Trip Reports


Trip reports can be submitted using the online form.
Submitter: Patti Rutka
River: Dead
Section:
Date: 2014-07-19
Level: 2400 cfs
Participants: OC1: Tom Rutka, Patti Rutka, Helen Hess. OC2: Peter Brown, Helen Johnston, Kelly Colburn, Dan Pelletier. Kayak: Owen Maguire, Rodney Reed, Cathi Reed, Andrew Carey. Shredder: Paul Peters, Stephanie Peters, Cath Kimball, Jim Tierney.
Report: We had a strong group and a good mix of kayaks, shredders, and canoes for this year's summer pic-i-nic trip on the Dead. Our weather was perfect summertime warm and sunny. Carnage was slight, although the two swims that happened at Humpty-Dumpty below Hayden's Landing and at Lower Poplar did take combined effort from several boaters to reunite paddler, boat, and paddle. We thought the kayak paddle might have been sacrificed to the river gods in each case, but each paddle was recovered in the end. Most folks tried the left line at Lower Poplar with courageous success. Arriving back at Webb's at 4:40, we anticipated Andrew's famous Chainsaw Margaritas and delayed the potluck and concurrent cooks' meeting until 6:15.

Submitter: Peter Brown
River: West Branch Penobscot
Section: Roll Dam/ Canada Falls
Date: 2014-07-04
Level: high
Participants: Peter Brown, Helen Johnston, Daryn Slover, Ellis Slover, Darryn DuShane, Mellisa Kull, Eric Lougee, Julia Richmond, Kenny DeCoster, Ryan Galway, Mason Galway, Jim Francoeur, Rob Neish, Helen Hess, Kyle Duckworth, Adam Chase.
Report: Sixteen PPCS boaters ignored all weather reports and headed to Roll Dam campsite for the July 4 weekend. Only Kyle and Adam took a chance on what Canada Falls would be running. Brookfield did try to ramp it down to deliver something like the scheduled 500 cfs at the dam, but these two could only agree on it being somewhere between 500 and 1000. Scouting cabin rapid they ran into 2 boaters from the Sherbrooke, PQ area, Robb and Alex. These 2 joined us for paddling, pot luck and campfires back at Roll Dam. Kyle welcomed them to the club with an appropriate ceremony Saturday night.

The TC arrived in the rain Friday evening to find a pretty hearty group camping, several who had been on the water that day, first at 900 cfs and then at 1800. That sounded pretty juicy to me, but after a couple of runs Saturday I felt we were all getting the measure of it. Then while enjoying our happy hour before Saturday pot luck we noticed the river changing again. To 3800 cfs. That was a little different. Great to have a strong bunch of paddlers along to scout some big-water lines a cover a few rescues.

Highlights of the weekend for sure included the world's greatest pot-luck, and having 2 young boaters --Mason Galway and Ellis Slover-- out on the water with us. Ellis' mom and brother, Gretchen and Orrin, helped out with shuttle and keeping things hopping back at the campsite. Post pot-luck we were entertained by 4 guitar players, Kyle, the Helens, and Eric.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Kennebec
Section: Gorge
Date: 2014-06-22
Level: 2400
Participants: Participants: K – 1: George (NH), Eric Louge, Mike Smith, Shane Smith, Mark Nelson, Julia Richmond, Brent Elwell, OC – 1: John Brower
Report: The weather was a bit cloudy, but temperatures were nice. We had to wait until 1:00 pm to put on as the release was scheduled for two hours starting at 1:00 pm. They were scheduled to ramp the river back up to 7400 cfs at 3:00 which would give us a good push from Carry Brook. We played and eddy hopped down the river with no swims until Magic Rapid. Mike Smith pulled a much delayed roll out his back pocket in the meat of the Magic. He hit his fifth attempt which probability wise is very slim. John Brower found the “Happy Ending” hole (thanks for pointing out the name of this feature Julia) at the very bottom left of Magic rapid. This hole is much tamer at the higher levels – not so at this level. We had three paddlers take out at Carry Brook. The rest of the group waited for 30 – 45 minutes for the full release. We realized a good push to the take out. This is a really good level with plenty of play. I would recommend it for a first time run. Shane got to paddle this second new river of the weekend. The Grand Falls Huckfest just upstream from the Dead River put in was happening this day also, so that probably helped draw paddlers away from the Kennebec. The Huckfest has turned in to quite a spectator event. It involves running the Grand Falls in just about any river craft: canoe, kayak and even raft.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Dead River
Section:
Date: 2014-06-21
Level: 1800
Participants: K – 1: Jim Tierney, Julia Richmond, Shane Smith, Elliott Rappaport, Mike Smith, Evan Sanborn, Brent Elwell OC – 1: John Brower OC – 2: David Butler & Zach Buckley
Report: The bug report: Bugs were not too bad, but we had the triple threat of black files, midges and moose files. The wind on Saturday helped keep them at bay. The Webb’s shuttle went surprisingly smooth probably due to a lower number of paddlers taking the shuttle in than usual. The group was treated to an overhead display of an eagle getting harassed by a hawk near the start. There was good surfing to be had at the usual sports. We had a swimmer at Hayden’s, but David Butler made a good use of the tandem canoe to retrieve the stranded swimmer. The Dead is not a good place to swim at this level with the rocks uncovered. There was a car waiting at the Gravel Pit take out, so it was convenient to have one paddler take out. Shane Smith, a new PPCS member, was a first time paddler on this river, and he looked like he had a good time. We had one of the open boaters lose a spare paddle at Poplar Falls, but Evan Sanborn made the recovery downstream . Our group encountered some racers in an outdoor adventure race which involved orienteering, mountain biking and kayaking. We saw them racing from Mile Long down to West Forks. I spoke with a couple racers on Sunday. I don’t know which would be tougher: getting only 7 hours sleep over four days or shelling out the $500 entry fee.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Casco Bay
Section:
Date: 2014-06-15
Level:
Participants: Nancy Chase, Brent Elwell, Bob Rowe, Eggie Decoster, Dave Boyle, Julia Richmond and TC
Report: This was a trip that just kept evolving. The original plan was to launch from Mackerel Cove on Bailey Island and paddle to the Peary home on Eagle Island. From there, the intent was to explore the islands in central Casco Bay. When we arrived at Mackerel Cove, there were strong offshore winds that begged a different plan. Mice, men and women conspired to find an alternative. Speculating that we could avoid the northwest winds by turning east after passing Land’s End at the southern tip of Bailey and then traveling north, we could do a loop trip of Bailey and Orr’s Island, having a tailwind and the tide to push us south for the second half of our journey. Mother Nature simply wasn’t feeling agreeable on this particular day. Passing through Jaquish Gut at the bottom of Bailey, we encountered sizeable swells, fairly large surf and a steady headwind. That would be our lot until we reached the top of Bailey. Deciding to continue on to the northern end of Orr’s Island, we had a moderating headwind. Serious hunger was the primary concern as we passed under the Route 24 Bridge at the top of Orr’s. Herding cats was a thought that came to mind when trying to select a lunch spot but some semblance of consensus was finally negotiated. Gusty winds from the north and west precipitated yet another change in plans. Deciding that continuing down the west side of Orr’s would expose us to challenging paddling, we opted to backtrack where we would have some shelter from the wind. Since we were unable to complete the planned loop, Eggplant deemed the trip a failure and began conducting a trip satisfaction survey. The results have yet to be made public. With the tide and wind behind us, we had easy paddling traveling south along the east shore of Orr’s. All of that changed after a bumpy ride under the Crib Work Bridge and out into Merriconeag Sound. Faced with very gusty winds for the remainder of our paddle, we decided to finish our trip with a one and a half mile hike to the vehicles in Mackerel Cove. While there were several hit and run attempts on Egg White, sadly none of the irritated drivers was successful and we were able to retrieve our vehicles without incident. To summarize the trip; we didn’t go where we wanted to go, our alternative plan to avoid headwinds failed, we had big swells, surf and headwinds, followed by moderating headwinds, then side winds that turned us back, tailwinds, then impassable headwinds, ending with a hike. A good time was had by all and several of us had great seafood at a wharf in Cundy’s Harbor. It doesn’t get any better than this

Submitter: Patti Rutka
River: Dead
Section:
Date: 2014-06-07
Level: 3500 cfs
Participants: K-1: Tom Rutka, Mike Smith, Jean Miller, Julia Richmond, Don Dearborn, Brent Elwell, Rodney Reed, Coz Teplitz, Ken Gordon, Randy Berube. OC-1: Patti Rutka, Kenny DeCoster, Ken Glusman, Julie Petot, John Brower, Rob Neish, Peter Brown
Report: The bugs were mild, the weather was idyllic, and the group was strong. There were lots of surfs and only two swims. One was enacted inexplicably in a non-threatening wave train by a very experienced canoeist who hopped right back in and couldn't find his paddle because he was sitting on it. The other was also by a very experienced canoeist who reminded us why it's not at all pleasant to swim Lower Poplar. We capped off the day with dinner at the Hawk's Nest and waited for even better weather the next day on Kenny's trip.

Submitter: Gary & Suzanne Cole
River: Dead River
Section:
Date: 2014-05-31
Level: 6000
Participants: K-1: Gary Cole, Suzanne Cole, Tom Rutka, Ken Gordon, Clyde Mitchell, Pat D'Amboise, Brent Elwell, Ron Chase, Evan Sanborn, Jonathan Wheaton, Randy Berube, Simon ? OC-1: Patti Rutka, John Brower
Report: We had a delightful day on the river as it was sunny for a change. There were bugs and bug bites but one paddler did the river with a bug net on and did not donate their blood. There was a lot of surfing and one WHIT (wave hog in training) on the river competing with the known Wave Hogs and doing a great job of it. Of course being called a wave hog is considered a compliment in some circles.

There were three swims at different rapids. The first was a relatively short swim in Minefield as boat and boater were recovered fairly quickly and reunited. A discussion followed after this incident, a mutual decision was reached that best action would be for the paddler to take out at the gravel pit. A 45 minute walk ensued and we were told later that it was a bit warm in a wetsuit. This paddler retrieved another paddler's car so the paddler had a ride back to Riverdrivers and there was no need for a shuttle at the end of the day.

The second swim was at Upper Poplar. The paddler tried several rolls before having to pull the skirt and get out of the boat. Again, the boater and boat were recovered quickly. At Lower Poplar, the waves were big and curling. There was one kayaker (big WH, not Randy) who was having a really long surf (10 minutes plus)on a wave near the top of Lower Poplar. Everyone in his group and everyone in our group passed him while he rode on this wave. The Axiom is a surfing machine. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the surfer, one of the paddlers in our group was unable to roll and ended up taking a rather long swim. The paddle was retrieved quickly and tossed to the shore. Getting the boat and boater to shore took some time so the boater had to swim through some tough stuff. Unfortunately, the boat did not have adequate flotation making it difficult to bulldoze to shore so the boat ended up downriver from the paddler. However, the paddler was reunited with the boat and the paddle and continued down the river to the takeout. So ended this day on the Dead with lots of surfing and some rescue practice.

Decisions, decisions.... are not always easy for trip coordinators. We allowed an up and coming paddler to go on the Dead at a flow a bit too difficult for the his existing skills. When we (coordinators and paddler) realized this, we took the gravel pit option as the safest solution. We're thankful for the positive attitude of this boater and hope to paddle the Dead at 5500 with him before too long.

Submitter: Dave Lanman
River: Ossipee
Section: So. Hiram to Cornish Station
Date: 2014-05-03
Level: 5940cfs at Saco Cornish Gauge - Medium High Class2
Participants: Bob Radowicz (TC PPCS/MOAC), Dave Butler (TC PPCS), Ken Severy, Bob Holtzman (solo canoes); Dave Lanman and Rick Papetti, Tom Meredith and Laurie Wunder, Terri and Steve Titcomb (tandem canoes); Carolyn Welch, Jim Tierney (kayaks)
Report: This was our annual PPCS joint trip with the Maine Outdoor Adventure Club (MOAC). We use the Saco gauge to judge the Ossipee flow, which is only an approximation, but the only measure we’ve got. This was a great level for a late spring season run on this fun stretch. We gathered at the Saco take-out at 10:00, and headed north to the Fire and Rescue station river left, which, for some years, has been our preferred put-in to the steep banked Kezar Falls power station. We were on the water by about 10:45am for what was a three hour trip to the take-out, including a stop for a leisurely lunch. The weather report had been iffy, but it held nicely for us while on the river with plenty of sun. Rick was new to whitewater, but managed well in the standing waves and Class 2+ drop to the left of the island, complaining only of sore ankles from the continuous kneeling. He had a great time, and was coached along the way not only by me, but others who lent their skilled advice. After the flush and drop at the top, the fast water carried us quickly toward the Saco. We could hear an auto drag race in process high on a bank near where we sometimes stop for lunch, and decided to move to a quieter place. After lunch, we continued on our way. The final rapid before entering the Saco was a little more washed out than some had anticipated, but did not detract too much from the trip. Several of us ventured to what used to be Midge’s ice cream stand (now with a new name) on Route 25, and the weather finally turned worse as we waited to get served. Several heavy showers followed some of us home, but the sun had been with us when it counted.

Submitter: Dave Lanman
River: Saco
Section: Bartlett to Humprhey's Ledge
Date: 2014-04-27
Level: Class 2 - 3.47 USGS Gauge
Participants: Tom Meredith (TC)and Laurie Wunder (tandem canoe), Dave Lanman (TC), Doug Field, Dave Butler (solo canoes),Carolyn Welch, Jim Tierney (kayaks)
Report: Weather was wet driving both to and from the strawberry stand meeting place in North Conway, but the trip itself, thankfully, was dry with even a little sunshine poking through toward the end. We met at the stand at 9:00am and headed up to the put-in on River St. in Bartlett. The gauge painted on the bridge abutment was at about .5, and the USGS gauge at that location earlier that morning had read 3.47. We were on the river about 10:30am. We were expecting a low water run, and indeed it was. Though we managed to stay afloat most of the time, there were spots where more water was needed. There was a mini-rescue necessary when a canoe went sideways into a root system after running out of channel, and, at the same time, a kayak got stuck on a small rock. Both were freed without too much effort. There were two trees down across the river at points above the covered bridge. Current was moderate at these spots, and we were able to get around one tree going river right (more easily after Dave Butler broke off a few branches) and the other we skirted river left. As one paddler remarked, the Saco often just has "too much wood." We stopped for lunch at an ancient picnic table seemingly washed to its position by flood waters, and continued on this wonderful meandering river into the rock garden at the covered bridge and on to the take out at the gazebo at Humphrey's Ledge where we arrived about 2:15pm. We had obtained prior permission by the owner to land there. We topped off our day with pizzas and brew at Flatbread Pizza in North Conway, which is well worth a visit. My thanks to Tom and Laurie for leading the way, to Doug and Dave Butler for advance scouting some tricky sections, and to Mike Cummings and Tom Sawyer for providing pre-trip gauge and condition information.

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Lower Carrabassett
Section: below Kingfield to the Wire Bridge
Date: 2014-04-20
Level: Class 2 low
Participants: 8 paddlers: Ken Severy, David Lanman, David Duggan in solo canoes, Bob and Max Holtzman, Scott Nelson and Lynn Hempen in tandem canoes, Carolyn Welch in kayak.
Report: We met at McDonald's in Farmington at 9:00, did the shuttle, and were in the water about 11:15. The medium river level Scott and Lynn had seen the previous day had dropped overnight more than a foot to a low level. This meant lots of rocks for surf and eddy sets. Snow melt has been delayed by below freezing temps overnight, and no rain for a week. Three days ago the marker under the Valley Rd bridge was below 1. Today the No Anson gauge was about 1275 cfs. There was still considerable snow in the woods and big cakes of ice along the banks. A bright and sunny day, but chilly, under 40 degrees. The sun warmed us up, rising to 60 degrees by the time we arrived at the Wire Bridge takeout about 1:15. We had snack lunches at the riverside picnic table, then most of us reconvened at Gifford's in Farmington for well deserved ice cream cones. Another good paddling day -

Submitter: Dave Lanman
River: Sheepscot
Section: Kings Mills to Head Tide
Date: 2014-04-12
Level: 1260cfs Class 2
Participants: Dave Lanman(TC), Ken Severy, Dave Duggan, Bob Holtzman, Doug Field (solo canoes); Dave Boyle, Carolyn Welch (kayaks)
Report: Leaving two vehicles at the take out, we got ready to launch at Kings Mills Lane where we met Daryn Slover and his son who were going to tandem kayak. They were not part of our trip, but there was an opportunity for old paddling friends to get reacquainted. We were on the water about 11:00am. It was sunny and warm; too warm, in fact, for some of us in our cold water gear, but a hand in the water was an instant reminder of why that gear was critical. The level (1260cfs) was several hundred cfs higher than the previous week. There was still a pool to launch into by the stone wall, but there was more current there. If the CFS was much higher, it would make for difficult launching. The river carried us swiftly, and there were only a few rocks exposed. There were enough to play behind, however, and plenty of standing waves to surf. We made one rest stop in a flat water section, where we pondered a strange zipper-like growth on a tree, then continued on to the take out. At this level, the take out is easier as there is a small cove behind the big rock to the right of the dam. Lower levels leave paddlers negotiating slippery banks. Another good day had by all on this pleasant river.

Submitter: Patti Rutka
River: Marsh and Sou Races
Section: shortened race courses
Date: 2014-04-12
Level: Both 3' or so
Participants: Souadabscook, Saturday: Allan Fuller and Barbara, Tom Plummer, Brian Butilier, John Crocker, Ken Gordon, Jonathan Wheaton, Will Farren, Travis Boudreau, Kirk Ross, Tom and Patti Rutka. Sunday, Marsh Race: Al Fuller and Barbara, Mike Smith, Chris Audet, To
Report: This year's Sou and Marsh races were different from last year's on two accounts. We had a lot more water than the rivers have seen in probably the last three years combined, but we were minus our charismatic and inimitable leader, old What's-His-Name.

The MACKRO race coordinators offered shortened courses that went through fewer rapids in the interest of safety, because the water levels were very challenging for race boats which are not designed for whitewater. There was even one racer on a SUP.

On Saturday at the Sou temps were in the high 50's and it was sunny. The Sou was running just under 3' and the pond near the start of the race was still iced in so the course meandered at the start through alders. We were certain we'd see alligators. Racers took out at the Emerson Mill rapid. Manning Mill, our usual put-in, was a big wave train with a nasty hole on river left. Boy Scout saw the most carnage. Our Big Dogs, expert kayakers Ken Gordon, Jonathan Wheaton, and Kirk Ross fished out six racers, topping the carnage numbers for the day. Thank goodness they were there! A strainer at Boy Scout obscured the entire left third of the drop and may still be there. Two boats wrapped below Manning and above Emerson will probably be there for a while.

Sunday's temps for the Marsh plummeted (after it snowed at the put-in) to 37 degrees, and then it rained. The level was also around 3'. The long race course took out at Roadside Rapid, before Pine Island, and included an optional portage around Snowmobile Rapid. One fellow in a sit-upon flipped after Snowmobile and didn't finish. At Roadside, there was rampant carnage and rescue activity where all canoeists ran the hard left line that had a very tight approach. Four boats flipped and two were swept away a third of a mile below to a calmer pool. Our non-PPCS helpers, Chris Audet and Travis Boudreau from Send It Maine, continued on downriver with Mike Smith after the race, but coordinators Tom and Patti Rutka bailed on account of cold feet and hands. A special thanks to Brian and Jody Butilier for knowing what's what so well at these racers, and a huge thanks goes out to all the folks who made this day come together in Kyle's absence. The racers are always grateful for the PPCS's help at safety and this year was no exception. They also raised about $1000 for charity.

Submitter: Patti Rutka
River: Narraguagus
Section: Beddington Lake to Deblois
Date: 2014-04-10
Level: 3400 cfs
Participants: Helen Hess, Patti Rutka
Report: A bootleg trip to the Narraguagus: I'd never done the Narraguagus so I wanted a little time Downeast and to sample a new river. Helen's schedule permitted her to accompany me. The river was screaming with recent rain and melt-off from a heavy snow season. Helen told me 2000 cfs was beefy, so we had more than enough water, but even at that level it's still a Class II excluding the drop at the take-out bridge in Deblois which looked to be Class IV+ or V. Even at the high level it remained Class II, but if you were boating at your limit you would find the pushiness at these levels something to contend with, and if you were to swim you'd go for a long way. We had a sunny day with temps in the high 60's. It's a pretty river. But the best part of the trip for me, apart from the company, was Helen and I riding in our canoes down the ice-covered put-in road for about a third of a mile. I watched Helen take off ahead of me, her helmet and braid growing smaller in the distance, and I had to lie on the ground in my drysuit I was laughing so hard. Monkey see, monkey do: I climbed into my Outrage, braced on the ice, and the boat picked up speed to what felt like 30 mph. The boat eddied out at the bottom where the road became flat and I fell out over the gunwale, again, laughing. That Helen Hess is a lot of fun.

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Sheepscot
Section: Kings Mills to HeadTide dam
Date: 2014-04-06
Level: 1000 cfs
Participants: 6 paddlers: Dave Lanman in his solo canoe. Catherine Kimball, Dave Boyle, Cathi Reed, Rodney Reed, Carolyn Welch in kayaks.
Report: Such a lovely spring day! It was a bit under 40 degrees with bright sunshine and a significant breeze when we met at the Head Tide Dam take out. We shuttled up to the Kings Mills putin and were on the water about 10:15. There was still some patches of ice and snow along the banks. After the recent rain and some snowmelt, the water level was high. Many rocks were washed out, but there were still enough waves and eddy sets to keep us happy. We saw several pairs of ducks, apparently scouting the river for possible spring and summer residence. We meandered down the river with no mishaps, arriving at the take out about 12:15. The Bowdoin College Outing Club came in just after us and loaded up their several canoes on a large boat trailer. It was a bit too chilly with the breeze for a second run, so 4 of us assembled at Sarah's in Wiscasset for a late lunch. Ah, another fine day on this little gem of a river!

Submitter: Helen Hess
River: Souadabscook Stream
Section:
Date: 2014-04-06
Level:
Participants: Helen Hess TC, Bob Holtzman, Patti Rutka, Jason Littlefield, Kenny DeCoster, Tom Rutka OC-1; Justin Davis, Brett Ciccotelli, Ron Chase, Mike Smith, Ken Cline, Darron Collins kayak.
Report: Ice out finally came at last, and we had a large and lively group eager to run the Sou on a sunny spring day. For many, this was the first run of the year, and the Sou offered a great opportunity to get back into paddling form, with a fairly low level, just a bit below the footer at Emerson Bridge. Overhanging ice shelves along the banks as well as sheets of ice in the eddies demanded a bit more attention than a typical Sou run. To say nothing of the temperature of the water, which had clearly melted only moments before. The few swims that happened were immediately followed by instant self-rescues by highly motivated boaters. The only one who didn't seem to notice the cold water was Justin, who surfed it up at the first feature, initially with a paddle, but then with only his neoprene-mitted hands. He could even roll up using those things. There were diverse activities at this first feature, from basking in the sunny eddy, to gentle surfing on the smooth wave, to more adventuresome play in the hole. Bob is very new to whitewater playboating, and it was his first time on the Sou; one of the highlights was seeing him totally ace the drop at Emerson Bridge. Other firsts included running Grand Falls for Ken and Darron, who joined the other kayakers and Patti down the only class IV rapid on this run. The rest of the open boaters dragged through the snow on the right shore and put in again below the falls to run the final set of waves and ledges before the take-out. Even while boats were being loaded, schemes were hatched for more paddling during the rest of the week. The boating season has truly arrived.

Submitter: Ron Chase per The Waterman
River: Cobbossee Stream
Section:
Date: 2014-03-29
Level: Class II/III - 350 cfs
Participants: Ryan Galway, Kenny "The Eggman" DeCoster and TC
Report: "The Icebreaker" is how Ryan described the trip. Not literally correct, it did have a ring of truth. As far as we knew, ours was the first club trip of the year and there was an ice breaker indirectly involved. Meeting in my hometown of Gardiner, we had sunny weather, temperatures flirting with 50 and a decent 350 cfs. In short, we had stumbled into a March whitewater paradise in Maine. After a lengthy discussion, the consensus was that few people were more deserving than us. Putting in at the pumping station directly below the second dam downriver of Pleasant Pond, there were some nice surfing waves before reaching a quality play spot where we experienced the first good surfs of the year. Just below, a mandatory portage followed left around the final dam. We had fast, continuous Class II/III whitewater for about .7 of a mile until joining the Kennebec River. Upscale waves and a tricky, blind drop between trestle abutments kept our attention. Fortuitously, an icebreaker had forged it's way up the Kennebec to Gardiner just a couple of days before. As a result, we were able to end the run with a short paddle amidst ice bergettes on the Kennebec to the town landing where several mystified natives took photographs of the alien loony tunes. Lacking something more constructive to do, we ran it again. The high point of the day for me was when Eggie said he'd missed me over winter. A close second; the TC was given full credit for the weather.

Submitter: Suzanne Cole
River: Mt. Tremont, NH
Section: Mt. Tremont Trail
Date: 2014-02-08
Level: 3371 ft.
Participants: Nancy and Ron Chase, Gary and Suzanne Cole (TC)
Report: It felt like old times with the four of us hiking together again; we have climbed dozens and dozens of mountains together over the years. This was new mountain for all of us, and for a short hike (5.6 miles round trip), we had a fair amount of elevation to gain (2600 ft). It was a sunny day, but the trail was dark and cool because it was in Stony Brook valley for a long ways. We ascended Tremont and the trail became steeper as we neared the top. There were a few spots, where the trail was particularly steep and icy underneath the fresh snow, that required the use of all four extremities to wrap around trees as we pulled and pried our way up. The top of the mountain afforded a great view southwest from Chocorua around to Carrigain. The decent was quick and uneventful with the exception of a couple of falls as we glissaded down the snowy trails.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Donnell Pond
Section:
Date: 2013-11-16
Level: Surf & Turf
Participants: Bob Holtzman and co-TCs Bill Blauvelt & Ron Chase. Trip Clandestine participants: Helen Hess & Paul Plumer
Report: Four intrepid members met at the boat landing in Franklin for a mid-November surf and turf trip. Three of us, Bob, Bill and I, were official trip participants. The fourth, Helen, was part of a two-person clandestine trip, officially known as Trip Clandestine. Weather conditions were cool and gray with light winds but the forecast called for warmer, sunny weather. We were wicked optimistic. Celebrating diversity paddling a sea kayak, tandem canoe and solo canoe, we had an uneventful, very pleasurable 3 mile paddle across Donnell Pond. After setting up camp and meticulously studying the posted trail map, we had a heated argument as to whether or not we should tear the map off the bulletin board. Lacking good judgment and foresight, we made the ethical choice. It was a bad one. Surpassing a responsible turn-around time on Black Mountain, we missed a junction or junctions on our return trip. No one is pointing fingers, but we were following Bob, the new member. Arriving at camp just before dark, a huge rabid mammal crashed through the woods pulling the tail end of an old army deuce half filled with firewood. Part Two of Trip Clandestine, former club president Paul Plumer had ostentatiously arrived. Many half lies, lies and total untruths were told around the campfire. In the morning, we had the early bird start on Schoodic Mountain, consisting of the official trip participants, followed by sleepy Trip Clandestine. Despite patchy clouds, we enjoyed outstanding views from the summit. Leaving Past President Paul on the beach contemplating the esoteric meaning of life, we enjoyed a pleasant paddle across the pond. No confirmation as to Paul’s safe return was available at the time of this report.

Submitter: Ryan Galway
River: Little Suncook
Section: Epsom NH
Date: 2013-10-19
Level: Release 250cfs?
Participants: Kenny Decoster OC-1, Ryan Galway TC OC-1, Ron Chase K-1, Bill Blauvelt K-1, Eric Lougee k-1
Report: The day began sunny and nice. Kenny and I decided to leave extra early in order to avoid Ron beating us to the meeting place and hazing us by tapping his watch. The plan worked as we tapped our wrists and grinned cheek to cheek as Ron pulled up and made clear it was not 10:00 yet. We scouted the 1st rapid which was rated CIV but we felt would have been better suited at a CIII+ rating. It was hairy fast and tight but none of us had trouble on the first run and I still debate weather this or the dam boof was the highlight of the run. We did have an unexpected swim below this rapid in a hole that we didn't give enough credit to but an easy rescue followed with no further issues. After the first rapid the group fell into a rhythm of leap frogging through a mile or so of narrow (this river averaged 15 feet wide) creeky fun class 3. After this we came to a short pond which still had current. At the end of the pond was a fun 4 foot boof off a dam which was fun and without consequence. We all enjoyed this and then proceeded through the second half of the river which was more continuous CII-III for the next 1.25 miles to the take out. We all grabbed a bite to eat and put on around 12:30 for a second run. By now the temps were in the mid 60s and we were very pleased to get such warm temps this late in the year. The second run did result in 1 swim on the 1st rapid, but rescue went well, as we were assisted buy a boater on shore. The favor was quickly returned as we rescued a boat from another group and helped them reunite boat to boater. The rest of the run was without incident, and all appreciated the great weather and fun of sampling a new run. Some video of the first rapid available https://vimeo.com/77557459 Hope more members get to enjoy this next year.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Illegal Trafficking in Acadia
Section: Loop Road
Date: 2013-10-14
Level: Scary
Participants: Rodney & Cathi Rabblerouser, Tom & Patti Terrific, Gary & Suzanne Columbus, Egg White, Brent Eternal, John Brewski, Tom Marigold, Laurie Wallflower, Sandi Frankincense and TC Ron Chase
Report: Coping with the Shutdown was our challenge. While the rest of the civilized world struggled to survive with “our” National Parks closed, an intrepid group of cyclists decided to face the daunting challenge head on. We would test our mettle and ride the Acadia Park Loop Road. The dangers were obvious; Essential Park Rangers might be waiting in ambush, we could be fined by our government for biking on our road. The rewards were equally beneficial; the best bike ride in New England when there is no traffic. We were up to the task. Beginning as near to Jordan Pond as possible, without running artificial barriers; we climbed steadily on the two way traffic section of the Loop Road to the Cadillac Mountain Road. But there was no two way traffic, just occasional walkers and cyclists. It was soooo sweet. The great descent to a gate that was closed but still open was well, very satisfying. Marvelous views without hundreds of mindless drivers from New Jersey traveling at three times the posted speed limit. Crowds of walkers had hiked into Thunder Hole and Sandy Beach. We stopped at virtually every scenic spot. Serious milling was pervasive throughout the ride. I’ll cast my ballot now; let’s have a shutdown every Columbus Day Weekend.

Submitter: patti Rutka
River: test
Section:
Date: 2013-10-07
Level:
Participants: test
Report: test

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: St. George
Section: Searsmont to No. Appleton
Date: 2013-09-15
Level: Medium class 2 (about 1200 cfs on the Sheepscot)
Participants: to start: Carol Kensey in solo canoe, Skip Pendleton and Carolyn Welch in kayaks. later: BB Adams and Zip Kellogg in tandem canoe.
Report: Such a glorious day, lots of sunshine, blue skies, some puffy clouds, about 65 degrees when we put in about 10:00. The current was good, water level good. Skip and Carol reported it was a bit higher than when they paddled here yesterday. We thought that a bit odd since the Big Rain had been 2 days earlier - hummm. We enjoyed the stretch of flatwater, and marveled at all the vegetation along the banks, which we don’t see when we paddle here in the early spring. There were 4 large birds riding the thermals high up which we guessed were turkey vultures, and a smaller bird, probably a hawk. The whitewater section seemed lower than I expected, but still plenty of flow for us to surf, ferry, and do eddy sets. We sluiced thru the old dam on far river left and were surfing at the base of the dam when we spotted a tandem canoe upstream with the bow paddler calmly standing to get a better read, then she got back down, and the tandem paddlers expertly navigated the tricky center drop. Of course they were experts! They were BB Adams and Zip Kellogg. When I remarked on their finesse, BB said she was just threading the needle - We had a most pleasant visit during the remainder to the flatwater, arriving at the 105 bridge takeout shortly after 12:00. BB and Zip had brought just one car, so we were glad to include them in our shuttle to the put in. Another delightful day on the dear little St George, with the most excellent extended family of PPCS paddlers.

Submitter: Suzanne Cole
River: Austin Stream
Section:
Date: 2013-09-14
Level: 625 cfs
Participants: Participants: Ron Chase, Clyde Mitchell, Jonathan Wheaton, Patti and Tom Rutka, Kenny DeCoster, Matt Hearst, Evan Sanborn, Owen McGuire, John Brower, and Julia Richmond. TC: Suzanne and Gary Cole
Report: The Dead at 3500 cfs was the scheduled trip - plan A. When we arrived at Webb’s Shuttle Service, we found that there was a problem. Andy Webb told us that the flow line was saying that there was only a 300 cfs release, not 3500. We all found this hard to believe and a particularly difficult pill to swallow – we love the 3500 release. No one knew why this was happening, or in this case not happening. Folks said that Brookfield, the dam operators, had laid-off 30 or so people that week and maybe that was why we had no water. When we finally accepted our situation, we started talking about other options - plan B. Austin Stream was running. Was Cold Stream up? And, there was always the Kennebec . The discussion was going round and round, when Tee Brower came back to the group and said it looked like the water was rising. Down went a contingent to the river’s edge, our hopes rose, could we be back to plan A? Unfortunately, the posture of the returning river observers was less than jubilant. They agreed the river was up a little, but probably due to rain and natural flow; if 3500 was released, it wouldn’t be at West Forks this early, back to plan B. Then Albert Marinilli, of Rapid Shooters, drove in with a little more information. Northern had gone in early, before the bad news spread, and they and the other raft companies were on the phone trying to figure out what was happening. Raft companies have more clout than private boaters, so our hopes started to rise. If someone released the water now, would it arrive in time? The answer was no, it wouldn’t get there until 3:00 or so, way too late to start a 16 mile trip. Plan B it was, but which plan B. We decided to run Austin Stream for a couple of reasons. It is only available with natural flow and it was running, and our group was geared toward the Dead at 3500, not the big water of the Kennebec or the tight technical of Cold Stream (in fact, we never checked to see if there was water in Cold Stream). A couple boaters who signed up for the Dead decided to paddle the Kennebec. However, we still had a group of 13 boaters and off we went to Austin Stream. Locating the put in to Austin Stream is always tricky, and this task was entrusted to Ron. He has a good memory and is not afraid to make a decision and go with it. We stopped our search somewhere around mile 5 and dragged our boats down to the river. This is no easy task, it’s about 1/8 mile down a steep bank and through the woods, but get to the river we did. About half of us had paddled the river before and some knew it pretty well. Austin Stream is almost continuous class 3 with lots of pesky rocks to go around. The water level was 625 cfs which is not high, but a good level. The nature of the river made it difficult to keep the group together and we had a few swims and pinned boats. At one point, Gary had two swimmers on one throw bag line. Lower down, during this same incident, Tom and Patti used team work and lots of muscle to unpin a boat and paddle. Team work was again required further downstream to unpin this boat again. This was a little dicey because it was at the top of a rapid. After that, it was smooth boating to the take out. Later that evening, while dining at Northern, Suzy Hockmeyer stopped by our table to chat. She said that they did in fact release 3500 cfs that day and it was the flow phone that was incorrect. What a shame. We lost out on a great run on the Dead, Webb’s Shuttle lost a lot of business and the raft companies, all but Northern who ran the Dead, had to make other plans at the last minute. The whole boating community was not happy about Brookfield’s ineptness.

Submitter: Patti Rutka
River: Dead
Section:
Date: 2013-09-01
Level: 5500 cfs
Participants: OC1: Norm Rehn, John Brower, K. James Duckworth, Patti Rutka. Shredder: Jim and Christina Smoot, Frank Yuling and unidentified young female newbie. K1: Kenny Delker, Jean Marie Miller, Ron Chase, Suzanne Cole, Gary Cole, Rodney Reed, Tom Rutka (TC), Sandy
Report: Sunny and warm, September 1st, in the Forks. What could be better? It was a no-carnage day, although Kyle showed us all how to roll an OC1 at least three times throughout the day after he came steaming down from a late put-on to catch us all at Quatro. The kayaks could have put up a tent and cooked dinner at Quatro they played so long, while Ron rolled his eyes in the eddy, thinking no one would have anything left for the rest of the river, but the dynamic trio of Ken, Jonathan, and Scott tore it up for the enlightenment of the rest of us. I think Clyde and Rodney were in there, too, probably doing cartwheels, while Jean Marie and Suzanne showed how girls do it, putting the "u" in "surf." Not to be outdone by Kyle, Suzanne showed us all just how to roll up in a large wave train after a gnarly-*ss surf, and then again how to do it while hunting for that elusive seam in lower Poplar below Pyramid. Gary proved it is possible to style the river even while feeling poorly; we can only hope the beer afterwards helped. Tom got back into the groove from OC1'ing to kayaking in his "new" RPM and kept an attentive eye on the group at the bottom of each drop. Remarkably, the group stayed together for most of the river, especially down Mile Long and in upper and lower Poplar. Sandy had again made the epic drive for the weekend. The Italian-Pennsylvania contingent had also made the long travel north this year and shredded upper Poplar in particular, grabbing a line at one point to push beyond an inadvertent entry into a hole. Frankie and his unnamed young lady, new to whitewater, added shredder power to the run through Poplar, but nothing else Frank did the entire day can be commented on because, well, no one saw him till Poplar. Also relatively new to the group was a most accomplished boater, Kenny Delker, who we are happy to have join our ranks. The OC1's made a good, if not huge, showing; Dan Pelletier would have joined us but had pulled a shoulder. Patti had a fun ride in her newly re-outfitted Outrage that Tom had spent all week on. John in his "big" boat again modeled for us how little effort it takes to get down a river. Norm appeared, paddled, and disappeared, quiet and congenial and masterful in that big boat as ever. Rodney deserves extra kudos for driving K.James back into the put-in, a shuttle that most of us are getting to old to willingly do at the end of a long, resplendent, but tiring day. Dinner and beer afterward at the campground and then the Hawk's Nest allowed many of us to catch up on millin' and telling lies, capping off a perfect day.

