 100 Foot Fever Monday Nov 1, 2021


New Haven Ledges
Sunday Mar 28, 2021
Organizer: Jamie
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: medium low
Author: Jamie

I was thinking of heading out for a lap or two on the ledges but it was kind of raw out, and I'm a wuss. So I was probably going to sit this one out anyway. But Wilbur called on his way over. Sure enough when we got there we we saw three others on the river and one more waiting on his friend to show up.  The river is at a low runnable level that many people don't like due to the FU rocks. Me, I like it lower as it's not as pushy, reactions times don't need to be as fast and there are really no holes to speak of. 

We did put in at the park and were making our way down cleanly (well, Wilbur didn't like the boulder garden section). I've never really sussed out Secret C but rarely get flipped in it. Today went exceptionally smooth as I got the boof off the center flake and landed nicely in the fluff. Coming through the ledges I did get turned slightly sideways entering the first ledge. Fortunately, I was pretty far right and muscled out easily.  Oh By the Way has changed because of the rock falls. River right is still a go but no longer a straight shot. Still, for me, preferable to the Schott slot. Onto Rooster Tail where we came upon the three ahead of us. One sitting in an eddy at the top of the slide and the other two below the boat circulating in the eddy at the bottom.  Wilbur retrieved the errant boat and we were back on our way. We continued on without issue. The entrance to Hipshot seems to have changed just a bit, pushing you a bit more up on the river right rock. Just need to keep the boat angle good and it's alright. 

Wilbur was on a child care time table so we ran the boats up to the lower put in. I was good with one clean run on this rather windy rainy day. Wilbur, without me slowing him, can do a lap in 10 minutes, so he would still have time to get back for child care duties. We ran his truck back down and returned to find his boat floating down the river. The wind blew it and it made its way through the trees. Fortunately, the paddles (which were in his boat) both managed to fall out just at river's edge. His boat was retrieved, albeit with some effort, between Secret C and the S turn. It was a little worse for wear but Wilbur decided to finish the lap regardless. 

Overall another good day.

Upper Saco R. (NH)
Saturday Apr 10, 2021
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: medium low
Author: Tony Shaw

By Easter, April 4th, the snow at the Mt Mansfield stake was barely half as deep as normal for the date, and our prospects for a rollicking month of mud season boating were looking dimmer by the day. Thankfully we had been out on the Lower New Haven and Lower Mad a few times already, so the whitewater season wasn't going to be a total bust. The forecast for the week ahead included several days in a row of 70+ degrees and sunshine, which ordinarily would bring a bunch of VT rivers up in early April to prime levels. This year, no such luck. So I started looking east, where New Hampshire's colder/higher White Mountain snowpack lingers longer into the spring.

A relatively new USGS real-time gauge on the Upper Saco in Bartlett NH gives a good idea of what's happening with runoff in the Whites, broadly speaking. With fingers crossed, online, I watched the Upper Saco flow climb on subsequent days from ~320cfs (5pm Wednesday) to ~450cfs (5pm Thursday) to ~600cfs (5pm Friday), leaving me confident we'd be above the (AW) minimum recommended 650cfs for our planned run on Saturday. In actuality by 5pm Saturday the flow was closer to ~750cfs - a still low but very boatable level.

On the drive home Eric commented on the water quality as well as the unspoiled natural setting/valley, both of which make the Upper Saco special. Lots of tourists were out sightseeing up and down US302 from Bartlett to Crawford Notch, and the roadside waterfalls (Flume Brook and Silver Cascade, among them) were truly spectacular. My favorite (pretty) spot on the river was the confluence with the Sawyer River, where a friendly couple wearing bathing suits stood on the gravel bar with their son and their dog. I bet the lovely swimming hole there is PACKED on a sunny July afternoon!

Earlier in the day, actually about 1/4 mile into the run, at "the gorge", another young couple of river-loving sightseers provided Paul with the wherewithal to pry a broached kayak off a rock in the middle of the river. Their assistance came in the form of a thick/long/dead tree limb they tossed into the river and floated downstream to the rock where Paul was perched (and the kayak was pinned). Between back-to-back swims in the gorge and the broached kayak/rescue, we gave that couple something to tell their family and friends over dinner Saturday night! In hindsight we coulda/shoulda stationed someone with a throw bag at the top of the gorge, as a precaution.

