Sunday, February 23, 2014

Pawcatuck River - Richmond to Bradford - February 23, 2014

With the warm weather that we had last week, I was expecting some of the whitewater rivers to open up, but it didn’t work out that way.  Instead, I ended up paddling the section of the Pawcatuck from Richmond down to Bradford.   

I met Jim C., Jim S. and Jeff at the Richmond Fishing Area at around 9:00 to unload and run the shuttle.  Our original plan was to run the section from Richmond to Alton, but with the river at a good level (3.4 ft., 350 cfs on the Wood RiverJunction Gage), and we were concerned that it would be tough going upstream on the Wood River to Alton.  So instead we decided to stay on the Pawcatuck and paddle down to Bradford.  It was about an 8-mile trip with plenty of help for the current. 

I paddled tandem with Jeff, which was a nice change.  The current was moving nicely, and the river was ice free.  Definitely a nice trip.
My paddling partner Jeff

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Blackstone Gorge Snowshoeing - February 16, 2014

Last night's 4" of snow, on top of 8" to 12" we already on the ground, made for perfect snowshoeing conditions this morning. I decided to go over to the Blackstone Gorge. The river is iced-in above the Rolling Dam. Below the dam, the river was open, but pretty low. I did the loop along the river, and then back through the woods. It's only a mile, but it's a good climb to the top of the Gorge. It was a good workout.

Looking down to the river
My Pictures

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Everything is iced in - February 9, 2014

After snowshoeing yesterday, I was determined to paddle this morning.  One of the sections of the Blackstone that usually stays open all winter is above the Blackstone Gorge.  Today it was frozen solid.  So was the section at Cold Spring Park.  I ended up at River Island Park and played around for about 45 minutes before calling it quits.  It does seem that there is more ice on the river this year than there has been in the past… or maybe I’m just ready for spring.

River Island Park - looking upstream toward
the Woonsocket Falls Dam

Snowshoeing at Diamond Hill – February 8, 2014

Taking a break at the top
I couldn't get out to do the RICKA trip this morning, but I headed over to Diamond Hill in Cumberland this afternoon. It’s a short hike (1.5 miles), but it’s a good climb up the hill (350 feet).

From the bandstand, the trail heads south into the woods.  At the base of the old quarry, the trail cuts back north to the top of Diamond Hill.  I took a side trip up to the top of the quarry to get some pictures of the cliffs.  Once up at the top of the hill the views are great and you will find remnants of the old ski lifts.  There is a trail down the north side along the road, but I missed it and came down the sledding hill.

Cliffs at the old quarry

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fife Brook - February 1, 2014

Taking a break in the flatwater
below Hangover Helper
We’re having a heat wave this weekend with temp’s getting up into the 40’s. While most rivers are still iced in, there are a few running. One that always runs is the Fife Brook section of the Deerfield. I was the only open boater in a group with 6 yakkers (Andy, Mike, Jeff, Denise, Sage and Kelly).

The river was at a nice level – around 1,500 cfs. Temperatures were in the mid-30’s. We had a little rain while we were paddling, and a few flurries on the drive home. It took us about 3 ½ hours to do the five-mile run. We had only one swim – it wasn’t me, but I was involved.

Andy running Zoar Gap
At the top of a rapid called Pinball, I pulled into what looked like a nice long eddy, only to find a strong downstream current. I got pushed to the bottom of the eddy and pinned (still upright) against a rock. Unfortunately, Denise followed me into the eddy thinking that she could stay high, only to get caught in the same current. She pinned against my boat pushing the stern back out into the current. Once my boat hit the fast moving water, it pivoted off the rock and literally ran her over. No wonder yakkers stay away from us open boaters!

By the time we got to Zoar Gap I was tired. I paddled down to get some pictures, but I wimped out and walked my boat around the two big drops. I probably should have run it – everyone said it was fun.

Running Freight Train