Sunday, February 24, 2013

Muskrats on the Blackstone - River Island Park - February 23, 2013

The Muskrats (aka Frank, Jim, and whoever else happens to be with them) reunited to paddle the section of the Blackstone River from River Island Park down to River’s Edge Park.  This time, Susan and I joined the group.

We met at bike path parking lot outside of River’s Edge Park at 10:45 and ran the shuttle up to River Island Park.  The river was at an easy level – 2.5 feet, 800 cfs on the Woonsocket gage. Temperatures were in the mid 30’s, and snow was expected for the afternoon. 

The first half-mile below the River Island Park starts off as quickwater with a couple of easy rapids - everyone made it through fine.  We paddled the flatwater section down as far as the water treatment plant before turning back to Rivers Edge Park.

The take out at the Bike Path is kind of a pain, but we used a throw bag rope to pull everyone’s boats up the flood control levee and we were on our way home before the storm started.  


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Blackstone Gorge Snowshoeing - February 17, 2013

It was windy and cold, but I did do the loop from the Rolling Dam down to the open field where the Branch River joins the Blackstone. Unfortunately, the wind blew all the snow off the trees, so it wasn’t particularly scenic. Still a good workout though.

Rolling Dam at the Blackstone Gorge
My Pictures

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Ashton Snowshoeing - February 10, 2013

Seven brave souls (Jim K, Don and Jan, Peter S. and Angela, Susan and me) broke a new trail in 24” of nice light powder on the Bike Path today in Lincoln.  We did about 2 miles from the rest area on I 295 to the Kelly House and back.  It was a great day to be outside. 

The crew - Jim, Jan, Peter, Angela, Don Susan and me
My Pictures

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Pawcatuck – Shannock to Richmond - February 2, 2013

Running the Lower Shannock Falls -
photo by Tommy Taylor
It was much colder than I expected (not sure why I was expecting it to be warm) but we had a good time just the same running the Pawcatuck River from Shannock to Richmond.  We had six boats – four canoes (Tommy, Jeff, Jim and me) and two kayaks (Duke and Andy).  The river was at a nice level – 300 CFS, 3 feet on the Wood River Junction Gage.

We met at the Richmond Dam at 10:30 and ran the shuttle up to Shannock .  There is a new put-in on Railroad Street below the Lower Shannock Falls that allows you to skip the reconstructed rapids, but we went up to the old put-in in Shannock Village.  Duke gracefully slid into the water, headed over to a wave below the Horseshoe Falls, and promptly flipped into the icy water.  He rolled up a few seconds later, but I remember thinking that the water must be cold.  It would be my turn to find out soon enough.

Yup - I took on a little water -
photo by Tommy Taylor
We headed downstream to run the Lower Shannock Falls.  Jim didn’t have his drysuit, so he decided to line his boat on the right side.  The boat ended up swamping at the bottom of the rapid, but Jim was happy because he stayed dry. 

The rest of us ran the falls pretty much down the middle.  The big rock that use to be at the bottom of the rapid to provide a rest eddy for fish travelling up stream has been removed, so it’s actually a pretty easy run.  The solo boats definitely took in some water at the bottom, but the big tandem that Jeff was paddling ran it dry. 

Duke in the Carolina Raceway
While Jim was bailing out his boat, I decided to do some surfing in the wave at the bottom of the rapid.  It didn’t take me long to get swung sideways and flip as I tried to sidesurf.  Yup – that water is COLD!  Tommy did a nice boat-over-boat recovery to get me back in my boat, and we were soon on our way again. 

The river was flatwater until reached the Route 112 Bridge and entered the old Carolina Mill raceway.  At this level, the raceway was quickwater with a couple of small waves and a couple of rocks to dodge.

Downstream from the raceway is the Carolina Canoe Campsite where we stopped for lunch.  Jim got a nice fire going, and we had a good time trading war stories.  From there it’s only a mile or so down to the Richmond Dam.  We ran the dam and did a little surfing before packing up and enjoying some pizza nearby.  As always, a great day.

Surfing below the Richmond Dam - photo by Tommy Taylor