The rapids immediately below the gorge were class II at this level, not III-IV as advertised on the AW website, with barely enough water in some places. The farther down we went the more channelized the river seemed to become (and also it helped that the level was rising). There are a few bouldery rapids and bedrock ledges along the way that would perhaps rise to a III-IV rating in higher water, but today really III at most. By the time we reached our Sawyer Rock takeout - where the river returns to US302 for the first time - everyone seemed satisfied that we had been on the river long enough, so we did not go all the way to the River St./Bartlett take-out AW recommends, and we forewent a contemplated second lap.

In all, nice river, nice level, nice folks, nice day.

The Ledges
Saturday Apr 17, 2021
Organizer: Jamie Dolan
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: low boatable

With the encouragement of Jamie Dolan, two newbies (Ryan Konopinski and myself) headed to The Ledges takeout to make our first decent. The previous night had seen snow in the mountains and rain in the valley. Temps were in the low 40’s and the flow was very low. We met Nathaniel from NH who had skinned up Mad River in the morning and joined us for the run. We started suiting up and began to wonder where Jamie was but soon he appeared from the river below having completed a solo run. We shuttled the boats up and then walked the entire run with Jamie as he described each rapid in reverse order all the way to the put in.

There were quite a few FU Rocks to accept new plastic as we worked our way down through the Boulder Garden. To be perfectly honest, my paddling showed my nervousness with hesitant strokes which resulted in a few “alternative” lines, rock broaches and a backwards slot run. Next time I will just remember to just paddle hard and lean forward!

As I find with new rivers, most of the run seemed like a blur. At Jamie’s suggestion we walked Schott slot and we were at Rooster Tail before I knew it. Everyone managed it quite well. Next was the horizon line indicating Toaster. Again, all good but I got flipped in the turmoil after. 

Ryan and Nathanial liked All American Boof/Squared Off so much they ran it again.

All in all, a very pleasant (if not anxious) first run with no swimmers and a limited number of rolls. Being led by someone who has run this section 100 times or more sure helped! Ryan and I shared a few stories and the elation of having our first decent behind us with many more to come!

The (Friendly) Wells River
Saturday Apr 24, 2021
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: low boatable
Author: Tony Shaw

While we wait for a wet week to bring up Joe's Brook, it's always good out with Jamie D. and Jim P. – no matter what trail, woods, or river. But the Wells “ledges” section is mighty beautiful, and friendly at exactly 200 cfs on a 60+ sunny April afternoon, and – BONUS - before the bugs are out!

We met at the crack of noon, did 2 laps together, then I stuck around for a 3rd lap when Ryan K. showed up (with his boat). Between the 4 of us we evinced several aerobatic moves at the waterfall auto-boof - on river right - the likes of which I'd never seen before, but none (thankfully) that required a swim, or first aid kit!

I'd like to think the VPC could pull off another Creeking Clinic on the Wells post-COVID, like the one we hosted in 2012.

2021 Class II Clinic
Saturday-Sunday Jul 10-11, 2021
Organizer: Paul Carlile
Difficulty: nov-int WW
Level: medium
Author: Paul Carlile

The 2021 Class II clinic was scheduled as usual for the Deerfield River. You know the saying, "when it rains it pours" and after a very dry summer Tropical Storm Elsa dumped a few inches on southern VT resulting in flows on 7/10 of 5000cfs over 4x the normal release washing out most of the rapids and turning Zoar Gap into a Class IV. Luckily Otter Creek was running at a nice level so we rescheduled to there. Saturday it was flowing around 950cfs and it was beautiful sunny day. Below the Belden Falls Dam the group worked on ferries, peel outs and eddy turns. We had one swimmer  and a near miss or two in the very turbulent waters of the gorge. There was quite a group the river left rock below the gorge who were entertained by the aftermath although they couldn't see the action. More peel-outs a the bottom of the next rapid. The surf wave below the campground was in enough to give the group a good introduction to surfing. On the mile flatwater we were treated to 3 Ospreys and 2 beavers. On the second run we caught a lot more eddies working to get as much out of the run as possible. This lap we got a fly over by a bald eagle next to the campground.

