Sunday, May 31, 2015

A Misty Run on the Mongaup – May 31, 2015

I drove through five states to get there (RI, MA, CT, NY, NJ), but it was worth the trip.  I made a last minute decision to join a CTAMC trip on the Mongaup River near Port Jervis, NY. We ran the section from the Rio Dam to the Delaware River - about 3 miles.  It was a single barrel release - about 600 cfs on the Mongaup gage.  At this level, the river is class II/easy class III.  Rock dodging was the order of the day, and there were with lots of eddies and surf waves to catch   The rapids are a little tougher on the second half of the trip with the largest at the Route 97 bridge and at the confluence with the Delaware River.  I’m told that a double barrel release is about 1,000 cfs with lots of long wave trains.   

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

River Bend Farm – Canal/River Loop – May 25, 2015

It was a busy weekend, but I was able to get out for an early morning paddle on Memorial Day at River Bend Farm.  I put in at the Stanley Woolen Mill and took out at the  broken dam on Route 16 – up the canal and down the river.  The river was low but runnable – 3 feet on the Northbridge gage.  Other than swarms of mosquitos, there was nothing to report on this trip.  I need to put some bug spray in my car.

View of the broken dam at Route 16
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Monday, May 18, 2015

Assabet - Acton to Concord - May 17, 2015

Taking a break for lunch
On Saturday I paddled the Pemi in Bristol.  On Sunday I led a RICKA flatwater trip with Sharon on the Assabet River from Acton (Acton Canoe Launch, 63 Powder Mill Road) to Concord (Old Calf Pasture, 250 Lowell Road). It was a good weekend.

The Assabet was a little on the low side for this trip - 2 feet on the Maynard Gage.  We we made it through fine, but I wouldn’t want to run it much lower.  It did make the run through the Damondale Dam easier. Below Damondale, the Assabet slows and we encountered a number of blow-downs.  We stopped for lunch in West Concord, and then continued downstream.

Running the Damondale Dam
There was a lot of erosion along the banks of the Leaning Hemlocks section, but it looked like someone had propped up the stone with the memorial to George Bartlett.  Egg Rock was high and dry where the Assabet converges with the Sudbury to form the Concord.  From there, it is just a short paddle up into the Old North Bridge and the Minute Man National Historic Park. Good day. 


At the Old North Bridge
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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Pemi Bristol - May 16, 2015

My father told me that he did his first whitewater training at the Pemi (Pemigewasset River) in Bristol.  I took a quickwater safety class there a few years ago, but I’ve never had the chance to paddle there – until today. 

Put in below the Ayers Island Dam
Our RICKA trip on the Assabet got postponed, so I was able to join a NHAMC trip on the Pemi - 5 canoes, 6 kayaks and 1 duckie.  The river was at a nice level – 1,000 cfs on the Plymouth gage.  We put in below the Ayers Island Dam (off Ayers Island Road – go left at the recycling center down the hill on the dirt road).  We took out below the park and play hole off Coolidge Woods Road. The river is about 1-1/2 miles long with a couple of nice play spots.

The first major rapid is about 1/4 mile downstream.  The easy route is on the far right, but I didn’t want to take the easy route.  The more difficult line is down the center through two drops.  Joe made it look easy.

Joe runs the first rapid on the Pemi from Erik Eckilson on Vimeo.

The crew stops for a picture
I got spun around in the first drop and ended up sideways in the hole (as you can tell from my narration). I worked my way out eventually, and I ran the rest of the rapid backwards with a boat full of water. It wasn't pretty, but I made it through. 

From here, the river is a series of small rapids.  The last rapid sweeps gradually to the right as it passes through a couple of ledges along Coolidge Woods Road.  The first is where I did my advance swiftwater training.  The second is the park and play ledge - a popular summer play spot. 

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Blackstone Canal/River Loop - Lonsdale to Ashton - May 3, 2015

I had a busy weekend, and the only time I could paddle was early Sunday morning, so I got out to run the Blackstone Canal/River Loop from Lonsdale to Ashton.  I thought that the canal would be clogged with blow-downs, but it was actually clear. 

Last week, a couple in a canoe apparently flipped trying to get under the buoys to run the tube at the Pratt Dam – not a smart idea.  What’s left of their canoe is still pinned on a log in front of the dam.  Fortunately they got to shore without incident. If you are going to do this run, the take out is to the right above the buoys.