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Desperately Seeking Whitewater

Monday Nov 16, 2020
Kayak: Jamie
Organizer: Jamie
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: low boatable
Author: Jamie

Oh the wind and the rain, they made for quite the night. So first thing (before coffee) I'm busy checking AW. Well the New Haven is nowhere but the Mad has spiked.  Still there was hope, but not a lot of optimism, that the NH might take a bounce. Checking later, the USGS source page showed the NH at about 160 and rising. Occasionally, because the gauge is so far downstream, 160 cfs means the ledges are in (and sometimes it means it's way too low).  As it had already stopped raining by the time I was up at 6 (ish), my optimism for a ledges run was diminishing. To the Mad, I may be off to.


And there were things to do, people to meet and places to go. When I passed the NH around 9, the water was barely coming over the center ledge. Indicating a barely runnable level.  When I got back at noon it stopped coming over but was oh so close. By the time I got home it was decision time. Go for the Mad or do the ledges. The ledges won out. The ledges are so close even at low water (no water?) they will invariably win out. I have never gone this low before (well at least for running the ledges). Was it worth it. YES. However, this is really a desperation level.  To say it was bump and run  would be generous. More like bump, bump, bump and run. As I was socially distancing on my walk back to the car, I tried to think of all the rapids that went cleanly. Out of the 10 or so rapids two went cleanly. Fortunately, those were the ones where you caught air.  Rooster tail also was relatively clean but hard to get any purchase on the slide. The s*** shows included Roadside, Secret Compartment, Oh By the Way (I actually got out of my boat at the bottom and pulled it over the right side rather then do the Schott slot). The other rapids weren't that bad but do not fall into the "Oh, they're okay" category. They were not okay but they also weren't s*** shows.  There would be no going for a second lap but on the other hand I was real glad I got one in.  


On the walk back to the car a guy was bicycling up the road and told me he happened to see me just when I was coming over the falls. I think it kind of added a little magic to his day to, by chance, see that.  Doing it certainly added some magic to mine.  

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