We'd hoped to do a low water Lower Mad run on Sunday but were disappointed that it had dropped too far. Back to Otter Creek, this time at 750cfs. Sunday we were joined by Molly B and Jess R. More work on fundamentals then on down the river. This time we had a 100% success rate at the gorge. We noted that water was maybe even more turbulent but the waves not as big. We stopped at the now vacant sunning rock to talk about safety. We did some rope practice and the took turns jumping in and throwing to "rescue". Sunday the surf wave was smaller but still enough to do a little practice. After a full weekend and a long run due to the safety lesson the crew decided to call it after one run.

All of the students did great and are ready for more. Praying for more rain and the chance to paddle together soon.

Patterson / Bingo / Patterson
Sunday Jul 18, 2021
Organizer: Loose
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium
Author: Jamie

Chris Weed's forecast of wet weather held true to form. Yes indeed the rain had arrived and was continuing to fall. After a couple of spot checks on close local rivers we decided on the Patterson. Though the gauges weren't indicating a good level for the Patterson, the two visuals said otherwise and it was raining. The assembled crew had a total of four laps total on the river until Noah showed up. He has a good feel for the river. My last and only run on it was 2013 (I remembered practically nothing). But the gauge rock indicated a low level and we all felt pretty good. Given the large size of our group (eight, the Tony was a no show due to a bridge out (due to construction)), we split into two groups. Allie is a very strong kayaker and Noah is not only strong but knows the river. So Allie in one group and Noah in the other.

Jim P., Ryan K, Allie and I started out first.  Though I didn't know the river I was in the lead for the most part.  IT really is read and run and we never had to get out of our boats. The wood that was in play was easy enough to see in advance and avoid (well, at least for the most part).  The river has basically two significant rapids and a whole mess of curling waves that have a nasty habit of turning into holes. And more ledges than you can shake a stick at.  The opening section started out at a nice easy pace which gradually changed to the small ledges, curling waves and ever more sticky holes. Just prior to the incoming waterfall, on river right, we had our first swim.  This apparently was followed by two more in the other group. All equipment was retrieved and no injuries (well there is that pride thing). After the waterfall there are two significant rapids, well, that is to say they caught my attention.  The first was a bit trickier. There was wood extending about 2/3 across the river leaving the choice down some what limited. Going over the lip it is a bit of a cacophony that follows. Fortunately it isn't too long and if you could stay upright it was kind of fun (which, yes, is often the case). This rapid is quickly followed by a similar drop in length and height but not quite the maelstrom.  Whew!

When we got off the level, based on the gauge rock, went from low to medium (or for my ego sake medium +).  Given that 3 of eight swam, the group think was to go on to easier pastures. Noah stayed and did another lap with others who had shown up. Most of us went onto Bingo Brook.

Bingo is similar in character to Patterson. Maybe a little narrower and a bit less gradient. Based on nothing but opinion it felt like a low medium level to me. It turned out we had five going down Bingo. No one ran the pinch at the top (Ryan thought hard on it though). And while we did encounter wood it was pretty much easy to avoid (pretty much but not entirely). Again we had lots of small (2 -4 ft) drops and slides with mildly retentive holes here and there. Again, everything was read and run. Again, we had one more swimmer but I think he was just getting out of his boat as he was done for the day anyway. It's rare to get on Bingo for me and this was a special treat at a good level.

And then there were three.  Ryan convinced the Tony to at least look at Patterson again for a possible cap to the day. Me, I was going home a different way until FOMO happened. When I met them at the take out I was like, oh it's better to run with three then two, yadayadayada, yeah right! This time the river was about the same level (at the gauge rock) that we started at on the first run. But this time things were dropping, not going up. What a dramatically different run. This wasn't actual bone zone but it was getting there. From a very stout flow on the first run to this easy III run, it was a relaxing end to the day.  The two significant rapids after the waterfall were vastly different in feel. The wood did come into play at one point which was well, dicey, scary, not fun. But I extracted myself and using magical thinking (it certainly wasn't skill) somehow managed to not go over.  

A good day with a good crew.


Ottawa River
Friday-Monday Sep 3-6, 2021
Organizer: Jim Poulin
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: medium low
Author: James Poulin

Ottawa River 2021 – COVID 19 Version

September 3 – 6, 2021

This year was made more interesting in that the Canadian border had just opened in early August for fully vaccinated U.S. citizens. The trick, as I saw it, was to find a testing facility that could turn around a COVID test in less than 72 hours. This is important that the Canadian government needed a negative COVID test within 72 hours of entering Canada. The timing seemed to be getting the test on Tuesday afternoon and getting the results so you could enter Canada on Friday afternoon. Even so, we still had three participants drop out because they did not get their test results back in time. Who knows what next year will bring!

