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Mad River

Wednesday May 4, 2016
Kayak: PaulC, ChrisW, SarahC, JodyS, MikeB, TraceyB, JimP
Organizer: Jim Poulin
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: low boatable
Gauge (cfs): 330
Author: Jim Poulin

Two sure signs of spring: 1. fisherpersons are now on the river and play boats are starting to make an appearance after a long winter's nap.

And so it was as we met on the lower Mad river on a cool and cloudy day in early May.  No sun to be had and temps lingered around 50.

We had some rain just as we were changing into our paddling gear, making sure that our "dry" clothes were really not that dry.  And then it rained again right as we took off so we needed to change into our semi-dry clothes, again in the rain.  Of course it did not rain while we were on the river and there was not enough rain to give us a juicier ride.

Once on the river we meandered downstream stopping for an occasional play wave or interesting eddy.  But in general at this level, there is not much going on other than dodging rocks. 

Everyone had a great time (measured in smiles) and stories were told in the flat water sections.  There were no interesting events at Horseshoe with clean lines all around.

There was one swim at the last rapid (Old Schoolers like me call it Commotion) but we quickly recovered from that and moved on to the takeout.

The takeout proved to be the most difficult thing we did all day.  In good weather the Winooski takeout is difficult.  Throw in a receding river that exposes some nice mud and a bit of rain to make it even more slick and you've got yourself some fun.  There were grunts and groans and some contortionist moves to get out of still floating boats.  And that was just me!  But no one ended up in the drink so I am claiming success!

Bottom line, a good group of folks running a familiar river in early May at low water.  Nothing to complain about here!  


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