Submitter: Patti Rutka
River: Magalloway River
Section: below the gnarly stuff
Date: 2013-08-17
Level: 1200 cfs
Participants: OC1: Kenny DeCoster, Ryan Galway, Tom Rutka (TC), Patti Rutka (TC), Ken Glusman. K1: Lindsey Macleod, Cathel Macleod, Pat D'Amboise, Julia Richmond, Cathi Reinfelder, Rodney Reed, Matt Hearst, Owen Maguire, Ron Chase, Jean Miller. Shredder: Morrill Nason,
Report: Carnage Fest! As the runs wore on, throughout the day and the weekend, the Magalloway proved once again that it exacts its price despite its class 3 rating. The TC thinks of it as her favorite little river to hate, and is sure that the Native American translation of Magalloway must be "River That Fights Itself" because of all the chop and chaos.

It is advisable to not look upstream at all when putting in; at least now there is an outhouse at the put-in parking lot. The portion of the river that we run starts off with a bang. Each boater is on his or her own from the get-go because the put-in is cramped and the river takes a bend hard right, so the boater is out of sight lickety-split. Any swims are mandatory self-rescue in this section and you WILL get banged up. One swim the second day had copious amounts of blood from a leg, but by last report the boater is doing fine. For the first run on Saturday we had very little carnage; it was after the lunch nap-time urge set in that we had more swims on the second run. In fact, the only run that had no carnage whatsoever for the whole weekend was the third run on that first day, at 650 cfs low-flow. While no names will be mentioned when it comes to swims, some of us were treated to watching the unflappable Julia ender in the last major hole below the cabin (that used to be red but isn't anymore). That hole must be deep because she launched the boat skyward, landed back in the hole, re-circed a few times, and finally flushed out just as the TC hopped out of her boat with a throwbag. Way to go Julia!

For Sunday's runs we had even more boaters join, including the Galway family in their little raft, and a guest AMC boater, Sue Schaller. While guiding the family R-A-F-T (which is a four-letter word) on the second run, the TC committed the cardinal sin of almost running over Ron Chase while he was surfing...and that's the pay-back he gets for all the rescuing he did! Jean Miller also missed a fair bit of the river by chasing down boats, but she seemed cheerful enough about it, and we're immensely grateful for the safety.

While we apparently had an unfortunate theft of a bike wheel off a car at the take-out on Sunday, otherwise we had a blast, even with the swims. The weather was absolutely perfect for the entire weekend and a number of us spent a pleasant evening at the Northern Waters campground on the Androscoggin on Friday and Saturday nights. The Magalloway is not to be taken lightly, but is well worth the drive over to the far side of the state.

Submitter: Allan Fuller
River: Stonington Islands
Section:
Date: 2013-08-17
Level:
Participants: Saturday: Amy VanKirk, Brent Elwell, Dave Wallace, Bill Blauvelt, Palmer Curtis, Dekker (English setter), Allsn Fuller, guests: Alva Couch and Elizabeth Cacavicchi Sunday: Brent Elwell, Dave Wallace, Palmer Curtis, Dekker (English setter), Allsn Fulle
Report: Stonington - Saturday. We left Old Quarry Camp Grounds around 9:30 am. The four sea kayaks (Amy VanKirk, Brent Elwell, Dave Wallace, Bill Blauvelt) lead by Amy headed for Saddle Back Island, Green Island and back. They saw one porpoise and one seal. The Tripper with Allan Fuller, Palmer Curtis and Dekker, (English setter) and the K2 with Alva Couch and Elizabeth Cacavicchi headed outwith Amy's group and split off so that we would not hold the faster kayaks back. We paddled out to Spruce Island, Coombs, St Helena and met up with the others at Green for a swim and the loop trail. The 4 of us went to Crotch Island. The tide was very low and the inlet at Crotch Island was high and dry. I have never seen it so low. We could only paddle a short way in. We observed a lot of shore birds feeding in the shallow waters. The muscle beds high and dry. We saw two porpoises on our paddle. We arrived back at the camp grounds at 4:30 pm. Our guests, Alva and Elizabeth, were interesting people. They pedaled from Brunswick on a tandem recumbent bike. Bill (owner of the campgrounds) did not have a camp site for them. I invited Alva and Elizabeth to join us at Camp Site 9. I told them the PPCS were friendly and welcomed them. They were fun and interesting people. Alva is a professor at Tufts and director of team developing a database of all watershed data in the world. Elizabeth teaches physics at Harvard with her classes being held at MIT. She is a fantastic artist. The weather was amazing. The winds were light and variable in the morning and turned from the northwest to southwest as the day proceeded. We had tail wind of 10 mph on the way back to the campgrounds. Stonington - Sunday - Dave Wallace, Brent Elwell, Allan Fuller, Palmer Curtis and Dekker took off from the campgrounds about 9 am and paddled north towards Blue Hill going in and out of some inlets. We had lunch at Lazy Gut Island. We headed back and paddled into a head wind of about 15 mph for an hour or so. Brent put us all through a good workout. Fun two days of paddling. One observation is that there were lots of people camping at Old Quarry Camp Grounds. Just about every place one could put a tent was occupied. There were a lot of kayaks paddling all over the place. Great weather.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Dead River
Section: Big Eddy to West Forks
Date: 2013-08-10
Level: 1800 cfs
Participants: Brent Elwell T/C, Troy Alexander
Report: This trip replicated the early Dead trips which included the upper eight mile section Saturday and the lower Dead from Spencer Stream to West Forks the second day. We encountered strong head winds on Saturday. The Bigelow Mountain Range was visible from a number of places on this stretch. There is not much for rapids on this stretch. Except for a small rapid at the put-in and a short section of rapids above Grand Falls, it is flatwater. It took about 4 hrs. to paddle from the Big Eddy to Grand Falls. The Grand Falls portage was not for the faint of heart. We had great a great backdrop for pictures paddling below the falls. We decided to stay at the Grand Falls Hut near Spencer Rapids on Saturday. This meant we did not have to carry camping gear and food. The hut provided great all you can eat meals and even a river lunch on Sunday. This hut is the most remotely placed of the four huts in the Huts to Trails system. There were only two other people staying in the hut Saturday night. The most amazing thing about this trip was not seeing another boater on the entire river. We started paddling the lower section Sunday morning and made it to the recreational boater take out in three hours. The hardest part of the trip was driving the shuttle 70 miles each way, but it worth seeing the upper section of the Dead. I would recommend that if someone wanted to paddle it in future years that they coordinate it with the Grand Falls Huckfest, so that trip participants have the opportunity to watch paddlers launch off Grand Falls. My last observation about paddling these two sections - what an incredibly long day of paddling for those folks who did it all in one day.

Submitter: Jim Francoeur
River: Seboomook
Section: Roll Dam
Date: 2013-08-02
Level: 517 cfs
Participants: Jim Francoeur TC K-1 OC-1 Shredder, K-1 Justin Davis, Elliot Rappaport, Clyde Mitchell, Mike Smith, Louis Boulanger, Duckie John Preble
Report: Another weekend at Seboomook and a great time was had by all. On the drive in to Seboomook we came very close to having an intimate encounter with a young moose, let say less than inches from sending him (moose) to his final resting place. Fortunately for my truck it didn’t happened, but very close. Justin and I arrived at Roll Dam on Thursday afternoon and quickly set up camp then headed for the river for our first run of the weekend. Not sure we set any records or not, but Justin and I did 5 runs on Seboomook in 24 hrs and those runs where not just paddling to get down the river. All the runs lasted over 2 hrs + as Justin decided to play and surf in every spot he could. He wanted to get one more in, but this old man was tired. We were joined over the weekend with paddlers from our club and friends from as far away as Georgia (Louis). The weather was spotty; rain in the mornings, but it cleared everyday by mid-morning, we did miss two huge thunderstorms and had a great double rainbow to watch for quite some time. Over the weekend we (Justin and I) log 9 trips down the river. I got to paddle (successfully) my new OC-1 (Outrage X) on three trips (I need to adjust the padding), spent 5 trips in my kayak and just because I brought the shredder, I thought I should at least use it once.

Submitter: Suzanne and Gary Cole
River: Austin Stream, AKA Dead at 350
Section:
Date: 2013-08-02
Level: 625 cfs
Participants: Ron Chase, Clyde Mitchell, Jonathan Wheaton, Patti and Tom Rutka, Kenny DeCoster, Matt Hearst, Evan Sanborn, Owen McGuire, John Brower, and Julia Richmond.
Report: The Dead at 3500 cfs was the scheduled trip - plan A. When we arrived at Webb’s Shuttle Service, we found that there was a problem. Andy Webb told us that the flow line was saying that there was only a 300 cfs release, not 3500. We all found this hard to believe and a particularly difficult pill to swallow – we love the 3500 release. No one knew why this was happening, or in this case not happening. Folks said that Brookfield, the dam operators, had laid-off 30 or so people that week and maybe that was why we had no water. When we finally accepted our situation, we started talking about other options - plan B. Austin Stream was running. Was Cold Stream up? And, there was always the Kennebec . The discussion was going round and round, when Tee Brower came back to the group and said it looked like the water was rising. Down went a contingent to the river’s edge, our hopes rose, could we be back to plan A? Unfortunately, the posture of the returning river observers was less than jubilant. They agreed the river was up a little, but probably due to rain and natural flow; if 3500 was released, it wouldn’t be at West Forks this early, back to plan B. Then Albert Marinilli, of Rapid Shooters, drove in with a little more information. Northern had gone in early, before the bad news spread, and they and the other raft companies were on the phone trying to figure out what was happening. Raft companies have more clout than private boaters, so our hopes started to rise. If someone released the water now, would it arrive in time? The answer was no, it wouldn’t get there until 3:00 or so, way too late to start a 16 mile trip.

Plan B it was, but which plan B. We decided to run Austin Stream for a couple of reasons. It is only available with natural flow and it was running, and our group was geared toward the Dead at 3500, not the big water of the Kennebec or the tight technical of Cold Stream (in fact, we never checked to see if there was water in Cold Stream). A couple boaters who signed up for the Dead decided to paddle the Kennebec. However, we still had a group of 13 boaters and off we went to Austin Stream.

Locating the put in to Austin Stream is always tricky, and this task was entrusted to Ron. He has a good memory and is not afraid to make a decision and go with it. We stopped our search somewhere around mile 5 and dragged our boats down to the river. This is no easy task, it’s about 1/8 mile down a steep bank and through the woods, but get to the river we did. About half of us had paddled the river before and some knew it pretty well. Austin Stream is almost continuous class 3 with lots of pesky rocks to go around. The water level was 625 cfs which is not high, but a good level. The nature of the river made it difficult to keep the group together and we had a few swims and pinned boats. At one time, Gary had two swimmers on one throw bag line. Lower down, during this same incident, Tom and Patti used team work and lots of muscle to unpin a boat and paddle. Team work was again required further downstream to unpin this boat again. This was a little dicey because it was at the top of a rapid. After that, it was smooth boating to the take out.

Later that evening, while dining at Northern, Suzy Hockmeyer stopped by our table to chat. She said that they did in fact release 3500 cfs that day and it was the flow phone that was incorrect. What a shame. We lost out on a great run on the Dead, Webb’s Shuttle lost a lot of business and the raft companies, all but Northern who ran the Dead, had to make other plans at the last minute. The whole boating community was not happy about Brookfield’s ineptness.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Kennebec
Section: Gorge
Date: 2013-07-21
Level: 5000+
Participants: Kenny Delker, Paul Peters, Stephanie Peters, Bob Nasdor, Mark Nelson, Ryan Galway, Kenny DeCoster, John Brower, Suzanne Cole, Gary Cole, Patti Rutka, Julia Richmond and TC
Report: Triskaidephobia ignored, a lucky thirteen showed up for the Kennebec Gorge trip on the second day of our annual summer festival. We experienced the usual shuttle confusion with some taking out at Carry Brook and others floating to the Forks. Plans changed several times but we managed to get everyone off the river and, to my knowledge, safely home. This was a celebration of diversity as we had a shredder, two open boats and seven kayaks. There was one first timer, The Eggman, some almost first timers, Kenny Delker and Bob Nasdor, several regulars and a few irregulars. Our group worked very well together with the regulars getting a fair amount of play time in while keeping a wary eye on the irregulars. The two tandem canoes provided most of the entertainment with Ryan and Eggie proving that you can stay upright in Big Mama Rapid with water flowing out of the boat and Patti and John doing a half pirouette on the top of Big Mama. Virulent screams of success emanated from Eggie’s craft at the bottom of all major rapids. Jonathan Wheaton mysteriously appeared and disappeared throughout the trip but was not officially on it. This was a carnage free day with abundant sunshine. Shweta and Mason Galway and another friend whose name I never got, joined us at Carry Brook. Think Mason got more swimming time in than paddling.

Submitter: Jim Francoeur
River: Kennebec
Section: Harris Dam
Date: 2013-07-21
Level: 1400 cfs
Participants: Jim Francoeur TC, Brent Elwell, Cathi Rienfelder, Rodney Reed, Sandy Ross K-1, Kyle Duckworth C-1, Jason Littlefield )C-1, Brian & Jody Butilier OC-2
Report: Rumor has it that there is a new release level on the Kennebec. Fish flow stops at 9am and the water release begins to increase until the scheduled release starts at 10am. A few brave souls ventured to the Kennebec to try out this new water release (1400 cfs). THIS IS NOT A FISH FLOW LEVEL. The run is a solid Class III. Brent said it resembles the 2400 cfs that they have on some days. The weather was beautiful. We left the campground at 8am and got to Harris Dam in plenty of time. We where on the water at 9am when the horn sounded. 9-9:15 450 cfs and at 9:15 1400 cfs, We waited for the 1400 cfs. It didn't give the group any spare time to play that much. Nice drops, plenty of water, Big Mama was nasty, hard river right is the only line with only a few feet to spare. Cathi had an awesome combat roll above a large pour over. A few minutes before 10am we where at Magic. We ran Magic (highway) (stay away from Magic itself -nasty) Maytag is a bolder the size of a car. It was right in front of me, had a nice combat roll, hit something else and flipped me again, tried to roll and found that I had some equipment damage. A short easy self rescue and I was back on my way. Everyone else made the run through Magic with ease. The group waited for the water to rise below Magic so some surfing could be done. Plenty of smiles about the water level and the experiences we just had at this level. Great level, one that I'll do a lot more...

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Dead and Kennebec
Section: Webb's campground to Caratunk
Date: 2013-07-21
Level: class 1
Participants: Faryl Wiley and Carolyn Welch in kayaks
Report: Faryl, Jim Tierney, and I planned a duffer's float from the base of Lower Poplar. We spotted a car at the Caratunk town landing and headed up the Lower Poplar access road. I had seen reveling campers at the base of Lower Poplar in years gone by. But since then, this road has apparently been the training course for the Monster Truck Rally. Jim did a superb job of navigating Faryl's Subaru Outback through the potholes, mud puddles of unknown depth, and major rocks. We began to doubt that even a AAA tow truck would be able to rescue us in this godforsaken boondock. After half an hour of white knuckles, we turned back to the campground and had lunch. Jim decided to stay and read, so Faryl and I (The Intrepid Duo) put in at the campground and toodled on downstream into the wilderness. We had the Dead, the Kennebec, and Wyman Lake to ourselves, arriving at Caratunk at 4:00. Two handsome fishermen stepped right up and with gentlemanly flourish loaded our kayaks on my car. A perfect ending to an amazing day.

Submitter: Tom Rutka
River: Dead
Section:
Date: 2013-07-20
Level: 2400 cfs
Participants: OC-1: TC Tom Rutka, John Brower, Jason Littlefield, Kenny the Eggman DeCoster Oc-2: Patti Rutka and Kyle Duckworth, Helen Johnston and Peter Brown, Jody and Brian Butilier K-1: Owen Maguire, Bill Blauvelt, Jim Francouer, Rodney Reed, Cathi Reinfelder, A
Report: After thirty-six people assembled at the put-in steps they heard the words, "This group WILL break into smaller groups. So make sure you have a partner." Thus began a day of great diversity in watercraft. It was a cluster at Spencer, and the AMC joined at the pool below, shadowing us with a group of five.

As we proceeded downriver the group stretched out more, and by the time we hit Hayden's for lunch we were in two groups. The carnage didn't start until Humpty-Dumpty, and was light at that. Rescue responsibilities overlapped with the shadowing AMC as canoes and kayaks began to upset more. The TC himself got into the act when he thought he was back in a kayak and tried to plow through a hole that spit him out. When he re-oriented on shore after a near self-rescue supplemented by a powerful, loving OC-2 intervention, he realized there was another rescue going on across the river. That one involved rock climbing on moss-covered rocks, bushwhacking, and man-made footholds to descend the cliff. The chute at Elephant claimed its share, including a 15' Caption that tried to go through sideways. Yet another Caption remembered the old days and went in for a surf at Elephant rock, which resulted in a quicker-than-lightning low brace that kept the boat upright and dry. Its occupants backed off out of respect.

Lower Poplar saw its share of activity with a string of events involving a ducky, a kayak, a lawyer from AW, a shredder, and a strainer. This was not witnessed by the TC but is hearsay. Later on, the second group set safety in anticipation, but alas, on the wrong side of the river. Re-enter the AMC shadow group. Their timing was perfect to pluck our swimmer off the rock in the middle of the river. The OC-1er made room in his boat for two and paddled her safely down to her waiting boat. After one more minor skirmish with rocks the group floated out and made it with time to spare before the summer picnic began. It's not certain how many of them took a nap but everyone was present at another great potluck supper.

Submitter: K. James Duckworth
River: Swiftwater Rescue training
Section: Kennebec River
Date: 2013-07-19
Level:
Participants: Peter Brown, Helen Johnston, Tom Plummer, Jim Francouer, Will Farren, Bill Blauvelt, Lora Fulton, Faryl Wiley, Gary Fogerty, Mike Smith, Sandy Ross, Elliott Rappaport, Kyle Duckworth


Report: Thirteen people kicked off the summer picnic weekend by spending Friday July 19 in the Kennebec gorge for a Swiftwater Rescue training class. Jeremy Hargreaves and Brian Dunphy of Northeast Guide Service were the instructors.

The day began at 8:30 AM when we met at the Ball Field takeout in the Forks. We left shuttle vehicles there and drove to Harris Dam, where we met up with our instructors who had come from the other direction (their base in Greenville). For the $65 cost of the class, participants were treated to a thrilling raft ride through the gorge to our first "station" just above Carry Brook take-out. We spent the next several hours there, practicing safe techniques for diving into shallow water, rope throws, and "live bait" (tethered) rescues. By the end of it we were getting pretty good at nailing a swimmer on the numbers with a throwbag toss.

Then it was on down the river to our second station, shortly upriver from Moxie Stream. There were perfect current and bottom conditions to work on our river wading skills. By teaming up into a huddle, the thirteen of us were able to wade into stiff current and create an eddy below us big enough for John Brower and Patti Rutka (who just happened to come by in a tandem canoe) to eddy out behind.

Last thing was the obligatory Z-drag instruction, which Jeremy and Brian spent no more than 15 minutes on, with the caution that we were unlikely to ever need to use it, and to always try the simpler techniques first!

The feedback that I heard was that everyone had a great time and considered the class to be time well spent. I'm hoping to make this an annual event because I think we can fill such a class regularly.

Submitter: Greg Winston
River: Penobscot
Section: West Branch
Date: 2013-07-13
Level: class IV
Participants: Mark Nelson K-1, Don Dearborn K-1, Greg Winston K-1
Report: Sat. 7/13 3450 cfs spf 50 bkf 7.5 There was no better place to beat the July heat than in the cool waters of the West Branch, the river that made me become a kayaker sometime back in that lost last decade of the last century. We warmed up on Abol and Pock on Sat. morning before heading up for our first Gorge/Crib run. The sky was cloudless, Katahdin fully visible and the river was up at a fun level. Both of us put on a good show for spectators at the Crib, with Mark navigating the rarely run left line through the boulder garden and me hitting a roll between Turkey Chute and Pain in the Ass rock. Bonecruncher wave was in and so was the right-side ledge boof at Big A.
Off the river, we did our good turn for river and trail karma by providing a shuttle from Abol Bridge to Baxter SP to the debut members of Hiking Heroes, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who are "walking off the war" with a through-hike of the AT. It was their first day on the trail, and the two combat vets from Texas are looking to reach Springer Mt. on or before Veterans' Day.
Sun. 7/14 2260 cfs
More of the same, at a slightly lower water level. Don Dearborn joined us for his first-ever day on this river. He debuted it right with a clean run from the Gorge to Big Eddy. Don and Mark stayed on to paddle the lower sections, while I took out at Big Eddy to get back south to family obligations (read: drywall and diapers).
Note: If you're heading up that way soon, allow some extra travel time, as several miles of the Golden Road are in rough gravel and washboard form. Not sure if this is the new normal or just prep for selective repaving.

Submitter: Jim Francoeur
River: Dead River
Section:
Date: 2013-07-07
Level: 1800 CFS
Participants: Jim Francoeur (TC), Tannya Morris, Shredder, Lois Hillman K-1, Kenny Delker K-1
Report: Great day on the Dead, I met 2 new members of our club at Riverdrivers for a day for paddling on the Dead River. It started off with a Mardi Gras parade on Route 201 in The Forks. WOW What costumes ! Back to the paddle. Great water levels, They released 1800 cfs out of the dam and 500 cfs flow from Spencer made it around 2400 cfs. New member Kenny (great paddler) showed off his paddling skills after a 7 year hiatus from the sport. Lois, back in Maine from PA for another run down the Dead had just about the perfect run, except for a flip and combat roll at Elephant Rock shoot her run was great. Weather was cloudy and warm most of the day and when the sun did come out in full force, so did the heat.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Mussel Ridge Islands
Section:
Date: 2013-06-16
Level:
Participants: Nancy Chase, Dave Duggan, Steve Ward, Amy VanKirk, Eggie DeCoster, Dave Wallace, Joline Hendershot, Dave Boyle, Amy Schrog
Report: We met at Birch Point State Park Beach in Owls Head at 9:00 AM for a sea kayak exploration of the Mussel Ridge Islands. Since my previous trip two years ago had been an unmitigated disaster with several casualties and one missing in action, tension was in the air. I tried to calm the participants by having them sign the liability waiver form. This would be the first club trip for the two Amy's and Joline; and the first visit to the archipelago for Eggie. Eggie announced several times that he's an archipelago kind of guy, which left the entire group scratching their heads in bewilderment. From the beach, we crossed Mussel Ridge Channel, past Otter Island to High Island, where we visited an old granite quarry and dock. After a committee meeting to decide our itinerary, we enjoyed the company of several seals on the ledges near Little Pond Island. Distracted by Eggie's perpetual babbling, I misread the map and mistakenly led us on the outside of Andrews Island instead of inside. There are so many islands its very confusing for a non-archipelago kind of guy. After lunch on a sandy beach on Flag Island, we navigated to a heron rookery on Graffam Island on the far western edge of the island chain. Lacking leadership, our merry band departed in several different directions. An impromptu committee meeting was held in the channel and a decision was made to further explore the archipelago. Eggie was ecstatic. We passed three gigantic eagles on an island renamed Eagle Island and found the remains of a sunken ship near the gut on Hewitt Island. We finished our trip by returning to Otter Island and crossing the channel to Owls Head. We observed an abundance of wildlife on our trip including dozens of seals, deer, and multiple bird sightings. My favorites were the pigeons, sea gulls and the white billed woodpecker. All trip decisions were made by committee and it was a no casualty trip.

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: St. George
Section: Searsmont to No. Appleton
Date: 2013-06-13
Level: Class 2. 625 cfs on the Sheepscot (comparable to
Participants: Skip Pendleton and Carolyn Welch in kayaks
Report: Due to a lot of rain earlier this week, the river was up to a nice medium class 2 level on this Thursday afternoon. We met at 12:30 at the route 105 bridge takeout, and stopped for a quick scout at the Ghent bridge. Just beyond the Searsmont bridge, the local fire department has made a turn out with a big pipe to pump water into their tank truck; this makes for a much easier putin. We started out about 1:00 with bright sunshine, about 70 degrees. We saw some iris here and there along the banks, some sandpipers, an osprey, several smaller birds, butterflies, and dragon flies. Some different than our usual spring paddles with snow and cold! We waved to Dave Wallace who stopped by to spectate at the Ghent bridge. There were plenty of places to surf and do eddy sets in the whitewater section. The sun became hazy, but it was still plenty warm. I followed Skip on river left at the old dam – an easy much safer route that river center or right where there are several submerged rocks. Skip graciously let me try out his Liquid Logic Remix, a high volume very nice kayak. We arrived at the take out about 3:45. Ah, the joys of a warm and easy summer whitewater paddle!

Submitter: Allan Fuller
River: 25 Mile Stream
Section: Rt-139 to Sebasticook River
Date: 2013-06-01
Level: Medium to High
Participants: Keli Stander. Henry Deshane, Jim Francoeur, Palmer Curtis, Quilla Philbrick, Allan Fuller
Report: Beautiful warm day. Good current all the way even in the flat water. Most drops and rapids were partially washed out. The short section between Troy Rd and Sebasticook River had some good drops. There were a number of trees in the river. They probably were not flushed out by the ice and the usual spring rains that never came. The trees were not a problem and easily avoided. We had the pleasure of a mature eagle lead us down the river for a few miles. The eagle would usually not fly until we were almost under the tree he was perched in. It was a beautiful trip on a beautiful river that flows through the woods. This was a replacement trip on 25 Miles Stream that was canceled because of low water on May 18th.

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Sheepscot
Section: Kings Mills to Head Tide Dam
Date: 2013-05-27
Level: 770 cfs, medium class 2
Participants: 8 paddlers: Dave Lanman and Dave Duggan in solo canoes; Keli Strandner, Quilla Philbrick, Jim Francoeur, and Carolyn Welch in kayaks.
Report: We met at the Head Tide Dam takeout at 10:00, left several cars, and went to the putin on the King’s Mills Rd. Temperature was about 50 degrees, with a cloudless sky and moderate breeze. We were on the water about 10:45. The 770 cfs level was very pleasant, moving right along, but still plenty of rocks for surfing and eddy sets. We arrived at the take out about 12:45. Our two canoeists left, and after some snacks, the 4 kayakers did a second run, from about 1:45 to about 3:15. Some clouds passed by, and the breeze picked up, but that didn’t hamper our spring frolicking. It actually seemed that the trees had leafed out while we were paddling, on this first really warm spring day: the temperature had risen to 66 degrees by trip end. The dear ol' Sheepscot - It may not be a biggie, but is sure is a goodie!

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Lower Carrabassett
Section: below Kingfield to wire bridge
Date: 2013-04-28
Level: class 2. medium low
Participants: Dave Lanman and Rich Sousa in solo canoes, Mary McCann-Baker in kayak, Peter Roderick and Carolyn Welch in tandem canoe.
Report: We met at McDonalds in Farmington at 9:00, left a car at the wire bridge, noted that the water level was pretty low, and went up to the putin, about 5 miles up route 27. We discussed the stream level: it was about 1250 cfs at the No. Anson gauge, and a bit below 1 on the gauge under the bridge at the Carrabasset town hall, as reported by Greg Drummond to Dave Lanman. Ken Severy, Dave Duggan, Ryan Galway and his son Mason decided to run the Middle section (see separate report by Ken Severy). The four doing the Lower section were on the water about 10:30. This was Peter's first trip with PPCS; he had just completed the NH AMC whitewater school in a solo canoe. At this rather low level, there were plenty of rocks for eddy sets and surfs. We enjoyed the abundant sunshine and mild temps, and arrived unevently at the wire bridge about 12:30. We had lunch at one of the streamside picnic tables. Later Dave Lanman and I connected with Ken and Dave Duggan and convened at Gifford's in Farmington for apres paddle ice cream. Although the low level had been challenging, we were exhilarated to have been out on one of our favorite rivers on such a fine spring day.

Submitter: Ken Severy
River: Middle Carrabassett
Section: Carrabassett Town Offices to Kingfield (D.O.T.)
Date: 2013-04-28
Level: Low: 0.6 on the bridge
Participants: Ryan & Mason Galway, Dave Duggan, and Ken Severy, paddling 3 solo canoes.
Report: We met at McDonalds in Farmington @ 09:00, proceeded to the D.O.T. lot 1 ½ miles north of beautiful downtown Kingfield and spotted a shuttle vehicle. We then proceeded to the put-in at the Carrabassett Town Offices, river left, just upstream of the bridge. It was a bit difficult to read the gauge, but it appeared to be at 0.6 feet, too low by all reports…., so we decided to go for it. We parked vehicles in the town office parking lot and headed downstream. <> The first 10 minutes felt like bumper pool to me. Very scratchy and all effort focused on finding a route through the rocks. (Dave and Ryan just picked the easy routes, and left me to do all the 360’s and rock balancing.) The next 8 miles were very nice. We were careful to follow the main channels, but only had to exit canoes once to drag across a gravel bar. <> The first 3 miles consisted of continuous easy waves (technical in places), and good current. The following 2 miles were mostly made up of quick water, and the last 3 miles included some narrower channels and medium waves. More water would have made it nicer, but I would not hesitate to run it again, even at this low level.<> Lunch was enjoyed on the east bank, in the warm sunshine. Mason and (dad) Ryan skipped rocks while Dave and I held down the sunny shore. <> We put in at 10:45, took a ½ hour lunch break, and took out at 15:15. Then met Carolyn and Dave Lanman at Giffords for ice cream. A good day on the river

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Middle Saco
Section: Bartlett to Humphreys Ledge
Date: 2013-04-27
Level: Class 2.medium low ( .7)
Participants: Dave Butler (with his dog Allie)and Dave Lanman in solo canoes; Ken Severy and Dave Porter in tandem canoe; Tom Meredith, Laurie Wunder, Dave Boyle, Carolyn Welch in kayaks.
Report: We met in No. Conway at 9:30 at the strawberry stand at the juncture of River Rd and West Side Rd. We left one shuttle car at the roadside near Humphreys Ledge. (I had gotten the ok from Ledge owner Chuck Kalil for takeout). We put in just below the Bartlett bridge on river right about 10:45. The gauge read about .7 (just under 1. The USGS No. Conway gauge was 2000 cfs; the USGS Bartlett gauge was about 600 cfs, just under 4 feet). It was sunny with some scattered clouds, about 55 degrees. Water was quite cold, with a good current. The level was somewhat low, so we had to pick our way thru shallows around the many islands and twisty turns, but no serious strainers. Our lunch stop at about 12:30 was on river right near a woods road to the water with some nice tree trunk logs to sit on. A cool breeze came upriver. The rock garden near the covered bridge got our attention, as did several spots with standing waves. We arrived at the Ledge about 2:15, and took the boats up and over the roadside guard cables. We hadn't been on this section for a few years because of frozen or low levels. It was a delight to be back! And our thanks to Tom Meredith who stepped in for Tom Sawyer to help guide us downriver. Some of us stopped at Ben and Jerry's in No. Conway. Yum!

Submitter: Dave Lanman
River: Ossipee
Section: Kezar Falls to Cornish Station
Date: 2013-04-21
Level: Medium 5,880cfs on Saco Cornish Gauge, Class II
Participants: Dave Lanman (TC) and Hildegarde Heary, Bob Radowicz (TC) and Jan Radowicz, Jennifer Crain and Michael Garane, Carolyn Welch and Bob Holtzman (tandem canoes); Tom Meredith, Laurie Wunder and Jim Tierney (kayaks)
Report: This was the second Ossipee trip of the season and the annual joint trip with MOAC. We met at the Cornish Station take out on the Saco at 9:30am. After a brief delay waiting for one of our folks who had a later start time in mind, we consolidated and headed north to the fire station put-in. The tall snow-plow mountains that had been there for our first trip had melted to mole hills and, correspondingly, the river had risen to a nice level with some rocks for play but with the small scratchy stuff covered up. It was a sunny, warm day. We proceeded on our usual route with no mishaps, stopping at a small stream inlet for lunch, then continuing on until we got to the take out about 12:45pm. The entry into the Saco was interesting in that it had a lot of silt from higher water upriver, and the clear Ossipee water mingled itself and us with the brown of the Saco. Midge’s Ice Cream was open this time and we stopped to refresh ourselves before heading home. Another fine day on this pleasant river.

Submitter: Ryan Galway
River: Winnepisaukee, Otter Brook, A
Section:
Date: 2013-04-12
Level:
Participants: Ron Chase K-1, Evan Eichorn OC-1, Kenny Decoster OC-1, Ryan Galway TC OC-1, Brent Elwell and Morrell Nason Shredder, Ron Plaisted K-1.
Report: The weekend started with unfavorable weather conditions. The temperatures were in the low to mid 30's with sleet and rain in the forecast. The two Ron's, Evan and I decided on the lower Winniepisaukee in New Hampshire due to the short intense rapids. The level was around 1100 which is a medium level and made for a challenge given the weather. We decided on two frosty runs with many a surf wave caught and cheers of excitement through the Class IV "Zippy's final plunge". There was some humor involved at the takeout as we were loading the boats in the sleet Ron Chase was bombarded by the sprinkler system in the park. All I will say is you had to be there to see the look on his face. We chose to stay in Concord that night where Evan, Ron, and I met up with Kenny for a trip to Otter Brook the following morning. When we got to Otter Brook and set shuttle, the level was in the 300's range which made for a scratchy but fluid run. The temps were in the 40's to 50's and sunny which made for enjoyable boating. At this level the runs were mostly Class III, the gradient was continuous and we enjoyed 2 fun runs. The high or low lite of the trip, depending on your perspective, resulted when Kenny pulled a classic fainting ghost lean and fall to his on-side leading to a swim. After this event, this rapid was infamously known as Kenny's folly. After that we bid good-bye to Kenny, and headed to Keene for a hotel that night. We chose to meet up with Brent and Morrell the next day to run the upper Ashuelot. With a planned meet time of 11:30 am, Ron, Evan and I managed to sneak in 1 more morning run of Otter Brook. After meeting up with Morrell and Brent, we set shuttle and put on in the early afternoon. The Ashuelot was a Class III run with 1 Class IV plus called "Surprise" and a Class IV plus gorge at the 5.6 reading on the guage. After putting on and running a few short rapids, we took out to scout the "Surprise". There were many thoughts on what the correct line should be, but no one thought it wise to challenge the hydraulic near the bottom of the rapid. After "Surprise" we enjoyed 3-4 miles of Class III-III+ boulder garden rapids. Everyone had a good run as we took out above the gorge, and left that challenge for another day when the water was lower. After finishing up the run, we bid farewell to Evan, and Ron, Morrell, Brent and I headed back to Concord for the final night. The next morning we met up with Kenny again, and headed up to the Warner. The Warner was a Class IV run, which was running at a medium high level around 900 cfs. For this trip we opted for an exploratory run beyond the traditional gorge, down through the lower take out, for a total of just over 5 miles. The upper river consisted of Class III rapids, where Kenny chose to get his 1 swim out of the way, where the consequences were low, putting him in the groove for the Class IV gorge down-stream. We all enjoyed pinball a fun CIII+ before running an old sluiceway which gave way to the gorge. The gorge consisted of a 1/4 mile or so of consecutive CIV drops. This was no place for a swim due to the nature of the rapids and lots of unnatural objects found in the river bed. After setting safety Morrell and Brent went as a successful probe in the shredder, followed by Ron then me and finally Kenny. All had great runs with no need for the safety we were so careful to set. After the gorge the river alternated between quickwater cII-III and ended with a tricky final CIV run over an old dam around a river left turn. Everyone had a great trip with some welcomed sunny weather around 60 at the take out. My apologies to Nancy, as I doubt we were able to get Ron home in time for dinner. I am sure this could not have been the first time that might have happened though.