Friday, September 3

Level: -3.5

Weather: sunny and in the 70’s

Afternoon Run

A few of the early arrivers opted for a McCoy park and play over a full run down the Middle as it was around 4:30 and we were running out of time. For this run we had Paul, Sue, Mark and Jim.

We observed the McCoy Island damage from the recent tornado that touched down there in late July. The damage was excessive. Trees down all over the place. Even with strategic chain saw work, the normal path had to be altered to walk down for the scout / portage. The Zoom Flume sneak route was choked with wood and was not even an option.

We had an uneventful run of McCoys – doing the usual “thread the needle” line. The group played around below the Horseshoes for about an hour and got our big water legs under us again. At this level Baby Face was much more hole than wave and was giving more poundings than rides. The sun was getting low in the sky and there wasn’t another paddler to be found. A very relaxing start to the weekend! We paddled back to the put in using the exit from below McCoys on river right.

The group relaxed over dinner and adult beverages. Late arrivers started trickling in around 7:00 and later.

Saturday, September 4

Level -3.5

Weather: sunny and in the 70’s

Morning Run

With all 7 paddlers assembled we opted for a Middle run to get everyone on the water. This included a run through McCoys. Sue and Molly used the paddle to the bottom of McCoys rather than walk through the lumber yard that is now McCoys’ Island. They arrived at a good viewing spot to see the hearty five paddlers wind our way down the rapid.

From there we worked our way down to the Middle Channel. All your favorite Middle Channel rapids were fluid, but maybe a touch lower than most had seen. Iron Ring, S-Turn, Butterfly, Garvins, Little No Name, Big No Name and Velvet Falls was the lineup. We did walk Garvins but everyone ran everything else! We did spend a little time scouting Big No Name so everyone got the line down in their mind.

Afternoon Run

For the late day run we headed for the Main. We put in at the Lorne to miss the flatwater after McCoys and to shorten the time. We had 3 paddlers on the run – Paul, Mark and Jim. At these lower levels the water seemed a bit more squirrely on the outflow but otherwise the normal lines were still the preferred route for Lorne, Butcher’s Knife, Normans and Coliseum. Garburator was not in at this level but Pushbutton was superb! We ran everything straight up (no scout) except for Coliseum, we took a quick peak to make sure we knew the line. At this level you can run Coli left or right and there is a large eddy in the middle of the rapid to stop and catch your breath (or surf the left or right V-wave, both of which were in). We finished out with Dog Leg and Blacks and headed back to the car.

Once back at camp we tucked into appetizers and tequila! We moved the normal tequila night up a day because Sunday’s weather was looking very wet. Dawn pulled together a delightful chili feed that included said chili plus kale slaw, fresh bread and oatmeal applesauce cake for dessert.

Then we set about telling tall tales of the day’s adventures all while looking at the beautiful open sky filled with stars.

It was a banner day all around and why we venture north to this wonderful whitewater playland.

Sunday, September 5

Level -3.5

Weather bonus day! Sunny skies! Supposed to rain but it never really did!

Morning Run

The Main was on the docket this morning again putting in at the Lorne to shorten the run a bit. We had 5 paddlers on this run – Paul, Chris, Mark, Ryan and Jim. Sue, Molly and Dawn walked down to the rapid to see the guys run the meat! Or at least what is the Lorne at this level.

We worked our way down though all the rapids scouting Coliseum again since Chris and Ryan had not yet seen it this year.

It was a wonderful run and we were back in camp by around 1:00 for lunch and rest and get back out for another run!

Afternoon Run

For the afternoon we had all 7 paddlers on the water for the Middle. Again, Sue and Molly paddled around from the lower McCoys takeout and the remain 5 (Paul, Chris, Mark, Ryan and Jim) ran down through McCoys. There were a few rafts and not too many paddlers as well. There were a number of boaters at camp but I think our timing was out-of-phase with everyone else and we get to enjoy a more empty river experience.

We ran down all the rapids and since this was the second time there was no scouting at Big No Name. We surfed all the big and small waves we could find and used up every ounce of energy we had. Once at the takeout it was hard to drag our boats up the bank.

Back at camp, a couple of dinner time showers did not dampen the mood and it cleared so we could sit out and enjoy the evening and recount all the day’s events.

