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(Not) Joe's Brook

Sunday Apr 11, 2010
Kayak: Eric Carpenter, Jim Fecteau, Jamie Dolan, Pete May
Open Canoe: Tony Shaw
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: low boatable
Gauge (ft): 4.35
Gauge (cfs): 375
Author: Tony

A.J. traveled down Rt. 5 from East Burke to East Barnet early Sunday morning to get a visual on Joe's Brook, which was "just a trickle". Plan B options included the Mettawee, the Poultney, and the New Haven Ledges. None of these appealed to A.J., but we agreed we'd run Joe's together - one way or the other - before the end of April. Moving on, I made the call on the message board to meet up in Bristol at 11 am to run the ever-popular NH Ledges.

After gearing up at the take-out, we pulled over on the way up to the put-in to examine the best route around the "pin rock" above Play Pen. It was good timing, for us, as another group of boaters was in the middle of a real-life rescue of a kayaker vertically pinned in that exact spot. Noone was hurt, but I wish I had taken a couple of pictures to make others aware of this hazard at low water.

The water was sparkling in the sunshine, and the level held steady at ~375 CFS all day - low and technical but definitely boatable. It got above 50 degrees, tempered by a strong/chilly west wind once you were all wet. There were swims at Lost Legs and the Play Pen, but in each case a rope was tossed to keep the swims short. I impressed a father/son spectating at Toaster by attempting it in an open canoe, and moreover hitting the boof/tongue perfectly and landing upright (and virtually dry) in the pile at the bottom - my first completely clean and upright run of Toaster!

I will post a few Paddle Pix for the day.

As kayakers go, Jim, Jamie, Eric, and Pete are good eggs. I'd paddle again with them...any time ;o)

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