Submitter: Dave Lanman
River: Ossipee
Section: Kezar Falls to Cornish Station
Date: 2013-03-30
Level: Medium-low 3400cfs on Saco Cornish Gauge, Class II
Participants: Dave Lanman and Dave Butler TCs (solo canoes); Ryan Galway and Mason Galway (tandem); Ron Chase and Andrew Carey (kayaks)
Report: We met at the Cornish Station take out on the Saco at 10:00. There was still a snow bank covering the upper granite stairs and ice/snow in the small dirt road used for parking. Temperature was in the 30’s but rising. We consolidated and headed north to the fire station put-in where we were greeted by a tall plow snow bank which we had to summit with our boats and then descend into the thankfully snowless woods toward the put-in. We were on the river about 10:20, headed down the busy section from the put-in, took the left channel at the big island and kept on going. The river level was OK. I’ve done it lower but prefer it higher with fewer rocks to dodge. There are many large trees leaning over the river and yearly we say to ourselves, one day this one or that one will be in the river, and one was. At the second large island on the right that you come to, there is a tree down from the left bank of the main channel. Fortunately, it is visible from a distance and can be easily avoided going river right close to the island. The small channel to the right of the island is blocked by a tree and other debris at the downstream end and should be avoided. Young Mason did a fine job in the front of his Dad’s boat. We stopped for a quick bite to eat and a leg stretch on a bit of snowy bank, and then continued on, playing along the way, until we got to the take out 12:30ish. Some folks decided to head for Limington. Others of us, assuming that Midge’s Ice Cream was not yet open (it wasn’t), headed home. Another fine day on a pleasant river.

Submitter: Dave Lanman
River: Sheepscot
Section: Kings Mills to Heat Tide
Date: 2013-03-24
Level: Class II - 383cfs
Participants: Participants: TC's Dave Lanman and Ken Severy (solo canoes); Bob Radowicz, Dave Butler (solo canoes); Dave Boyle, Jan Holder, Dave Porter, Rod Reed, Cathi Reinfelder, Ron Chase, Max Meyer (kayaks)
Report: We met at the Head Tide Dam take-out at 9:30 to consolidate boats and people for the shuttle, then headed north to the Kings Mills put-in. It was easy to get about half the group’s attention by just shouting “Dave.” Before the rest of us started below the dam, Ron maneuvered through the Kings Mills Dam rubble with apparent ease; one of two added attractions for the day. The group was on the water by about 10:45 to do this four mile stretch of flat water and Class II whitewater. It was partly sunny or cloudy depending on your perspective. The temperature was mid 30’s, with a slight breeze, but not enough to effect the trip negatively. Jan is an experienced sea kayaker, but this was her first time on whitewater. She did just fine with some pointers and advice along the way from Dave Boyle. The left channel around the island just past the old bridge abutment has been blocked in some years by downed trees (a good idea to scout from the island before running). Dave Butler checked it out, and it was clear, so about half of us took that route which has deeper water. When we finally reached the longest rapid, I was reminded of the note I made to myself some years ago that below 400cfs the Sheepscot (it was at 383cfs) isn’t much worth doing because this section in particular is too scratchy, but in those days I usually ran my Tripper tandem. With us in solo boats and kayaks, the rock garden offered many stones to dodge, but was not too scratchy. We made it to the take out about 12:30. Ron and Dave Porter offered the second added attraction of the day by running the Head Tide Dam hole on river left. Getting out of our boats was a little tricky with steep banks that still had snow, and now the usually mud, on them. Several of us disembarked a little farther back up stream where there was a flat area. No second run. Good day had by all.

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Sheepscot
Section: Kings Mills to Head Tide Dam
Date: 2013-03-16
Level: Class 2. 900 cfs
Participants: Participants: Kayaks: Ron Chase, Skip Pendleton, Beth Smith, Carolyn Welch. Solo Canoe: Dave Duggan.
Report: Report: Our first class 2 run of the season. We met at 9:30 at the take out, were in the water at Kings Mills about 10:00, an easy put in at this level. Partly cloudy skies, about 33 degrees at the start, with a rather chilly breeze from the north. A very nice medium level after recent rains, plenty of spots to do eddy sets and surfs. There was some snow here and there in the woods, and many little ice circles hanging off sticks. Lots of icicles hanging off logs, sticks, and tufts of grass, sparkling in the sun. We arrived at the take out about 12:15. Dave, Ron, and I did a second run; the temps had warmed up a bit. We were off the river about 2:30. Another day of joyful paddling on one of my favorite little rivers.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Ragged & Bald Mountains
Section:
Date: 2012-12-16
Level:
Participants: Brent Elwell, Ken Gordon, Susan Gordon, Bob Holtzman, Dave Duggan, Dave Boyle, Nancy Chase, Bill Blauvelt, Sally Blauvelt & TC
Report: We had a cold, blustery but sunny day for our traverse of Ragged Mountain in the Camden Hills with a short climb of Bald Mountain after for the compulsive in our group. The Ragged Mountain hike is detailed in the mountain guidebook, MOUNTAINS FOR MORTALS - NEW ENGLAND. Beginning on Route 17 in West Rockport next to Mirrow Lake, the traverse over rugged, open and scenic Ragged Mountain is about 5 miles in distance. There are truly breathtakingly exceptional views of Penobscot Bay from various points on the trip. While we were hiking, Dave Duggan's wife Marion was secretly organizing a surprise 60th birthday party; the consensus being that Dave looks much older. This was new member Bob Holtzman's first PPCS trip and although he didn't get the memo that his PPCS trip debut should not be with me, he seemed to enjoy himself. We hope he joins us for many more adventures in the future. Come spring, he'll be looking for tandem canoe partners, particularly for some of the local Class I/II rivers. After arriving at the Barnstown Road Trailhead, Dave B, Ken, Brent and I bagged Bald Mountain while the rest of our group ran a shuttle. This was a great relief to She Who Must Be Obeyed (the lovely and charming Mrs. Chase) who stressed throughout the hike over whether or not Dave Duggan's SUV was too small to carry our entire group of ten; as she lacks a "can do" attitude and is unfamiliar with the layered shuttle technique. Bald Mountain is renowned as the Third Highest Peak on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States; something akin to being Emperor of the North or King of Nothing. This was truly a trip of walking wounded as Brent, Nancy, Susan, Dave B, Bill and I were nursing some sort of injury or aggravation. However, there were no casualties. For those that attended, we enjoyed a great surprise birthday party for Dave. Again, there were no casualties.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: South Moat
Section:
Date: 2012-11-17
Level:
Participants: Ken Gordon,Julie Daughter-of-Ken, Nancy Chase, Laurie Wunder, Gary Cole, Suzanne Cole, Dave Boyle, Rodney Reed, Cathi Reinfelder & TC
Report: We had an outstanding group of avid hikers for an easy to moderate climb to the summit of South Moat Mountain near Conway, NH. Featured in that most excellent mountain guidebook, MOUNTAINS FOR MORTALS - NEW ENGLAND, This is about a 5 mile round-trip hike to an open summit (elevation 2949) with 360 degree views of the White Mountains. Replendent in hunter's orange we dodged a hardy band of hunters at the trailhead and had an exceptional day on the mountain. Warm weather, gentle winds and panoramic views were our reward at the top where we lingered for an extended visit soaking up the rays. Nancy set a moderate pace for most of the trip, which was appreciated by everyone except Rodney who struggled to keep up.

Submitter: Ryan Galway
River: North Branch of the Farmington
Section: Fall Brook to Bear's Den
Date: 2012-10-20
Level: 450-700cfs
Participants: Ron Chase K-1, Jean Miller and her friend John both K-1, Tom Rutka K-1, Abdullah Yaylagul IK-1, Evan Eichorn OC-1, Patty Rutka OC-1, Ryan Galway OC-1.
Report: First a little background, this was a bootleg trip that started as a guys weekend for Evan, Abby and I and turned into a unofficial PPCS trip. The weekend started out with a drive to the American Legion take-out in Sandisfield, MA. We had just received 1 and 1/2 inches of rain, and upon our arrival at 9:15pm, the rain has stopped, just in time to set up camp. The next morning, Ron, Jean and John arrived at our 8:30am meeting time. At this time the flow of the river was about 450 cfs. We promptly put on around 9:30am, to sunny skies and temps in the 60's. This was a quality water level for this steep creeky river, which is runnable down to 250 cfs but still scratchy at 450cfs. The character of the run is steep at 75-100 feet per mile gradient. The boulders are not big but the run is fast and requires much maneuvering. We got going with a good group rhythm, catching eddies, surfing here and there, and squinting as the river faced directly toward the sun. Everybody was having a great run until we approached the most difficult rapid on the trip called Corkscrew. This is a solid 3+ rapid which Ron, Evan and I had not scouted nor remembered well. Jean and John, who run this river frequently, both had good runs through. Evan, Ron and I were not so fortunate. Evan went in first and ended up surfing the second hole of the rapid. I being too close, tried to avoid him, and flipped in the lower whole. After 3 attempts at a role, I bailed and was assisted to shore by Jean and John. Following me, Ron flipped on the second hole, and executed his roll on the second attempt. The rest of the run was without incident, as we took out at the American Legion around 11:30. We bid John and Jean farewell and were met shortly after by Tom, Patty and Abby for an afternoon run. This time we started at the upper put-in, which added 2 miles of class 2 paddling for a warm-up. At this point the fall river release was adding 200cfs, and we were greeted with a level close to 700cf. This was an excellent water level, higher than any of us had done before. We cruised down thru the run with our large group with Ron and I in the lead sandwiching in newbie Abby, followed by Evan, Tom and Patty. We Eddy-hopped thru the rapids with a stellar run by Abby, who had no upsets, and an overall stellar run for his paddling ability. We did have 1 swim by Patty who quickly self rescued. Corkscrew did not pose any problems other than flipping Tom over backwards who had a quick recovery roll. We extended the run 2 miles below the American Legion to the Bear's Den Take-out. This posed no problems although, the Bear's Den rapid, new to us all, proved to be difficult at this high water level. The evening commenced with veggie chili, beverages, and a bonfire and ended with a hangover the next morning! Thanks for the 10% ABV beer Evan! The next morning, Evan, Ron, Patty, Tom and I put in at the upper section for 1 final run. The water was around 500cfs. We all cruised down through with Evan hitting 2 rolls, 1 at the infamous Corkscrew. Patty also managed to get off line at Corkscrew, but recovered nicely with her first combat roll. Congrats to Patty! All arrived at the take-out with smiles from cheek to cheek, in agreement that given the warm weather and great water levels, this was one of the best paddling events of the season. Thanks to all who made this happen including my wife Shweta for her Birthday gift of a kid free paddling weekend.

Submitter: Ryan Galway
River: North Branch of The Piscataqua
Section: Lake Horace to Everett Lake
Date: 2012-10-13
Level: 450+ cfs
Participants: Ron Chase K-1, Kenny Decoster OC-1, Evan Eichorn OC-1, Ryan Galway TC OC-1.
Report: The trip started with the traditional meet time of 9:30. The weather was sunny and predicted to be in the high 50s-low 60s, which made for a great day of fall paddling. This years group ended up being smaller than in the past, with all participants having taken part in this run before. This allowed us to get a good early start and with a little reluctance of Kenny, avoid having to scout any drops. This gave us a nice jump on the rest of the paddlers that day. We all started out with great runs down the 1st big drop called Slab City. Unfortunately Ron's camera ran out of battery from taking too many pictures the day before, so he was not able to capture the days events on film. We followed this with good runs on the large drops that followed, until we reached Buzzels. This is the hardest drop of the trip with some dangerous granite blocks in the bottom that can injure boaters that flip on a diagonal wave. In addition there was a tree down across the river 1/3 of the way down which required a limbo move to gain passage to the bottom third of the rapid. Even with this added obstacle we all had great runs, and found the high water made this rapid a little easier. After we did some playing with some quality open boat enders @ turnover rapid resulting in a few rolls and swims alike. Since we had the small group we finished early, and were able to head over to the CIII-IV lower Winnipesaukee for a late afternoon run. This was a nice addition to the trip, and a new river for Ron and Kenny. We all had fun runs on the Winnie with some decent play and an exiting run through the final CIII+ Zippy's Final Plunge rapid. All in all it was a great day with some perfect fall paddling weather to boot.

Submitter: Ken Gordon
River: Sea Kayak - Baker Island
Section: Seal Cove to Baker Is.
Date: 2012-10-07
Level: Class 1
Participants: Laurie Wunder, Tom Meredith, Kenny DeCoster, Ron Chase, Dave Wallace, Suzanne Cole, Dave Boyle, Julia Richmond and Ken Gordon (TC)
Report: Despite a rather threatening forecast the beginning of the day turned out bright and calm - something definitely preferable for a 5 mile paddle out to Baker Island. Baker is part of Acadia National Park and has been the objective of several PPCS trips in the past. Its good landing beach, historical sites and world class lunch spot, The Dance Floor, have made it a favorite trip over the years.

The quiet seas allowed all of us to chat and mingle on the paddle out to the Cranberries, out first real stop; the background scenery behind us was as spectacular as any in Maine. The mountains of Mt. Desert Island were all clearly visible and in stark relief against the skyline; ahead of us the ocean sparkled like diamonds. The beauty of this area is unsurpassed anywhere on the East Coast as the mountains of Acadia are the highest along the seaboard. We paddled between seaweed covered ledges and rocks and through passages barely wide enough to allow passage of our narrow boats; osprey nests occupied some of the highest rock outcroppings and the occasional eagle or seal was observed; I was hoping for some dolphin sightings, but none today.

Lunch on Baker was taken on The Dance Floor, site of social dances in a bygone era when Baker Island was home to a few dozen souls. The sun and sky were dazzling and the waves provided entertainment by crashing green and white on the granite ledges near our feet; it was warm enough that it was hard to leave and get back into the kayaks but another 5 mile paddle was between us and dinner so we regretfully moved on. The paddle back to Seal Cove was just as beautiful as the paddle out to Baker; Acadia was right in front of us and we spent a good deal of time identifying the numerous mountains in sight. We landed at high tide which made for an easy carry of all the boats and gear. A perfect ending for a perfect day.

Submitter: Jim Francoeur
River: St Croix
Section: Vanceboro to Loon Bay
Date: 2012-09-21
Level: 1300 cfs
Participants: Jim Francoeur K1 + OC2, TC, Sandi Francoeur OC2, Carolyn Welch K1 + OC2, Jim Tierny K1 + OC2, Faryl Wiley K1, Dave Wallace OC1, Mark Berry + Asa Berry K2
Report: We traveled Thursday to Vanceboro (Little Falls) for the weekend of paddling on the St Croix. This is a great river for base camp paddling allowing paddlers to paddle on the river without camping gear in their boats. The weather was cool and rain was predicted for parts of each day. That did not deter a few hearty souls from showing up to paddle a great class II ish river. The river was releasing about 1300 cfs which is considered high. The normal flow is around 800 cfs. We paddled the river all three days doing the lower section twice and the upper section once. On Friday and Saturday we paddle from Little Falls to Loon Bay. We set off down river from our campsite on Friday under cloudy skies, Saturday was sunny and beautiful. This section of river has very little flat water and is mostly quick water to class II. It makes for a great section of river to play, learn and practice your boating skills. On Saturday, Farly made her 1st trip on whitewater in her kayak. She followed my lines down the river learning more skills at each rapid and how to handle her kayak in waves and on and around rocks. Other than bouncing off of a few rocks she had an awesome run down the river. On Sunday we paddled the upper section (Vanceboro to Little Falls) we put in just below the dam and the talk was all about the large surfing wave that the dam was producing. None of us were crazy enough to try surfing that wave (this time). The trip started out on a cloudy day with a little mist in the air. After an hour or so the clouds cleared and the sun was shining brightly. There was some color in the tree and each day seem to get a bit more colorful. The higher water levels gave us some faster current and a few new lines on the river that are not usually passable at lower water. A few of us decided to paddle a small class III drop that’s open at this level. Only one person swam, but way after the drop. You just can’t relax on any river. Can you _ _ _ _ ? We practiced our eddy turns, peal outs and surfing as we paddled to Little Falls. Sundays paddle included Mark Berry and son (Asa)in a tandem kayak. Just another great weekend of paddling in Maine.

Submitter: Suzanne Cole
River: Dead River
Section:
Date: 2012-09-15
Level: 3500 cfs
Participants: John Brower and Patti Rutka (OC2),Kenny Decoster (OC1), Jean Miller, Mike Smith, Tom Rutka, Ron Chase, Clyde Mitchell, TC's Suzanne & Gary Cole (K1)
Report: September weather can go either way. We were fortunate that the anticipated cold upstream breeze ended up being a not so cold downstream breeze, so there was no need to hurry off the river. In fact, we were probably the last group of boaters to take off. Our group of 10 boaters (9 boats) had a great day. Jean and Mike were on the Dead at this level for the first time and really enjoyed it. What’s not to like? We surfed all the usual spots and had fun watching Tom catch many of the long boat waves because he was in an RPM. It was nice to be on the river again with Kenny and Clyde, we missed them for much of the summer. As is usual with mid-September trips, there were bits of red and yellow amongst the green, harbingers of the fall foliage to come.

Submitter: Tom Rutka
River: Dead
Section: Spencer to the Forks
Date: 2012-09-02
Level: 5500 cfs
Participants: K1: Sandy Ross, Roy Curtis, Suzanne Cole, Gary Cole, Greg Pugh, Victor Otley, Cathel Macleod, Tom Rutka (TC). OC1: John Brower, Patti Rutka, Norm Rehn. Shredder (2): Jim and Christina Smoot, Frank Yuling and Carolyn Young, Jay Buettner and Mary Theresa Za
Report: The water was there for us on this beautiful-weather weekend. Air temp was 72 degrees, water temp was 69, and we had lots of sunshine. Our intrepid crew included three and a half shredders, three open boats, and eight kayaks. We promptly spread out over the entire river basin. Some were river running at a good clip, some were shopping for the best waves to surf, and there was only one swim at Humpty-Dumpty/Hayden's. The paddlers came to the Dead from as far away as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Italy. Many of us held on to our abilities to endure the fifteen miles of class IV whitewater as strongly as we held on to our paddles, but some of the rafters, who were out in force, were not so lucky - some of our paddlers recovered three rafting paddles before the end of this fantastic day.

Submitter: Jim Francoeur
River: Seboomook
Section: Roll Dam
Date: 2012-08-14
Level: 508 CFS
Participants: Jim Francoeur (TC), Rodney R , Skip P , Mike S, Clyde M, Julia R, All K-1
Report: I arrived on Thursday night at 10pm. Chased a few moose off the road on my way in, but arrived safely. On Friday, I paddled my shredder (alone) twice down the river. On the first run as I approached Meat Grinder I saw that there was an eight foot long jammed into the drop that we all use for that rapid. With a few kicks from my feet from shore the log loosened and floated down river out of the way. On the second run I had company on the river from a commercial duckie trip out of Millinocket. Glad I was there since both guides from the company did not know the lines. So, after helping with lines and a few rescues they offered me a ride back to my truck. Better than walking like I had to do after the first run. Awesome weekend of paddling, Warm days, cool nights and only a short ½ hour rainfall. Wildlife was abundant. We saw Moose, fox, eagles, osprey, beaver and a mink along with a mouse walking next to Julia on the picnic table. We ended up with a small group of just KAYAKERS. It’s the first trip for me with just kayaks. We had a great time without those big canoes in our way. LOL We did from 2 – 7 runs down the river over the three days. I arrived on Thursday night. Chased a few moose of the road on my way in, but arrived safely.

On Saturday I saw this young couple (Paige and Mike) loading their canoe (Discovery 158) full of gear below the upper rapid. As they approached the put-in for our trip I quickly paddled over to them and asked a few questions about their trip and if they knew what was ahead of them on the river. There canoe was only about two inches above the water line with all the gear loaded. I explained about the rapids below and suggested that they wait until we could join them. I said we could show them a few of the drier lines over the rapids if they decided to run them. I suggested they shouldn’t, but they said they thought they could handle them. Maybe they could, but the canoe wouldn’t (I thought).

They continued to paddle down river. Our group got on the water and also headed down river. As we got to the first rapid the couple was on shore scouting the first drop. I asked them if they were sure they wanted to do it and they said yes. I suggested the driest line for them and they said thanks. Our group did the rapid and started to move on to the next one. I suggested that we wait for them to run this first rapid just in case they needed help. As we watched, the signs of a safe run for the young paddling couple was not there. On the first drop they didn’t make it to the easiest side of the drop, they made the drop, but on the first wave, their boat filled up with water. Their canoe was now a bath tub and they ended up swimming with all their gear that was not tied down floating about. Our group went into action and recovered all their gear and we helped them get to shore with their canoe in tow.

With Mike and Paige safely on shore, our group moved on to the next rapid. After running the next rapid I had a change of heart. I told my group that we should stay with them to make sure they make it through the rapids safely. I told the group to go on and that I would stay with them until they reached Roll Dam take out. Clyde volunteered to stay with me too help. Clyde and I walked back up the river to tell Mike and Paige that we would stay with them until our take out. The rest of the group of PPCS members basically decided to stay together and assist Mike and Paige down river.

The next two rapids were paddled safely by all, but Mike and Paige still were taking on too much water at each rapid. I told them that if they plan to continue to paddle down river they would need to portage their gear along the trail and paddle the canoe without all the extra weight. Mike and Paige took my advice and removed their gear from the canoe before the next drop (above meat grinder). After looking at Meat Grinder drop they decided to portage their canoe at this rapid also. Finally some common sense from the two!! At that point Ryan G, Mason and some relatives showed up on the river. So they decided to join our group of merry paddlers.

Our group was a kayaking machine on this weekend. We did have a few swims, but nothing that we couldn’t handle. There was a bunch of rolls, even me! Mike S, in just a few years has turned into a play boating machine with a solid roll. Great job this weekend Mike.

Below Meat Grinder we gathered up Mike and Paige and assisted them the rest of the way down the river. They made it through the rest of the drops with only water to bail out of their canoe. Mike had a few more paddling skills than Paige who seemed to grab the gunnels during each drop, even though we all suggested that this was not the best way to paddle through the rapids.

The look on Paige’s face when they made it to Roll Dam take out was priceless. Mike and Paige could not stop thanking us for all the help we gave them. Not sure the young couple talked much during the rapids, but there will be plenty on flat water on the rest of their trip to do that. Just goes to show you that you need some common sense, skills and the right equipment to paddle. Better to be safe, than sorry. I was very proud of our group on the early morning run for not complaining and hanging in there for the safety of these two young paddlers.

A Saturday afternoon run was awesome as well. We watched two eagles soaring overhead and an osprey nearby all looking for a meal. When we returned from our afternoon run we found a note of thanks and a beer (Mike last) for us. I kept the note. Saturday was such a great day for paddling a few of us did a third run at sunset. Priceless.

As we sat by the fire reminiscing, Mike said that a car and kayak just pulled in. It was Julia! A newborn calf and a guiding trip on the Kennebec kept her away on Saturday, but not Sunday. Clyde needed to leave on Saturday as did Ryan’s G family group, but our five kayaker group was still intact for Sunday Sunday was just another perfect day on the river. The group did one run with just a few swims from one paddler. Julia felt left out from Saturday’s paddling and wanted one more trip down the river. I joined her while the others packed. Two kayaker’s paddling on the river, hitting perfect lines, enjoying the peacefulness of the paddle. It was a perfect ending to a perfect weekend.

Submitter: Sally Blauvelt
River: Rapid
Section: Pond to Lake
Date: 2012-08-04
Level: 1300 CFS
Participants: Bill and Sally Blauvelt (Trip Coordinators), Jim Francouer, Tom Meredith, John Brower, Suzanne and Gary Cole
Report: We awoke to the sound of a barred owl hooting in the forest behind our campsite. The pink bloom from the Sugar Magnolia flowers invited a hungry hummingbird who looked to be stocking up for his feverish drive south to warmer climates. A young chipmunk scurried around underfoot looking for scraps left behind from the evening’s dinner of the night before. After coffee, and breakfast, Jim, Bill and I packed up our boats in the truck and headed off to meet Suzanne and Gary Cole, Tom Meredith, and John Brower at the turn off to the Rapid River. We were excited – the blossoms were blooming, the sun was shining, the river was beckoning, and the early morning sounds of life promised a day of collective effervescence. I knew this to be true directly following my morning meditation. I can be anxious on rivers, even those well within my capability, and this morning I was not - my heads all empty and I don’t care. Not a care in the world.

The shuttle to the Rapid is long, but only if you focus your attention on the passing of time. I drove the shuttle and left Bill behind at the put in with Jim and a crew of rafters. Bill and Jim both suggested that they get started paddling across the lake, but selfish person that I am wont to be, I asked Bill to stay so I could see him upon my return. I love him just that much. When I did return, I was a little concerned, because I saw my baby down by the river, and he appeared to be under the water for quite some time. But, I was in a good space, and I knew he’d have to come up soon for air. He did. Life was good, and the paddle across the lake got started in earnest. It takes about a half an hour to paddle across that beautiful lake, but on the way over, we saw a Phoenix flying overhead. We heard his beautiful song and we all felt reborn and immortal.

Once we got to the first set of warm up rapids, we came together again to collect our spirits and coordinate our thoughts ( or is that coordinate our spirits and collect our thoughts?). I needed to take a break and since I could smell the sweet blossom come on to me, wafting and dancing around my nostrils, I stepped out of my boat and under a willow. Bill came with me and I whispering to him, “we can have high times, if you’ll abide”, but then we laughed, because if we said that out loud, some might think I was referring to a product rather than a state of mind brought on by clean living and positive presence. After the break, Bill and I contemplated a discussion on safety, but we had skilled boaters among us, this was our first attempt at playing Trip Coordinator for this awesome club, we wanted everyone to have a really good time, and so we set the tone by suggesting to all that we could discover the wonders of nature, today, rolling in the rushes down by the riverside. And off we went!

There are three “pitches” as they are called in the first stretch of this three plus mile run. All three are similar – you enter center left, and read and run your way down. The water is class 3+, possibly 4- depending on your preference. The rocks below are shallow and sharp making a swim unpleasant. There are holes throughout, many of which you can really just blast your way through, but there are some, especially in the ledge drops to look out for and avoid.

The first pitch was super fun - she’s got everything delightful, including bouncy wave trains, cross-pitching diagonals, and an eddy or two to catch if you’re so inclined. Gary caught a sweet eddy at the top of the rapid. I followed, and Suzanne came in behind me. This first rapid – she’s got everything I need to get me warmed up for an enjoyable ride downstream. I eddied out and headed down, but Suzanne and Gary caught a couple of more eddys. John styled it as he always does. Thank God for open boaters. They rock. It’s always good to have an open boater on the trip. It brings the requisite purity to the river. Jim likes to take a good hard look at a new river before making the decision to hard boat it, so Bill volunteered to be his partner in the shredder on this fine day. You may have noticed, Bill is dependable in this way. I can occasionally get in a bind in life, and as he was for Jim this day, he is for me everyday, no matter what the circumstances. Even, for example, when we go out late one night to a bluegrass show and I accidentally had one too many to drink. Bill – well - he takes the wheel when I’m seeing double, and pays my ticket when I speed.

The second pitch is also pretty interesting. I learned after the second day paddling that entry to the left of center is the way to go, but meander your way to river right to avoid some holes at the bottom. It’s a pretty straight forward wave train at the top that you can clip the left of if you want a more marsh mellow experience. I got down first so I was able to watch John come down in the open boat. I remember following him down Canada Falls last year. It doesn’t matter what river he’s on. It’s almost as if he’s skimming through rays of violet. I bet he could wade in a drop of dew.

The third pitch is busy. There’s a river wide ledge hole beginning about a boat length off the right side at or near the bottom. You can creek around this on far river right, which makes the line interesting, but the main line is left of center again for a happy wave train all the way down. At the end of this, Bill got hungry and so we stopped briefly above the play wave so he could get some quick carbohydrate energy into his body. It was good we did, since we might have otherwise missed the rainbow arching across the sky. Have you ever seen a rainbow form on a cloudless day? Me neither. But, it’s troo! Suzanne then confessed to us that she had seen some elves sitting complacently on the backs of some nesting loons up at the pond where we put on. Almost as if they were race ready (Gary opined in retrospect). Suzanne did wonder (at the time) what they were doing, and actually beckoned to one of the female elves to come hither. The elf did not oblige nor did Suzanne attempt an approach or in Suzanne’s words “she don’t come, and I don’t follow”. After all, mindful observation was the theme for the day. For any other strategy might otherwise break the magical mystic that seemed to pervade our journeyful experience. Before we left Bill’s new lunch rock, some young boater in a Jackson play boat raced past us screaming that one of the elves found the pot of gold. He was laughing crazily and slapping the water happily with his paddle, like one might do after dialing in a technically challenging line. So, that was cool. We put it all together and felt right with the elements. We were on a roll.

We stopped at Smooth Ledge for about an hour. We talked of many things, and confessed our dreams, and our hopes, and our fears. We reminisced about the club and the times we’ve all had. Tom Meredith didn’t have his guitar or else I bet he we would have sung some happy songs for us. I remember once a long, long time ago, in my youthful days when I was a groupie of Albert Collins. He’s the greatest blues guitarist on earth, in my humble opinion. He died of cancer when I was living in Hong Kong. Super bummer. I remember having a drink or two in his honor. As a groupie, I once snuck backstage to meet him after a show in San Francisco. He was really humble and gracious. I’m not going to say I hooked up with his drummer, because that wouldn’t be true. His name was Soko, which I found interesting because this means “market” in Kiswahili. I didn’t hook up with him (as I said!) but what would you do if on the first backstage date, a cool musician asked if I would wait backstage while he singed to you? HELLO! But, I digress…..back to the river.

At smooth ledge, we met up with a feller who swam two of the three pitches. He was pretty bloodied up and looking forlorn. It upset our equilibrium. We wondered what happened. Well, remember the elves I mentioned earlier? Well, it appears as if a griffin flew down looking for the gold at the end of the rainbow, too. Since the elves bagged that pot of gold first, the griffin could only conclude that she failed in her quest, at once becoming confused (at her rare defeat) and irritable (as a result). One might even say she was so beside herself she appeared to a casual observer as if she was dancing a cajun rhythm, jumping like a willys in four wheel drive. But then, hope appeared when she spotted this poor random boater and reverted to the next best option to satisfy her lust for power and victory and all that we humans would be best served to avoid as an endgame (if we knew what was best for us). She asked him to answer a riddle, warning him that if he failed to answer satisfactorily, he would experience the worst carnage on the river that day. In fairness to the boater, it was a difficult riddle - something to do with a paddle snake. I personally don’t know what a paddle snake is, but I’ve heard they exist. As we all felt a great deal of compassion for our new friend, we offered to put him in the shredder with Bill volunteering to take his boat down the rest of the way. Our new boater friend agreed.

My husband was so happy he did a little jig. He got into the RPM and immediately went and practiced in the smooth ledge hole. Bill had the biggest smile on his face after playing in that hole. He said it was his new summer love for spring, fall and winter. WHAT?! I pouted a little bit when he said this, just because I’m a girlie girl with the best of them and shouldn’t I BE his love all year long?. But he came over to me and reminded me how happy he is with me as his wifey and he assured me that I can make happy any man alive. I’m not sure about all that, but who am I to argue with my husband.

So, on we went down through S turn which was super fun. Suzanne, Gary, Bill and I talked later about whether we thought S turn was the hardest rapid on the river. Some felt it was, just by virtue of its length, especially given that it’s shallow, with a lot to maneuver around. A swim here would be unpleasant and long. I proffered that all three pitches were harder, because they were steeper and faster and thus, a little more difficult to navigate, but this probably has something to do with how I was raised up as a creek boater and not a big water boater.

Anyway, in the middle of S-turn there’s an eddy on river right. Last year, Bill, our friend Ken, and I stopped at this eddy. I wanted to again, because last year when we stopped we were both mystified and awestruck by some dancing flowers. There were some blue bells and some other wild flowers all of whom (not “which) seemed alive as their pedals were caught the sunlight. It was as if they were dancing to a ditty they were whispering to us in the wind. Beckoning us with “hey, Sally, Ken, Bill, look around you, enjoy this moment and I’ll walk you in the sunshine, come on honey, come along with me”. At the time we laughed this off as happy imagination using creative license, but now I wonder…..

The next rapid was Devils Hopyard. John told us this was because the rapid was set up almost as if the devil himself reached up, grabbed a handful of rocks and lofted them into the air where they landed at random in this short but interesting rapid. This was really fun for those of us who like rocks. On the second day, when Jim was in his hard boat, he led the way through this rapid. We didn’t think, Jim liked rocks, but now we are not so sure! Not bad for a first run down!

We ended the day watching a group of over 20 baby mergansers following mama merganser on the lake near our takeout. We all concluded that this river’s got everything delightful, she’s got everything we need. On the walk out there was a breeze in the pines and the sun and bright moonlight (well, maybe not that). We ended the day as Bill and I discovered the club likes to do – with a beer and a happy chat, lazing in the sunshine yes indeed.

I finish this trip report, but not before telling you all that sometimes when the cuckoos crying, when the moon is half way down, sometimes when the night is dying, I take me out and I wander around, I wander round, and I give thanks again to all of you who have welcomed me and Bill back home to the river here in the beautiful state of Maine.

I know I’m helped in life when in the sunshine, with the daydreams, walking in the tall trees and going where the wind goes, blooming like a red rose, breathing more freely. So, to reciprocate, anytime we can and anytime you need it please know that you can ride our singin. I know I speak for Bill when I say we’ll walk you in the morning sunshine.

Sunshine, daydream, sunshine, daydream, walking in the sunshine.

Sally

Submitter: Ken Gordon
River: West Branch Penobscot
Section: Gorge/Crib
Date: 2012-07-29
Level: Class 5
Participants: Randy Berube, Greg Winston, Mark Nelson and Ken Gordon
Report: With no new participants to meet we got an early start by going directly to McKay Station; my wife, Susan, had arrived the previous day so there was no need to set shuttle. The sun was out again and the water level was same as yesterday's, about 2700 cfs. We had all had good runs the day before at this level and fully expected a repeat today. It's a funny thing about the West Branch though; it is a piece of Class 4 - 5 water and often has other ideas about your run of the day.

Greg, Mark and Randy had clean runs through the Gorge and the Crib but I got a quick reminder of the power of this river and spent most of the day recovering from one near miss after another. That's not a bad thing, though; it isn't good to be too cocky in your attitude toward the West Branch, it deserves a lot of respect.

We'll be there again in July of 2013, hope to see some new (and old) faces.

Submitter: Ken Gordon
River: West Branch Penobscot
Section: Abol, Poc, Gorge & Crib
Date: 2012-07-28
Level: 4 - 5
Participants: Randy Berube, Greg Winston, Mark Nelson and Ken Gordon (TC)
Report: The West Branch paddling group seems to get smaller with each passing year; age and attrition are taking its toll but the run still holds the same attraction for those willing to make the drive to the Katahdin area. The scenery is second to none in Maine and the challenge of the Class 4-5 whitewater is equal to its surroundings.

Our group of four decided on a warmup run on the Class 4 Abol/Pockwockamus section; it's an interesting piece of river on which a paddler can make it as easy or as difficult as he wants. There are plenty of opportunities to practice ferry moves above consequential holes or to just run past them and admire the powerful hydraulics. The entire run only took an hour or so and after a rather cold lunch in the rain we headed for McKay Station and the start of the Class 5 Gorge/Crib run.

The sun came out as were setting the shuttle and gave everyone's spirits a lift. The power company had dropped the level to 2700 cfs plus whatever else was coming in from the dryway; we had plenty of water but thankfully it wasn't the 3300 cfs that had been running for most of the prior week. Everyone had clean runs through the Gorge and we even got to surf a bit on the waves at the bottom of Staircase. The Crib, as usual, was another matter and a few of us got knocked down but rolled up in time to make the Final Chute.

The eddies at the bottom of the Final Chute were reminiscent of the "old days"; rafts cluttered the eddies, tourists were scattered around the cliffs and the warm sunshine reminded us of "back in the day" when this scene was common on the West Branch. It was a special moment and we soaked it in for awhile before heading to the campsite at Chewonki.

At the campsite I forsook my TC duties and left the group who continued on down the river to the rapids of the Big A. and some of the surfing (and rolling) opportunities available at the bottom of the rapid. It was another great day on the river and this particular river made it that much more special.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Kennebec
Section:
Date: 2012-07-22
Level: 4800 Class IV
Participants: Mark Nelson, Evan Eichorn, Ryan Galway, Gary Cole,Suzanne Cole, Julia Richmond, Jordan Birmingham, Paul Faria, Ryan Hammond, Kyle Duckworth, Nancy Chase, Jim Franceour, John Brower, Jason, Littlefield, Scott Nelson, Tom Seigle, Shweta Galway, Mason, Galwa
Report: Scary water level predictions did not materialize. Instead, our group had the normal 4800 release. We had a large group of kayaks, canoes and a shredder with 3 first timers. This was a carnage free event with only one incident; Paul Faria somehow managed to get himself stuck under a commercial raft at Big Mama Rapid, but miraculously extricated himself and rolled. A few additional participants joined us at Carry Brook for a very pleasurable float out. Shweta and Cathi did excellent jobs kayaking and I was happy to welcome Jordan Birmingham to the club with his first trip down the gorge. His reaction was typical: "It was a lot bigger than I expected." A group of Connecticut Yankees were believed to be on the river. But never got their names on the signout sheet.

