Monday, December 7, 2009

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Clause - December 6th

I saw him yesterday poling a Mad River Explorer on the Ware River.  He sometimes goes by the name Mike, and he was accompanied by seven elves – Chuck, Tommy, Marshall, Matt, Sean, Mena and me.

We had a fun day on the Ware River in Gilbertville, MA. Eight boats (six Explorers - Mike, Chuck, Tommy, Marshall, Matt and Sean, one Dagger Reflection - Mena, and one Mohawk Whitewater 16 - me) put-in at Hardwick Road and poled down to Upper Church Street – about eight miles.

When we arrived at the put-in at around 10:00, the area was covered with a thin blanket of snow - not as much as we had received in RI, but still pretty. The river starts off as flatwater with an occasional riffle.

About a mile above Gilbertville the rapids begin. The AMC guide and American Whitewater rate them as class II/III, but that is dramatically overstated - at least at yesterday's water level (Ware River near Barre, MA - 3.5 ft., 110 cfs). At the bottom of the first set of rapids there is nice ledge to practice attainments. Sean pushed up with no problem, as did Mike, Tommy and Matt. I made it half way up, only to get spun sideways and pushed back downstream.

Below the Route 32 Bridge the river is shallower and picks up speed – avoiding rocks becomes a major challenge as Tommy found out the hard way. Not wanting to ruin my perfect record, I also took a swim a little further downstream.


After loading the boats, we reconvened for pizza and beer at Hardwick House of Pizza - another great day.

Links:
Tommy's pictures
River Description from American Whitewater
Directions to put-in from Google Maps
Upper Ware River - December 2, 2013

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