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Ammonusuc River

Sunday May 1, 2005
Kayak: Franks Well, Stewart McDonald, Norm Stanton
Open Canoe: Richard Larsen, Mike Fullerton
OC2: Laurie Wunder and Thomas Meredith
Organizer: Richard Larsen
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium
Gauge (ft): 3.9
USGS Gauge Name/Link: Bethlehem

This trip needed help from the weather gods. The river was low as of Saturday AM, at 3.1', but rain was expected Saturday PM and overnight. But, of course, we could not take too much rain. By Sunday AM, the river was at 3.9', an excellent level, but someone forgot to turn off the rain. A cold, misty rain continued all day until 3PM, and the air temperature stayed at 45 degrees most of the time. So, we had excellent flowing water, but miserable atmospheric water! One planned paddler chose not to paddle because of the rain, so we had the advantage of a 'transportation specialist' who would meet us at each road crossing. We planned to go from the big pine tree at the new parking lot west of Twin Mountain, down to the railroad beyond Alder Brook. As it turned out, we all got out after a cold 4 hours on the river. The trip we had was great, but enough was enough.

The remnants of the flood of the previous Sunday, where the river jumped from 5' to 10' in about 6 hours, provided intereting aspects to the trip. There was debris in all the alder branches 5 and 6 feet above stream level. And, the spillway at the dam was plugged by mangled trees, sending the water over the top rather than through the spillway.

At a 3.9' level, the river is really good 3+ / 4- water. Boat Breaker, Powerhouse, and a couple of other steep drops are impressive, but still quite doable in an open canoe.

Since this was the trip organizers birthday, a post-trip treat of brownies was provided by Sheri Larsen.

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