Submitter: Rodney Reed
River: Dead
Section: whole enchilada
Date: 2012-07-22
Level: 1800
Participants: Victor and Kate Otley, Lois Hillman, Owen Maguire, Lori White, Tom Merrideth, Jim Tierney, Skip Penelton, BB King Adams, and Mike Forgotlastname.
Report: After we got the boats loaded I realized the waiver's were in my truck which Cathi had driven away with. Therefore we had to cancel the trip. Since the boats were loaded we decided we'd run her anyway. Renegade style! Bugs had disappeared, weather, was much too hot for paddling, we managed to stay away from The Boston Club, gave'em the slip a couple times in fact, basicly we all had a miserable time. Seriously though, we had some folks that were of various stages of newish. Owen's first trip with us and first time on the dead. He made us all a little leary when he swam at Spencer. Even Jim Tierney was raising his eyebrows and if you don't think that's a workout! He did a fine job though, even caught 2 or 3 rolls before the day was over. Lois was on her second trip on the dead. She also managed to pop several rolls, the first of which was in Hayden's on her third attempt. Nice job Lois. She did see most of Poplar from Victor's back deck, not much of a view but it beats swimming. Nice rescue Victor. It must be stated that Lois had a great attitude, she was PO'ed for swimming and wanted to lug up and try it again. Cheers

Submitter: Dave Wallace
River: Kennebec
Section: campground to lake
Date: 2012-07-21
Level: class 1, quickwater
Participants: Jim Tierny and Faryl Wiley, Jim Lesson and Wife, Mark and Scott Lesson and the family's two dogs, all in OC-2, new member from Kenduskeag, Patti in a K-1 and TC Dave Wallace in a beat-up OC-1
Report: After a 2 PM start we floated and paddled from the campground down a 9 mile section of river I had not seen from the water before. Sections away from the road are rather pretty, and except for several raft company campsites undeveloped. We saw in an eagles nest a young eagle learning to fly while his parents watched. And there were several groups of paddlers enjoying the beautiful day. The Carratunk takeout on Wyman Lake came too soon.

Submitter: Suzanne Cole
River: Kennebec
Section: Gorge to the ballfield
Date: 2012-07-21
Level: 6200
Participants: TC's: Suzanne Cole and Mark Nelson. Participants: Tom Meredith, Don Dearborn, Scott Nelson, and Greg Winston.
Report: Clear skies and warm temperatures made for another beautiful day on the Kennebec. Although we were disappointed to see that they were releasing 6200 cfs instead of the usual 4800, we still had a great time. This level changes many of the surfing spots, and increases the size of the standing waves and reactionary waves, particularly below Big Mama. It was Don’s first time on the Kennebec Gorge and he really enjoyed it. His comment, that a big water gorge was unusual for New England, was a reminder as to how lucky we are to have access to this river daily. Of the six who ran the gorge, five took out at Carry Brook where Laurie joined Tom on the lower half. We had only one mishap and would like to thank Crab Apple for their assistance ferrying a swimmer to his boat.

Submitter: Helen Hess
River: Roll Dams
Section:
Date: 2012-07-13
Level: 411 cfs
Participants: Helen Hess TC, Chris Petersen, Doug Field, Skip Pendelton, John Crocker, Denise Skonberg, Alan Stearns, Laurie Stearns, David Stearns, Aiden Stearns, Keira Stearns, Scott Howell, Ian Howell, Duncan Howell, Dan Benthal, Peter Rappaport, Quilla Philbrick, A
Report: In acknowledgement of this year's drought, we had very low flow on this mid-summer Roll Dams trip, only 411cfs. The early birds fit in a Friday afternoon run, which gave Andy a good chance to check out the river for the first time. Skip arrived at the put-in just as we were putting on and briskly transitioned from his 5-hour drive to paddling his kayak. By Saturday morning, a much fuller contingent was ready for the river, including three generations of Stearnses. Fern did not paddle Roll Dams, but got out in a canoe on Moosehead Lake with son Alan later in the afternoon. Meanwhile, the rest of the Stearns party assorted adults and children, ages 5 to 10, into various tandem canoes, with many personnel shifts and multiple runs of several drops. David's son Aiden styled a few of the drops solo, and his little sister Keira provided big smiles in the bow of Aunt Laurie's boat. John and Denise got an excellent introduction to Roll Dams and both had successful, exciting runs. John took advantage of many opportunities to surf and practice his combat roll and hit every one. Quilla is a new member and was also at Roll Dams for the first time, and she greatly appreciated the supportive spirit of the PPCS. We hope this is the first of many paddling trips together. Saturday evening the Canada Falls group joined us for the traditional pot luck and campfire singing. After the heaviest squall had passed through, we then decided to put up Skip's tarp, suspended by numerous poles, lines, and lengths of re-bar. What little rain collected after the tarp went up all poured down the back of Doug's neck as he stood near the edge. The Sunday run included all the Canada Falls paddlers, Tom and Patti, John Brower in a C-1, and Gary and Suzanne.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Eastern Egg Rock
Section:
Date: 2012-07-11
Level:
Participants: Randy Berube, Ron Chase - Trip Scribe, Dave Wallace - Trip Coordinator, Wolfgang the Puffin, Several Hundred Puffins
Report: This trip was a perfect "10." A bootleg sea kayak trip to Eastern Egg Rock and a visit with the puffins could not have been better. Because of the substantial exposure and the difficulty catching the puffins at home, this paddle requires considerable prior planning. Trip Coordinator Dave carefully studied nautical charts, the weather, wind predictions, tidal forecasts, puffin behavior and nesting habits and the ever present possibility of shark attacks. We met at the little used boat landing in New Harbor. It is about a 5 mile paddle to Eastern Egg Rock with only one possible stop; another rock called Western Egg. It's unsafe and illegal to land on Eastern Egg (this group would never do anything illegal). The landing on Western Egg is less than ideal but doable. We had gentle 2 to 3 foot swells for our trip out with a short stop at Western. We heard a big splash behind us, which might have been a shark, but no shark attacks. Dave didn't need to study puffin habits. I could have told him that they've been waiting impatiently for 3 years for my return. We have a love affair that won't quit. As we approached Eastern, there were a few scattered puffins flying a little offshore. However, as we closed on the rock, there were hundreds of the handsome little critters floating in the water waiting for me; including one gnarly acting fellow we named Wolfgang after Wolfgang "Bill" Kaiser. We spent about a hour bobbing in the gentle swells with the puffins, circumnavigating the entire rock. It was a tearful departure, even Randy was teary eyed; but Dave promised an even better trip next year. Guess that would be a perfect "11." After another stop at Western, we finished our day with a strong sea breeze that increased the swells to 3 or 4 feet; but no breaking waves and no sharks!

Submitter: Greg Winston
River: West Branch Penobscot
Section: Gorge-Crib
Date: 2012-07-07
Level: IV
Participants: Mark Nelson-K1, Bruce Weik-K1, Greg Winston-K1
Report: We made a three-day weekend out of this trip, catching ideal weather and snagging the best campsite on the West Branch (beside Abol Falls). Both turbines were pulsing full-throttle at McKay Station, so we had 3206 cfs on the gauge, plus about 300 more coming down the dryway. It made for fun, pushy water all weekend long: classic, fantastic Penobscot. Skies were crystal clear, so we had views of Katahdin and the Owl all weekend, too.
Mark and I set camp then tuned into the river with Abol, Pock, Nesoudnehunk Falls and Big A on Friday afternoon. Bruce joined us the next morning and we put right on for the Gorge-Crib run. Clean runs were had by all through the Gorge, running the video boaters' line on the left and catching Football Eddy before the Staircase. We were recruited for safety at last minute by a private raft guide who wanted to be sure we'd be there to fish out any swimmers, including his ex-girlfriend. He then managed to stand the raft up in Exterminator and dump nearly half the passengers, ex included I think, so we were busy for a few minutes rescuing some paddles and swimmers below the Staircase and all the way to the Heaters. Once the pieces were put back together, we played a little in the Heaters and caught a few spins at Troublemaker before pushing on for the Cribworks.
Everyone was on their game there, too. We decided not to break our rhythm with a scouting stop, just paddled on under Telos Bridge and kept the momentum going and heart rates up. In fact, I think it's a better run that way and easier to pick up the Hawaii-Five-O marker wave to set up for a good entrance line into the Crib. Nothing like making a crisp drop in there, catching the Pillow and Island eddies to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Crib, then lining it up for Final Chute. We all had clean rides through, then floated on down to Big A for some more surfing on the top waves and lower ledges.
After another great camping night by, we repeated the process on Sunday morning. It was so good, I couldn't keep away, and came back up for a bonus run at the end of the next week, paired with a hike on OJI. As usual these days, it was quiet on the West Branch, with only one one or two other boaters around the whole day, and maybe half a dozen raft trips going by. I highly recommend joining Ken Gordon's trip July 28-29. For those of you down south, a little extra drive time is worth it for such a beautiful, challenging, uncrowded river, not to mention the simplest shuttle in all of Maine.

Submitter: Jim Francoeur
River: Dead
Section:
Date: 2012-07-07
Level: 1800 CFS
Participants: Jim Francoeur (TC) Sandi Francoeur - Shredder, Warren Galloway, Mason Galloway, Aaron Galloway – Raft, Dan Pelletier Ryan Galloway OC-1, Ron Chase, Louis Hillman, Victor Otley, Don Dearborn, Andrew Cary, Rodney Reed – K1
Report: We used the Webb’s shuttle to bring the group in to the put-in. We had two new boaters to the club and the Dead River on this trip. Don, Class 5 boater from Oregon just needed to know some of the lines. Great paddler! Lois was new to this river and was just starting to increase her paddling difficulty by taking on the Dead River. She did and awesome job for her first trip on this river. Lois’s paddling skills got better as the day progressed and I can see she was enjoying her first the trip down the Dead. With more trips like this she will feel more confident in her paddling skills. I would not hesitate leading her down a river again. It was another sunny and warm day on the Dead River like it has been most of this year. A few of the boaters surfed every chance they got. As we ate lunch @ Haydens, and moved on down the river. No swims, great boating, It was another awesome day on the water!

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Damariscove Island
Section:
Date: 2012-06-16
Level:
Participants: Nancy Chase, Dave Duggan, Marion McCord, Rodney Reed, Cathi, John Brower, Bob Rowe, Ken Gordon, Randy Berube, Steve Ward & TC
Report: Damariscove Island is one of the most unique, historic islands along the coast of Maine; and one of my favorites. The sea kayak trip out and back is about 10 miles with some exposure. For the first part of the day, the weather forecast did not live up to its promise and my expectations. Instead of warm, sunny conditions and a feeble easterly sea breeze, we had thick clouds, coolish temps and a strong easterly wind. The consensus, I was to blame. We island hopped with an outgoing tide to the cove at the far south end of Damariscove on the west side of the islands, thereby avoiding most of the strong, cool winds. There is an old Coast Station in the cove that appears to have been converted into some sort of habitation along with an ancient fishing shack that is now a small museum with interesting information and artifacts about the history of the island. We enjoyed a breezy lunch on the rocks and some of us hiked the Pond Loop Trail which passes remnants of foundations perhaps dating back to the 1600s, a place called Flat Rock and the fresh water pond. The northern half of the island is a bird sanctuary. Damariscove is a treasure trove of old buoys and I found two for my collection that met my new, higher quality standards. We split into two groups for the return trip, some opting to leave the cove on the west side thereby avoiding the big swells that had developed on the more elongated eastern end. The entire group met up just north of Damariscove and persisted against the tide to Ocean Point. The much anticipated and promised sunshine finally arrived a shortwhile before our trip ended.

Submitter: Patti Rutka
River: Dead
Section: Spencer to the Forks
Date: 2012-06-09
Level: 3500 cfs
Participants: K1: Tom Rutka, Jonathan Wheaton, Ken Gordon, Gabor Degre, Gary Cole, Suzanne Cole, Randy Berube, Aaron Bauman OC1: Evan Eichorn, Kenny DeCoster, Patti Rutka, Ryan Galway, John Brower
Report: It was another beautiful, sunny, day on the Dead and we had extra water coming in from streams still putting out from the previous weeks' rain. There was lots of kayak surfing going on, with Kenny nailing Quatro to show all the OC-1's how to do it. There was mild carnage at the wave-drop below Spencer as one of the OC-1ers hadn't quite got the combat roll figured out in a newfangled boat, but after that all was sedate, wave after wave after wave.

Submitter: Patti Rutka
River: Souadabscook
Section:
Date: 2012-05-12
Level: about one foot
Participants: K-1: Bill Blauvelt, John Crocker, Ben Easley, Sally Blauvelt, Mike Smith, Cathel Macleod. OC-1: Doug Field, Helen "The Sou Queen" Hess, Anthony Codega, Tom Rutka, Patti Rutka
Report: With a good level from recent rains we took to the Sou on a sunny day with temps getting up to around 70. Cathel recorded most of the escapade on video cam. Rumor had it that there was a dunking experience right at the start, but if the writer of this report was not on the water at the time, did it happen? In any case, John Crocker was two for two with his rolls during the day. Our middle-aged (!) group was joined by a couple of fresh faces from Castine, Anthony in a Blackfly and Ben in a Blisstick. There are still some young people open boating! Tom Rutka added to his OC-1 experience, figuring he couldn't beat up on Kyle's Ovation any more than it had been. Anthony was first man leading a group down Grand Falls which was at an excellent level. Mike Smith shot off the top wave like he was coming out of a cannon by all reports but kept it stable and upright; all had clean runs. Surfs were abundant. John Crocker and Team Blauvelt provided fresh beverages at the take out, whereupon Ben decided to discreetly hide his bottle from public consumption by using his bootie as a cozy. This nauseated several of the older members. The TC's had such a good time surfing they decided the Sou is entertaining enough to be run an infinite number of times if the season turns out to be dry.

Submitter: Allan Fuller
River: 25 Mile Stream
Section: Rt 139 to Burnham
Date: 2012-05-12
Level: Moderate to high
Participants: Ed Bossom, Dave Wallace, Palmer Curtis, Allan Fuller
Report: Beautiful sunny day with a strong wind at times. Most of the rapids were washed out with the water a foot over the tops of the rocks. Rapids between Troy Rd and Burnham (1/4 from end)were class 3 with readable safe routes. Fiddleheads were mostly mature and with a few worth picking. Sebasticook River gaging station was at 3000 cfs. 25 Mile Stream will probably be high enough for paddling through this coming weekend. Longer if we get more rain.

Submitter: Helen Hess
River: East Branch Union
Section:
Date: 2012-05-06
Level:
Participants: Helen Hess (TC), Henry Deshane, Dave Duggan (OC-1); Skip Pendelton, Mike Smith (K-1)
Report: We had a perfect spring day for this trip. The 5 of us met at the take-out on rt 179, consolidated into two vehicles and headed to the put-in at the outlet of Spectacle Pond. Google maps revealed some dirt roads that have been added in the last five years, allowing better access and avoiding a long lake paddle. This was a new river for everyone except the TC, who found great satisfaction in introducing this beautiful run to a group with so many decades of boating experience on dozens of rivers among them. The trip offered a variety of scenery, from narrow, rocky stretches beneath the shade of dense woods that crowded the banks to wide open marshy areas under bright sunny skies. A lovely time was had by all, running the friendly class II rapids and chatting through the intervening flatwater. Henry was extremely patient with the rest of the group as we stopped to surf at every little feature that offered some play. After a leisurely 6 hours on the river, including a lunch break complete with blackflies who were not quite ready to bite yet, we finished at the final flatwater stretch, ran the shuttle, and went our separate ways.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Upper & Lower Yough
Section:
Date: 2012-05-04
Level: Class III,IV,V
Participants: Jim Francoueur, Sandi Francouer, Bill Blauvelt, Sally Blauvelt, Randy Berube and TC
Report: Originally, this was supposed to be a WVA week of rivers trip that morphed into a day trip due to low water, lack of interest and important distractions on my part. So it became a mere intro to Bill & Sally’s Cheatless River Trip. They hosted the group at their cabin in the scenic, pastoral hills a few miles north of Friendsville, Maryland; home of the Upper Yough, one of the finest whitewater rivers in the eastern United States. We were cohosted by cabin lessors Bob and Elaine Allen and their beautiful, 6-year old twin daughters. This was a classic paddling base camp with a perpetual flow of whitewater boaters passing in and out throughout the weekend, the grill seemingly always going and a relaxing Jacuzzi available on demand. The Upper Yough includes a 5 mile stretch of continuous Class IV/V creek-like, boulder-strewn paddling with virtually no pools, requiring constant eddy hopping and undivided attention. For me, the normal hydro releases of around 1.9 on the Sang Run gauge is the optimum level. Years ago, I was told that every inch on the gauge adds another foot of water in the gorge. While probably an exaggeration, it may not be far from the truth. Levels above 2.3 turn this already different kind of animal into to a river beast. Water famine turned to feast as the area received a deluge of rain just before our arrival. Bill, Randy and I decided to jump on the river early, hoping for a benign natural flow. Our plan was a success, as we had 1.8 on the gauge, meaning the release level would be in the 2.4 range. Having previously experienced such levels, we were thrilled to have a quality flow early enough to avoid dodging scores of boaters while navigating the steep, tight technical rapids. An added benefit, Bill knew the river better than I, eliminating the need for me to probe with my aging, fading memory. We had a truly exceptional run, sunny weather and never seeing other paddlers. I made a point of surfing the first wave in Gap Falls, an acknowledgment that I wouldn’t be playing much below. I was right. You really can’t scout all of the difficult rapids, there are just too many and it would be too time consuming. “Just do it” is about the best advice I can give and boat scout your way down the river one eddy at a time. After hitting the “must do” boof on the first difficult rapid affectionately called Bastard, Bill disappeared between a billowing pour-over and a large boulder on the right. Remembering an alternative line, I went left. That’s the way of the Upper. The next challenging rapid is called Charlie’s Choice, because there are several different options, all steep lines between boulders with obstacles called Mushroom and Toilet Bowl lurking in the area. On this day, it could have been called Ronnie’s Choice, because I stayed left the entire run. My preference being to limit my toilet visits to non-paddling activities. Triple Drop and Class V National Falls were uneventful. Since Bill and I had experienced misadventures running the center line of Class IV/V Heinzerling in the past, we chose a precipitous, narrow chute on the right called Gun Barrel. Meat Cleaver is the next Class V. We elected to enter by boofing several feet over a vertical drop between exposed rocks into a swirling pool above the cleavers, two protruding jagged rocks. The idea is to run this blind drop in the middle landing safely between the two cleavers. Thought I was on a collision course with left cleaver when I peered over the edge, but the river gods smiled down on me and I sailed harmlessly between them. No one got popped in Powerful Popper and we all had clean runs on the last Class V, Lost and Found (AKA FU Falls). After, things calmed down to continuous Class IV with rapids called Cheeseburger, Wright’s Hole, Pencil Sharpener and Double Pencil Sharpener on the menu. Our original plan was for Randy and I to join Bob and paddle equally difficult Top Yough after he finished work. Unfortunately, this old man had used up his entire day’s allotment of adrenaline. So Randy and I paddled the Class III Lower Yough Loop during the afternoon instead. There, I promptly got spanked and endered in a deep hole on Cucumber Falls. Watching me rolling in the waves below, Randy wisely went right. There truly is no rest for the wicked. Jim and Sally ran a subsidiary trip on the seven-mile Lower Yough the same day and Jim and Sandi shredded the Middle Yough the previous day. Reports were that a good time was had by all. I’ll let Bill and Sally report on their Cheatless River Fest Trips. Many thanks to Bill, Sally, Bob, Elaine and the girls for their helpfulness and exceptional hospitality.

Submitter: Ryan Galway
River: West Branch Of The Penobscot
Section: Rip Gorge -Pock
Date: 2012-04-15
Level: 2100-2200 cfs
Participants: K-1 Ron Chase, K-1 Jean Miller, OC-1 Evan Eichorn, OC-1 Ryan Galway-TC
Report: This was a bootleg trip to replace the NH rivers trip I had planned for Sunday, and to cover the vacation day I took for Monday expecting to do Brent's trip. Even in the face of adversity this devoted group of 4 managed to find good running water in time of drought. Knowing the current water situation and the difficulty of coming up with childcare I was determined to make things happen. Fortunately I can thank Ron Chase for all of his help making this a reality. About a week ahead of time seeing it unlikely we would have any other option I asked Ron what his thoughts on the Penb. @ 2100 CFS were. He was a bit skeptical that all would fall into place as far as weather and water level but agreed to lead the river part of the trip if things looked favorable. As everyone knows we ended up with better weather than we could hope for (sunny and in the 70s) and a great water level between 2100 and 2200 cfs. I would say the only negative of the trip was that no one else took advantage of this great opportunity. Ron and Jean were able to paddle Saturday, and were awaiting are planned arrival of 11:00 on Sunday which turned into 11:25 due to a wrong turn that took Evan and I to Baxter, instead of the Golden Road. After a little well deserved harassment from the timekeeper Ron we were on our way to Rip Gorge. This was a first for Evan and I and we were eager for some good beta for the future. Ron delivered by showing us where to lower boats down into the gorge below the CV upper rapids. He and Evan proceeded to lower the boats and we put on just after noon. For anyone who has not done this run before I highly recommend it for both whitewater and visual appeal. I can not adequately describe the natural beauty here, and would prod anyone who hasn't done it before to get on the river and experience it first hand. We had a great run through the bottom gorge and the rapids above the cribworks, with great lines lead by Ron. After a quick portage of the upper cribworks we were back on the river and on shore at big eddy for a quick bite. After we continued through Big A and down to the take out below Horserace. It was about 3:30 by then and Ron and Jean had had enough, but being still early with a tailwind Evan and I decided to head down to Nesowadnehunk Falls for a run. Ron and Jean decided to drive down to play the role of river vultures, but they would get no carnage that day. Reluctantly Evan talked me out of a good river beating due to the cold water, and we agreed to come back for our initiation beating this summer. After carrying boats out we stopped @ Abol Bridge Campground for supper and a beverage with Ron and Jean. The Next morning we made sure to make up for our tardiness by showing up 45min early. This put us on the river for a lower run of Abol and Pock. Even though this was a short run it was action packed, and I found Big Pock to be the most challenging rapid of the 2 day trip. After this it was back up for a final run of the upper river. Due to the cold water no one found it wise to attempt the upper gorge or crib, but we were not without plenty of excitement. After a second day of boat lowering Ron and Evan had deemed themselves experts at the task, and agreed to take part in a business venture of boat lowering for profit during this upcoming water starved season. A couple words of advise for anyone interested in taking them up on the offer of boat lowering. They are not insured, have a progressive fee for service model based on ability to pay, and have a motto of you can't get any lower than us. I can just see people lining up to do business with those 2! Anyway the run proved to be another great day on the river. Jean felt the need to haze Evan and I for chickening out of out falls run by hitting a couple combat rolls in lower crib and Big A. but all said and done the weekend was a no swim event. At the Horserace takeout Evan and I did a tire repair before the trip home, while enjoying a sunny 75 degree day post river beverage. Thank you again Ron and Jean for making the trip up, and a special thanks to Ron to introducing Evan and I to this great new run.

Submitter: Kyle Duckworth
River: Souadabscook and Marsh Stream
Section:
Date: 2012-04-14
Level:
Participants:
Report:

PPCS provided safety boaters and on-shore rescue personnel for the Souadabscook and Marsh Stream races, held on April 14 and 15. These races are organized by the American Canoe Association New England chapter (ACANE), and all proceeds go to charity. Our involvement makes larger contributions possible because race organizers don’t have to pay outside organizations for their services. They also get better safety because (ahem….) no one around does it better than PPCS.

The weather was beautiful all weekend with temperatures in the 70’s. This is the 6th year that PPCS has provided safety, but it was the first time we complained of being too warm rather than too cold. Unfortunately, it was also the first time that the race courses for both events had to be altered due to low water.

Volunteers for Saturday’s race on the Souadabscook were John Crocker, Kyle Duckworth, Allan Fuller, Clyde and Michelle Mitchell, and Peter Rappaport. The finish line was moved to Paper Mill bridge because the stretch down to Hampden was too scratchy to run. The lack of carnage would have been disappointing to our would-be heroes if it had not been expected. John, Kyle, and Allan stuck around to paddle afterwards, and had a great time despite the low water. There were several spots with a friendly surfing wave and John took advantage, perfecting his 180 degree spin. It was the first time for Allan in his recently-purchased Dagger RPM, and served as a nice break-in run.

The course for the Marsh race was altered in a way that eliminated almost all of the whitewater. The put-in was moved three miles further upstream than usual, and the race ended at the snowmobile bridge. We provided safety at an old damsite above the Loggin Road and at the snowmobile bridge rapid. Even though there were no major spills, we were entertained at the finish line rapid watching several hapless racing teams trying to extricate themselves from the rocks without getting their feet wet. But it was all in good fun, and those racing were as delighted as we were to be enjoying shirt-sleeve weather at a spring canoe race.

Sunday’s safety team was comprised of Bill and Sally Blauvelt, who drove all the way from Portland (who was it that signed those two up for PPCS anyway? Good work!), Dan Pelletier, who rode his motorcycle there, and Kyle Duckworth, who pronounced that even with the low water, being there beat the hell out of working.

Thanks to all who participated in these events for selfless service for the good of Mankind!

Submitter: Ron Chase per The Waterman
River: Kennebago
Section: El Horrendo
Date: 2012-04-12
Level: Over the top
Participants: TC, Don Dearborn, Tom Rutka, Eggman, Ron Chase, Suzanne Cole, Gary Cole, Jim Francoeur, Patti Rutka, Jean Miller, Randy Berube, Clyde Mitchell, Victor Otley & Cathel Macleod
Report: A determined group of intrepid Chowderheads met at Oquossoc for the Morrill Nason Jr. (AKA The Waterman) Annual Deepfreeze Trip on the always frigid Kennebago River. We had typical weather conditions: Temperatures in the mid-teens, gusty 50 MPH winds from the northwest and driving snow. The fearless Waterman was elated with the cooperative weather; whereas the Trip Scribe voiced strenuous objections to running the trip. Summarily dismissed as the consummate sissy, the consensus was to persist with the scheduled plan. Arriving at the put-in, flood level waters and blinding snow with minimal visibility greeted our hardy band. Otherwise, it was a typical PPCS river day. The Eggman ran all of the Class IV rapids with aplomb but swam several times on the only Class I. Regularly losing his paddle, The Waterman forced his shredder mate, Jim, to do all of the heavy lifting. Ignoring the high water and blizzard-like conditions, Gary and Suzanne identified miniature birds for the Trip Scribe that he couldn’t see. Jean rolled about a dozen times, each better than the previous one. Lifetime honeymooners Tom and Patti smooched their way through the difficult rapids, coincidentally facilitated by Patti who ran them all backwards. Randy found the “perfect wave” in Bumpum Rapid and refused to leave. Collectively hypothermic, the group finally left him behind. Miraculously, he showed up surfing on the Soudabscook the following day. At the takeout, the group celebrated with a snowy tailgate party. The Trip Scribe, who whined, fussed and whimpered throughout, was shunned. Rumor has it there was a bootleg club trip on the Webb and Swift the same day. Sissies! Ron Chase, Trip Scribe.

Submitter: Kyle Duckworth
River: Mattawamkeag
Section:
Date: 2012-04-07
Level: 2900 cfs
Participants: TC Kyle Duckworth, Helen Hess, Dan Pelletier, Kenny DeCoster. K-1: Ron Chase, Bill Blauvelt, Jonathan Wheaton, Kirk Ross, Mark Berry, Randy Berube, John Crocker. Special guest from Maryland: Bob Allen, old friend of Bill Blauvelt.
Report: Both of the PPCS’s class II trips were cancelled this weekend due to lack of water. I was scheduled to lead a Kingsbury trip, which was also too low to run, but I was determined to find an alternative. Ideas man that he is, Ron Chase suggested the Mattawamkeag, as it was about the only free-flowing river left running. At normal spring levels of 5,000-10,000 cfs, the Matty is big, mean water – Class IV/V. We were to catch it at a much more manageable level of 3,000, which was a good introduction for the six who had never been there before.

We got word beforehand that the gate was open into the preferred put-in at the Mattawamkeag Wilderness Campground. (It usually is not open until May.) With this road open access to the river is easy. The road is very close the south side of the river at all of the three major drops. The takeout is 4 miles up from the town of Mattawamkeag. We changed into paddling gear there, left a shuttle vehicle, and continued on another 3.5 miles to the campground, scouting along the way. Another bonus: With not a soul at the campground, we didn’t have to pay the fee to park there. The put in is next to Scatterack rapid, a nice, short Class II with some good surfing.

A half mile or so of quickwater brought us to Slewgundy Heater gorge. It was a very doable Class III at this level, but the swirl of whirlpools gave us a hint of the kind of place it can be at the higher water levels that those of us who had made the run before were accustomed to. There was a short swim here by an unnamed kayaker but it would be a stretch to describe it as carnage.

Upper Gordon falls is a short distance below (Class III/IV at this level). The current here funnels into a very intimidating wave/foam pile in mid-river. There is a cleaner line on the left shoulder of the foam pile but it is very difficult to get over that far, due to the deceptively strong current and a couple of holes just above it that are “in the way.” Several people experienced this first hand, including the trip leader. Kenny DeCoster had a nice swim here, due to the fact that his hand, injured in a carpentry mishap, could not grip a well-thrown rope from Kirk Ross. Time to get another vocation Kenny – it’s affecting your paddling enjoyment. Unnamed Kayaker was out of his boat again here, despite starting out with a good sneak line on river left.

The short run finishes with Lower Gordon falls, another Class III at this level. We boat scouted it, catching eddies and surfs along the way. This time Unnamed Kayaker hit a combat roll after flipping in the wave train at the bottom, to finish the run on a positive note.

No one was up for a second run as the chill had pretty well set in by then. Instead we milled about at the take-out over some beers and recounted our adventure and our good fortune at having such a great turnout for a seat-of-the-pants trip. I’d like to thank Ron Chase for providing inspiration, guest Bob Allen for the chance to paddle with him, John Crocker for his indefatigable spirit despite two swims (give him a little time on the water – he’s coming along!) and everybody else for showing up and making a good time out of it. Keep the Matty in mind – it’s only an hour and 15 minutes from Bangor and it’s there when nothing else is.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Saco
Section: Steep Falls to Rips
Date: 2012-04-01
Level: 3900 cfs - 2.6
Participants: Victor Otley, Andrew Carey, Patti Rutka, Tom Rutka and TC
Report: Five Saco Sissies met at Limington Rips on the Saco River at about noon with warm, sunny weather. Unlike most rivers in the northeast (except the Mattawamkeag), the water level was outstanding on the Saco with just a little under 4000 cfs. For the uninitiated, the Steep Falls to Limington Rips section is about 5 miles long with Class II/III rapids at the beginning and end (The Rips can get more difficult at higher water levels), a Class II Rapid part way down and quick water or flatwater for the remainder. It's a scenic stretch with only a few cabins or homes visible with numerous play spots. Warm,sunny conditions were an incentive to play the put-in rapids hard. However, the river gods frowned on us after about an hour; cloud cover crept in and a raw, brisk headwind ushered in a cold front. Our sole open boater was seriously bummed with the headwind, fearing she'd be left behind. Not to worry, as the Saco Sissies, like the Navy Seals, have an unwavering motto, "Leave no sissy behind." After finding a premium wave on the middle rapid, we arrived near frozen at the rips. Playing our way through the rips, it became apparent who was "the biggest sissy of all" - the TC. The big sissy's fingers got cold and he had a chill, so he rushed off the river to warm himself in his car. What a sissy! But, some sissies stayed home on the sofa. Sissyhood is a relative thing.

Submitter: Dave Lanman
River: Ossipee
Section: Kezar Falls to Cornish Station
Date: 2012-03-31
Level: Class 2; 4190cfs Saco gauge (USGS) at Cornish
Participants: Kayaks: Tom Meredith, Laurie Wunder, Owen Maguire, Carolyn Welch. Solo Canoes: Dave Lanman (TC); Harry Wallace
Report: This was our second run of the year on the Ossipee (see 3/18/12 report). It was cloudy, and the air temperature was about 35 degrees at the start, eventually rising to low 40’s; a far cry from the 70’s of the 3/18 run. Although the Saco gauge was actually higher this run, the Ossipee was lower, more proof that the Saco gauge is, at best, a ball park indicator of Ossipee levels. We met at the Saco take-out at 10:00, and after welcoming Owen, a new comer, headed to the put-in. After a team struggle with a too tight spray skirt, we headed down river about 10:45. Our sweep man, Harry, had an arrow imbedded in his helmet, a memento of some earlier river skirmish. There was some scratching and more rocks to dodge, but the river was doable, and, as one person remarked, at least there was water, which is more than can be said for other runs we usually do this time of year. One person banged his eye with a paddle handle along the way, but claimed he was OK. We stopped for lunch, and with the sun finally shining on us the last few miles of the trip, reached the take-out about 2:30. Several of us stopped at Midge’s for ice cream on the way out. Another good day on the river.

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Sheepscot
Section: Kings Mills to HeadTide dam
Date: 2012-03-24
Level: 425cfs (medium low)
Participants: 8 paddlers: Dennis Harnish, David Boyle, Skip Pendleton, Lila Maycock, Carolyn Welch in kayaks. Ken Severy, Ben Mathes, David Lanman solo in canoes.
Report: We met at the takeout at 9:45. Weather was mostly cloudy, light winds, about 50 degrees - a big change from the 75+ we had earlier in the week! We were on the water about 10:30. Lots of rocks for surfing! The only swimmers were Ben's 2 golden retrievers who enjoyed romping along the banks, in and out of the water. We were off the water about 1:00. Another great day on this good little river!

Submitter: Dave Lanman
River: Ossipee
Section: Kezar Falls to Cornish Station
Date: 2012-03-18
Level: 4030cfs Saco Gauge, Class 2
Participants: Jim Francoeur (kayak), Dave Butler (TC) and dog Allie (solo canoe); Dave Lanman (solo canoe); Tom Rutka (solo canoe)
Report: This trip was suggested the day before, while we were at the Sheepscot, by Dave Butler who said he was thinking about doing the Ossipee. I had planned to do taxes, but looking for any excuse not to, it sounded like a great alternative. Jim and Tom were planning to do the Little Ossipee with Doug Field, who unfortunately was unable to lead that trip, so they joined Dave and me to form a small flotilla on the “big” Ossipee. We met at the Cornish Station take-out on the Saco at 11:00, and headed up to Kezar Falls to start our trip. We used the fire station put-in on river left, an alternative suggested by Jim several years ago, which has become our favorite over the power station on river right. The water level was medium low. We experienced standing waves, with some rocks exposed, as we started out in this busy part of the river at about 11:30. We took the left channel at the island which is a short and sharp drop, but clearly visible, and continued in the fast water with only a stop to stretch our legs (no lunch break today), finally reaching the second set of rapids just before entering the Saco. The wet and dry suits were a bit hot in the 70 degree plus air, but necessary protection against the 37 degree water temperature that Tom tested first with his thermometer and later with an intentional roll at the Saco take out. We reached the take-out about 1:30. There was interest by some in making the usual stop for ice cream at Midge’s on Route 25 on the way out, but it was not yet open: too early, like our spring paddling season that is well on its way too early as well. Another good day had on another good river.

Submitter: Dave Lanman
River: Sheepscot
Section: Kings Mills to Head Tide
Date: 2012-03-17
Level: 468cfs, Class 2
Participants: Dave Lanman (TC), Dave Butler, Tom Rutka (solo conoes), Bud Gilbert, Scott Gee (tandem canoe), Carolyn Welch (TC), Dave Boyle, Skip Pendleton, Lila Maycock, Andrew Carey, Jim Francoeur (kayaks)
Report: Some met at the take out at Head Tide Dam, and some at the put in at Kings Mills Lane, then we all joined forces at the top and were on the water by about10:30 to do this four mile stretch of flat water and Class II whitewater. The warmth of the air, the lack of snow on the banks or remnants of ice teetering on the rocks and the low water, made this an unusual first of the season run on the Sheepscot. Conditions the previous year on about the same date (March 20) had been much more typically winter like (air temp in the 20’s last year and 60’s this year; water level at 1,580cfs last year and 468cfs this year). Regardless, we were all glad to be paddling again. Though the water was relatively low, it provided enough cover to avoid scratching and sufficient volume for a fun run, surfing and eddying as we went. Lila is relatively new to the sport and gained some confidence with advice along the way from Grandfather Skip. The left channel around the island, just past the old bridge abutment, has been blocked in some years by debris or trees down, but was open this year (wise to scout from the island if unsure) so we followed that route which had deeper water. We were at the take out by 1:00pm. Carolyn, always recruiting for a second run when we do this stretch, had several folks willing, while those of us with sore knees headed for home. A good day had by all.

