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Chasing water for a Pre-Mother's Day Paddle

Saturday May 9, 2009
Kayak: Eric, Jamie, Chris, Ryan
Open Canoe: Tony
Organizer: Ryan
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: low boatable
Gauge (cfs): 650
Author: Ryan

Hind site is 20/20....

So today was a beautiful day - the day before Mother's Day and a great day to get in a paddle. The problem was we really had to work to find our water. The scheduled trip on the Gihon was moved to the Mill River for the Gorge(s) section because it channelizes the water so well that it is fluid at a multitude of levels.

So a quick meet and greet at Dennys in Rutland and we were off on our way south on Route 7. Tony, Chris, Jamie, Eric and I estimate we put on the water around11:30 and headed down river to much fanfare and spectators on the swinging bridge. With the low water levels hitting your line was even more important due to the FU rocks in the first drop. One of our group tested the "stay on your line" theory and let us know that the left side of the drop was a little less enjoyable than the right side and ensued in a swim, a boat rescue, a live bait log removal and some rattled nerves. Once said party member got it together off we went through the upper gorge in an almost rhythmic approach. I was getting a total kick out of watching Tony maneuver his canoe around all of these drops with such ease.

Through the upper gorge and out into the flats we picked our way through the tedious shallow class I-II waters until the Mill Drop. All that ran it ran it with their own mark on the last part...more bump and scrape to the portage into the lower gorge. This was the hardest part of the day - If you have never seen the put in you should and then see a crew of guys working like a team getting the boats to the water including a 13 foot canoe down in there too.

The Lower gorge was a lot of fun. The drops were relatively clean sans the one where you go left around a boulder and slam into another boulder as you drop in. The last drop of the run I wish I had gotten my camera ready because everyone was grinning ear to ear as they boofed off of the ledge and into the left wall pillow.

It was a good day to be in the gorges - All present had a great time!

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