Sunday, May 4, 2014

Ottauquechee River – May 4, 2014

Quechee Gorge
The sky seemed to brighten, and blue sky peeked through the clouds as I crossed into Vermont on Route I-89.  Unfortunately, the sunshine would be short-lived.  

I drove across four states to join Marshall Moore’s NHAMC trip on the Ottauquechee River.  The Ottauquechee arises Green Mountains near Killington and flows generally eastwardly across VT before emptying into Connecticut River. The river is probably best known for the Quechee Gorge – a deep canyon that can be seen as you drive over the Quechee Gorge Bridge on Route 4. We would be going a little further upstream to run the 9-mile section from West Bridgewater and Woodstock.

A typical section of the Ottauquechee
When I arrived in the put-in at the ball fields in West Bridgewater, I found that most of the group had already arrived.  We would have eleven boats, all canoes – 5 polers, 4 OC1s and 2 OC2s. The plan was to put in upstream at the Route 100A bridge in Bridgewater Corners, and take out at the White Cottage Snack Bar about a mile above Woodstock. We quickly ran the shuttle and got on the river.

The river was at a nice level – 3.5 feet, 100 cfs. on the WestBridgewater gage.  At this level, the river is mostly quick water with some easy class I/II rapids. It is certainly pretty as the river twists and turns through woods and farmland. The skies were cloudy, but other that a brief rain shower, we had a great day.

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