Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Upper Millers - April 21, 2014

The shuttle bus
With the Easter holidays, I hadn’t done any whitewater paddling in a couple of weeks, so I decided to take Easter Monday as a vacation day to run the Upper Millers with Andy, Paul, Ken G. and John Kaz.

Andy wanted to get an early start, which worked out fine with me.  We met at the take-out on Crescent Street in Athol at 9:30 and piled all the boats on my van for the shuttle.  When we arrived at the put-in on Blossom Road in South Royalston, the river looked like it was at a perfect level – 4.5 feet, 1,500 cfs on the Birch Hill Dam Gage. 

We put in and headed down the first rapid – a long class III with lots of rock to dodge and some great wave trains.  The rapid ends at a railroad bridge with some big waves that are great for practicing jet-ferries.  John Kaz (owner of Millbrook Boats) could do more that that.  He was paddling a new Blink (9 feet long, 28 inches wide), and he could make that boat dance.

The rest of the run was just as fun.  We took our time and played in some of the easier rapids downstream.  Kaz would always seek out the biggest waves, and the Blink never took on water.  I had to dump my Encore at the end of each rapid.  He was bailing with a sponge.  I did get to paddle the Blink at the end of the run - fun boat.


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