The Vermont Paddlers Club

Meet new friends, and paddle better!

Malbaie/Penobscot

Thursday-Tuesday Aug 11-16, 2005
Participants:
Kayak: Preston Hartman, Rick Cooley
C1: Alden Bird
Organizer: Alden Bird
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: medium
Gauge (cfs): 3300 (Peno
Author: Alden Bird

"If it hadn't been for that, this would have been all too routine," I kept thinking. Our trip began with the long drive to Maine, followed by a quick run down the Kennebec, which was notable for Preston's surfing every single wave but one, and for our mutual failed attempts to attain a decent surf from Big Momma.

That night we met up with a friend and were treated to a huge dinner by her family and a party that carried well on into a night that became gradually more intoxicated and less memorable (in the sense of an inability to recall it) for all its participants.

Next day we made our way to the Penobscot and ran into some creeking friends from CT. We then ran the Rip Gorge/Cribworks section twice in its entirety, including about four runs each of the Cribworks itself. Indeed the river was at a nice, full level of 3,300 cfs which made for big water much like our home river, the Potomac.

That night we drove to Quebec, passing several moose on the way, learning French from pairing it to familiar things, and meeting up with Cooley at 1 am. From there we drove down an "endless" (in Cooley's words) dirt road into the deep wilderness and finally made camp at 2am "right on schedule" (in my words).

The next day we got completely lost trying to find the shuttle road and had to enlist the in-broken-English help of local man Girard (in all truth we didn't learn his name, but we fashioned one for him from the rags of familiar Quebec ones). Either way, we found our way down the terrifying take out road, left a car, and made the difficult 45 minute hike into the river. After running several good rapids, we came to the 30-foot waterfall. "Alden, you have just redeemed yourself!" was spoken at least several times, and also, "I no longer hate you as much, dude." We all fired it up and took multiple runs and got some good video. From there we ran the rest of this splendid river, and even managed to find the take out, though it caused me untold worry which I will describe at a later date to all who are backed into a corner when I approach.

We made camp and the next day ran the river again, though only the top 3.5 miles. It was a beautiful day in this faraway place deep in the Laurentians. The warm breeze blew down the canyon and dried us each time we rose from our boats and got out on the red slabs to scout or take photos. At the end of the day I was happy to find myself in the back seat of Rick's car, white cheddar cheese-its in hand, headed to camp.

After that, I ran out of gas just as we got back on the paved roads (there had been much worry of this previously . . . ) We tried to siphon gas with a homemade technique, and it nearly worked. Unfortunately all that happened was that Preston and I sucked in a lot of gasoline fumes through our hose and nothing else. Rick and I sped down 55 km to civilization, got some gas, and returned an hour later to fill up the tank.

From there we parted with Cooley and returned to Maine, where we made more runs down the Penobscot, fell asleep in public several times at the restaurant due to advanced fatigue, had a moose saunter through our camp, and even managed to eat fresh moose burgers (actually that was while in Quebec, and is also another story . . . ) After that, we retreated to Connecticut, and then finally back to the reailty of Bethesda, MD and Arlington, VA for Alden and Preston, respectively. I hope the pictures can tell the tale better than I.

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

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

Page Views: Link CheckerValid XHTML 1.0Valid CSS
© 1996-2021 The Vermont Paddlers Club
Report a Bug
The 'My Favorites' list uses cookies...
Add this page to 'My Favorites' Remove this page from 'My Favorites' Trip Reports Message Boards Site Map
Current PHP version: 7.4.8