Friday, March 1, 2013

Scantic Splash – March 1, 2013

Stokers - from the Scantic Splash website
The weather was good and the rivers were up, so I decided to take a day off from work to do some paddling.  I took a ride out to Connecticut today to run the Scantic River from Sommersville to Hazardville.  This is the site of a popular spring whitewater race – the Scantic Spring Splash. 

I met up with Paul and Ed at the take-out at the Powder Hill Barn off South Maple Street in Hazardville to run the shuttle.  Tim would meet us at the put-in off Quality Avenue in Sommersville.  We had 4 boats – 1 canoe and 3 kayaks.  The river was running at 70, which I am told is good.  The weather was beautiful – high 30’s.

Chimney - from the Scantic Splash website
We put in from a dirt road off Quality Avenue in Somerville (Somers).  For the first 2.5 miles the river meanders though a pretty hemlock forest.  It’s mostly quickwater with a couple of easy class I rapids and a few leaning trees to avoid.  After the Route 191 Bridge and a railroad bridge, we portaged the dam at the Springborn Center on river left. 

Just downstream from the portage is the first major rapid – Stokers.  This is a ledge with a 3 foot drop and a rocky shoot 6 to 10 feet from the left bank.  I lined up on the shoot, made it through the first big drop, only to hit a rock and take a swim a little downstream.  The consensus of the group was that I didn’t have enough momentum going though the drop, so I portaged my boat back upstream to run it again – this time with more speed.  Unfortunately, the result was the same.  Rocks don't move no matter how hard you hit them.  I didn’t try it a third time.    

Staircase - from the Scantic Splash website
The next major raid is Chimney – an “S” turn rapid that starts off as a series of small ledges with a larger drop at the end.  I made it through Chimney fine, although I did fill up my boat in the drop.

The final rapid is Staircase which is exactly what you’d expect - a series of ledges that looks like a staircase.  The largest ledge at the bottom has a nice wide shoot on river left.  We all made it through fine and decided to do some surfing.  The run ended at the Powder Hill Barn of South Maple Street in Hazardville (Enfield).

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