Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pawtuxet River - Lauren Avenue to South Main Street - November 25, 2012

I knew that I wanted to paddle today, but none of my usual haunts caught my interest.  I checked out Jim Cole's book, and decided to drive down to Coventry to paddle the South Branch of the Pawtuxet from Lauren Avenue to South Main Street. 

I launched near the bike path where a new boat launch was under construction.  This section of the river is about 3-miles long and twists and turns through a large marsh surrounded by houses.  With leaves on the tress the houses would be less noticeable, but that wasn’t the case today.  It was cold and windy, and no matter which way I paddled, I always seemed to be paddling into the wind.  Still, I made it up the dam at South Main Street with no problem and turned around to head back downstream. 

Overall, a nice trip – I would do it again.  I need to explore other sections of the Pawtuxet.

South Branch of the Pawtuxet in Coventry

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Farmington Poling – November 17, 2012

With Chuck below the Goodwin Dam
We had a nice group yesterday on the Riverton Section of the Farmington.  Chuck and I joined Tommy, Matt, Scott, Fred and Sharon on 10-mile poling/paddling trip.

This was the first trip I did with Matt and Scott back in 2006, and I had forgotten how much I like this section of the river.  It was running at about 500 CFS (400CFS from Goodwin Dam and 100 CFS from the Still River) which is great for poling, and not bad for paddling.  Flatwater sections are interspersed with quickwater.  At higher water levels some class I/II rapids develop.  The river runs through the American Legion/Peoples State Forests.

Chuck in the High Bank Rapid
We put-in below the Goodwin Dam off Hogback Road.  The initial section was shallow and rocky, but would be a fun class I/II at higher water levels.  Matt and I poled up to the Goodwin Dam before joining the group to head downstream.  After passing the old Hitchcock Chair Factory the Still River joins on the left adding to the flow.  The river then enters the American Legion/Peoples State Forests.  We stopped for lunch at the picnic area in the Peoples State Forest before continuing downstream. 

Fishermen lined the banks as we entered the Farmington River Trout Management Area.  We got a few scowls as we passed, but most of the fishermen were OK.  The flatwater/quickwater continued down to the Route 44 bridge.  We took out at the parking lot at the Satan’s Kingdom State Recreation Area (GPS 41.8567, -72.9583).  After a beer and burger at the Crown and Hammer Pub in Collinsville we headed home.  Another great day, but aren’t they all!

Lots of different canoes!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

River Island Park - November 11, 2011

Did something today that I haven’t done in ages – took my whitewater boat down to River Island Park. 

Paddling at River Island Park hasn’t been the same since my old Encore was stolen there in December 2010.  Carrying the boat back the car is a pain, and leaving it behind to walk back to the car isn’t an option either.  Today I brought the portage cart that I bought for my Adirondack trip, and it worked out great.  I wheeled the boat back about half a mile to the car.  I did get some interesting looks as I portaged through downtown Woonsocket – that’s not something that people see everyday.

The river was at t nice level – 2.5 feet, 550 cfs.  Seems like it should have been boney, but is wasn’t.  I spent some time at the surf waves at the Bernon Bridge, the Court Street Bridge, the Railroad Bridge, the Pipe and the Power Lines.  I was too lazy to drag the boat all the way up to the dam - maybe next time.

Wheeling back to my car along the flood control levy