Monday, September 6

Level -3.6

Weather: bonus day #2, supposed to be showers but was sun & clouds. Cool in the mid 60’s

Morning Run

A number of folks decided to break camp and nurse sore muscles rather than take another run. But we did have 3 hearty paddlers for a Burner Main run from Lorne – Paul, Mark and Jim.

Ryan and family went with us to the put in and watched our run through Lorne. They also shuttled our vehicle to the take out so we could proceed back to camp as quickly as possible.

The group was not teaming with energy and did not need to scout anything on this run. But we did not hammer down it either. But we shocked all back at camp when we rolled in before noon – a 90 minute run!

We finished packing and had a bite to eat but everyone was on the road by around 1:00. This is the first time in a long time where I made it home before dark!

Additional Notes

Dawn composed and performed a new song, “Over the Border”, to capture the weekend. Here is a link to the song for your enjoyment. 

There was some discussion about next year doing this trip mid-week. There are a few good reasons:

• Many of us are retired so why not?!?

• Less paddlers and rafts at all the key play spots

• We could do a Madawaska run – dam releases only during the week

• Can go to Beaver-Fest on Labor Day weekend

For the worker bees, you will need to start planning the time off now!

Tentative dates: Monday, August 22 through Thursday, August 25, 2022

Let me know your thoughts on this change!


Warner River (NH)
Friday Sep 3, 2021
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium low
Author: Tony Shaw

Brooke Sofferman, on FaceBook: "It’s peaking now at 5.5 (feet), a great first time level. It drops slow, so you may get lucky". And I'll be the first to admit, I LOVE getting lucky. So it was with great anticipation that our group of 6 headed to central NH for a summertime run on the Warner River!


T.S. Ida had left the mainland two days before, after wreaking havoc from The Big Easy to The Big Apple. The poor folks there did NOT get lucky. On its way out to sea the storm also drenched most of southern New England with local rainfall amounts on cocorahs ( ranging between 1.6 and 2.8 inches. But, sadly, Ida missed northern VT altogether.


Jamie was the only one in our group with prior Warner R. experience, but it was so long ago that he had pretty much forgotten the lines. So the AW website came in very handy, replete with gauge correlations dating back to 2003, a helmet-cam video link, and annotated photos of "Pinball", “Sluiceway”, and "The Gorge" at runnable levels. Plus Brooke warned of the one river-wide strainer above Pinball, which we were glad to know about going in.


AW "promised" 5.5 feet/540 cfs on the USGS Davisville station (12 miles downstream from The Gorge) would put us around 2 feet on the Laing Bridge Ln. painted gauge, aka medium low, and medium low it was. As custom dictates, Jamie assumed the role of 'sacrificial probe'. We made our way down rather slowly/meticulously on our first lap, getting out to scout atop any horizon line, and then 4 of us banged out a race lap after lunch in 40 minutes, to be back home by 6pm. We did not complete the entire 5.4 mile run, focusing our attention on the first ~2 miles (Melvin Mills/The Gorge). There were several swims on lap #1, none of consequence. The water was warm, the sky was blue, and the air temperature was well-nigh perfect.


It was an easy drive down I89 to NH Exit 9, and I would be happy to make this trip again with the same group (or some other group for that matter) at this level, but another 6 inches of water would make it even more worthwhile. The other sporty NH river in the neighborhood that VPC’ers should be keeping in mind is the North Br. Piscataquog, which is 7 miles long and has a not-to-be-missed annual fall drawdown dam release scheduled in mid-October. Put it on your calendar now: Saturday, October 16th, 2021.

Shepard Brook - Trick or Treat?
Sunday Oct 31, 2021
Organizer: Jamie Dolan/Tony Shaw
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: high
Author: Tony Shaw

This was the highest level any of us can remember being on Shepard Brook, and for some in our group it was their first descent on this seldom-run micro that drains the Green Mountains (Burnt Rock Mt. and Big Basin) in Fayston. We knew ahead of time there would be wood. Wood aplenty, as it turned out. And the real danger is not the paddling over/under/around the fallen trees here and there blocking the main flow (or carrying - in 2 or 3 "big" cases), but swimming a rapid containing wood (if you are unlucky enough to do so). Skill...and luck...of course are factors.