Submitter: Suzanne Cole
River: Pleasant Mountain
Section: MacKay Pasture Trail
Date: 2012-02-28
Level: Moderate
Participants: Doug Field, Sally and Bill Blauvelt, Sharon and Greg Pelotte, Ron Chase, Ken Gordon, Suzanne and Gary Cole.
Report: Benefitting from an icy rain storm the previous day, our hike on Pleasant Mountain glittered. The nine of us climbed the MacKay Pasture Trail (Southwest Ridge Trail) and followed the ridge to the summit of Pleasant Mountain (about a 6 mile round trip). We took advantage of the beautiful views afforded by this trail and welcomed the added beauty of ice coated trees. We could not take too many pictures, and probably took well over a hundred with all cameras combined. The trial had not been broken and made for a crunchy trek. The sun shown for a good part of the day. At one point, the melting ice water on the trees put us in mind of a river with the branches all contributing to the river flowing down the trunk. It was an uncommon sight. We lingered on the top to eat lunch and enjoy a view of the White Mountains. Many of us continued on to the Gordon’s to devour a delicious meal.

Submitter: Suzanne Cole
River: South Moat Mountain
Section: Moat Mt. Trail
Date: 2012-02-12
Level: Moderate
Participants: Sally and Bill Blauvelt, Suzanne and Gary Cole
Report: Our hike on South Moat was lovely, if a bit breezy. Temperatures were predicted to be really cold and they were spot on. At the base of S. Moat it was 12 degrees, and at the top of the mountain it was very windy. We followed a well worn trail that was a bit icy in places, but mostly out of the wind. We expected to have great views at the top, but views to the west and north were obscured by weather. We were not sure if it was snow or clouds. We still had nice views to the east, of N. Conway, and to the south, of Mt. Chocorua. We spent very little time on top because it was really windy and cold; wind gusts could knock you off balance and exposing your hands to take a photo was painful. We found a sunny ledge on our way back down and had a leisurely lunch. The only birds of note were pine siskins, but they were all around.

Submitter: Troad/Julia Richmond
River: Mt Gosford, Mt Megantic
Section:
Date: 2012-01-07
Level:
Participants: Ron Chase, Doug Field, Brent Elwell, Dave Boyl, ChoRong Kim, Noel Salmond, Oki, Ruth Doerfler, Troad/ Julia Richmond
Report: Not having enough snow for the back country ski trip, we climbed Mt. Gosford, 1193 m. In the mild, hazy, spring-like morning we admired the beauty of Gosford with its brilliant snowy top. As the trail led through maple forest and steepened, some of us clad ourselves with extra traction. Oki, the husky of my friend from Ottawa, Noel, enjoyed going back and forth and sharing our snacks. ChoRong, my helpxer, dazzled us with her adventurous spirit and cute Korean accent. A snow squall met us at the summit, but not until some of us could take in the hazy view of endless reaches of fairy-frosted trees, forested hills, mountains, and lakes. Back home from the trail, we feasted and laughed, careful not to get too political, but all that had to wait until after a concert of flute duets performed by Ruth and Noel's wife Ariane. Saunas and a good night's sleep prepared us for our Sunday ski. True to Brent's description, it was always snowing at Mt. Megantic. The snow was buttery and deep enough to slide well, but left us easy control on the long downhills. Snow hung thick on every branch and twig as big flakes coasted lazily onto our hats and eyebrows. We ended the day with a visit to the famous sourdough bakery in Notre-Dame-des-Bois, Chez Mamie. We felt sorry for the folks who couldn't make it because they had not recovered from their New Year's Eve partying and those who didn't believe in Mt. Megantic snow.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Puzzle Mountain
Section:
Date: 2011-12-03
Level:
Participants: Andrew Carey, Tom Meredith, Laurie Wunder, Julia Richmond, Ruthie Daughter-of-Julia, Brent Elwell, Dave Boyle & TC
Report: We had near perfect hiking conditions for a moderate ascent of Puzzle Mountain, eastern most peak in Western Maine's Mahoosuc Range. It was sunny, moderate temperatures and light winds. Brent made an earnest attempt to inflame politial passions throughout the hike but was largely unsuccessful. We encountered icy conditions on ledges approaching the summit but no snow accumulation and enjoyed spectacular views of Mahoosucs and the White Mountains of New Hampshire beyond. Everyone followed the TC's recommendation to carry micro cleats or stableicers except one scoflaw - the political rabble rouser, of course. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch on the open summit but wine was conspicuously absent, unlike the previous club hike on Puzzle.

Submitter: Ryan Galway
River: North Branch of the Piscataqua
Section:
Date: 2011-10-15
Level: Drawdown release
Participants: Patti Rutka OC-1, Kyle Duckworth OC-1, Evan Eichorn OC-1, Kenny Decoster OC-1, John Brower OC-1, Helen Hess OC-1, Ryan Galway TC OC-1, Tom Rutka K-1, Ron Chase K-1, Jim Francoure K-1, Rodney Reed K-1, Bill & Sally Blauvelt K-1
Report: The day started out with great fall weather, sunny in the high 50s-low 60s. We were lucky to get a little extra water to help pad things due to recent rain. We put in and the trip virgins were quickly introduced to the narrow creeky feel to this run. Every one did well until the first stop to scout slab city rapid. This is a riverwide steep drop which was run more to the center in the past but Kyle found a new line far left in the higher water which proved to be the way to go to avoid a hole at the start of the drop. Everyone had good runs here with one quick swim of no real consequence. We continued on to the next major drop right above a bridge. The line is creeky and tight and unfortunately some low hanging branches ended up grabbing Helen and flipping her. She was quickly rescued and back on the river. We continued on with good runs on the middle of the river with the last major rapid called Buzzels remaining. This is where the carnage started. Ron lead the way with his line down the right. Some went left some went right in staggerd sucession. 5 Of the crew ended up swimming and unfortunately Randy and Jim got banged up but were able to finish out the day. Some good rescues were made, and Kyle made us all proud with a combat roll and a clean run the second time. The highlight of the day though was Kenny Decoster finally finishing Buzzels without a swim! The third time is the charm. Thanks to all who attended, hope to see you there again next year.

Submitter: Patti Rutka
River: Dead
Section:
Date: 2011-10-01
Level: 6500-7000?
Participants: K-1: Clyde Mitchell, Gary and Suzanne "Clean Energy" Cole, Ron Chase, Randy Berube, Greg Winston, Tom Rutka. C-1: Frank Yuling. OC-2: John Brower and Patti Rutka
Report: This rainy October day started at about 60 degrees and dropped 15 degrees throughout the day. A wind kicked up and we had rain and mist, but the water was warm on the hands in the mid-fifties.

The kayaks parked and played at the Quatro wave for quite a while as the open boat occupants caught up on their socializing, napped, socialized a little more, napped a little more... The water was sizeable enough so that everybody waited for Randy most of the time, and we all boated together.

Taking an ill-advised route on the hard left through the bottom of Mine Field the open boat got sideways between two holes and a rock. This resulted in the only swim of the day with a heroic haul-in of the boat by John in a well-executed self-rescue. The rest of their day required sustained focus all the way to the bottom which was survival-boating at times, but fun nonetheless.

Big waves pushed even the kayaks to unfamiliar routes and lines seldom, if ever, taken. They surfed their entire way down the river. The fall foliage was spectacular and the day was exhilarating. Hot chocolate and hot coffee at Webb's capped it off.

Submitter: Jim Francoeur
River: St Croix (21 miles)
Section: Vanceboro to Loon Bay
Date: 2011-10-01
Level: 1500cfs
Participants: Jim Francoeur TC, Brent Elwell (K-1), Peter Brown & Helen Johnston, Anne & Dino (OC-2), Erik Johanson (OC-1)
Report: We traveled to Vanceboro (Little Falls) for the weekend. It’s a 5 hour trip for me, but so is Roll Dam. This is a great river for base camp paddling allowing paddlers to paddle on the river without camping gear in their boats. We set up camp for the weekend at Little Falls and shuttled our vehicles from one site to another before paddling. The weather was cool and rain was predicted for the weekend, but that did not deter a few hearty souls from showing up to paddle a great class II ish river. The river was releasing about 1500 cfs which is considered high. The normal flow is around 800 cfs. We put in just below the dam and the talk was all about the large surfing wave that the dam was producing. None of us were crazy enough to try surfing that wave (this time). As the trip started so also did the rain and it rained for the entire day. Despite the dark clouds and rain the fall foliage colors were bright and plentiful. We passed an eagle perched on a tree limb looking for its prey and trying to stay dry. The higher water levels gave us faster current and a few new lines on the river that are not usually passable at lower water. Erik found out that those flat water canoes aren’t that easy to paddle through rapids when he got caught on a few rocks and flipped. He was the only casualty (swim) of the weekend. We practiced our eddy turns, peal outs and surfing as we paddled to Little Falls. As we arrived at Little Falls, we saw Mark & Julia Berry and son waiting for us. They hopped into their kayaks and joined us at Little Falls for some play time. Mark was very impressive in a tandem kayak with his 5 year old son in the bow playing in the Falls. Sunday’s weather was predicted to be the same as Saturdays, but that didn’t deter three of us from staying to paddle the second leg of the trip. Jim, Erik and Brent camped at the Little Falls and on Sunday morning we called for a weather report. Yes, you can get cell phone coverage, but only at Little Falls. The weather was cool (53) and cloudy, but no rain. The rain was predicted, but not for 3-4 hours. So we shuttled 2 cars to Loon Bay and returned to Little Falls to start today’s trip. We set off down river under cloudy skies and the same water level as yesterday. This section of river has very little flat water and is mostly quick water to class II. It makes for a great section of river to play, learn and practice your boating skills. This water level produced many great surfing waves and the kayaks found a lot of play spots. The higher water level also made for a quick trip on this section of the river; we finished this section in less than three hours. Along with the great colors from foliage we did see another eagle flying around us as we approached Loon Bay. Brent packed up his car and headed home from the take out while Erik and I traveled back to Little Falls to pack up our gear and head home. It never rained on Sunday until we were all on our way home. It was another great weekend of paddling.

Submitter: Suzanne Cole for John Brower
River: Kennebec
Section: Gorge to The Forks
Date: 2011-09-18
Level: 5200 cfs
Participants: John Brower (TC)(OC1), Jim Francoeur and Tom Beesley (shredder), Ted and Helen Sparks (OC2), and in kayaks: Ron Chase, Ken Gordon, Randy Berube, Gary and Suzanne Cole, Greg Winston, Julia Richmond, Elijah Dorfler, and Greg Pugh. Carry Brook down: Ruth Dor
Report: This was a perfect fall day when the air was just slightly cooler than the water. Our group of 11 boats headed down stream ahead of a group of 16 boaters from Quebec. Little did we know that our groups would become entwined and dependent on each other for help. The trip started out like they usually do, some of us getting used to the strong current and eddy lines, while others surfed the waves and played on the eddy lines. Many of us commented that the extra 200 cfs was noticable, some places were a bit flatter and other places a bit bigger. The group from Quebec passed our group at Rock Garden.

Big Mama lived up to her name, again. Going over or around Big Mama is not usually a problem, it is what is below that gets you, but this day Jim F. and his son Tom got tipped off the shredder on her right shoulder. Tom swam and ended up in the eddy on the right where a group of Canadians had eddied out. While Jim, with shredder in tow, ended up in the eddy on river left just above the next rapid. A Canadian had also taken a swim and his boat had headed on down river with Marc Sauve chasing it. When things settled out, we had two swimmers that needed to get from river right to river left. This is a difficult, gutsy swim. Gary supported Tom by paddling next to him as he swam across the river. Jim F. was ready with a throw bag and got Tom safely to shore. Next, the Canadian swam across while two throw bags waited to help on the other shore. Gary's throw was spot on and the swimmer came safely to shore. Other Canadian canoeists had brought the paddles accross so no one had to swim with them. Tom and Jim carried the canoeist, without a boat, in the shredder down to where his boat was at Cathedral Eddy. On the way down through Lower Alleyway, another Canadian took a swim but fortunately both he and his boat ended up on the same side of the river in Cathedral Eddy.

The rest of the trip was exciting but uneventful. Everyone had successful runs at Magic even though some got a close look at Maytag. Julia rolled twice and the second time, showed us all how to hang in there and wait for calm water to roll in (we suspect that she has gills as she was upside down a long time).

Some of us took out at Carry Brook while Ruth, Jim T. and Faryl put in there. They had a pleasant lunch and leisurely trip down to the ballfield. While we waited for the rest of the gang to finish the river, Life Flight landed in the ball field giving us a scare. We hurried over to find that our gang had arrived safe and sound. Unfortunately, another person on the river (private rafter maybe?) had a head injury and was unconscious. This person was flown to the hospital and we hope they will be okay.

Lessons from this day on the river: 1. Carry a throw bag on the Kennebec, 2. Everyone on the river should wear a helmet.

Submitter: Gary Cole
River: Dead River
Section:
Date: 2011-09-17
Level: 3500
Participants: TCs Gary & Suzanne Cole, John Brower & Helen Sparks OC2, Jim Francoeur & Tom Beesley Shredder, Tom Sawyer OC1, Norm Rehn OC1, Kayakers - Gary Cole, Ken Gordon, Randy Berube, Ron Chase, Rodney Reed, and Clyde Mitchell
Report: It was a beautiful fall day, cool in the AM but warming nicely as the day progressed. Most of the group rode in with the Webb's shuttle which included a good sized group from Quebec. Andy actually drove the bus with the two trailers down to the put in (glad we did not have to back it up). John and Helen had never paddled tandem before this trip and the reason for that is that both paddle on the right. They decided that John should paddle on the right and Helen on the left. They looked pretty darn good paddling together. Everyone had good runs. The surfers got to do some awesome surfing on the section from Elephant Rock down. Upper Spruce Ledge was particularly good. Randy got to paddle Suzanne's Axiom as she had to stay home with a very sick cat. Randy did find out that the Axiom does surf extremely well. This was TomBeesley's first trip on whitewater and he had a great time with his father, Jim, on the shredder. It was really good trip without any mishapsso there is not much to tell except that we had a wonderful day on a great river.

Submitter: Patti Rutka
River: w. Branch Penobscot
Section: Seboomook
Date: 2011-08-27
Level: 4800 cfs
Participants: K1: Tom Rutka, Nate Nickerson, Greg Winston, Bruce Weik Shredder: Jim Francoeur, Brent Elwell OC-2: Kyle Duckworth, Patti Rutka
Report: Having been warned in a dream - or actually, warned by the Ranger the evening before - that the dam was going to up its output from 2500 cfs at the end of Friday's rescue clinic to about 4800 cfs on Saturday to accommodate work on the dam as well as expected rainfall from the upcoming hurricane, we decided to stay put rather than go to Canada Falls. 4800 cfs is a different animal at Seboomook, not to be missed but also not for the faint of heart because it does become class IV given the pushiness of the water and vertical currents. We really didn't want to look foolish with all the good information we had received the day before, so some of us scouted almost every drop. Much unknown iron was discovered in the rocks during the scouting process. Bruce and Greg even swam across a small channel at the start of the maze in order to scout for the rest of us, while the shredder took the normal line across river, harum-scarum at this level, and that the rest of us would not have been much help on had it not gone according to plan. They did give us a thrill.

We had only two swims:first, a kayaker who said he was out of practice, but after he got the bugs out he redeemed himself many times over by surfing in the maze. Second, the tandem canoe flipped just below Fresh Meat (Meat Grinder, Meat Cleaver, whatever) but the team stuck to the plan as the bow paddler fell effortlessly out of the boat and the stern paddler effortlessly rolled the boat up. (The plan did originally did include the bow paddler getting back in once the boat was up, but that had to be altered.) As expected, the regular line at Z-turn was out of control, so everyone ran it on the left. The day was safe and fun, at an exhilarating level.

Submitter: Bill Blauvelt
River: Rapid River
Section: Below Pond in the River
Date: 2011-08-06
Level: 1300 cfs
Participants: Sally Blauvelt, Bill Blauvelt and Ken Pasterak
Report: Rapid River August 6, 2011 1300 cfs First of all, Sally and I want to say Thanks to all the club members that so warmly welcomed us to Maine, and to the PPCS at the club picnic. We enjoyed meeting everyone and running the Dead two days in row. The lower Kennebeck was the only other section of river we had run, since we moved from Maryland two months ago. Now that we had a few days of Maine whitewater in, we were keen on trying the Rapid River. We saw the scheduled release in the club calendar, but we could not find anyone else that wanted to go the weekend of August 6-7. A friend of ours from Pittsburgh was going to be visiting us that weekend. It was not a hard sell to get him to do an exploratory trip with us. Thanks to the awesome tips from Patti Rutka and Nason Morrill Jr., we were able to find the river, and know what to expect when we got there. The map posted on AW was key also. AW has a link called “Map” on the Rapid River page, but that shows the shuttle on river right, which apparently, is where it used to be. This conflicted with the beta I had from Patti so I looked further. Under the heading of Rapids, there is a shuttle map with accurate mileage between all the turns. http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River/detail/id/881/#rapid499 We drove up from Portland on Friday and camped just over the NH border, at Bull Moose Campground. This is very close to where you turn off the paved roads, onto the dirt shuttle roads. It still took us 4 hours from the time we left camp, to the time we put our boats in the water. It was worth every minute. We even saw three moose, including one big Bull. This was a first for Sally. We were blessed with a picture perfect day on a spectacular remote river. On the scenic paddle across Pond in the River we paddled with a couple of Loons. That’s something we didn’t get to do in West Virginia. The river was just delightful. At 1300, we had enough time to boat scout everything, and stay out of harms way. There was a youth group at the play hole, so we didn’t stay there long. We enjoyed a relaxed lunch just a short distance downstream. When we go to Lake Umbagog, we were glad that we took the time to walk down to the access point when we set shuttle. Otherwise, we might still be there. We were equally glad the crack open a few cold ones and celebrate a spectacular day. I really enjoy a river that is remote and difficult to get to. It just adds a little more adventure to the day, especially when you have to figure it all out your own. Life is good! Sunday we did an early morning run on the Magalloway at 320 cfs. It was very fun too, but not the wilderness adventure of the Rapid. We thought about hanging out for a couple of hours to catch the 620 cfs release, but decided to get on the road instead. We are looking forward to more fun and adventure at the Fall Supper. Bill Blauvelt

Submitter: Helen Hess
River: West Branch Penobscot
Section: Roll Dams
Date: 2011-08-05
Level: 1000+
Participants: Helen Hess TC, Rebecca Petersen, Kenny DeCoster (OC-1) Julia Richmond, Rodney Reed, Cathi Reinfelder, Mike Smith, Greg Winston (K-1) Tonia Kittelson, Courtney Vashro (OC-2) Steve and Terri Titcombe (hiking and socializing)
Report: Roll Dams offered up a higher level this weekend than has been seen on any PPCS trip there this season. While the website posted a flow of 1043 cfs and the whiteboard on the way in listed the release as 840 cfs, various informed opinions on the river guessed it was higher; “closer to 1500 cfs” was the most generous estimate I heard. Some of the indicators of a high level: the glassy surfing wave at the top was completely washed out, down below there was a far-right line that allowed complete avoidance of meat-grinder, and the labyrinth was an unavailable route, just a series of ledges and pour-overs rather than the twisty maze. At any rate, the water was pushy, with crashing waves and hungrier holes, and many of us got some needed practice for our rescue and self-rescue skills. Julia and Greg were the only people who stayed in their boats for every run they made, and Julia nailed a couple high-pressure combat rolls and was greeted by well deserved cheers from the eddy. Cathi is a relatively new boater, and this was her first trip up to Roll Dams, and she was game to try new things, including a bit of side-surfing. She’ll definitely be back. Steve and Terri opted for a run down to Lobster Lake on Saturday and a hike on Sunday, but we enjoyed their company at the campground and they intend to return to Roll Dams for the run there at a lower level. The potluck on Saturday featured no less than three cucumber salads as everyone’s gardens are synchronized. All were delicious, and happily there was other fare to round out our meal. A violent thunderstorm, complete with pounding rain, provided late night excitement.

Submitter: Helen Hess
River: West Branch Penobscot
Section: Roll Dams
Date: 2011-07-15
Level: 550 cfs
Participants: Helen Hess TC, Chris Petersen (OC-2) Peter Brown, Helen Johnston, Doug Field, Paul Plumer, Larry Litchfield, Skip Pendleton (OC-1) Clyde Mitchell, (K-1)
Report: The Roll Dams weekend started off with a subset of us doing a Friday afternoon run. Larry was new to this stretch of river, and Peter gave him an excellent introduction, discussing then demonstrating each of the drops. We all had upright runs and enjoyed the gentler challenge of a somewhat lower water level. Doug, Paul, and Clyde all arrived Friday night in time for some campfire singing with the two Helens on guitar, doing girly renditions of such classics as "King of the Road." Saturday and Sunday were blazing hot days, inviting plenty of play on the water. The three runs over these two days allowed ample opportunity to try different routes, explore alternative lines, catch new eddies, and surf to exhaustion. Skip left his kayak at camp and paddled his black canoe, making up the second half of "team Zephyr" along with Helen Johnston. Although we had hot sunshine throughout, one tiny squall that loosed a few dozen raindrops kept Skip's perfect record of rain on every Roll Dams trip intact. And there were plenty of biting bugs, too, but that goes without saying.

Submitter: Evan Eichorn
River: Rapid River
Section: Pond in the River to Lake Umbagog
Date: 2011-07-15
Level: 1300 cfs
Participants: Evan Eichorn TC OC1, Ryan Galway OC1, John Brower 0C1, Tom Meredith K1, Ron Chase K1, Tom Rutka K1, Patti Rutka OC1
Report: I love starting these reports by saying we had sunny, gorgeous weather in the 70's and that was the order of the day for the Rapid with warm water as well. I don't think I am forgetting anyone as this trip blended in my mind into the next day on Saturday that Ron and John led but also included Gary & Suzanne Cole, Paul Peters and wife Stephanie. Forgive me if I missed anyone!

This trip also included a sighting of the legendary Wendigo creature of Algonquian Native mythology. The Wendigo apparently is tamer and quite helpful now that he paddles a Shredder and sometimes goes by the name of Morrill Nason. Morrill/Wendigo was found splitting logs and doing some trail work at the Rapid takeout making for a much easier crossing of the mud bog that is there. Now if only he could help with some of the washouts on those logging roads...

In any case, we paddled the Rapid with a great respect for its hidden rocks that scream foot entrapment, pourovers, and holes. We had a few new paddlers to the Rapid and the lines were discussed at the top of the 3 pitches. Scouting isn't easy, but it isn't impossible and the lines become more clear as you take in a rapid from the shore or from the boat. For the most part, you can stay center and slide right and left from that position to avoid the big holes on First and Third Pitch and big haystacks on Second.

We had a little rest and lunch at Smooth Ledge with some attempted surfing by the TC and some actual surfing by Tom M, Patti, Tom R, and Ryan. S-turn followed which doesn't necessarily allow for scouting but the waves and holes aren't as big. Lines were found left, center, and right avoiding a nasty hole in the first 1/3 of the rapid that was right center. Everyone had really excellent runs regardless of the route and we all met up for some fun eddy hopping and surfing in Devils Hopyard below.

We finished with the paddle across the lake to the takeout and to our Wendigo sighting (thanks again Morrill). All agreed the shuttles were too long but well worth it. The roads closer to the take out were a bit more washed out than everyone remembered perhaps due to some big rainstorms earlier this Spring. Another really heavy downpour might really cause some problems. The group split up for the most part camping in the area that night ready to tackle the Rapid again the next day.

Submitter: Greg Winston
River: West Branch Penobscot
Section: Gorge/Cribworks; Abol and Pockawockamus
Date: 2011-07-09
Level: 2850-3000 cfs
Participants: Ellen, Tom, and Mark Nelson, Bruce Weik, Greg Winston
Report: We had ideal mid-level releases and perfect weather for the West Branch on July 9 and 10. I camped alongside the Swiss Family Nelson in the wilds of the Horserace gravel-pit sites Friday night, then we started the day downriver Saturday with a run of Abol Falls and Pock(awockomus) rapids. Always good places to get used to the pushy West Branch water again.
We moved the show to the Ripogenus Gorge and Cribworks section after lunch, and had a good time up there as well, though I'm not going to make a habit of rolling across the eddy line by Exterminator. Still, the Gorge always throws a few fun punches at you or it wouldn't be the Gorge. We had good Crib runs and a lot of time to play down at Big Amberjackomockamus on the way home to Horserace. Good photo op there at the takeout, with a bald eagle flying, two loons drifting, and Katahdin looming in the background. You just couldn't script that any better for summer in Maine.
Sunday we repeated the process, but in reverse, and with Bruce Weik in the mix. The level was up a couple hundred cfs, making the Crib a little pushier, but everyone hit their rolls when they needed to and came through nicely.
Tom Nelson taught us a lot each day about how to surf, spin, and loop down at Big A. Just watch and learn from that guy. I think I did.
It was quieter than I've ever seen a mid-July weekend on the West Branch: we were the only kayakers on the river, besides a Chewonki beginners lesson below the Heaters. And there appeared to be only one or two raft trips running each day. But I'm not complaining. Just don't go up there alone, or you might be waiting a while for boating partners.
To stretch my legs after two days in the playboat, I grabbed a Monday hike of The Owl in Baxter State Park. Good Katahdin and West Branch views, and only a few more people than on the river.

Submitter: Jim Francoeur
River: Canada Falls + Seboomock
Section:
Date: 2011-07-02
Level:
Participants: July 2 – 4, 2011 Weekend participants: Jim Francoeur TC, Sandi Francoeur, James Tierney, Carolyn Welch, Suzanne Cole, Gary Cole, Peter Brown, Helen Johnston, Patti Rutka, Tom Rutka, John Brower, Tee Brower, Jonathan Wheaton, Phyllis Wheaton, Julia Rich
Report: The weekend trips included paddling on Canada Falls, West Branch (Penobscot) (Seboomock), hiking and a three hour bike ride by Brent. While paddling there were numerous boat swaps. Can I try your boat this run? I even saw a kayaker get into an open boat for the first time and do exceptionally well on Seboomock. Not everyone stayed the whole weekend. Some drove in for a run on Canada Falls then left for other challenges. Others arrived late for a run or two on Seboomock and others left early for a run in the Gorge, but the theme was paddling and fun for the weekend. The weather for the weekend looked great from the start and for the most part it was, but Sunday produced some unexpected rain and some natural fireworks that made the night interesting. Camping was crowded at the Roll Dam camp site with our large group and with an Outward Bound group sharing the site. The BUGS, BUGS, and more BUGS !!! Did I mention the BUGS! Yes, the bugs where very bad in the area all weekend. Screen tents, taking a bath in bug spray was the norm and most of the time that didn’t even deter those little critters. Oh well, life in Maine. A trip to Canada falls was the first paddle of the weekend. We had 2 newbie’s on this trip Helen H and Julia and a few second timers that didn’t get enough from their last trip. The run at Canada Fall, 550cfs, started off fairly well with everyone doing well negotiating the river to get to the Slide. The Slide was not that different at his level of water than at 700cfs. Everyone made it through safely. I saw a double run down the slide by one paddler and we did have a few flips w/rolls and one swimmer. Cabin Rapids was the next obstacle. Some ran it without scouting. The newbie’s and a few others scouted the rapid and the nasty “KEEPER” hole at the bottom right of the run. The eddy on the left is preferred to avoid the keeper hole on river right. The right eddy above the keeper hole is easier to catch, but harder to get out of as Helen H found out. With safety in place near the hole, most ran the line they wanted to through the top to catch and eddy on river left or right. Helen H chose the river right eddy. As she tried to ferry across to the river left eddy she got dumped and ended up in the keeper hole. Anyone that has been in a hole, keeper or not knows the danger in it. I will not try to explain what Helen H went through while in the hole, but she did say that she just kept swimming and reaching for the rope that was just above her head. She couldn’t reach it, find it, or feel it. Fortunately, Bruce W was near-by and he positioned his kayak in an area that Helen was and actually bumped into her with his kayak allowing her to reach and grab his boat. THANKS Bruce and all that helped in the rescue. After a rest period for Helen and the discussion of the events we moved on down the river. The next two rapids were scouted by a few and run successfully by all. Overall the day went well with a good run at Canada Falls. Lesson learned: The river run at Canada Falls is not that long, but has many dificult obstacles on it. There is only one real bad location “keeper hole” that should always be a concern while paddling Canada Falls. There should always be safety in place before any run through there is attempted. Two safety ropes and one of them which should be a tether swimmer was suggested and will be discussed for a time to come. Safety of all the paddlers should be the main concern while enjoying our run on any river. I’m sure this type of preparation will be stressed at our Swift Water Rescue course on August 27th. While many were paddling Canada Falls a few hardy paddlers did a morning run on Seboomock (700cfs). The Canada Falls group joined the rest of the Seboomock group for a fun fill afternoon of paddling. Saturday night we had a feast (pot luck) with more food than an army could eat. Music could be heard from our area and a campfire was built with plenty of smoke to keep the bugs at bay. For once no one complained about the smoke blowing towards them although it didn’t really stop the bugs. On Sunday the rain came. Most of the group decided to paddle Seboomock claiming that the rain just added to the flow. A few hardy souls headed off with Doug F. for a hike to find the mysterious stream/brook that might be able to be paddled. After the hike it was reported that it wasn’t going to be paddled (ever), something about a 15’ waterfall. The group thought to name this brook “ Dead Trout Falls” after a fish (trout) was found dead near the falls that couldn’t do the run either and paid the ultimate price. One hardy sole brought his bike (Brent) and decided to take a spin down the logging roads. A mere three hours later he returned covered in mud with a few stories to tell of his ride. The afternoon run went off without a hitch as did the morning run. Some great paddling, surfing, boofing, flips, rolls and a few swims as paddlers tried their best to get the most out of their day on the river. Sunday night’s bonfire under the tarp near the lean-to that the TC erected kept all of us dry while a quartet of guitars played for the group. A video was taken of the players and singers and threats of not to post it on You Tube were made. You never know, we don’t give in to blackmail!!! On Monday the sun returned and a few paddlers headed off to the Gorge for some bigger water while the rest of us did a final farewell paddle on Seboomock. The sun brought out the daring in the paddlers as people swapped boats to try new stuff on the river. Paddling was fun in the morning as we got to watch paddlers in boats that they were not used to do some crazy maneuvers including overturned boats and swims. Julia R. gets the award for the weekend for the most successful kayak rolls, never once in all her rolls (and she had plenty) did she fail to roll her kayak. During the weekend we had 33 people in the north Maine woods for paddling and enjoyment of a PPCS event. The most paddlers we had on the river at one time was 21. Thanks to all for making it a great weekend for paddling.

Submitter: Jim Francoeur
River: Seboomock
Section:
Date: 2011-07-02
Level:
Participants: The Participants Box on the trip report page does not provide enough room for all the names that attented that weekend. So here is the list of participants for that weekend.
Report: July 2 – 4, 2011 Weekend participants: Jim Francoeur TC, Sandi Francoeur, James Tierney, Carolyn Welch, Suzanne Cole, Gary Cole, Peter Brown, Helen Johnston, Patti Rutka, Tom Rutka, John Brower, Tee Brower, Jonathan Wheaton, Phyllis Wheaton, Julia Richmond, Doug Field, Helen Hess, Saras Yerlig, Ron Chase, Nancy Chase, Bruce Weik, Brent Elwell, Graham Fitter, Larry Witham, Nate Nelson, Peter Ocampo, Morrill Mason, Tonia Kittelson, Courtney Vashro, John Gates, Tom Taylor, Dave Ellis, Don Bertko, Clyde Mitchell. If I missed anyone or I spelled your name wrong sorry.

Submitter: Peter Brown
River: Dead
Section: lower
Date: 2011-06-25
Level: 1800 and 1300
Participants: Saturday: OC-1 Dan Bertko, Donna Jean Kaiser, Skip Pendleton, John Brower, Helen Johnston, Peter Brown. OC-2 Patti and Tom Rutka. Shredder/inflatable Jim and David Francoeur, Justin Giroux and Daniel White. Kayak James Sanborn, Roy Curtis, Gabor Degr
Report: Sixteen boats on Saturday and 17 on Sunday out to enjoy the Dead River at the lower release levels. Cool weather on Saturday gave paddlers an extra incentive to stay in their boats; There were only minor violations of this rule. Some of our more delicate paddlers even wore their drysuits in this 60 degree weather, and a few were quite smug about it!

Several paddlers got their first look at the Dead River this weekend. The OC-2 group from St. George, PQ got to practise their rescue skills on Lower Poplar on Sunday.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Muscle Ridge Islands
Section:
Date: 2011-06-19
Level: Windy
Participants: Marion McCord, Larry Litchfield, Brent Elwell, Bruce Weik, Dave Wallace, Lori LaRochelle, Dave Duggan, Karen Wilcox, TC
Report: Former PPCS member Pierre Larue, a Merchant Mariner in a previous life, is too fond of saying that wind is the most difficult aspect of weather to forecast. The forecast for our trip to the Muscle (An early variation of Mussel) Ridge Islands was offshore winds of 5 to 8 knots in the morning changing to westerly in the afternoon. Located from 2 to 4 miles off the coast of Owls Head in southern Penobscot Bay, Muscle Ridge is one of Maine’s premiere sea kayaking destinations. From Lucia Beach (I’m too old school to call it Birch Point State Park), Otter Island is closest, about 2 miles out. Departing with a brisk tailwind, we passed Otter in less than a half hour and explored an old granite quarry on High Island. The offshore winds increased as we navigated in gentle swells outside of Andrews Island, stopping at a small beach on the western end for lunch. Since the offshore winds continued to increase, we decided to abort our original plan to paddle to the western end of the archipelago and ride the anticipated westerly back to Lucia Beach. Instead, we paddled through a narrow, scenic gut on Hewlett Island and persisted northeast past Dix Island to Otter in heavy winds. While resting, one member of our group obtained a new, improved forecast calling for headwinds gusting in excess of 30 miles per hour for our two mile exposed channel crossing. Shortly after leaving the lee of Otter, we encountered such powerful and unrelenting winds that one member was unable to continue and returned with two others. The remainder of our group persevered in very difficult conditions for in excess of one and a half hours before reaching safety of the beach. A very considerate caretaker on Otter Island transported our stranded participant to shore and the other two were able to paddle back about an hour later. One member of the group cheerfully summed up the trip stating, “This was the worst day of my life.” This explains why the PPCS requires trip participants to sign a liability waiver. Dave Duggan and Marion McCord hosted a most excellent cookout at their home in Owls Head after. Many war stories were told and the Trip Coordinator quietly slipped out early.

Submitter: Carlisle Landel
River: Widowmaker
Section: Death-for-Sure Falls
Date: 2011-06-18
Level: V+
Participants: Jon Doe, Wilbur Smith, Martin Frobisher
Report: This is a test trip report submission for Patti R to test the email function of the trip reports.

Nobody died, minimal sunburn, and what the heck, a 500 foot vertical waterfall turns out to be survivable for some weird reason. Go figure.

Submitter: Evan Eichorn
River: Deerfield River (MA)
Section: Monroe Bridge (Dryway) and Fife Brook (Zoar Gap)
Date: 2011-06-17
Level: 900 - 1100 cfs
Participants: Ryan, Shweta, & Mason Galway, Jean Miller, Evan Eichorn, Abdullah Yaylagul, Rodney Reed, Cathy (last name?)
Report: This was a three day excursion for some of the finest scheduled whitewater releases in Massachusetts from June 17-19. We mixed in OC1's, OC2's, Kayaks and inflatable Kayak's for this trip on the Dryway and Zoar Gap sections of the Deerfield River with camping at Mohawk Trail State Forest. This is home to some of the only old-growth tree stands in Massachusetts and some of the tallest White Pines in the US.

Ryan, Jean, Rodney, and I had morning runs on the Dryway on Friday and Saturday followed by afternoon runs all 3 days with a collection of the remaining participants on the Class 2-3 Fife Brook section. Everyone agreed that Dragon's Tooth on the Dryway is certainly a formidable rapid with the waves at the bottom needing quite a bit to punch or skirt around them. Next time the TC's might consider allowing all first timers to actually get out and look at the rapid with the right bribe of course!

The Fife Brook section allowed for all paddlers to practice eddy turns, surfing, and even rolling despite the water being in the high 50's. Shweta and Cathy had fantastic lines on river right behind Rodney through actual Zoar Gap rapid. Mason practiced his surfing skills tandem in a Dagger Caper. How many 5 year old's can say that?

Submitter: Patti Rutka
River: Lower Dead
Section:
Date: 2011-06-12
Level: 2400 cfs
Participants: K-1: Clyde Mitchell, Rodney Reed, Mike Smith, Mary McCann-Baker, Tom Rutka. OC-1: Dan Pelletier, John Brower. C-1: Patti Rutka
Report: The weather cooperated slightly better than we had anticipated; the rain had lessened during the night and left us with only intermittent drizzle to cloudy skies, with temps around 52 degrees. Because of the forecast and having two boaters new to the river we decided for safety’s sake to shorten the run by putting in at the gravel pit. We had to wait only briefly for the water to come up once we had arrived at the put-in around 10:00 a.m.

