Monday, August 25, 2014

Lower Deerfield - August 23, 2014

Mike and Frank
Once each summer, RICKA runs and “easy” whitewater trip for experienced flatwater paddlers on the lower Deerfield River. This year, we decided to do the 10-mile run from the Zoar Picnic Area down to Crab Apple Rafting.

The Fife Brook Dam controls the water in this section of the river, and timing is everything with this trip. Launch too early and you will out run the water. Launch too late and the water will out run you. Either way, you will end up high and dry. We launched around 2:00, three hours after the scheduled release, and hit it just right.

Cheryl
We had 10 paddlers in 9 boats – two canoes and seven kayaks.  I got to paddle tandem with Henry. The forecast called for clouds with a slight chance of showers.  We had plenty of clouds, but the rain never materialized.

Most of the class I/II rapids come early in the trip. There are three rapids in quick succession just downstream from the put in. All three can be run easily straight down the middle. We had one short swim in the second rapid, but otherwise everyone did great.

Pizza time
From the East Charlemont Picnic Area (just after the Indian Bridge) down to Crab Apple Rafting the river is mostly quickwater with a few easy riffles. The biggest challenge is watching where the water goes so you don’t end up beached in the cobbles in the middle of the river. 

Took us about 3 ½ hours to do the run down to Crab Apple.  On the way home we stopped at Shelburne Falls to check out the Bridge of Flowers and get some pizza at Buckland Pizza.

Bridge of Flowers
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Spring Lake with the Blackstone Valley Paddle Club - August 12, 2014

The summer must be coming to an end because it was "pizza night" with the Blackstone Valley Paddle Club.  We put-in at the Spring Lake Boat Ramp on Black Hut Road, and paddled around the lake to Steve and Julie’s house.  Small group but still a good time.

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Lincoln Woods - August 10, 2014

I wanted to paddle today, but I also wanted to go swimming, so I decided to go down to Lincoln Woods to paddle Olney Pond.
  
Olney Pond is named after one of the area’s principal families. In the early 1800s, the Olney’s created a dam at the eastern end of their property making a waterfall sufficient to run a small thread mill. Thread Mill Brook leads southeasterly from the dam to other ponds along the Moshassuck as it loops its way back to Providence.

Small islands dot this 126-acre pond. The shores are surrounded by woodlands, and the edge is lined with granite and quartz boulders. I thought it would be quiet there today, but it was actually pretty busy.  Red and yellow rental boats dotted the pond.  I paddled around the pond exploring the shoreline and the small coves and islands.  The sky was bright blue with puffy white clouds.

My canoe flipped just before I got back to the boat ramp – imagine that ;-)

Blue sky and white, puffy clouds
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Monday, August 4, 2014

Riverton Poling - August 3, 2014

After two weeks of paddling on saltwater, it was nice to get out on a freshwater river.  On the last day of my vacation, I met up with Matt to go poling on the Riverton Section of the Farmington. 

The first time I did this trip with Matt was back in 2006. It’s a bit of a drive for me, but it is always worth it.  The river was running at about 500 CFS (400 cfs from Goodwin Dam and 100 cfs from the Still River).  It's a great level for poling, but a little too low for paddling.  Flatwater sections are interspersed with quickwater and easy rapids.

We put-in below the Goodwin Dam off Hogback Road.  The initial section was shallow and rocky, but has some great spots to practice attaining.  After passing the old Hitchcock Chair Factory the Still River joins on the left adding to the flow. The river then enters the American Legion/Peoples State Forests. 

Further downstream, fishermen lined the banks for most of the trip.  We got a few scowls as we passed, but most of them were  OK.  We took out at the parking lot at the Satan’s Kingdom State Recreation Area – about 10 miles. 

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