The first logjam came almost immediately below the Randell Rd. put-in (a mandatory portage). The gradient climbs to over 100 ft/mile for the first time approaching the Airport Road bridge, and after that my memory starts to blur.

I know the rain had stopped. I know there were swims in each of the steepest sections (Jamie says nothing above class 3, but jeez-Louise, at this level and given the wood I think you could say at least 4-). I remember a bunch of us scrambling around on islands and on shore contemplating and ultimately recovering boats (one boat in particular) plastered onto a submerged log and later broached on a large rock. I remember making it safely through the S-turn rapid below the Henry place (where the yellow house sits up high on river left)  where I pulled off—shaken—in the middle of my only other Shepard Brook outing in 2017.

One enduring memory will be the serious looks on everyone's faces at the take-out, relieved I imagine that we started the trip with 10 paddlers and ended with the same 10 paddlers (and 10 boats). I also won't soon forget the ~2 mile long continuous (FUN!) class 2-3 well-padded boogie water below the S-turn which brings you pretty much all the way to the take-out.

USGS gauges around the state on Halloween tell the story: single-day real-time flow in cfs climbed by factors of 8 to 20 (New Haven 150 > 3,000, Passumpsic 300 > 3,800, Mad 400 > 4,000, White 1,000 > 8,000, Winooski 1,000 > 13,000). 3 inches of rain the last week in October will do that (and also bring creekers out of the woodwork).

"Trick or Treat!"


Editor's note:  On Google Maps ('Measure distance' function) I just traced the distance from the Airport Road bridge to the take-out. I got 2¼ miles, which consists of non-stop whitewater. The section from Randell Road to Airport Road adds 1.16 miles. If you put in at the Center Fayston Road bridge the distance down to Airport Road is 2.33 miles.

Putting in at the Hedgehog Brook Trail Head on Big Basin Road adds another 1.2 miles. That section starts off with a steep Class 4 descent over a long series of ledges, and then levels out to Class 2 boogie water before Center Fayston Road. I walked it a few years ago, and there was a lot of wood to contend with.

   — Chris W.

Joe's Brook - 100 Foot Fever
Monday Nov 1, 2021
Organizer: Jamie Dolan
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium
Author: Jim Poulin

100 Foot Fever – Joe’s Brook

November 1, 2021


It all started with a significant rain event on Halloween weekend. I received 3 inches of rain in Richmond with this storm and all the local rivers were going off.

Jamie put the call out on Sunday evening about a Joe’s Brook run on Monday. Tony immediately came down with 100 Foot (per mile) Fever and called in sick for Monday. Overnight, Jim too, came down with 100 Foot Fever and the Joe’s threesome was set.

It was a lovely early November day, sunny with a high about 55 in West Danville. A bit of a breeze at the put in and take out, but not down on the river.

At the Joe’s Pond dam we found the pond level to be about 5.1 on the gauge (very hard to read) and the bladder deflated. At the put in we saw “gauge rock” with a good pillow pouring over – maybe 3 or 4 inches? This led us to declare the level a solid “medium”.

A note that VT Creeks dot com’s correlation with Sleeper’s River predicted Joe’s to be too low to run on this day. So take that into account when determining if Joe’s is a go.

Since this was higher than the normal boat scraping low levels we are used to, we put a car at the midway point – the covered bridge – and would assess if we should do the lower half after experiencing what the upper half had to offer.

The rapids were nicely padded. As Tony said, “we didn’t leave much plastic out there today”. The sun made visibility challenging at times but you really cannot complain about that! There was some wood to contend with. A couple of river wide logs we could boof over, a couple that we could sneak around and couple we needed to carry. All the wood was in spots where we clearly saw it coming and the current was not too strong. There was some wood in some of the rapids – most significantly in the big slide– that alternated the usual lines.

We walked a couple of rapids (not Jamie of course) but everything else was read and run. It was nice to see Joe’s with a little juice. Tony and Jim set safety at the big slide for Jamie’s run and while getting hung up on a few FU rocks in the middle section trying to avoid the wood filled lines, he styled it. We finished with a bit of boogie water to the covered bridge.

We scouted the covered bridge rapid with no intention of running it. It is amazing when the boat is firmly on terra firma, the lines become crystal clear!

At this point we had enough and thought the more difficult section below the covered bridge would best be saved for another (warmer?) day.

All in all a great small team on a great river in Vermont on a glorious late fall day. What more could one ask???


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