The new folks managed the river quite well, with only a few swims – above Elephant, the bottom of Mile Long, and the poppy wave at Lower Spruce. Mary showed us how to run the clean line in Upper Poplar text-book perfect when she set an upstream ferry then cut a hard dog-leg to finish out on the clear wave train on river right. The kayaks hung close for the day, making for a safe run, as the OC-1 and C-1 made a frequent twosome for the length of the river, swapping paddlers at the end to see if they could paddle a metaphoric mile in the other’s boats. At the end we all appreciated the shortened trip for the day, as most of us had paddled the previous day and were ready to rest!

Submitter: Patti Rutka
River: Lower Dead
Section:
Date: 2011-06-11
Level: 3500 cfs
Participants: K1- Rodney Reed, Tom Rutka, Julia Richmond, Elijah (Richmond?). OC-1: Ryan Galway, Evan Eichorn, Doug Field, John Brower, Dan Pelletier, Patti Rutka. Shredder: Jim Francouer, Wendi Weiger
Report: The weather started out much more promising than the forecast had called for. Fewer rafts than had been on the 5500 release the previous weekend made for clearer lines of sight. Yet this did not reduce the amount of carnage that we had, unfortunately.

It all began with a certain kayaker doing his darnedest to stay on the surf wave at Quatro when the few rafts that were on the river bore down on him; he couldn’t pull off the roll, swam, and was rescued by Rodney “Bad A” Reed and Elijah, Julia’s son, who is clearly a hair boater and put us old fogies to shame for the day.

The next number up was for an OC-1 as it came through Hayden’s, flipped high up in the drop, and just narrowly avoided recirc-ing in the Humpty and Dumpty holes at bottom. That was the first attempt at what looked like person and canoe trying to separate. When we took a break at Enchanted Stream the same OC-1 started to drift off down stream by itself, as if it’d had enough of its owner, who bore a suspicious resemblance to a certain licensed Master Maine Guide. Fortunately, the boat’s owner waded out to corral it successfully and there was no more noise from that quarter for the day.

Elephant and Mile Long claimed another OC-1 whose operator worked to hit the rolls but had to give it up to the river gods. After that the crew tightened up and at Poplar contemplated how to safely get down the last two drops with no more mishap. Upper Pop went smoothly for all. The aforementioned OC-1 operator decided s/he had had enough dousing at this point and opted for a hard right line down Lower Pop, ending up 150 feet into the woods to make the day a surf-n-turf combo. Said paddler hiked to the bottom of the run as another boater ran the vacant boat down the drop, gaining an appreciation for just how hard it would be to roll that boat! Meanwhile, we heard that the remaining OC-1’s and kayaks did well. The Shredder had quite a sporty line on the left of Lower Poplar that caused Jim’s blood pressure to uncharacteristically rise. All in all it was a challenging and exciting day, and we were grateful to come out safely in the end.

Submitter: Ken Gordon
River: East Branch of the Pemi
Section: Lincoln Woods to Woodstock
Date: 2011-05-08
Level: 900 cfs
Participants: K-1: Gary Cole, Suzanne Cole, Ron Chase, Tom Rutka, Brent Elwell, Rodney Reed, Randy Berube, Ken Gordon. OC-1: Roger Hassol, Kenny DeCoster, Patty Rutka
Report: The 900 cfs we had on this trip was much less pushy than the 1700 cfs of the previous weekend but there was still plenty of water for an interesting and challenging run. Similar to the April 30 trip though was the sunny weather and beautiful views; there aren't many river runs in New England that surpass the "Pemi" in scenery points. The speed of the water and the small eddies quickly caused the group to get spread out and we quickly became two groups with Ron Chase leading the first and different paddlers in the second taking turns probing the lines. We all arrived at the Loon Mountain rapid at about the same time and spent a good amount of time setting safety and scouting. No problems here as everyone had good runs; it was a bit tricky getting back into the main river with the lower water level (lots of rock runs). The second half of the trip was a continuation of great rapids and a little more playing done by the second group. All went well until "Rutka's Rapid" claimed another family member; this time it was Tom's turn in the barrel after Patty had pioneered the move the previous week. It was a great day on the river with lots of sun, whitewater, spills, thrills and fun. It would be tough to find a better way to spend a "New Hampster" day.

Submitter: Evan Eichorn
River: East Branch Pemigewasset
Section: Lincoln Woods to Woodstock, NH
Date: 2011-04-30
Level: 1700 cfs
Participants: Evan Eichorn (TC) OC1, Ryan Galway OC1, Kyle Duckworth OC1, Patti Rutka OC1, Tom Rutka K1, Gary Cole K1, Suzanne Cole K1, Morril Nason & Jim Francoeur Shredder, Ken Gordon K1, Randy Berube K1
Report: After a few days of back and forth, watching the gauges closely, and some great advice from club members, the TC decided on the EB of the Pemi which was what I had secretly hoped to do anyway. Besides, the other rivers I had thrown out there I had never run, which defeats the purpose of having a somewhat competent TC. We had a great group with a few people new to the EB of the Pemi patient enough to put up with a "green" TC. The level certainly made the river quite alive and brought out the best in every paddler. The day was bright and sunny for that cold mountain water with air temps in the low 60's. We shoved off from the Lincoln Woods put-in off the Kanc to 10-15 onlookers expecting perhaps some carnage. There was none to be found as we all adjusted to the level and started eddy hopping. We met above what I thought was the notorious Culvert Rapid only to realize it was the newly named False Culvert. Everyone had great lines from right to left on the right channel easily missing the old rusting metal on river right. At this level however, the holes on the left side were not as easily missed so punching was in order. Ryan pulled off an impressive combat roll in this Class IV with ease. This flows into Loon Mountain Rapid which we had scouted when shuttling. All paddlers pulled off to river left for another look, with everyone pretty much nailing their lines very close to the left bank. We had multiple rescue stations ready and the video camera was rolling so stayed tuned for more! You'll see the brisk paddling and bracing needed to get through that rapid. Morrill & Jim contemplated a run down the center but after discussing joined us on the left. Picking our way through the mine field below Loon, we rallied above Gov Adams rapid to discuss lines. The river channels again here to the left and right with the preferred route on the left side of the right channel. There are some rather large holes that could really hold a small boat that isn't paddling forward with some determination. Unfortunately, I learned how hard it is to keep a group this size together and appreciated the pointers given out afterward! To summarize, 6 paddlers started and got a little ahead of the remaining paddlers most of which hadn't run the Pemi before. We then split with a group going down each channel. The first 5 weaved and dodged down the right and eddy'd below. Group 2 came down the left channel with a few bumps and temporary a paddler/shredder separation, but no worse for the wear thankfully otherwise there might've been a mutiny. I faintly remember commenting to Patti that it was mostly just pick your way down and boat scouting class IV the rest of the way at this point. That was somewhat true although the continuous nature and the larger holes on this river were not to be trifled with. The main advantage of a group this size is boat rescue and you can send more stunt boaters ahead of you if unsure of the line. You likely wouldn't want less than 3 paddlers at this level. We did a quick portage and look at the monster Mill Dam rapid with a nice surf hole followed by a bit of a keeper. Jim and Morrill thought about shredding it and Kyle suggested I put my Spanish Fly in the hole there to surf because that boat was made for cartwheels! Maybe next time Kyle.... The group practiced our rescue and boat recovery skills following this. Patti hung in there with 2 attempts to roll which is half the battle, but fighting the river here can an impossible task. We collected her and the boat on the left shore, rested, reset, and moved on. Passing under the I-93 bridges meant the end was in sight and we took out at the Woodstock Fire Station. Thanks again to everyone for their help, great attitude, patience, and guidance. We'll have to make this an annual run! I drove away to the sounds of the next day's trip being planned...

Submitter: Helen Hess
River: Souadabscook Stream
Section:
Date: 2011-04-24
Level:
Participants: Helen Hess TC, Paul Arthur, solo canoes Skip Pendleton, Mike Smith, Chloe Chunn, kayaks
Report: The warmest day of 2011 to date and a low stream level (one foot below the footer of the Emerson Mill bridge) made for friendly conditions on this run. A couple paddlers were new to the Sou, and the warm weather and milder rapids were a happy introduction, creating some new fans of this river. We met at the put in, and opted for the shorter run, leaving shuttle vehicles at the take out in the park just below the falls. Plenty of surfing and playing throughout the run, and lots of smooth style displayed on the drops. Skip was on top of his fiercest kayak game. The briefest of swims at Crawford, which ended at the top eddy, with the boat being rescued shortly downstream was hardly exciting enough to mention, although it was dramatic enough to suck the water shoes right off Chloe’s feet. They were never seen again. We all portaged around the falls, ran the final roller-coaster wave train with whoops and shouts, and lugged our boats up the hill to the waiting cars. A great 3 hours on the river.

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: St. George
Section: Searsmont to No. Appleton
Date: 2011-04-22
Level: medium (950 cfs on the Sheepscot)
Participants: 6 paddlers: Henry Deshane and Carol Kinsey in solo canoes; Skip Pendleton, Beth Smith, Dave Boyle, and Carolyn Welch in kayaks.
Report: We met at the route 105 bridge takeout in No Appleton at 10:00, so glad that several of us are retired and free to do a Friday paddle when both the weather and the water level are good: a sunny day, mid 50's, with a somewhat cool breeze. We shuttled to the putin in Searsmont, stopping at the Ghent bridge for a short scout, and were in the water about 11:00. The first half of the trip was a pleasant drifting flatwater paddle. The whitewater started just before the Ghent bridge. This was a good level for lots of surfing. We reached the take out about 1:45, did the shuttle, and several of us gathered at the Searsmont General Store for sandwiches and paddling stories. It doesn't get any better than this!

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Lower Carrabassett, Class 2
Section: below Kingfield to wire bridge
Date: 2011-04-18
Level: medium high (6000 cfs at No Anson)
Participants: 5 paddlers: Ken Severy, Henry Deshane, Dave Lanman in solo canoes; Mary Mccann Baker and Carolyn Welch in kayaks.
Report: We met at McDonald's in Farmington at 9:30, arranged the shuttle at the wire bridge takeout, and went to the putin on route 27 (across the road from the large yellow bldg with green metal roof). It was chilly and somewhat windy, mostly overcast, still some snow on the banks. We were in the water about 11:15. Brent Elwell had reported 1.5 level at Valley Crossing yesterday mid-afternoon. The water level at No. Anson was rising till about midnight because of rain yesterday morning. It started dropping after midnight, and was down this morning to a medium high flow. There were somewhat fewer rocks that at lower levels, but still plenty of places to do eddy sets and surf. We were off the river about 1:15, and decided it was too cold to do a second run, so some of us headed to The Homestead in Farmington for a hot lunch. Of course it was a good day on the river, in spite of the chilly conditions!

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Webb
Section:
Date: 2011-04-18
Level: 1.75 Schoolhouse Bridge Gauge
Participants: Kayaks: Tom Rutka, Ron Chase, Bruce Weik, Jean Miller, Clyde Miller T/C Brent Elwell Inflatable Kayak: Justin Giroux Canoe: Patti Rutka
Report: The Webb was running a good level which provided plenty of action for the group. It was the first day out for the majority of the group excepting Ron who refused to give out the number of days he has paddled this spring. Ron had already paddled the Webb a couple times prior to our run. He told us about a strainer in a rapid on riverright above the first bridge you encounter on the run. It was easily avoidable at this level. Everyone had a good run with some good surfing at the usual locations. This level made the surf wave very sweet. Tom and Patti helped educate me to the name of rapid above the gauge bridge - Schoolhouse Rapid. This rapid and the one immediately upstream of it are probably the busiest rapids on this stretch of river. There were no sunbathers on the river as there were on last year's run. Probably just a little too cold for them this year. After the Webb run, Ron, Bruce, Justin and I went over to paddle the Gorge section of the Maine Swift. It was not as exciting as last year, but mostly due to considerably less volume. Everyone had a good run there also.

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Ossipee
Section: South Hiram to Cornish Station
Date: 2011-04-10
Level: medium high 4740 cfs on the Saco
Participants: 8 paddlers. David Butler, Ken Hutchins, Arne Klepinger, Chris Bond: solo canoes; Andy Tabor and Paul Murphy: tandem canoe; Ron Ault and Carolyn Welch: kayaks
Report: 'Twas nary a cloud in the sky when we met at the routes 117 and 5 bridge in Cornish Station. The day was mild, rising to over 60 degerees. We car pooled to the put in at the fire station in South Hiram and were in the water about 11:00. The flow was brisk, with several nice whitewater stretches. Dave saw a deer swim across the river. We went ashore for lunchtime snacks, and reached the take out about 1:15. Some of us stoppped at Midge's in Limington for ice cream. Another pleasant and relaxing day on the Ossipee.

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Sheepscot
Section: Kings Mills to HeadTide dam
Date: 2011-04-09
Level: medium 776 cfs
Participants: 5 paddlers: Ken Severy, Bob Radowicz, Dan Benthal: solo canoes; David Boyle and Carolyn Welch: kayaks
Report: We met at the HeadTide dam take out at 9:30. We welcomed Dan, from West Bath, on his first PPCS trip. The water was about 2' below the dam. We car pooled up Kings Mills Rd. put in. A pleasant and mild day, about 50 degrees, with lots of bright sunshine. We were in the water about 10:15, a nice medium level, with plenty of rocks for surfing and eddy sets. We were off the water about 12:15. The guys had afternoon plans, so no second run today. A wonderful spring paddle on my favorite little river!

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: St. George
Section: Searsmont to No. Appleton
Date: 2011-04-03
Level: Low: about 625 cfs.
Participants: 4 kayakers: Skip Pendleton, Mike Smith, Dave Boyle, Carolyn Welch
Report: We met at the takeout at the 105 bridge in No. Appleton at 10:00. Some snow in the take out parking lot left over from last Friday's blizzard, but lots of bright and warm sunshine, mild wind, mid 40's. We carpooled up to the put in, stopping along the way to scout at the Ghent Rd bridge: just enough water. The put in lot had been plowed. We were in the water about 11:00. There were several new blowdowns from the recent heavy wet blizzard, but none blocked our way. Lots of nice surfing waves. We were off the water about 1:30. A very pleasant easy run.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Cathance & Cobbossee
Section:
Date: 2011-04-02
Level:
Participants: Kirk Ross, Evan Eichorn, Ryan Galway, Helen Hess, Kenny DeCoster, Roger Hassol, Laurie Stearns, Laurie's friend Mike & TC
Report: We had Back-to-Back Cat trips with a little Cobby on the side. These were unofficial trips, as the TC forgot the waiver forms. The good news, there were no fatalities. Kirk, Evan, Ryan and the TC met in Gardiner on Saturday to paddle Cobbossee Stream. It wasn't lost on the TC that the combined ages of the other participants was less than his. They had specific instructions to look out for the Old Man's welfare, however they didn't seem to pay attention - kids. The Cobby was running about 1000, which is a steep, continuous flush with one dam portage. Despite the gradient, everyone caught a few waves and had an enjoyable paddle. The Cat was running 1.9 when we put in and 2.0 at the end of the day, which was on the low end, but very doable. This was a carnage free trip with everyone nailing all the drops. On Sunday, the witless, waiverless TC was back on the Cat with an entirely different set of victims. All were in open boats including the TC, who should have left his home. Helen, Kenny the Eggman, Roger & TC were solo, while Laurie and Mike were tandem. Although there is some disagreement, the gauge was estimated to be 2.1. This was a first descent for Helen, Laurie and Mike; and the TC promised guidance. This was not a carnage free day. On the second and easiest drop, the TC completed a dazzling half roll, did a clever head knocking dance on the ledges and bailed. So much for effective leadership. Others followed his example. However, there were more thrills than spills. Mike and Laurie determined that walking most of the drops in a bagless Tripper was the better part of valor. Everyone else had exciting, successful runs on the Third, Fourth and Final Drops. Most Entertaining Award goes to ......yes, Helen, for her completely impossible side boof over the boulder pile on Fourth Drop and a 10.0 score for her one and half back spin on Final Drop. The river gods were watching over Helen on this day.

Submitter: Dave Lanman
River: Sheepscot
Section: Kings Mills to Head Tide
Date: 2011-03-26
Level: Class 2; Gauge 750cfs
Participants: Ron Chase (kayak), Paul Plumer and Dave Lanman (solo canoes)
Report: We met at the Kings Mills put-in at 10:00AM, after some had consolidated boats and vehicles at the Head Tide take out, and were on the water by about 10:30AM to do this four mile stretch of flat water and Class II whitewater to Head Tide Dam for the second time this year. The 26 degree temperature with added breeze made it that much chillier than the previous week’s Sheepscot run, though once again the sun helped. The gauge cfs level was also about half of the level of the last run, which provided a few more rocks and eddies for play which we took advantage of along the way. We stopped for a stretch break about half way through the rapid. There were several sharp gusts of wind as we approached the take out, which made us glad it was the end of the trip rather than the beginning. While we are looking forward to warmer weather, lower water usually comes with it, so we were happy for this chilly spring run.

Submitter: Jean Miller
River: Gulf of Slides/ski
Section:
Date: 2011-03-26
Level: intermediate ski
Participants: Brent Elwell, Greg Winston and Jean Miller
Report: We met at 10 a.m. at Pinkham Notch. Brent had convinced Greg to try telemarking and graciously lent him his equipment. I was convinced Greg must be a superhero since Brent lent him "mini-skins." Brent clearly didn't want it to be too easy for Greg. We headed up the trail at around 11:00. We knew the avalanche danger was high and our plan was to skin up to the bowl, take a look around and head down. The snow was great, good coverage, not icy at all. The winds were up to 75 mph at the summit of Mt. Washington, and we felt a little bit of that. The skin up went well, Greg did an excellent job despite his handicap. We reached the rescue shack, took a break and decided to cross the next chute, one at a time, and check out the bowl conditions. After we did this, the group felt like this was just not a good place to be and turned around. When we returned to the chute, Brent noticed our tracks were gone and replaced with about 3-5 feet of avalanched snow. We had missed the avalanche by about 10 minutes! Feeling extremely lucky, we headed down and enjoyed a great ski run. The trip up is about 2.5 miles. Brent and Greg had more energy to exspend and headed up the Sherby and returned to Pinkham at around 6 p.m. There have been multiple avalanches in Tuckerman's Ravine this season, check out the footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLMPNj1HK_c&feature=player_embedded http://equipped.outdoors.org/2011/03/avalanches-in-tuckerman-ravine-best.html?utm_source=amcoo&utm_medium=email&utm_content=member&utm_campaign=aprilamcoo

Submitter: Dave Lanman
River: Sheepscot
Section: Kings Mills to Head Tide
Date: 2011-03-20
Level: Class 2; Guage 1,580cfs
Participants: Dave Lanman, Larry Litchfield, Dave Butler, Mark Hamlin, Paul Arthur, all solo canoes
Report: We met at 10:00AM and, after welcoming new PPCS members Mark and Paul, we did our first shuttle and prepared to launch about 10:45AM at the put-in below Kings Mills Dam in Whitefield,to do this four mile stretch of flat water and Class II whitewater to Head Tide Dam. Some of the remaining Kings Mills Dam on river right had washed away since last year, changing flow a bit. This trip had been postponed twice, first due the previous week to an ice jam at the take out, and the day before do to snow fall. The water level had dropped about 300cfs from the day before, which created a convenient pool for easy launch. All agreed that Sunday was better than Saturday would have been. Air temperature was about 26 degrees, but the sun helped warm us as we headed out. For all of us, it was the first whitewater run of the year. Many rocks were washed out, but we surfed and played where we could, talked boating, and business and got better acquainted on the flat stretches, and paddled past ice sheets on the bank. Our run was finished in about one and half hours. At this level, the take out at Head Tide Dam is made easier as a little cove forms behind the big rock to the right of the Dam. At lower levels, there is often a slippery bank to deal with. A good run was had by all.

Submitter: Suzanne Cole
River: Mount Passaconaway
Section: Dicey's Mill Trail
Date: 2011-02-12
Level: 4060 ft.
Participants: Suzanne and Gary Cole
Report: Although there were only two of us on our official trip, we ran into more than 16 people on the mountain. This is a bit odd for a mountain with no view in the middle of February. However, it appears that we were not the only ones to read, "Views from the Top" and find out that the trail was broken. Passaconaway is on a couple of lists: it is one of 48 mountains over 4000 ft in New Hampshire and also one of the 100 highest mountains in New England. This explains it popularity. The trail was great, packed snow like a sidewalk going up hill. The weather was fine - moderate temperatures, a little snow, a little sunshine, and some wind. The distance up the Dicey Mill's Trail is 4.6 miles making it a little over a 9 mile trip. The hike had a community feeling to it; we enjoyed talking with the other hikers, finding out what list they were working on. Suzanne's not working on any list, ever again. Gary on the other hand.

Submitter: Suzanne Cole
River: X-country skiing : Camden Stat
Section: Multi-use trail to Bald Rock Mt.
Date: 2011-01-22
Level:
Participants: Brent Elwell, Ken Gordon, Suzanne and Gary Cole (TCs)
Report: The predicted super cold weather sent our plans of climbing Old Speck to the back burner. Instead, Brent suggested that we ski on the coast and plans to x-country ski Camden Hills State Park were formed. The four of us skied from the parking lot near the headquarters of the park to the top of Bald Rock Mountain. It was chilly, but very manageable since we were generating our own heat. The multipurpose trail that we followed allows snowmobiles as well as skiers and snowshoers. Our first stop was the cabin that is a couple of miles in. Geocachers had rented the cabin for the night and had the place nice and toasty. The understanding is that renters have it for the night, but must welcome day users like us. We left the cabin headed to Bald Rock Mt. Brent and Suzanne donned skins (thank you Brent for the loan) and were glad of it when we arrived at the trail up Bald Rock Mt. Ken and Gary herringboned to the top while Brent and Suzanne easily walked up. Views were spectacular. We saw Martinicus on the horizon to the south, Vinahaven with its wind turbines, Mount Desert Island to the east, and Isleboro . There was little wind at this outlook and it was very comfortable as we lingered. Brent skied the mini-snow fields on the top. “The Boys” had a blast skiing back down the trail, while Suzanne enjoyed the control (read lack of speed) that the skins afforded. Back on the trail, we headed back to the parking lot with only one detour as Brent went into the cabin to say “hi” to John LaRochelle (Lori”s brother). This trip took about 4.5 hours and we covered about 8.5 miles. Our delightful day was capped by dinner at “Blue Sky Cantina” in Camden.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Speckled Mountain
Section:
Date: 2010-11-20
Level:
Participants: Brent Elwell, Dave Boyle & TC
Report: Our tiny group met at my house for our trip to the Speckled Mountain located in Evans Notch. Dave wondered why there was such a small turn out. He thought perhaps people were confused about which Speckled Mountain we were hiking. I speculated that the reason was no one loved us anymore. Agreeing that was probably it, we carpooled in Brent's wicked small car which gets about 75 miles per gallon. The good news was that he only charged us $5 a piece for the 4.5 hour round-trip drive. Never ones to do things the easy way, Dave and Brent decided to take an exploratory "short-cut" to the trailhead. The sleigh ride to Grandma's house was more direct and on better roads. Climbing to the trailhead at the top of Evans Notch on Route 113, we enjoyed a fairly easy hike to the 2906 foot summit, an exposed peak with great views of the surrounding mountains. Winds were gusting 40 or 50 miles an hour, so we didn't hang out long. The entire hike was only a short 7 miles, which was all I needed given the cold I contracted in Quebec the previous weekend. We took the long way on our trip home and stopped at the old deli/bake shop on Route 113 that had closed for a time. The reopened store makes great pastries and pizzas, but not the excellent breads we used to enjoy. I can't divulge what I got for a pastry unless you have a need to know. The rest of the free world can now relax, as we solved all problems on our drive home.

Submitter: Patti Rutka
River: Souadabscook
Section: Bootleg trips
Date: 2010-11-12
Level: 1-1/2', 1-1/4'
Participants: Friday: OC-1: Kenny DeCoster, Dan Pelletier, Helen Hess, Kyle Duckworth, John Brower, Patti Rutka; K-1: Greg Winston. Shuttle: Tee Brower. Saturday: OC-1: Kenny DeCoster, Patti Rutka. K-1: Mark Berry, Tom Rutka, Scott Nelson, John Crocker, Greg Winston, P
Report: Friday: Kenny the Eggman DeCoster heard in a dream early on in the week that the water levels would be rising, so he started slumming around for paddling partners. By Friday the stars had aligned and we had a strong OC-1 contingent (if you count Dan as OC-1, whose boat could fit more than one person, probably ten people, if he were so inclined). Levels were healthy medium at a foot and a half on the gauge, and temperatures were rising. Greg said he could join the canoeists for a short time but would have to attend a work meeting at 2:30 - last Tee saw of him was as he headed down towards Grand Pitch to run it by himself! (He did survive and showed up for the next day's paddle. Don't know how the meeting went though.) All were in drysuits, it being that kind of day, and Kyle instantly employed his. He ushered us down through many drops, rolling so many times like a beer barrel, that he really ought to have that boat checked out - I think there's something wrong with it. Nonetheless, it did stay upright over Grand Pitch just dandy, with John following. Dan and Patti bushwhacked out to the island to take a closer look at the drop and scout its potential for another day. Both Kyle and John had clean runs, but it was decided that a shorter boat was better suited to the drop, at least at that level. Dan showed us with aplomb how a river is navigated in a long boat, demonstrating again his uncanny sense for when would be a good time to sit down. Helen styled all her lines but had (unwarranted) concerns about the fashionable nature of her drysuit, even though someone once said that it's not how you paddle, it's how you look. Kenny schooled us in how to stern-surf an OC-1 in a hole. Period. We should all look so classy. He looked so slick that Kyle dubbed him the Black Widow. Kyle once again came through with refreshing beverages at the end of the day. Tee absconded with the beverage cooler and its contents when she and John left the scene, and the last we knew it was headed for some mountaintop in Georgia, which was odd, considering how she had earlier dissed the contents of the cooler. The paddling was so good and so fun that some of us came back for more the next day... Saturday: Once again it was a drysuit day, but with temps slightly higher and levels slightly lower, and with the sun shining, it turned out to be a fantastic fall day. Collectively the group had more than enough titanium to face the river's challenges. The metallurgy underlying anatomical parts notwithstanding, surfing was the rule of the day for all. We sat in wonder, watching Mark Berry flat spinning in a surf hole while we basked in the sun at lunch. In her excitement to side-surf the same hole, Patti threw (like a girl) her $1.99 sunglasses in Peter's general direction. They flew like a bridal bouquet, which, being a guy, he did not want to catch, so she said to heck with the sunglasses and went in to surf for a bit. She then flipped, presumably to go look for the sunglasses at the bottom of the river, but rolled up empty-handed. Easy come, easy go. The river gods had been appeased, and she was going to lose those glasses in that hole anyway. All in all we spent four and half hours on the river, playing and rescuing the occasional swimmer, everyone peeling out as a unit at most drops - no man swims alone in this club. However, John Crocker showed us by hitting his roll brilliantly at Crawford how much better the rolling thing is than the swimming thing - a lesson well-remembered in November. The OC-1's found a terrific glassy wave on river right at the snowmobile bridge/concrete plant, the kayakers their own on river left, water-dancing as only two blades can allow. Team Shredder one-upped us all by finding a Shreddah-ready hole, after having narrowly escaped puncture wounds by knife when jostling farther upstream in precious eddy space. (If a Shredder explodes and no one hears it because the sound of the whitewater is too loud, did it get popped?) Grand Pitch had more takers than on Friday, as the Shredder, Greg, Patti, Kenny, Scott, and Mark all descended into the maw of this exhilarating drop. Kenny peppered Brent with enough questions about the drop up above it to take them both right up to the horizon line. With enough water flowing over it, the line was clean. It is an intimidating approach because the line cannot be seen from up top so one must line up for it about ten feet off shore, throw in a smattering of faith, then plunge down about eight feet into what seems a boat-eating trough with a tsunami-sized curler to punch through at the bottom. The water does the work, and it's over in a flash. The curler reportedly did a number on Scott, folding his eyelids up (no, that wasn't surprise or excitement). Morrill and Brent held lively conversation all the way down river. While the temps rose to about 50 degrees, we were all getting cold by the time we took out. There was a sighting at the take-out of the club ex-President in the parking lot, a little more than might have been expected by a small child on a big wheel, and his mother, in the neighboring driveway. Perhaps we should review our friendship policy under the current administration. We had a blast on the river! and sorry if I spelled it wrong. I think it must mean something in Hawaiian with all those vowels. p.s. Ron, we missed you!

Submitter: Tom Rutka
River: Tohickon Creek, bootleg trip
Section: class II-III
Date: 2010-11-06
Level: 1030 cfs, 730 cfs
Participants: Tom Rutka, K-1, Patti Rutka OC-1, and special guest Mark Nelson K-1, supporting staff of the Baltimore friends in C-1, OC-1, OC-2, kayak
Report: Sometimes when you travel far it's surprising just how good it can be. The Tohickon Creek is a two-day dam release scheduled for the first weekend in Nov. and the last weekend in March to drain Lake Nockamixon north east of Philadelphia. The first day the river ran at 1030 cfs and on Sunday it was 730 cfs and it was 3.8 miles long. Many people come to take advantage of this water; it's the most people I've ever shared a river with. River etiquette is very important in a situation like this. We found ourselves in groups of 20-30 repeatedly but eventually found space to read the river properly. The river starts out curving through the high ledgy banks of Ralph Stover State Park. We spotted the occasional climber because temps were just barely right, as well as numerous soaring birds overhead throughout. At this time of year drysuits rule because with water and air temperatures in the forties we had to dress appropriately. And out of nowhere Mark Nelson showed up above a wave-hole greeting Tom with his familiar smile and enthusiasm. We found play spots readily starting at the top of the river but the bottom half of the river was the best, with a narrowed section having fast, fun waves. Then moving on farther down we found the meaty six horizon-line ledge drops. One rapid, Racehorse, was reminiscent of the Dead because of its length. The end of the river was a challenging class III with various lines through each drop that proved to be a lot of fun. After spending three and half hours on the river we said our good-byes at the take-out at the confluence with the wide, fast-flowing Delaware River amongst a couple hundred cars and then we headed back north. After 379 miles, almost eight hours' driving, we arrived home in Saco beat but glad we'd made the trip. Patti thought the river was especially conducive to open boating. You might want to keep this river on your radar if you like to travel to new rivers.

Submitter: Ryan Galway
River: North Branch Of The Piscatiqua
Section: Horace Lake to Everett Lake
Date: 2010-10-16
Level: 450 cfs
Participants: Evan Eichorn OC-1, Kenny Decosta OC-1, Morril Nason Jr Shredder, Jim Francoeur Shredder, John Brower OC-1, Ron Chase k-1, Tom Rutka k-1, Patti Rutka OC-1, Ryan Galway TC OC-1
Report: We were all happy to see a heavy rain storm the day before gave way to sunshine and temps in the 50s. Along with great foliage we had the making of a perfect fall day on the river. We put on just after 10:00 happy to return the favor to Ron, John, and Morrill for all the prior rivers they have led me down. Things started out quick and exiting as the newbies got a feel for this narrow wood choked creek. Similar to last year we had a quick flip early on as we got used to the characteristics of the river. The TC accidentally got too close to a tree and decided to take the chance to survey the river bottom for booty lost by any groups ahead of us. Fortunately the roll was hit and I was greeted in the eddy below by Ron who was quick to let me know that was about enough of that foolishness for the day! The trip continued on the 1st big rapid called Slab City. All had a good runs over this river wide 15 foot flush, except for the shredder crew who realized maybe the river was a little small for the barge as they got hung up and Morrill showed us all just how low he can brace! After the frustration of the first run they aced the second reestablishing their ability to belong on this narrow wooded creek. After more fun rapids we were on to a shallow river wide ledge which did result in 1 swimmer and throw bag deployment, but all was recovered and on we went to the most difficult rapid on the trip called Buzzels. This is a fairly long and technical rapid with a mean diagonal wave 3/4 of the way down that tends to flip people to their left. First went Ron with a sneak route followed by Evan who showed the group a little more technical and exiting run that he aced. Unlike last year where this rapid claimed most of the group, Tom and Patti took the river back, and Kenny made it farther than ever before, vowing to return again next year to claim victory over the diagonal wave and the badly scraped knuckle it caused. After some bandaging we continued on through more fun rapids to the take out and the end to a great day. So much fun was had that I hope to make an annual club trip.

Submitter: Jean Miller
River: Hudson
Section: Indian River to North Creek
Date: 2010-10-02
Level: 8.2
Participants: Ron Chase, Jean Miller, Bill Stafford, Ed Quierolo, John Mudano and Andy Kuhlberg
Report: The plan was to run the Hudson at a nice, low, stress free level in the fall. Nature didn’t cooperate. The heavy rains on Thursday brought the level up to 8.2 feet. We were all second guessing our decisions and intimidated. No one looked happy. We met at 9:30, a little behind schedule since the “World’s Largest Garage Sale” in Warrensberg created some annoying traffic. The open boaters wisely cancelled the night before; that left Ron and the Connecticut Crew. 8.2 feet turns out to be one of the best kayaking levels for this river. The Indian River was a bit washed out, solid class III and nice warm up for what was to come. There were huge holes above Blue Ledges that everyone managed to avoid. The Narrows was the best – a wave train with 15 foot waves right down center right. We had a few people who got to practice their big water rolls, but all of sudden people started smiling again. We all let out a collective sigh of relief. Soup Strainer, the next hurdle, was run several ways – center left, center right and Ron was quite daring and ran river left, right behind the rafts. We asked Ron what that line was like, “Big!” he said. Now everyone was really smiling. To run the Hudson at this level with blue skies, no snow and warm temperatures was a very rare treat. What a day!

Submitter: Suzanne Cole
River: Dead River
Section:
Date: 2010-09-18
Level: 3500
Participants: John Brower (OC-1), Ted and Helen Sparks (OC-2), Brent Elwell (K-1), Jonathan Wheaton (K-1), Ken Gordon (K-1), Jim Francoeur (K-1), Kenny DeCoster (OC-1), Tom Rutka (K-1), Patti Rutka (OC-1), Ron Chase (OC-1), Nancy Chase and Melissa Howe (shredder),Don D
Report: A September run of the Dead at 3500 is just about perfect. The water is warm, at a really playful level and you are on the top of your game from boating all summer. It is pure fun. We had nineteen individuals and 16 crafts. As often happens, the group split into two groups: those who want to play a little and those who want to play a lot. In the end, both groups got back together and ran the last few rapids as one large group. The weather was nice if a bit chilly at times, when the breeze picked up and the sun hid behind a cloud. Reminiscent of the old days, there were many canoes on the river. Several were paddling with us, but there was also a large contingent of open boaters from Quebec. It was nice to see so many canoes on the river again.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Flagstaff Triathalon
Section:
Date: 2010-09-11
Level:
Participants: Brent Elwell, Ron Chase and Karen Wilcox kayak, hike and bike, John LaRochelle bike and hike, Lori LaRochelle and Nancy Chase hike and logistical support
Report: This was a unique way to experience a very scenic area of is Maine mostly in the Bigelow Preserve. This trip really proved that the devil in the details. Logistics was what made this trip more difficult than others that I have coordinated. Because there were three legs: biking, hiking and sea kayaking and we were camping out things got a bit complicated, but we figure it all out. Lori and Nancy were both vital parts of this process as they shuttled kayaks and set up camp at Round Barn on the southwest shore of Flagstaff Lake. Neither had decided to sea kayak, so that made them available to provide this support to the group. The rest of the group really appreciated their help. The first leg involved kayaking from Stratton to Round Barn with a stopover for lunch near the campsite of the former village of Flagstaff. The wind turbines on Kibby Ridge were visible for most of the first half of the kayak trip. Wind was not an issue for us. We had a good tailwind in the afternoon which pushed us along nicely. Lori and Nancy had tents set up, so there was little for the participants to do but relax and eat after the boats and gear were loaded up. After a good feed everyone retired early. We did not have the bright sunny skies of Saturday when we started our hike at 8:00 am on Sunday. The whole group hiked up the Safford Trail from Round Barn. This ended up being the longest leg of the trip. Ron, Karen, John and Brent were all able to complete the hike to the bikes which had been stashed the day before near the junction of the Fire Warden and Stratton Brook Trails. It was cold and misty especially on the exposed summit ridge of Avery Peak. Thankfully, it was not as slippery on the descent of the Fire Warden’s Trail as it could have been. Lori and Nancy hiked back to Round Barn and shuttled vehicles back to the camp. John had developed knee problems, so he did not bike. The bike course included some easy single track for the first five miles and then dirt roads for the last five miles. It was a fun bike and all over in about an hour and a half. It was a photo finish but we determined that Ron was first in the over 60 category . I think everyone got a really good night sleep Sunday night after this busy weekend. This adventure enabled us to see the Bigelow from different perspectives. I would be interested in doing just a biathalon next time. This would probably mean a sea kayak from Stratton to Round Barn and a hike back over the Bigelow Range to Stratton.

