Sunday, October 4, 2015

Lower Otter Brook - October 3, 2015

I was suppose to lead an overnight camping trip at Burlingame on Saturday, but the forecast didn’t look promising – cold, rainy and windy.  Of the 12 campers who originally signed up, I was down to 3 when I cancelled the trip on Friday night.  But how does that old saying go – “when one door closes another opens”.  While rain isn’t good for camping its great for whitewater paddling.

I got an email that a group would be running Lower Otter Brook on Saturday, and now I was free to join in.  Lower Otter Brook is a small class II run in Roxbury, NH (outside of Keene).  The level is controlled by the huge Otter Brook Dam built by the Army Corps of Engineers.  We had six boats– 2 canoes and 4 kayaks.

The morning was cold and windy when I arrived at the put-in. I was glad that I brought my drysuit and gloves.  The level was around 350 cfs, which was slightly more that the typical spring release of 300 cfs.  We worked our way downstream dodging rocks, catching eddies and just having fun. 

I went through the Otter Ledge first, bouncing off the wave at the bottom and into the eddy below the ledge - prefect.  I was in great position to get some pictures, but couldn’t get the water drops off the lens in time.  Oh well…

Heading to the take-out
There was good flow coming out of Minnewawa Brook where Otter Brook joins to form the Branch producing long wave trains along Route 101.  We arrived at the take-out around 1:30, and debated a second run.  For me the answer was easy, I needed to be home around 3:00.  Looking at the gage, it looks like they shut the water off at around 1:30 anyway.


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