Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Paddle and Party at Spring Lake - August 22, 2017

Our Spring Lake Paddle and Party with Julie and Steve means that the Blackstone Valley Paddle Club season is coming to an end.  We put in at the Black Hut Boat Ramp, and paddled around the lake for pizza at Julie and Steve's house.  Always a nice night, but it is sad that the summer is coming to an end.  Bring on Fall!

The Blackstone Valley Paddle Club

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Lower Deerfield - August 19, 2017

There was traffic everywhere – on the Mass Pike driving up, and in tubes on the river – but it was still worth it.  I headed up to the Deerfield to do the annual “Easy Whitewater” trip in the Lower Deerfield with RICKA. 

We ran the section from the Zoar Picnic Area to Charlemont Academy – about 7 miles.  We had 7 boats – 4 kayaks (Kate, Earl, Bob and Andy), 2 canoes (Brian and me) and 1 ducky (Sandy).  The river was at a nice level for the run (1,100 cfs on the Charlemont gage).  Since the release didn’t start until 11:00, we had to wait until 2:00 to put-in. 

I really do enjoy this section of the river.  It’s more quickwater than whitewater, but there are enough playspots to keep it interesting, and I can paddle my Yellowstone Solo.  There are even a couple of named rapids above Shunpike (I never knew that): 
  • Directly below the Zoar Picnic Area is the Blam Dance Rapid
  • Below that, the sharp curve to the left is the Spin Out Rapid
  • To the left of the island with the squirt line at the bottom is the Junction
Below Shunpike, it is mostly quickwater interspersed with easy rapids.  We pulled out at Charlemont at around 5:30.  After retrieving the cars, we stopped at Smokey Bro’s for BBQ on the way home.  Great day.

Approaching Shunpike

Friday, August 18, 2017

RICKA SUP Night at Lincoln Woods - August 17, 2017

We had a good time trying out SUP boards last night with EMS at Lincoln Woods. We had lots of boards to try, great staff to get us started, and a perfect night. I spent most of my time falling of the board trying to do pivot turns, but I was starting to get the back of it. Thanks to Joe, Benn, Cat and the rest of the EMS staff.

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Lincoln Woods from Rhode Island Blueways

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Lackey Dam - August 15, 2017

Julie and the water chestnuts
I haven’t done many Paddle Club trips this year, so it was nice to be able to get out and paddle the Mumford River at Lackey Dam.  This time if year, the pond is choked with water chestnut, but it is still a nice trip.  We paddled under Route 146, and up the Mumford River until the river was blocked by blow-downs.

Sunset over Lackey Pond
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Sunday, August 13, 2017

River Bend Farm - August 12, 2017

Visitor Center at River Bend Farm
With the RICKA crew off to the Adirondacks, there weren’t any local trips planned this weekend.  Traveling wasn’t an option, so I posted a trip on the Flatwater Massage Board for a canal/river run at River Bend Farm.

River Bend Farm was the former Vose Farm, and is now the Visitor's Center for the Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park. It’s a popular place to hike or paddle with great views of the Blackstone Canal, the stone arch bridge at Hartford Avenue, Rice City Pond and the Stanley Woolen Mill.

Portage into Rice City Pond
I met up with Mike and Bill at 9:00 at the Visitor Center.  From there, we paddled up the Blackstone Canal before portaging over to Rice City Pond. The pond itself was shallow, so we paddled up the old canal to the Goat Hill Lock before turning around and heading back to the river. 

The Blackstone River was low but fluid - 3 feet on the Northbridge gage.  We crossed over at the dam and headed downstream.  Even at a low level, the river can be tricky with lots of twists and turns and low hanging trees. We crossed back over to the canal above the Stanley Woolen Mill for the trip back to the take out – nice morning.

Quickwater on the Blackstone River
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