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PA to VT Part 8

Friday-Monday Apr 29-May 2, 2016
Kayak: Jason M, Dan M, Ryan M and a few others...
Organizer: Ryan
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: low boatable
Author: Ryan

It was another year of the PA crew coming up to hit some VT Creeks. This year was the latest it had ever been for the trip.  We paid for it in low water and plastic shards left on the river bottoms.


To start off the trip - Dan and Jason made a leisurely drive up from South Central PA to meet me for a late afternoon lap at the Ledges.  It was stupid low.... like 140cfs low.  Although we were all smiling and laughing about how damn low it was and how bad we were banging our way down the river, it was fun to be out in the evening sun and on water again with each other.  Living close to 500 miles away from each other, all dads, and in busy careers - doesn't leave much time these days to make road trips to get together for random weekends of boating.  After the suffer fest on the ledges, we decided on lap of boat abuse was enough and beat feet over App Gap for some BBQ at the local smoke house.


Next up was the Hudson.  We entertained heading up to QC with another crew, but ultimately headed over to NY for some fun on a classic none of us had ever paddled.  To round out the group, Jamie D and Paul C met us in Addison for the rip over to the put in on the Indian.  When we got to the put in a random Toyota Prius came skidding in beside us and out popped this crazily energetic little old "dude" that quickly introduced himself to all of us and then asked to join our group since we were the only kayakers on the river that day.....  Mind you, after he introduced himself, I started to put some recognition to his name.  Pete Skinner... Where the hell did I hear that name before????  Then it just popped - this squirly old guy that was bouncing of the ground with each step, was the famous Pete Skinner that has paddled the Niagara Gorge not once but twice!!!  He also has had first descents all over North America and is responsible for a number of our whitewater releases here in the north east!  So quickly my day turned from just a paddle on the Hudson to, Holy Shit, I'm Paddling with the "Sam Snead" of kayaking today!

The run went with out much incident - we all had a blast, dodging big holes and moving around a big water river, something we don't need to do much of in VT.  The PA fellas, were loving the sunshine and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous down the river!!!  I personally was trying my best not to get munched on too much in some of the holes, and was loving the big water all the while listening to story after story from Pete.  What an ambassador for kayaking!  I could be mis-quoting this, but I believe he said he was 69 years old and with out a doubt was paddling way the hell better than any of us.  On the way home we scouted Putnam Creek and managed to hit a great spot in Vergennes for Dinner.


Day 3 we woke to rain and I had to coach a soccer game for my Daughters team.  So we made plans to head to the Wells after the game and get in a few laps there.  I believe it was flowing around 160 cfs, low but not the lowest.  We fired off two laps and made the most of it by sessioning El Salto and trying to perfect the middle line off the flake.  We all hit it cleanly a number of times, but there were some really ugly lines that were too close to the shelf as well....ouch.


A run home and the weekend of festivities had come to an end for me - my 7 year old was sick and I'd be hanging with her the next day as Dan and Jason headed back to PA.  Visions of hitting up the Midd dissolved as we all said we can't wait to do it all over again next year....albeit, with more water!

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