Submitter: Patti Rutka
River: Magalloway
Section:
Date: 2010-08-28
Level: 1200 cfs
Participants: OC-1: John Brower, Kevin Rogers. C-1: Mark Levine. K-1: Greg Hamilton, Russ Moody, Tom Rutka, Patti Rutka.
Report: A promise of seventy-five degrees and sun with 1200 cfs in a dry season enticed us to drive many miles for a few runs on this cussy, fussy, trashy little river that is "only" class 3 but that starts off with a bang. Either Grafton Notch or Height-of-Land can't be beat for the views on the way there, and the views once we arrived weren't bad either. There's always the put-in that is intimidating enough as one looks downstream. Then simply by turning left to look upstream there's the hurf-inspiring class 5 section immediately above. We were treated to watching a group of about six (young) boaters come down through the class 5 section, people who had obviously been in boats before, performing tricks intentional and unintentional in holes the dimensions of which we only see in video footage.

Deciding wisely to put in at the start of the class 3 portion, we paid our dues to the river gods the first run and chased down one boat and boater part way, though thankfully no bumps or bruises were sustained. Of course, given the nature of the short run, we saw a number of other PPCS friends who had put in before or after us, and with whom we sometimes caught up on the river. The second run was clean and playful, Greg showing us all how to really surf a wave, and the OC-1's stylin' as usual.

At the end, we had one more treat as we waited for the water to be cut off and come down. In between the two class 5 portions a resident mink scoped out a current line, jumped in the water, snapped a sharp eddy turn, dove underwater, and re-emerged amongst the rocks a few minutes later. Probably we could learn something from watching that mink's river-reading skills! A fun day for all.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Down East Sea Kayak
Section: Bold Coast/Machias Bay
Date: 2010-08-20
Level:
Participants: Susan Gordon, Ken Gordon, Nancy Chase & TC
Report: Our Down East Sea Kayak Trip began in the fog – literally. Nancy and I met Ken as he emerged from the soupy haze at Buck’s Head in southwestern Machias Bay at 9:30 A.M., Friday, August 20. Ken had begun tripping in Harrington three days earlier. Equipped with a vast array of state of the art navigation gear, he and I oriented the thick fog southwest around Starboard Island and east for a circumnavigation of Stone Island. Actually, Ken was well equipped with a map, GPS, deck compass and a handheld compass. As the Trip Coordinator, I came replete with my trusty mental compass and a marginal sense of direction. Stone Island is a particularly interesting destination with cliffs guarding the entire shore. We never found a place for me to go potty. Predictably, the fog lifted when we arrived back at Buck’s Head. After Susan joined us, we drove to Cobscook Bay State Park in Edmunds, a few miles east on Route One. An expansive park, it has well over 100 mostly private campsites, some overlooking the bay. A paddle along the Bold Coast has long been on my to-do list. Saturday was the day. Since the entire trip from Lubec to Cutler is over 20 miles with limited egress, we labored to find an alternative takeout should it become necessary. After making numerous errors in an area called Bailey’s Mistake, we were directed to an unmarked “public landing” at Wallace Cove, about 10 miles from our intended launch point. Traveling in two tandem boats, our trek began with a strong outgoing tide and a mild headwind as we glided under International Bridge between Lubec and Campobello and passed the light house at spectacular West Quoddy Head, eastern most point in the United States. Excellent conditions continued as we traveled along the cliffs arriving at Bailey’s Mistake in time for lunch. Whether or not this location should be renamed Ron and Ken’s Mistake is an arguable point. Nancy and Susan exercised their usual good judgment and decided on a Surf and Turf, as they departed for the hiking trails at West Quoddy Head. Determined to paddle the entire Bold Coast in a day, Ken and I persisted southwest into a much stronger headwind. We were serenaded by about four score of howling sea wolves on some small ledges as we exited the “Mistake.” The Bold Coast lived up to its name with squirrely, unpredictable currents, near continuous cliffs along the shoreline and an omnipresent wind in our face. About mid-afternoon, the tide changed and the powerful, choppy currents seemed liked they were flowing downstream and we were paddling upriver. Forced to stop at almost every rocky point for a respite, our pace slowed. Finally, we turned Long Point and entered Cutler Bay where we encountered the roughest conditions of the day, rebounding waves and turbulent swells, which continued almost unabated until we passed the lighthouse on Little River Island. The calm waters of Little River Cove in Cutler were a most welcome relief. After another night of good food, fine spirits and early retirement at the state park, we finished our weekend with a most excellent hike to cliffs overlooking the coastline on Cutler Bold Coast Trail, where we enjoyed an outstanding view of much of our previous day’s paddle. Of course, there was a tailwind.

Submitter: Peter Brown
River: West Branch Penobscot
Section: Roll Dams
Date: 2010-08-07
Level: 500 cfs
Participants: Jo Pendleton (campground supervisor and shuttle); Peter Brown, Helen Johnston, Ken Severy, Kenny DeCoster (OC-1); Julia Richmond, Mike Smith, Mark Nelson, Ellen Nelson, Tom Nelson (kayak); Skip Pendleton, Tom Meredith, Dylan Brown (kayak or OC-1); Chris P
Report: Twenty one of us journeyed to the Roll Dams for the weekend to tackle the white-water and the black flies. Well the white-water was great, but the black flies were a complete let-down; Apparently they were fierce early in the day Friday, but by the time the TC arrived Friday evening, nothing. So what could we do but hit the river for an evening paddle. Four of us got in a quick run before dark on Friday, and a couple of these same characters got in another run while the rest of us were still having breakfast on Saturday. Altogether this group did 8 separate runs over the 3 day weekend, and 2 of the "younger" paddlers, Kenny and Dylan, each did 4 runs on Saturday! The highlight of this trip was the great 4 piece band playing around the campfire: 2 Helens and Dylan played guitar with Tom on a 5-string banjo, and Jim Francoeur did his part by keeping that fire stoked. Tom even did a great rendition of the "Black Fly Song", reminding us how bad the blackflies could have been.
Lots of people jumping into different boats over the weekend, and considerable philosophical discussion of just what is the correct shredder line on Meat-grinder.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Kennebec
Section: Gorge
Date: 2010-07-25
Level: 5000 cfs
Participants: Ryan Galway, Jason McAllister, Dylan Brown, Allen Gaskell, John Brower, Evan Eichorn, Nancy Chase, Brent Elwell & TC
Report: We had a great turnout for our Kennebec Gorge Trip on the second day of the PPCS Summer Extravaganza. In the spirit of Kyle’s great tune about Open Boaters and Kayakers, both were well represented with only minimal conflict. Ryan and Jason paddled a tandem open boat and John and Evan were in solo canoes. Allen, Brent, Dylan and the TC navigated kayaks. Dylan was supposed to be in an open boat, but showed up wearing a kayak to bewilder the easily confused TC. Nancy joined the TC for a tandem canoe run from Carry Brook down. Despite having several who were relative newcomers to the gorge, this was a carnage free trip. While tandem open boating is a relatively rare occurrence on the gorge, Ryan and Jason hit all the must moves and had a stellar run. Dylan looked quite comfortable for a second run on the gorge and had some quality surfs, proving that he is much more than just another pretty face in Class I water. Senior citizens John, Allen and TC lived to paddle another day and youngsters Evan and Brent smiled throughout. Brent and the TC dazzled the vultures at Magic Falls by surfing the “top wave,” but disappointed the crowd by subsequently staying in their boats. We joined Nancy and many who were on the earlier low release trip at Carry Brook. An observation was made that the low release trip was a very loose operation that apparently condoned kayakers paddling in pajamas and felonious lallygagging, which is worse than criminal milling. After taking on copious amounts of water in Black Brook Rapid, She Who Must Be Obeyed provided guidance on remaining dry for the balance of the trip. Many thanks to those who assisted with the shuttle and carrying the tandem canoe at Carry Brook. Special kudos go to Super Bunny, Tee Brower.

Submitter: Peter Brown
River: Dead
Section:
Date: 2010-07-25
Level: 1800 cfs
Participants: Eric Severy, Justin Giroux (duckie); Carolyn Welch and Jim Francoeur (shredder); Peter Brown, Skip Pendleton, Helen Johnston, Jim Tierney, BB Adams, Ben Meader, Ken Severy, Ben Mathes (OC-1); Laura Neal and Kyle Duckworth, and Patti and Tom Rutka (OC-2)
Report: Sixteen paddlers in 13 boats had a wonderful sunny day on the Dead. The theme of the day was folks trying out new or different boats and new paddling partners. Kyle had apparently promised Laura an uneventful trip in the tandem, and he delivered. (But I am not quite sure he was always looking for the dry lines.) Carolyn's usual shredder partner, Jim Tierney, dug out his Tripper for this one, and he had a great run. So Carolyn teamed up with Jim Francoeur in the shredder. (Rumor has it Jim F. will soon be piloting his own shredder). Ben Meader styled his run --and went for every wave-- in the Mohawk Rodeo he borrowed Saturday night. Last month Tom and Patti paddled the Dead in a Tripper, this time they were looking great in a Dagger Caper.
Extremely limited carnage on this run, but kudos to Ben Mathes and Ken Severy for great rescue work in Mile Long Rapid. Ben is looking good doing the whole "paddle standing up" thing this summer-- all those years windsurfing are finally paying off.
One paddler new to the Dead on this trip, Justin. Justin hopped out at the put-in with only a large heavy bag, but in no time he had made a boat out of it.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Dead River
Section:
Date: 2010-07-24
Level: 2400
Participants: Solo Open Canoe: B.B. Allison, Ben Meader, Helen Hess, Ryan Galloway, Evan Einhorn, Kevin Rogers, Spencer Lincoln, John Brower & Doug Field Tandem Open Canoe: Ron & Nancy Chase, Tom & Patti Rutka, Peter & Helen Brown Kayak: Greg Winston, Jim Francoer
Report: The trip coordinator decided to use the Webb’s shuttle to bring the group in to the put-in. Just a reminder to folks if you decide not to use the shuttle please make sure that if you drive your vehicle to the put-in you are responsible for getting it out. We were certainly one of biggest groups to run the Dead this year. It was surprisingly uneventful especially compared to last year’s late July 2400 run. This trip has proved to be one of the most popular. It was comforting to know that there were three shredders around if anyone needed help. The day was capped off by a great pot luck dinner at the campground followed by excellent campfire entertainment. Kyle Duckworth, Helen Hess, Greg Winston and Ben Meader provided musical entertainment. Andy and Karen Webb stopped by to enjoy music. Kyle was awarded a nice looking moose antler during the night's festivities. For those that could stay awake there was a lively discussion about forest ownership in Northern Maine. I don’t think a day in the outdoors gets much better than this.

Submitter: Ryan Galway
River: West Branch of the Penobscot
Section: Roll Dams
Date: 2010-07-22
Level: 1500cfs
Participants: K1 Jean Miller, Mike Smith, Jim Francour OC-1 Jason Mcallister, TC Inflatable K1 "Abby" Yaylagul.
Report: This was the official kick off to a great summer picnic weekend of boating. The night before the trip the state was hit with a torrent of heavy rain. Unexpectedly we arrived to what seemed to be higher than normal summer flow. We knew something was wrong when the water was flowing up stream at the culvert at the put in. It was later confirmed to be a 1500cfs flow, which was higher than anyone had boated this run at before. Due to the long drive in and reasonable look of the rapids everyone still decided to boat even at the higher levels. The first day every one listed except Jim put on for the first run. We had an a couple unexpected swims by new club member Abby. It is his second year of paddling and it was a step up run for him. We had a couple of other swims due to high water both with easy self rescue. New member Mike showed real promise for a first year kayaker with multiple combat rolls and good technique throughout the weekend. Jean and the TC seemed to have some kind of unspoken competition going on each rolling the same number of times each run we did. Even though the play waves were not like lower levels, all had fun and were greeted with black flys happy to welcome them at the campsite after both runs. After a great night of camping Jim who showed up Thursday night, joined us for day 2 on the river. After much debate Abby decided to join us for the day 2 morning run, renewing his confidence with a swim free trip. Jim enjoyed a fun couple of runs at the higher level taking footage with his helmet cam. Again Mike showed us his rolling skills with 2 more swim free runs, and Jean and I continued our I roll you roll tradition. All in all it was a great start to a fantastic weekend, which might just become a tradition for future summer picnic years to come.

Submitter: Tom Meredith
River: Rapid
Section:
Date: 2010-07-18
Level: 1800cfs
Participants: Tom Meredith, Brent Elwell, Ryan Galway, Evan Eichorn
Report: Four PPCSers braved the shuttle into the Rapid River on a fine Sunday morning. There has been a lot of logging activity in the area so the roads looked unfamiliar and we drove right by the put in trail to Pond in the River, but we soon realized we were slightly lost and backtracked to the trail. Brent and Ryan ran the shuttle and Brent was reluctant to take his vintage Subaru all the way to the takeout trail since the last half mile is definitely class 4 and getting more and more overgrown. So Ryan and Evan had to walk back to Brent's car. As you can see, just getting to the Rapid is half the fun. Once on the water we paddled across the beautiful Pond in the River. This paddle is avoided at all costs by the park and play boaters but for me it's one of my favorite parts of doing the Rapid. The release was 1800 cfs and Ryan and Evan, in open boats, were wondering how much bigger the waves and holes are at the high release. They didn't need to worry as they both had great runs, and in some ways the higher release is easier because some of the holes become big curling waves. Smooth ledge was very uncrowded, but surprise, surprise, Randy Berube was there. He joined us for the paddle out. All in all, it was another great day on the Rapid, one of the most beautiful rivers in the northeast.

Submitter: Suzanne Cole
River: W. Branch of Penobscot
Section: Rip Gorge
Date: 2010-07-18
Level: 2100
Participants: Ken Gordon, John Brower, Jonathan Wheaton, Monk (Dave Kareten), Clyde Mitchell, Tee Brower and Suzanne and Gary Cole (TCs)
Report: Somehow, Sunday's trip information did not copy with the rest of the trip report. Here it is:
Sunday Ken (in Axiom), Gary, Jonathan, John, Monk, Suzanne (in RPM), & Clyde ran The Gorge at 2100 cfs and after lunch Big Eddy to Horserace. Highlights were nice runs of the Crib by Ken, Gary, Jonathan, & Monk. Lowlights were Suzanne (back in the Axiom) getting stuck in the hole in the second drop of Big A. She had to swim out! Suzanne swam!

Submitter: Suzanne and Gary Cole
River: West Branch of the Penobscot
Section: Rip Gorge to Pock
Date: 2010-07-15
Level: 2100 to 3100 cfs
Participants: Ken Gordon, John Brower, Jonathan Wheaton, Monk (Dave Kareten), Clyde Mitchell, Tee Brower and Suzanne and Gary Cole (TCs)
Report: The West Branch of the Penobscot seems to be under used by boaters in recent years. It is more challenging than the Kennebec Gorge and the Dead at high water, for it is both technical and big water. Years ago, we used to boat the W. Branch 3 or 4 weekends a summer, but in the last several years, we feel lucky to get there one weekend each summer. This weekend was stretched to 4 days. The water levels varied from 2100 cfs (preferable) to 3100 cfs (high) depending on how much power was needed at the time. Lucky for us, 3100 cfs was only needed one day.
We camped at Chewonki’s Big Eddy. This made a handy put-in for the Big A to Horserace section, and a handy take-out for The Gorge to Big Eddy section. On Thursday, Ken, Monk, Gary and Suzanne paddled from Big Eddy to the Horserace at 2100 cfs. Monk, a former W. Branch raft guide and ten year employee at Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC), asked if he could boat with us. He had been there all week with his family and we were the first boaters he saw. John and Tee Brower arrived Thursday night.
On Friday, Gary, Suzanne, Monk and John paddled in Abol and Pock at 3100 cfs in the morning and The Gorge to Big Eddy in the afternoon. Highlights include Monk having a great run on The Crib. Lowlights include.. deja vous.. Suzanne tipping over on the eddy line, river left, above Exterminator, getting fed into the edge (thankfully) of Exterminator and then rolling up to see Monk right there ready to use the Hand of God rescue. This rescue technique is used at NOC, they reach over the bottom of the kayak and pull it upright. Although I didn’t need it, Monk’s vigilance was appreciated. At this point Suzanne began to wonder if her new little (8.0) Axiom was well suited to the W. Branch. Jonathan arrived Friday evening.
Saturday morning Tee and Suzanne went for a forest / bog walk provided by one of the paper companies, while Ken (in Suzanne’s Axiom), Gary, John & Jonathan paddled 2100 cfs from Big Eddy to Horserace. After lunch Suzanne (in RPM) joined them for a Gorge to Big Eddy Run. Highlights were the arrival of Susan Gordon and successful runs of the Crib by Ken & Jonathan. Saturday evening Clyde arrived. In summary, we had a great time paddling this challenging river and Suzanne will keep the RPM and leave the Axiom at home (unless Ken’s coming) for use on this river and others like it.


Submitter: Peter Brown
River: Dead
Section:
Date: 2010-06-27
Level: 1300
Participants: Leslie Gregory, Ray Wirth (kayak); Peter Brown, Helen Johnston, Skip Pendleton, Kenny DeCoster, Dan Pelletier, BB Adams, Sam Mathes, Ben Mathes, Helen Hess (OC-1); Terri and Stephen Titcomb (OC-2)
Report: With the past 2 summers being quite wet a number of us had not seen a real 1300 Dead release for a few years. This trip was a great reminder how much fun and how beautiful the Dead River is at 1300. Lots of rocks, but plenty of water and not pushy; A great into level for open boats. A real pleasure to help introduce 4 first timers --Leslie, Ray, Terri and Steve-- to the Dead River.
Owing to a couple of flat tires on Saturday and the loss of some of our shuttle drivers, most of us decided to shuttle in on Webb's bus, which was great. We did encounter 2 paddlers in a mysteriously out-fitted Mad River Explorer that wrapped and exploded before Hayden's. Dan did great duct-tape and rope work to make the thing float well enough that he could drag it down to the trail at Hayden's. Dan and Ben, both paddling tandem boats solo, each took on a passenger to get the now boat-less paddlers down to the trail. We learned later in the day that it is about a 4 and a half hour walk from Hayden's down to route 201.

Submitter: Peter Brown
River: Dead
Section:
Date: 2010-06-26
Level: 1800 cfs
Participants: Caroline Mathes (duckie); Dylan Brown, James Sanborn, Jim Tierney, Jim Francoeur, Max Meyer, Rodney Reed, Tom Nelson, Mark Nelson, Ellen Nelson, Brent Elwell (kayak); Dan Pelletier, Peter Brown, Helen Johnston, Ken Severy, BB Adams, Ben Mathes, Sam Mathes
Report: A fairly early and dry spring may have created some pent-up demand for some white-water to paddle, so we had 31 paddlers (28 boats) turn out for a great day on the Dead. No swims of note, but Sandi Francoeur did hike into Hayden's and captured on videotape a mysterious bow paddler ejection. Thanks to Sandi, Tee Brower, Joanne Severy, and Terri and Steve Titcomb for helping with the shuttle.

Submitter: Dave Wallace
River: Dead
Section:
Date: 2010-06-13
Level: 2500 fps
Participants: In canoes were Ron Chase, Dan Pelletier, Patty Rutka, and the two unknowns from Mass. Rodney Reed and Jane were in a shredder, and kayakers were Jim Francour,Tom Rutka, Mark and son Tom Nelson, Peter Campion and Dave Wallace.
Report: Another comfortable day on the river, with usually a tail wind and we almost had the river to ourselves. We only had one swimmer, which was a fluke, a moments inattention. the good thing of the two days is we have had four new paddlers who will probably be joining: Logan Kidwell, Peter Campiom, and Mark and Tom Nelson, all good kayakers.

Submitter: Dave Wallace
River: Dead
Section:
Date: 2010-06-12
Level: 3500 fps
Participants: In canoes were Ron Chase, Dan Pelletier, Doug Field, and Kevin Rogers, and we were adopted by 2 OK canoers from Mass., names unknown. Kayakers were Tom and Patty Rutka, Mark and son Tom Nelson, Ken Gordon, Randy Berube, Brent Elwell,Logan Kidwell, Gary
Report: If I have forgotten anyone, please forgive me. Anyway it was a cloudy comfortable day on the river, and except for the "River God" reaching out at Hayden's and grabbing an ex-club president, all was well. Business was incredibly slow around the Forks, very few raft trips, and only one other camping couple in Webb's campground.

Submitter: Suzanne & Gary Cole
River: Dead River
Section:
Date: 2010-06-05
Level: 5500 cfs
Participants: Tom Rutka K-1, Patti Rutka K-1, Rodney Reed K-1, Ron Chase K-1, Randy Berube K-1, Konstantin Tolskiy ducky, TCs Gary Cole K-1 and Suzanne Cole K-1.
Report: This trip was fun and uneventful. A rainy start gave way to an almost sunny afternoon. On the plus side, the bugs were tolerable because of the weather. The water was a bit higher than 5500; this made some of the waves larger, some of the waves smaller and the rapids more interesting. There were not many hard boats on the river so there were no lines at the surfing spots. The wave above Horsefly provided very dynamic surfing and was considered the best wave on the river by the surfing hogs and hoggettes on this trip. We did miss the open boaters and will be glad to paddle with you all again.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: No. Branch Dead River
Section: Chain of Ponds to Jum Pond Bridge
Date: 2010-05-15
Level: Low
Participants: Clayton Hawkes OC-1, Jim Francoeur K-1, Lori White & Brent Elwell K-1 (Co-Trip Coordinators)
Report: This was a mellow trip with a class 2 road to the put-in. A sign actually said it was a class 2, but it was more like a class 4. We were able to get an Outback through it. The put-in was at the snowmobile bridge just below Chain of Ponds. The river was running on the slow side. However, it was fluid enough to run the bigger drops. There were only four distinct short drops. They included Upper and Lower Sarampus Falls, Shagadee, and Ledge. This section of river is above Flagstaff and is pretty much the same as when the Arnold Expedition came through in 1775. The scenery was very nice except for the toilet that had rolled into the river behind someone's camp. There was plenty of evidence of beaver and moose, but we did not see any. The last drop called Ledge Drop looked very similar to the rock formations of the Roll Dams section of the West Branch of the Penobscot. No one on this trip had ever paddled this section of river, so that made it more interesting. The best part was that the black flies were kept at bay by the wind. The wind provided a good push as it was a tailwind most of the time. It was good to get a new section of river, but don't do this section if you are looking for a continuous class 3 river.

Submitter: Kim Perkins
River: Twenty Five Mile Stream
Section: Unity to Burnham
Date: 2010-05-09
Level: Low, approximately 40” clearance under Prairie Roa
Participants: Mary McCann-Baker paddling K-1, Dave Wallace padding an Old Town Cascade
Report: Report: The weather was partly cloudy and temperature in low 50’s. The trip starts about 1\2 mile from Unity Pond, put in just above Prairie Road Bridge over Twenty Five Mile Stream and the take out is just under the Troy Road Bridge over the Sebasticook in Burnham. Portions of the wetland and abutting grasslands are designated as the Sandy Stream Division of the Sunkhaze National Wildlife Refuge, managed by USFWS. The following species of birds were sited by trip participates.Canadian Geese,Wood Duck,Mallard,Belted Kingfisher,Great Blue Heron,Spotted Sandpiper. There were no bugs, it was just cool enough to keep the little pests from coming out. Dave was in a canoe, he really could make that Cascade perform for him; I gather this was kind of a shake down exercise for him and his boat preparing his trip on the Bonaventure River. I was pleased to meet new member Mary McCann-Baker who graciously rearranged her Mother’s Day events with her family so she could paddle with us on Sunday instead of Saturday as originally scheduled. We got off stream around 3:00 pm and squeezed all boats and participants in Dave’s pickup to shuttle everyone back to safe and sound to their vehicles.

Submitter: Ken Gordon
River: East Branch Pemigewasset
Section: Lincoln Woods to Lincoln
Date: 2010-05-08
Level: 750 cfs
Participants: Ron Chase (k-1), Gary Cole (k-1), Suzanne Cole (k-1), Ryan Galway (OC-1) Evan Eichorn (OC-1), Ken Gordon TC (k-1)
Report: The cold and rainy day reduced the number of trip participants but once we crossed the Kancamagus the weather improved to the point where it was almost sunny at times. The river was at the lower end of runability but there was enough water to make it very fluid in all of the channels. The numerous rocks created lots of opportunities to practice eddy hopping and the waves were large enough to cause the pumps to run almost constantly in the open boats; someone remarked that it was like paddling with small whales with all of the water spouts around. The only rapid that proved to be a little too "thin" was Loon Mtn. where we had to bump down over a rockpile to get back into the main flow - no problem though, that why we use plastic boats. All in all it was a great paddling day, marred only by the scurrilous allegations that someone saw the TC take a swim - preposterous! TCs don't swim.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Saco
Section: Upper
Date: 2010-05-02
Level: Medium Low
Participants: OC-1 Tom Sawyer, Patti Rutka K-1 Andrew Carey, Gary & Suzanne Cole, Brent Elwell and Tom Rutkaa Shuttle Driver Diane Sawyer Camera Lori LaRochelle
Report: We had a beautiful day on the river. It was warm and sunny and actually became humid later in the day. Tom had water temperatures in the lower 40's. Quite a bit warmer than the water we paddled a couple weeks ago. There were a couple other groups on the river, but we did not see much of them on the trip. Tom Sawyer was the man on this trip. He was a great resource for anything you wanted to know about this river from put ins and take outs to online gauge correlations. The gorge near the start proved to be one of the most exciting sections of this river. Almost everyone attempted the lower half of the gorge with varied results and noone attempted the very tight run on the top half. Lori and Diane were able to take plenty of video and pictures here. The rest of the run featured plenty of river play. It was god to have Andrew along for one of his first PPCS trips. He looked like he was having a good time. This was the first time I had ever paddled this section of the Saco. I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting a solid class three run. Just be careful at the takeout as we encountered many dog ticks there.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: St. Croix Plus
Section:
Date: 2010-04-30
Level:
Participants: Helen Johnston & Peter Brown (OC2), Steve & Terri Titcomb (OC2), Bruce Weik (K1), Konstantin Tolskiy (IK1), Nancy Chase & TC (OC2)
Report: Truculent dam operators, missing gauges and difficulty predicting water levels provided significant challenges to planning our trip. Originally scheduled as a Machias River Canoe Trip, it evolved into a combination day trip and two-day canoe trip on the St. Croix. The entire 3-day weekend was an exercise in eclecticism, a benign ism. Konstantin paddled an inflatable kayak, Bruce an ancient T-Canyon kayak, and we had three distinctly different tandem canoes. Friday began with a very interesting run on Grand Lake Stream, a 3 mile Class II/III mountain-like stream with one multi-stage Class IV rapid, Big Falls. Bruce and Konstantin successfully ran Big Falls and the entire group had nifty runs on tricky Little Falls – Steve & Terri hot dogged the drop in reverse. This was a new run for everyone except the TC, who predictably couldn’t remember anything about it. Peter led our intrepid band of boaters to the Lower St. Croix “in-town run.” This too was an entertaining Class II/III paddle, but a bigger volume river. It began with a fairly long, complex Class III falls and included a couple of good play rapids. After a stimulating day of paddling, we retired to B&J’s B&B high up on a ridge in Oak Bay, New Brunswick, for a most excellent evening meal provided by Peter & Helen and comfortable overnight accommodations. Steve & Terri cooked up a great breakfast and we were off early to the St. Croix put-in near Vanceboro. Despite lower than anticipated water levels, we had an exceptional day of paddling with sunny skies and a consistent tailwind. Late in the day, 100 trillion black flies joined us, creating congestion on the river. After 20-plus miles of paddling, we found a great campsite on the south end of Loon Bay that was fortuitously exposed to the gusting north winds. Following Happy Hour, Nancy’s dehydrated pasta meal and my “home-baked” bread were big hits with our hungry group and Bruce and Konstantin prepared a great burrito breakfast the following morning. Steve was up early with hot coffee – he will be invited back. We finished our trip with a six or seven mile paddle to a take out arranged by Peter on the New Brunswick side near Scotch Ridge. There were several noteworthy events on the river. Everyone had smooth runs on Little Falls and a tight little drop below Loon Bay. And, we had an informative visit to Baby’s Grave on the American side. However, this was not a problem free trip. We had one nasty violation of river etiquette (with Helen smiling maliciously throughout) and there is photographic evidence of unsafe paddling habits. Remedial training may be necessary. Also, the black flies did not sign up for the trip, failed to participate in the shuttle and were not welcome. Special thanks to Peter & Helen for their truly exceptional hospitality.

Submitter: Dave Lanman
River: Ossipee
Section: Kezar Falls to Cornish Station
Date: 2010-04-11
Level: Class 2; 10,500 on Saco USGS gauge at Cornish
Participants: Ron and Nancy Chase (tandem canoe), Bob Radowicz and Jan Gauger (tandem canoe), Kim Gass (solo canoe), Ken Hutchins (solo canoe), Jim Tierney (kayak), Jim Francoeur (kayak), Carolyn Welch (kayak), Dave Butler and dog Allie (solo canoe); Dave Lanman (solo
Report: Eleven of us met at the Saco take-out at Cornish Station at 9:30. It was sunny and windless with the temperature about 45 degrees and rising. We headed up to Kezar Falls to start our trip. Jim Francoeur had suggested an alternative put-in from the usual power station on river right, and we agreed to check it out. It’s at the fire station on river left. There is still a bit of a distance to the water, like at the power station, but the put-in is much less steep and one has the option of putting in very near the rapids, or in a more sheltered spot further down. There is plenty of parking space, a definite plus. There are also outdoor porta-potties at nearby athletic fields. The water level was medium high, though some of us have run it higher. Medium standing waves, with most rocks washed out, is what greeted us as we started out in this busy part of the river at about 10:30. Just before reaching the island, where you have a choice of left or right channels (most go left, a short but sharp drop, because the channel is clearly visible) there was a solo canoe over. Folks rushed to the rescue, and, after a short stop, boat and paddler were reunited and off we went. We noticed that a large piece of a shed, which washed into the fork by the island several years ago, is still a feature in the river, though easily avoided. We continued in the fast water until we reached our usual stopping place for lunch. The swift current had gotten us to this point at about 11:10, too early for lunch the group decided, so we continued on to a lunch spot recommended by Dave Butler between the two bridges about two thirds of our way to the end. We had a pleasant lunch stop, but the winds picked up as we ate. Fortunately, the increasing winds were behind us for the most part the rest of the way. We passed through the last set of rapids just above the entrance to the Saco, and reached the take out about 1:30. We packed up and stopped for ice cream at Midge’s on Route 25 on the way out. Another good day had on another good river.

Submitter: Dave Lanman
River: Middle Saco
Section: Bartlett to Humphreys Ledge
Date: 2010-04-10
Level: Class 2; 1.5 Saco gauge under Bartlett Bridge; 5,0
Participants: Tom and Diane Sawyer (solo canoes), Ken Hutchins (solo canoe), Ken Severy (solo canoe), Jim Francoeur (kayak), Ron and Nancy Chase (tandem canoe), Dave Lanman and Dave Butler (tandem canoe), Carolyn Welch (kayak)
Report: Snow flurries were blowing in the brisk wind and the air temperature was 41 degrees as we ten paddlers (and Sandi Francoeur who helped with the shuttle) met about 9:30AM at the Strawberry Stand at the juncture of West Side and River Roads in North Conway. We shuttled up to the take out at Humprheys ledge, left a car each at the Covered Bridge and Thorne Pond in case there were mishaps along the way, then headed on up to the Bartlett Bridge to begin our trip. We were all on the water by about 11:00, heading down this beautiful, meandering stretch with views of the Whites whose melting snows enabled the trip. The water level was good, higher than some of us had done it, making the trip less scratchy but also washing out some play rocks along the way. We stopped quickly at a left bend in the river, not long after starting, where a pine tree had recently fallen blocking passage from bank to bank. We portaged around it and continued on. At another narrow passage around tree debris, one boat got hung up on rocks just upstream of the debris. Tom, Ron and Ken Severy responded and were able to free the boat and paddler, and down river we went. We stopped for lunch just upstream of the covered bridge, which marks the beginning of several stretches of Class 1 and 2 rapids. Some remarked about how chilled they were, but the sun was helping warm us. We continued through the rapids stopping to play here and there, and then arrived at the gazebo at Humphreys ledge. We had contacted the owner to get permission to land, and he was there to greet us. Total trip time was about 3.5 hours. A good day had by all. Special thanks to Tom and Diane Sawyer who do this river often and were kind enough to lead. It was great to have Ken Hutchins back with us, too. Ken introduced many of us to this stretch of the Saco years ago and has led the trip often.

Submitter: Kyle Duckworth
River: Souadabscook and Marsh Stream
Section:
Date: 2010-04-10
Level:
Participants:
Report: PPCS provided safety boaters and on-shore rescue personnel for the Souadabscook and Marsh Stream races, held on April 10 and 11. These races are organized by the American Canoe Association New England chapter (ACANE).

On Saturday, the group met at Dysart’s truck stop where Souadabscook race chairman Gary Brooks (a PPCS as well as an ACANE member) briefed us and handed out our complimentary T-shirts and coffee mugs. From there we fanned out to the various rapids (most of which are accessible from the road) to set up for safety. Some were on shore with throw bags and some in boats. Just about everyone got a little “action.”

When the race was finished, we all made our way back to the put-in for our own run of the Sou. The TC can’t comment first-hand on that run since he sat it out with a sore knee, but there was some talk about John Crocker, a neophyte kayaker, having a pretty good run.

Volunteers for the Souadabscook race were: Skip Pendleton, Tom Rutka, Patti Rutka, Helen Hess, Brent Elwell, Dan Pelletier, Greg Winston, Joe Guerin, Peter Brown, Bud Gilbert, Scott Gee, John Crocker, and TC Kyle Duckworth.

Sunday’s race was on Marsh Stream just north of Bucksport. Marsh was running at 1.9’, which the racers described as an excellent level for them. Not too pushy, not too rocky. Brent Elwell, Patti and Tom Rutka, Greg Winston, and Skip Pendleton joined the TC early to stand guard for the short sprint race. The rest of the gang, consisting of Helen Hess, Gary and Suzanne Cole, Dan Pelletier, Joe Guerin, Bud Gilbert, Scott Gee, Peter Rappaport, and Dave Gillespie, met up later for the main race. Again, we divided into groups of two and three and posted ourselves at the various rapids. Unlike the Sou, Marsh Stream is largely inaccessible from the road, so we essentially had to paddle the river to get into place for safety. When the race was over our group worked it’s way down the river. The highlight of our paddle was Dan Pelletier’s open canoe run of Flat Rock Falls, a 70-odd yard long sloping ledge.

Proceeds from these races, generated from entry fees and sponsorships, go to worthy charities, including most recently Make-A-Wish, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Cancer Support Center of Maine in Bucksport. PPCS participation increases the dollar amount going to charity because the race organizers don't have to pay big money (as they have had to in the past) to arrange safety personnel from other organizations. Last year, ACANE donated over $4000 to charities with money raised from the Souadabscook, Marsh, Machias, and July Dead River races.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: So. Dead - Mid Carr.
Section:
Date: 2010-04-04
Level: High
Participants: Bruce Weik (K1), Max Meyer (K1), Rodney Reed (K1), Tom Rutka (K1), Brent Elwell (K1), Patti Rutka (K1), Scott Nelson (K1), Kyle Duckworth (OC1), Kenny DeCoster (OC1), Clyde Mitchell (K1) and TC (OC1)
Report: Our day started out with Tom, Patti and Kyle preparing an outstanding Easter Breakfast at Lori Larochelle's camp (with assists from Rod and Brent). Water levels were high and the weather phenomenally warm and sunny. Our first river of choice was the South Branch of the Dead. The gauge at second bridge has disappeared. Based on our experience, if the parking lot and campsite at the put-in is completely flooded out, you can expect a wild big water run through the gorge and most of the remaining rapids will be Class IIIish. We had some carnage in the gorge. Eddies missed, holes hit, and 90-degree rolls provided for exciting runs and a couple of swimmers. Thanks to great teamwork by the entire group, we were able to reunite all paddlers, paddles and boats. For the second run, seven in the group navigated the Middle Carrabasset at 2.25 on the valley gauge, which provided for a very fluid run to culminate an excellent day of boating and comraderie.

