Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Mighty Quin – April 1, 2014

Pat runs the put-in drop
With all the rain we had earlier this week a lot of local rivers have been running, so I decided to take an afternoon off to do some paddling.  Paul immediately suggested the 3-mile section of the Quinapoxet River from River Street in Holden to the Wachusett Reservoir in West Boylston

The "Quinny" or "Mighty Quin" is a class II/III run that can be tough to catch. The minimum level for this river is about 8.5 feet. Many people say 9.5 feet is a good level. We ran it yesterday at 10 feet, 500 cfs. which turned out to be perfect.  We had 5 boats – 4 kayaks (Ed, Paul, Jon and Pat) and 1 canoe (guess who).

Ed does some surfing
The trip starts with quickwater and some easy class I/II rapids.  There is also a nice play hole at the put-in, but it was a little too big for my liking, so I took a pass.  Ed did some surfing there, as did Jon who pulled off a nice combat roll.

About 2 miles downstream the action picks up with a class III rapid at the old Springdale Mill.  The easiest line though this rapid is to stay left and catch the big eddy just downstream of the old breached dam.  Jon went first, went a little too far right, but was able to get into the eddy.  Pat went next, went way too far right, and flipped in the big waves in the middle.  He pulled off a nice combat roll before I pulling into an eddy downstream.  I pulled into the eddy without difficulty, and Paul took his usual line down the middle just left of center. 

Paul running Springdale
From there, there are some nice class II+ rapids down to the take-out.  I found staying a little right resulted in a drier line through the 3-foot drop just downstream of I-190.  I got spun around in the last big rapid above the take-out, ran most of the rapid backwards, but eventually flipped at the end.  The open boater is named Captain of the Swim Team again, but who cares.  It was another great day.
The shuttle van, but where is the canoe?
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