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Brown Paddle

Saturday Nov 13, 2010
Kayak: John, Chris, Ken, Peg
Organizer: John A
Difficulty: nov-int WW
Level: medium low
Gauge (ft): 2
Gauge (cfs): 1500
Author: Peg P

What a beautiful day for a paddle. Not a cloud in the sky, warm weather good friends. Too bad the water wasn't quite as warm as I thought it would be. There was one fish counter this trip and it was me. I used the excuse that I was paddling a strange boat (Paul C's Mamba), but that only went so far. The first feature we encounter was the dam. We got out to scout and John took the first run. Straight for the rooster tail, bounce off a rock and into the pool below. Easy right? I put in my boat and planned to follow John's path. NOT! I went too far to the left, got forced right, into a rock and finally ending up upside down. BRRRRR!. Ken was up next with a beautiful execution followed by Chris who nailed it. After wainting for me to empty my boat, we were on our way again. (did I mention how cold the water was?). Paddled through some fun little rapids, even though there were alot of rocks. (John thought it was fun to BOOF off rocks) Silly John. Got to a little S turn where we were supposed to go Left then Right then Left and into and eddy. (thus avoiding the big rock in the middle) Chris was clean as always, then it was Ken's turn. Left, Right, Left, oops, flip, roll, then eddy. (ice cream type headache). My turn. Left, Right, Right, Right, bounce off the rock I was supposed to avoid, and over the little ledge I went. (I had planned the whole thing) Into an eddy I went, followed by Chris, Ken then John. Off again to paddle some more rocks. After a few bumps and boof's we reached the falls. Out to scout a line. Another plan of Right, Left, Eddy, Left. Or so I thought. I got the Right Left Right down, but then beached on a rock. Watching Chris roll his eyes, I lunged forward into the eddy. PHEW! John came after me and decided to forgo the eddy and head right down the slide on the falls. Ken was on his heels, who picked a much more graceful line than John. Ok, my turn. Heading for the slide...oops, change of plans. Just shy of the slide, I bounced off the rock, spun around and found myself going backwards down the falls. Leave it to me. With one last look at John and Ken, over I go. Guess who gets their stern stuck in the falls. ME! Trying to push off the rock behind the falls, the water grabs my paddle and I am left on my own. I guess the scene was quite amusing to watch, according to John, as I kept pushing off the rocks with my hands and then going right back where I was. I even tried to dog paddle my boat out, but to no avail. Eventually I went to reach for the rock to push off, only to discover it was not there, and over I went. In what felt like an eternity, but only a few seconds, the water pushed me down under my boat. Finally surfacing, John and Ken brought me to shore, all the while maintaining a straight face. We turn around in time to watch Chris head down. Well in the biggest moment of flattery ever, Chris decides to take the same line I did. Spinning around and about to go over the wrong part, backwards, he paddles like a maniac and gets back into the eddy. (I think he wanted to be cool like me). And down he comes, in the right place, and nails it. While emptying my boat again, I am wondering if blue is the right color for my fingers. I decide it is not. Back in the river we go. Bouncing and boofing off rocks, we head to the beaver dam. Luckily John had his handy dandy saw, and manages to chew through the big log blocking the way. Chris roped it and pulled it free and we were ready to go. John first. Oops, hit that rock, oops, there is another, but he lands gracefully into the pool below. Chris is next, and of course nails the line and drops into the pool, as Ken and I watch. Umm did I mention that I chose to NOT go over this feature, but walked around. Hearing hoots and hollers from the river, I assume that Ken made it down without a hitch. Would have been kinda nice of the boys had told me where to put back in, but instead I walked and walked until I could find a place to drop in. And off we were again. John tells us that there is another feature coming up and before we know it, we are there. (this is where Chris advised me NOT to go right, thanks Chris) Chris, Ken and I are down and go around the corner to see the bottom of where we didn't want to go right. Nice slide, complicated. Chris's words of wisdom to John was "yes but if you end up upside down, it could be messy" Messy Chris? I thought very painful and possible drowning was more likely. Back to the river. (it is only then that John tells us that if we would have encouraged him, he would have gone right....sure John). Oh wait, I didn't mention that in the beginning of the trip, John told us he had found a new take out, "just a little ways after the bridge". Apparently we need to get John an odometer for his kayak as his "little ways down" turned into almost ending up in the Lamoille. ALL FLAT WATER! Thanks John. When we finally get the the bridge at the take out, there is a small wave train, where John tried to redeem himself stating we would have missed "all this" if we had taken out earlier. (about 3 inches of water for the wave train, how could we have turned that up John). By this time, I am frozen and decide that I am going to take out before the bridge. And through a cow field I go, complete with burdocks, water and poop. The boys play somemore under the bridge, and we meet at Johns truck. (thank you John for parking in the swamp) John shows us his new key fob that is attached to his PFD, so we knew we were ok. (guess he learned Rich) The boys took pity on me as I shivered so hard the road shook, put me in the car and loaded my boat for me. :) Back to the put in we go. Wet clothes stripped off, boats loaded, heading for home). So the moral of this story is....the next time John says he is buying.....HE LIES! Thanks for the last paddle of the year for me guys. You are awesome. See you all on the water in the pool.

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