Submitter: Skip Pendleton
River: St. George
Section: Rte 131 to 105
Date: 2010-03-28
Level: just below medium level
Participants: Dave Lanman,Ron & Nancy Chase, Carolyn Welch, Helen Hess & daughter Rebecca, Paul Plumer, Roger Hassol, Jim Francoeur,Mike Smith, Ken Severy,Sue McMlatchy Skip Pendleton
Report: Hello ALL A cool start, with some sun, ice on the edges. We had 5 kayaks 3 solo canoes, 2 tandems, a great combination.Paddle the 2 miles of flat water, gathered together at at he top of the white water. made a plan to keep an eye on everyone and plans for quick rescue. The water is still very cold.Most everyone tried their hand on surfing and catching a few eddies.I believe this was a first time for Rebecca Roger, Jim, Mike and Sue.Down near the 1 1/2 mile run of white water 1 canoe went over, however a quick rescue was made and the paddler was dressed warmly and so we kept on going. Magog drop,an old dam/ bridge site 2/3s of the way thru the run, proved to be very interesting, it was at a excelent surfing level Again, most eveyone tried their hand at surfing.Eventually paddlers started getting cold and so moved on to the end.A great paddle by all with a promise by some to come back again when it is warmer. With thanks to all who came, special thanks to Dave Lanman co-leader, Carolyn Welch and Paul Plumer,Nancy & Ron Chase who helped made this a safe/ fun trip. CHEERS SKIP

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Sheepscot
Section: Kings Mills to HeadTide dam
Date: 2010-03-27
Level: 750cfs
Participants: TC: Dave Lanman and Carolyn Welch. 3 participants: Cathel Macleod and Carolyn Welch in kayaks. David Lanman in his 18' Tripper.
Report: We met at the HeadTide takeout at 9:30. Dave reported the thermometer on his car said 22 degrees. There was bright sunshine, but a chill breeze, and ice on the puddles from recent rain. The water was about 2 feet below the dam, about 3 inches higher at the putin than last Sat. The flow dropped slightly during the day from about 750 to 740 cfs, a better level than the 390 cfs last Sat. There was some ice on the rocks at the putin. We admired the large tear-shaped droplets on the stems of weeds, about an inch above water level. Along the way some of these droplets had a small swirl of foam frozen within; they looked like blown glass ornaments, sparkling in the sun. Amazing! We were off the river about about 12:00. After we retrieved the cars from the putin, Dave reported the temp had risen to 30 degress. Some chilly, and still breezy. No second run today.

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Sheepscot
Section: Kings Mills to HeadTide dam
Date: 2010-03-20
Level: 390 cfs
Participants: TC: Dave Butler and Carolyn Welch. tandem canoe: Ryan and Mason Galway. solo poling canoe: Bob Gonyea. solo canoe: Larry Litchfield. kayaks: Dave Butler, Ken Severy, Jim Francoeur, Carolyn Welch
Report: We met at the HeadTide takeout at 9:30. As we were suiting up, a tandem canoe arrived at the take out, having put in at Kings Mills about 8:30. The earliest birds I have ever seen in a river run! We shuttled up to Kings Mills and were in the water about 10:00. It was the first day of Spring! Temps went from about 40 to nearly 70 degrees. The water was about 5 feet below the dam, and about 3 inches lower than last Sat. The flow dropped slightly during the day from about 390 to about 370 cfs. Lots of rocks for surfing and eddy sets. Mason, age 4, said he really liked going thru the waves with his dad. I admired Bob's poling finesse. We were off the river about about 12:15. After lunch, Dave Butler switched to his solo canoe, and made the second run with Jim and Carolyn in their kayaks. There were other folks in 4 canoes and a kayak sharing the river with us, but plenty of room for all. We finished our second run about 3:15. How I do love this litle river!

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Sheepscot
Section: Kings Mills to HeadTide
Date: 2010-03-13
Level: 425 cfs
Participants: Participants: TC: Carolyn Welch and Dave Lanman 5 paddlers: tandem canoe: Ken Severy and Josh Botting; solo canoe: Dave Lanman kayak: Jim Francoeur and Carolyn Welch
Report: We met at the HeadTide takeout at 9:30. There was some wind, and hazy sun, about 40 degrees, no snow or ice. The river had been dropping about 100 cfs a day since our run a week ago when the level was 1000 cfs. The water was about 4 feet below the top of the dam. We shuttled to the Kings Mills putin and were on the water about 10:00. The flow seemed to be about 5 inches lower than last week, actually a nice level, with plenty of rocks for surfing and eddy sets. About midway, the wind picked up considerably. At the last stretch, Dave in his 18 ft Tripper was getting blown back up stream, so Ken walked back from the takeout to help Dave power the Tripper to the end. We were off the water about 12:15, and decided there was too much cold wind for a second run, so most of us gathered at Sarah's in Wicasset for lunch. Another good day on the good ol' Sheepscot!

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Sheepscot
Section: Kings Mills to HeadTide
Date: 2010-03-06
Level: 1000 cfs class 2
Participants: TC: Carolyn Welch and Skip Pendleton 7 paddlers: solo canoe: Ken Severy and Ryan Galway; kayak: Dave Boyle, Denny Harnish, Bruce Weik, Skip Pendleton, and Carolyn Welch
Report: Our first spring outing! There was almost no snow. The water was still high after the near monsoon last weekend. We met at the takeout at Head Tide dam at 9:30. The water was several inches over the top of the dam. We loaded onto 2 cars to get to the Kings Mills putin, launched about 10:15. It was sunny and mild, over 40 degrees, with a somewhat chilly wind on shore, but much warmer in the lee on the water. Not so many rocks, because of the high level, but some nice waves, plenty of opportunities for eddy sets and surfing, and we had a very short carry at the takeout. Several had to leave, but Skip, Ken and I had lunch, and were back on the river about 1:00 for a glorious meandering second run. We were off the river by 3:30. A most excellent day!

Submitter: Suzanne Cole
River: Kearsarge North
Section: Intervale, NH
Date: 2010-01-23
Level: 3268 ft.
Participants: Ken Gordon, Dave Boyle, Gary Cole and Suzanne Cole (TC).
Report: We had a 130 mile view day; it doesn't get much better than that. We hiked up a packed trail from the Hurricane Mountain Rd. enjoying the company of other hikers and the delightful weather. Our 360 degree panoramic view began with Mt. Chorocua off to the south. Scanning west, we picked out the mountains south of the Kancamagus Highway ending with Waterville Valley Ski Area. Continuing around, Lincoln and Lafayette stood out on their own before the Presidentials, thoroughly covered with snow, loomed over us in all their glory. Our angle was perfect to look northwest through Carter Notch, and off to the right Old Speck and Goose Eye could be seen. To the north, Mt. Abraham was discerned, and continuing east Pleasant Mountain, our very own monadnock, rose out of its relatively flat surroundings. We reveled in these wonderful views from the tower, but even though we tried, we couldn't quite see the Atlantic Ocean. Kearsarge is a great mountain to hike any time of year and a 6.2 mile round trip puts it within reach of many.

Submitter: Julia Richmond
River: Marble Mt, Mt Megantic
Section:
Date: 2010-01-09
Level: back-country ski
Participants: Brent Elwell, Greg Winston, Laurie Wunder, Tom Meredith, Anna Spring, Abraham, Ruth, Elijah Doerfler, Troad/ Julia Richmond, and The Crazy Cannucks: Michael Grayson, Sylvain Gilbert, and Jean-Luc
Report: We met at Le Haut Bois Dormant B & B in Notre Dame de Bois with -15 C, a hazy view, light winds. Brent brought the news of border problems for Rodney and company. We decided on a section of the Boundary Trail from the Mt Megantic connection toward Marble Mt. The trail in was a bit hidden by boughs bending low with ice and snow. After lunch we found the border with its steep undulation in both directions up and down over high hills and low mountains, a wide swath through the forest. The snow was deep and powdery, but had a tricky crust about halfway down that could catch the ski tip causing instant face plant. We had two separate cases of broken poles. With twilight approaching, we divided into two groups. Sylvain took some of us directly back down a steep trail, while Michael led the others over steeper border hills before heading back on a parallel trail. Brent and Greg went to check if Rodney made it over the border and was waiting at Mt Megantic, before meeting with the rest of us at the cute bakery next to the depanneur. We lost each other for a while over the confusion that the bakery advertised closing time at 5, but stayed open much later for us to hang out and wait for Brent and Greg. Finally the PPCS sticker on my car brought us together. We all had fabulous suppers (esp. Brent's Shrimp and Scallop Wiggle)and good company.
Sunday dawned bright and cold as we headed off to Mt Megantic for their back country trail. We took the groomed trail about 8 km back to a heated cabin for lunch, before parting ways with Tom and Laurie, who kept to the groomed trails in order to leave by 2 pm. As we climbed the steep narrow path, it was evident that the old-fashioned wooden skis adapted well to this kind of trail. Around km 6, we cut over to the snowshoe trail in order to summit. At the 1000 meter mark, Abraham and Brent adjusted their GPS's. We bundled up to the serious windchill at the top and wondered if we had to climb the ladder up the observatory to truly summit. Abe and Elijah skied down the road to get home to work. The rest of us headed back the way we came to pick up our skis and continue on for the last 2.6 km of the nordic trail. As the dusk thickened, we once again got lost from each other. We reunited one by one and made the steep run down with headlamps. We were glad to see the groomed trail again, enjoying the smooth run through falling snow.

Submitter: Suzanne Cole
River: Mt. Paugus
Section: Mt. Chocorua Scenic Area
Date: 2010-01-06
Level: 3200 ft.
Participants: Dave Boyle, Bruce Weik, Gary and Suzanne Cole (TC)
Report:

Since this was supposed to be a short hike with relatively small elevation gain, we planned on a late start, still allowing 6+ hours of hiking daylight. We hit the trail at 10:50 off of Route 113A near Wonalancet. In a short time, we branched right onto the Big Rock Cave Trail which led us over Mt. Mexico and down to the Big Rock Cave. These rocks were spectacular, gigantic slabs that created several sheltering places which would have been considered the caves. We walked around and through these rocks for quite a while, amazed at how cool they were. Then we continued down hill, losing a lot of elevation, on a slightly broken trail to Whitin Brook. The brook crossing proved to be easier than it looked. There were gaping holes exposing open water, but the ice that was present was thick, and we crossed easily.

We started uphill on the Old Paugus Trail (yellow blazes). This trail led us under great ledges to our left, up a steep gully that deadended in a frozen cascade, and turned right along a rock ledge. We proceeded up to some ledges with very nice views to the South and East, and then continued along a side hill that provided several nice views of the backside of Chocorua. At this point, we agreed we would continue ahead and do a loop hike, so we did not have to go back down to the valley and up over Mt. Mexico again. After a couple of false leads, we found the trail up to ledges on the South Peak of Mt. Paugus where we had a late lunch and enjoyed views of Chocorua. We went over a bald spot and found the beautifully broken out Lawrence Trail that led us down to the Cabin Trail. Although very steep and a bit icy at times, this was really easy going and gave great views of Passaconaway. There were even switchbacks. We slabbed along a hillside to a saddle where we met the Cabin Trail which led us gradually down to our car by 5:15. We used every bit of daylight we had allowed, but thoroughly enjoyed exploring this area between Chocorua and Passaconaway.

We had been looking for a hike that would put us in close proximity to Tuftonboro, so we could join Bill Kaiser and Alice Douglas for dinner afterwards. Other mountains were considered, but Paugus was the winner in many ways. The loop we took was about 7.25 miles and we gained about 2800 feet of elevation. We saw some awesome geology and enjoyed good company. We topped our day off with a nice seafood dinner at "Jakes" with Bill and Alice.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Mount Chocorua
Section:
Date: 2009-12-20
Level:
Participants: Andy Steinbeiser, Rodney Reed, Suzanne Cole, Gary Cole, Dave Boyle, Brent Elwell, Ken Gordon and TC
Report: How do you pronounce Chocorua? I’m not sure, but anyway you say it, it’s a great hike. Located a little southwest of Conway, New Hampshire, in the southern White Mountains, Chocorua is about a 7.5 mile out-and-back hike to an alpine-like summit. Uncertain of snow and ice conditions at higher elevations, the overly cautious Trip Coordinator (that would be me) recommended carrying snowshoes and crampons. Our group of eight began hiking in about a foot of well-packed snow and circumstances remained uniformly good throughout the trek. After a little more than 3 miles of ascending steadily below-tree line with sporadic views north and west, we reached trail junctions for Middle Sister and Piper Trails. Shortly after, harsh, blustery winds greeted us as we emerged above-tree line for our summit attempt. Expecting an icy, hard-packed snow surface on the steep, alpine summit cone, we were pleased to encounter dry rock and drifted snow rendering crampons unnecessary. After cautiously navigating to the top for phenomenal 360-degree views, we quickly descended to escape unrelenting winds and severe chill factors. On our return, many trip members pondered aloud the wisdom and judgment of the Trip Coordinator’s imperious suggestion to carry snowshoes and crampons. Fortunately, before mutinous violence erupted, the group was distracted by an entertaining trio of ice climbers on frozen Champney Falls. The heavy packs provided everyone with a good workout.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Little Jackson Mountain
Section:
Date: 2009-11-29
Level:
Participants: Julia Richmond, Brent Elwell, Nancy Chase and TC
Report: A pattern seems to be developing. Julia signs on to one of my trips and then pulls out at the last moment. This time, she attempted to bail out after traveling from Quebec to the Town of Wilton, where we were supposed to meet. Spotting her snow covered silver Subaru with Quebec plates leaving town, Nancy and I gave pursuit. After a desperate Sunday morning car chase through the congested streets of Wilton, we were able to run her off the road and compel her participation on the trip. This was our first winter-like hike of the season. Nancy road shotgun and performed tree removal as we navigated the narrow road to the Tumbledown/Jackson Trailhead. We only hiked about a mile before encountering snow, which increased in depth to several inches with some drifting at higher elevations. Above-tree line (A location we were able to ascertain without the assistance of Baxter State Park guidelines),we donned our gay apparel. Actually, we donned our stableicers for traction on the icy summit area. We also needed winter clothing to protect us from harsh winds gusting from the northwest. Spectacular views were our reward on the summit, where we met a couple of AMC friends on our descent. This was a very enjoyable hike with entertaining conversation throughout. Julia may give us another chance.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Bigelow Mountain
Section:
Date: 2009-11-01
Level:
Participants: Lori LaRochelle, Nancy Chase, Brent Elwell and TC; Julia Richmond and friend Adam the Contra Dancer were parallel hikers (TC never got his last name)
Report: We had an excellent fall day for one of the best alpine hikes in the State of Maine. Initially, confusion reigned. Dual meeting places were erroneously announced and a government mandated time change aggravated an already difficult situation. The result was Julia and her friend Adam didn't find the group in time for the scheduled hike. Worse yet, she hadn't consulted her copy of that classic mountaineering guidebook, Mountains for Mortals, which would have provided her with precise directions to the correct trailhead and a detailed description of the hike. Lori, Brent, Nancy and I had an outstanding hike up the Fire Warden's Trail to Bigelow Col in sunny, breezy weather. The only downside was that Nancy and Lori were decidedly unfriendly much of the day and frequently declined to hike with us. We had fantastic views of Flagstaff Lake and the surrounding mountains from both Avery and West Peaks. The clarity of the views were so extraordinary that Brent was able to count all 22 wind turbines on Kibby Mountain. Simultaneously, Julia and Adam, who arrived late due to government meddling, were enjoying an equally great hike to Horn's Pond. We all met at the trailhead and subsequently gathered at the White Wolf Tavern in Stratton for food and beverage. Adam is a most interesting guy. Not only does he hike and contra dance, but he grew up in Israel, which provided for some very stimulating conversation. The waitperson could have been a little friendlier - actually, a lot friendlier.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Baskahegan
Section:
Date: 2009-10-23
Level: Varied
Participants: Helen Hess, Kenny DeCoster, Ron Chase (Trip Stenographer), Doug Field (Trip Organizer)
Report: Racing northeast of Lincoln into wind driven snow on a dark, stormy October 22nd night, we were a caravan of three vehicles destined for a late October canoe trip. I was driving the lead vehicle with Trip Organizer, Doug Field, as my passenger and navigator, while Kenny “The Eggman” DeCoster and Rock St. Helen Hess followed in separate vehicles. Conditions were imperfect. Given my poor night vision, I struggled to see in the dark and blinding snow while Doug navigated using his infamous “landmark” technique. “Turn left,” he yelled as I jerked my gear-filled Outback into what turned out to be a poor excuse for a skidder trail. Careening down an overgrown, pockmarked path, we dead ended in what we euphemistically described as Mud Pit Heaven. Alas, no put-in. Wearied, we camped in the mud after a long postponed Happy Hour huddled under a tarp strung over two vehicles partially protecting us from gusting wind and snow. Thus began our Baskahegan Canoe Trip. Actually, it began a couple of hours earlier when Helen miraculously found us mindlessly circling a field in the dark just west of Lincoln. Why Baskahegan you ask? Because its there, and because Doug said so. Day one of our trip found us wandering logging roads in search of a good put-in on Baskahegan Stream. Finding the water level low – read that a mere trickle, we decided to launch on Baskahegan Lake west of the thriving metropolis of Brookton. The shuttle was not uneventful. Stopping for breakfast in a homey Topsfield eatery, we were cheerfully greeted by our waiter-cook, who politely inquired, “Whadya want?” Leaving Doug, boats and gear in windy, near freezing conditions at the put-in, we three embarked for the take-out. Needing gas and java, we stopped at a quaint little Danforth business I called, “Danforth Quick Stop.” The Quick Stop, a “Full Service” business, employed a unique customer service strategy which maximized patron shopping time. About 45 minutes was spent pumping and paying for gas. An inspection is usually an overnight stay. Observing that Murphy’s Law seemed to be in charge of our trip, we decided to leave vehicles in both South Bancroft and Wytopitlock (that’s Whit-tow-pit-luk, Kenny) to give us a couple of take-out options. After waving to our new found friends at the Quick Stop on our return trip, we found Doug cooling his extremities at the launch, but still alive. Paddling two tandem canoes, we persisted into a strong headwind and whitecaps during our three mile lake crossing. After running a washed out dam at the outlet, we navigated flatwater and shallow rapids for about 7 miles before finding a good location to camp on a point of land. Canoeing a heavier craft, Kenny and Doug frequently dragged on submerged rocks and were forced out of their boat on a couple of occasions. While Helen and I smugly cruised more easily downriver, our idyllic afternoon paddle was frequently interrupted by our companions’ route finding disagreements. Covering everything and everybody with tarps, we settled in for a very stormy night consisting of sleet, snow, wind and rain. We arose to some accumulation of ice pellets (as predicted by the Hess Forecast) and a steady rain that continued essentially unabated for the next 24 hours. Several rapids, ledge drops and beaver dams were on our agenda during the first three miles of the new day. Running one steep ledge drop, Helen and I collided head-on with a large rock at the bottom. Hence, the moniker, “Rock St. Helen” was born. A tailwind propelled us north through Crooked Stream Flowage to Danforth. Behind schedule, time didn’t permit a social call on the jolly crew at Quick Stop. After several additional miles and an extended, almost desperate search, we found a suitable site to camp on a small island. Very heavy rain made setting up camp a major obstacle. While the disoriented, near hypothermic Trip Stenographer stumbled aimlessly about the island, the rest of the group labored successfully to establish camp just before darkness arrived. Shelter and a warm fire brought comfort to our evening meal. A suggestion for next year – skip the late night politics and religion discussion mixed with alcohol. Between 3 and 4 inches of rain had accumulated in our pots and pans when we arose to sunny, breezy weather on Day 3. More good news, rising waters had formed a perfect surfing wave adjacent to our campsite. After extensive surfing, we persevered into a light headwind while enjoying strong currents and fluid rapids to a set of ledge drops that we lined near South Bancroft. Since Kenny was still unable to pronounce Wytopitlock, we decided Bancroft was to be our take-out. Some perspectives from the Trip Stenographer’s viewpoint: Helen is the first amongst this fearsome foursome to have a river feature named after her. I’m jealous. Kenny will have to retake Canoe Camping 101 as Doug awarded him an Incomplete. You really can have a great time while coping with miserable conditions. We’re living proof. Thought for the trip (no more benedictions), “Solemn wits are fearful of a man who jests on serious subjects” – Francis Bacon. Respectfully submitted, Ron Chase, Trip Stenographer.

Submitter: Ryan Galway
River: North Branch of the Piscataquo
Section: Lake Horrace to Everett lake
Date: 2009-10-17
Level: 450cfs
Participants: Evan Eichorn oc-1 Kenny Decoster oc-1, Kevin Rogers oc-1, Patty Rutka Oc-1, Tom Rutka K-1, Chris Burton K-1, Tc Ryan Galway OC-1
Report: This late season unofficial trip is destined to become a annual event. Every one had a blast with this low volume creeky stream, and many thanks were given to the TC for turning them on to this new river. The day went as follows. We met in Weare, NH at 10:00. After running shuttle we put on around 11:00 to a river only 20' wide. The run was passable but tight with many branches and blow downs that protruded into the river. They quickly claimed some victims as we had 2 swimmers in the 1st 1/4 mile. Soon we were at slab city ledge where we all did well with only 1 swimmer. We continued through miles of technical cII-III rapids with everyone doing well until we reached the big one. It is a river wide ledge slide with a run out through more rapids and holes. All ran successfully with many cheers to follow. After more cII-III rapids we reached Buzzell rapid. Buzzells is a medium length technical rapid with a diagonal wave to punch 3/4 of the way down. Unfortunately this wave claimed all but Kevin and the TC who had to roll at the bottom. Every one still enjoyed the run and we even got throw bag and rescue practice. After Buzzell we continued through more CII and every one arrived at the take out safe a little chilly and exhausted after a great fall day on the river! Check out the link to video of the trip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3ATxQ0LDBM&feature=email

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Dead
Section:
Date: 2009-10-03
Level: 5000 or 6000 cfs
Participants: Kim Perkins, Randy Berube, Clyde Mitchell & TC
Report: Driving rain, cold, raw weather, inpenetrable fog, a mind numbing headwind and high water greeted this intrepid band of paddlers. While the sensible club members remained home by their wood fires, we four felt compelled to prove we weren't sissies. Tragedy struck only minutes into the trip. Randy got stuck on a wave and couldn't get off. Because we were on a forced paddle, we had no choice but to leave the wounded behind. Emotionally devastated, we persevered overcoming many obstacles and one daunting rapid after another. The remaining Brothers of the Sissy Hood arrived at Appleton's without further casualties. Just as we were about to depart, a group of New Hampshire paddlers reported that a transformation of near mystical proportions had occurred on the river. Randy and the wave had become one. Sorrow morphed to relief knowing that Randy was in a special place of his choosing for eternity.

Submitter: Ryan Galway
River: West
Section: Jamaica state Park
Date: 2009-09-26
Level: 1500cfs +OR -
Participants: Evan Eichorn OC-1, Kevin Rogers Oc-1, Jean Miller K-1, TC Ryan Galway OC-1
Report: The group awoke to colder than expected temps on Saturdaymorning. This made for a later start than expected for the put in. We carried over Ball Mountain dam for the first run of the day. Therun was great with every one having sucessful runs. Unfortunatly theTc had to roll once as he got flipped while chatting instead ofpaddling. After the 1st run Jean left our group to meet otherfriends, but was seen on the river later in the day enjoying thegreat fall day with her friends. Everyone proceded to wear themselves out with the unlimited shuttle. Evan even showed the group whyhis nickname is Ender multiple times at the infamous ender hole. Kevinhad a flawless day with some great surfing and many great tidbits ofcboat history to share. All in all it was another great West fest witha large private boater turnout, prooving if the water is there thepeople will come.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Flagstaff Lake
Section:
Date: 2009-09-12
Level:
Participants: Brent Elwell T/C & Julia Richmond : OC-2 Allen Gaskill, Ken Gordon, Fred Kerle, Mike Rockenhauser & Fred Kerle : Sea Kayaks
Report: The traverse of Flagstaff Lake is a spectacular trip which includes some of the best mountain views in the state. We were blessed with warm temperatures and light winds - at least for the first half of the trip. Fortunately the weather forecasts of showers on Saturday proved to be wrong. The trip started at the boat launch a mile north of Stratton and ended at the boat launch near Long Falls Dam. Saturday was a short day as we stayed at the campsite near the submerged village of Flagstaff. This is a nice campsite with plenty of nice campsites with great views of the entire Bigelow Mountain range. The wildlife viewing was good also with six moose sightings. Sunday was a longer day of paddling,so the trip coordinator tried to make a long day longer by stopping at the Round Barn camp site. We were able to add at least three miles on to the trip by doing this, but had made great time with a good tail wind all morning so we were still able to take out by mid-afternoon. This was Mike and Fred's first PPCS trip. They were headed to Isle au Haut with Allen for a three day sea kayak trip after they finished this trip. I would like to plan a a combination paddle & hike trip next year if there is enough interest. I would like to paddle from Rte. 27 north of Stratton to the Round Barn camp site near the Southeast corner of the lake and camp there. The next day we would hike back over the Bigelow Range to the vehicles.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Damariscove Island
Section:
Date: 2009-08-27
Level:
Participants: Steve Ward, Dave Wallace, Brent Elwell and TC
Report: The much anticipated oft postponed Damariscove Island sea kayak trip became a reality on Thursday, August 27th. Damariscove Island is one of the most unique, interesting and historic kayak destinations along the coast of Maine. Located a few miles south of Boothbay, it is about a five mile paddle to the cove on the outer end of the island from Grimes Cove near Ocean Point. Our group enjoyed a tail wind as we rode the outgoing tide along the east shores of Fisherman and then Damariscove Islands while having a spirited but amicable discussion about health care reform. The result was the same gridlock experienced by the rest of the country. Damariscove Island is truly a treat to visit. Passing through the ledges of an often bumpy section called the Motions on the southwest tip, we entered a cove with the old Coast Guard Station on the left, a couple of sailing vessels moored nearby and a ramshackle fishing shack at the far end that has been converted to a museum. The island history of piracy, naval battles, settler/Indian wars and more are detailed in the museum. We enjoyed our lunch at the island highpoint with 360 degree views and three of us hiked the shore of outer island searching for colorful lobster buoys and exploring ancient foundations while Dave entertained the museum caretakers. Passing the southeastern end of the island in 3 or 4 foot swells, we made a two-plus mile open crossing paddling a little northwest of Pumpkin Island to Outer Heron. Carefully slipping through a narrow channel between the rugged shore of Outer Heron and some large rock formations, we emerged to seals on our right, a bald eagle flying above and the distinct White Islands directly ahead. As we navigated the crossing to the Whites, we spotted a whale in the waters to our west. Steve and I are clearly on a whale watching hot streak as we had three close-up encounters with Pilot whales while paddling along the coast of Cape Breton Island the previous week. Unable to find a suitable landing spot to explore the Whites, we paddled north through the Hypocrites and returned to Grimes Cove. Steve summed up our feelings for the day when he remarked, “If I hadn’t been to Cape Breton, this would have been the best paddling day of the year.”

Submitter: Peter Brown
River: West Branch Penobscot
Section: Roll Dams
Date: 2009-08-22
Level: 650 cfs
Participants: K-1: Jim Francoeur, Elliot Rappaport, Peter Rappaport, Dave Wallace. Shredder: Morrill and Todd Nason. OC-1: Peter Brown, Doug Field, Helen Hess, Helen Johnston, Skip Pendleton, Kim Perkins, Kevin Rogers, John Rousseau. Shuttle bunny: Jo Pendleton
Report: Fifteen intrepid souls braved the forecast bugs and inclement weather to challenge their paddling skills at the Roll Dams. John and Kevin overnighted Thursday night to get the morning run on Friday, and several of us joined them on Friday afternoon. This was Jim Francoeur's first-ever Roll Dams run. Fortunately Jim did not have him helmet camera --or his helmet microphone-- for this one, and on Saturday Jim had a swim-free run!

The kayaking Rappaports, Peter and Elliot (no relation), drove up to join us for the day on Saturday and demonstrated some great surfing. They had both been up for the much-bigger water the previous weekend. Helen Hess pulled out the guitar to lead camp-fire singing Saturday night.

We had a big group of open-boaters this weekend. Us relative newbies were lucky to have a solid group of experienced boaters show us some challenging lines and play spots. A couple of us (after we rolled up or swam ashore) were also able to get a few timely tips from Doug.

The one incident of note involved the rescue shredder coming to the aid of an up-turned canoe and its swimming former occupant. According to the shredder first-mate, on-board communication problems led to an un-fortunate overloading of one pontoon and the shredder's inevitable capsize. No statement available at this time from the shredder captain.

What a great river, where such a diverse group of boaters can paddle whitewater together with challenges for all. Were there bugs? Maybe a few, but the company was awesome and the weather turned out pretty good. Can't wait to do it again.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Dead River
Section:
Date: 2009-08-09
Level: 3500 cfs
Participants: Kayaks: Tom & Patti Rutka, Joe Guerin, Rodney Reed, Elliot Rappaport, Lauri Sibulkin, Dave Wallace, Randy Berube, Greg Hamilton, Gary Cole, Rodney Reed, Adam Chase & T/C Brent Elwell Open Boats: Tom Sawyer, Ken DeCoster, Kyle Duckworth, Helen Hess and Do
Report: This was the second biggest PPCS Dead River group of the season except for 2400 cfs release on July 25. The Dead was crowed with other boaters / rafters also. I would bet that the Dead River on Sunday was the most popular river in New England. However, there was still plenty of room to play. The surf spot river right a mile or so below Spencer Rapid provided plenty of play. Greg Hamilton was able to flat spin at will on the top wave. Larui proved he could hit his roll just about anywhere. It was good to see some paddlers take newbies at this level and coach them down the river. Thanks Tom and Patti. Greg and Sharon proved again how useful the Shredder can be as a rescue platform. We encountered a couple guys paddling a lake canoe at Hayden's Rapid. They were encouraged to take off after swimming most of the major rapids above the gravel pit takeout. It was a good choice on their part. All in all it was an excellent day to be out on the river.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Kennebec
Section: Gorge
Date: 2009-08-08
Level: 2400 cfs / 5000 cfs
Participants: Kayaks: Gary & Suzanne Cole, Jean Miller, James Sanborn, Rod Reed, Ken Gordon, Dave Wallace & Brent Elwell T/C Shredder: Greg & Sharon Pelotte
Report: We put in later than usual to try and catch the 2400 cfs from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. There was a rumor circulating from the day before that there would be not 2400 release just a flat 5000 all day. Fortunately that turned out to be false. Everyone ran the seond run of 5000 cfs except for Ken, Dave & Suzanne. They helped run the shuttle, so the rest of us could have a second run. We appreciated that. James had a really good run on the 2400. He showed us his roll was bombproof in the middle of the Alleyway when he hit two rolls in quick succession in some real "busy" water. This was a real busy day for private boaters - probably the busiest of the season. We ran into a group that was making its third run of the day after out second run. Two trips up the stairs was enough for our group that day.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Kennebec
Section: Gorge
Date: 2009-07-27
Level: 2400 cfs / 5000 cfs
Participants: Trip 1 : Julia Richmond, Martha (Julia's Daughter), Greg Winston, Mark Nelson, Scott Nelson & Tom Nelson & T/C Brent Elwell Kayaks, Ryan Galway OC-1 Trip 2 : Greg Winston, Martha,Greg Winston, Mark Nelson, Scott Nelson & Tom Nelson
Report: We arrived at the gatehouse at 8:30 am thinking that we had plenty of time before the regular 10:00 am release to get get ready to paddle. We were surprised to find out we had a 5000 cfs release coming at 9:00 instead. A good part of the group bailed out on the Kennebec at this point. They decided to paddle the Dead instead. The remaining group of six scrambled to get on so we could paddle beyond Magic before the big water caught us. As we were walking down the ramp to the river it was noticed that the river did not look like 350 cfs. It wasn't. The level was 2400 cfs. It actualy helped push us along faster and we beat the big release to Magic. Ryan Galway had a good run in his open boat. Julia and Ryan joined joined Melissa and others at Carry Brook to float out. The second trip hit the 5000 release. Mark and Scott both got good hits at Magic on this run. Martha got to test her roll up in Rock Garden and was able to nail it on her third try which was impressive. It was good to see two levels in the same day, but the carry out at Carry Brook stairs never seems to get any easier.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Kennebec
Section: Gorge
Date: 2009-07-26
Level: 5000 cfs
Participants: Gary Cole, Suzanne Cole, Jason McAllister, Evan Eichorn, Clyde Mitchell, John Brower, Jean Miller, Shweta Galway, Abdullah (delinquent TC didn't get his last name)and TC
Report: Gray skies and misty, cold, damp March weather greeted our group on this late July day. This was an open boat revisit from last year for Jason, Evan, John and I. We missed the remaining player, Ryan Galway, who was using the lame excuse that he'd broken his back. Leadership was a problem on this trip as the TC never hit a line that he described in advance creating much confusion. There were rumblings and grumblings, but no one left the trip - the sheer cliffs of the gorge may have been a facter. Despite the lack of quality guidance, we had a trouble free run with lots of yahoos and wahoos. Suzanne and Gary had their usual flawless runs and Clyde smiled throughout. Shweta and Abdullah joined us at Carry Brook and had most excellent first runs on the lower. Turning the bend a few miles downriver of Carry Brook, we encountered three river nymphs sunning themselves in the clouds and fog: Melissa Howes, Julia Richmond and Rodney Reed. Just another magical day on the whitewater gem of the northeast.

Submitter: Allan Fuller
River: Kennebec
Section: West Forks to Caratunk
Date: 2009-07-25
Level: 1
Participants: Allan Fuller, Murial Nelson, Jim Nelson, Eilen Nelson, Sandi Francoeur, Mason Galway, Shweta Galway, Ryan Galway, Caroline Mathes, Abdullah Yalagul, Tramp the dog.
Report: Fast, fun family trip on a beautiful sunny day. Left Webb's camp grounds at noon in order to for the release to catch up. Water level was excellent. There were only a few rocks showing for the kayaks to play around. We stopped for lunch where some rocks and a stream came into the river on the right just over half way to Caratuk. This stream had a hidden cascading waterfall just in from the Kennebec shore line. Some of us walked to its base to get a better view and found wonderful white (no chlorophyll) Indian Pipe flowers. Mason took a swim in Wyman Lake when he fell (or jumped) out of his boat. The water was cold. Everyone had a great time.

Submitter: Jim Francoeur
River: Dead River
Section: Spencer Stream to Webb's
Date: 2009-06-27
Level: @1800
Participants: Jim Francoeur (TC) , Brent Elwell, Mark Nelson, Tom Nelson Tom & Diane Sawyer, David Ellis, Cathel Macleod, Victor Otley, Patti and Tom Rutka, Joe Guerin, James Jackson Sanborn, Mickael Holt, Ben Holt, Andy MacPartland, Justin Pinette, Scott Nel
Report: The trip preparation started with a short email to everyone about the Dead River. Hello Paddlers Well, it’s almost here. The Dead River Trip, -@1800- 6/27. The weather for Saturday looks like it will be cloudy with a 90% chance of rain, temps in the low 70’s. Hey, you’re going to get wet anyway! As of today we have 20 people and 19 boats that said they plan on doing the Dead. We have veterans and newcomers to the PPCS and to the river on this trip. Safety should be everyone’s first concern. If you have any doubts about your ability to complete the Dead River @ 1800, then you shouldn’t start it. There is no going back or changing your mind once you’ve left the put-in. The water temp on the Dead River is running about 57 deg. The Water levels have been high all week and I don’t expect there to be change in the levels with the rain we’ve been getting. High water levels and a low release (@1800). I’ve heard it and seen it both ways. You just don’t know what the level will be 1800 or higher until you get to the river. I did a trip at 1800 with rain the day before and levels where more like 2400. You just never know, but I’ve also been told that they try to regulate the level so you get the level that was planned. Just a word of caution, be prepared. Now the trip; We met at Webb’s and after a short introduction of the entire paddling group we had a discussion of the Dead River water levels. With all the rain this past week, the river was running really high. Local outfitters predicted that the water levels would be @ 5500 or below after the release. A discussion was held about paddling the Dead at this level. After some thought, the group decided to break up into two groups, one paddling the Dead and the others headed over to the Kennebec. The Dead River group decided to head to the put-in and then decide if the river looked safe to paddle. As we headed towards the put-in the sun began to shine. At the put in the water level was high, but not as high as predicted. The level was below the @3500 level some had paddled two weeks before, but was no where near the 1800 that was scheduled. Most of the veterans said they thought it looked like the river was running @ 3000. A quick discussion about this level and all that headed to the put-in decide to paddle. Jim’s wife Sandi, who was a shuttle driver for the group, after dropping our gear she headed to the sand pit just in case someone decided to stop paddling at that spot. That was a great plan, because we needed it. The Dead River paddling group now consisted of Jim Francoeur (TC), Brent Elwell, Mark Nelson, Tom Nelson, Patti and Tom Rutka, Joe Guerin, James Jackson Sanborn, Andy MacPartland, Justin Pinette, Scott Nelson, Troy Alexander, Ryan Wadsworth. The river didn’t seem crowded at first, there was only one raft group heading out in front of us and there were two other groups of kayak paddlers getting ready to leave as we did. As we headed out a group of 6 kayaks headed down the river right behind us, or between us as it was for the first five miles. After our group helped rescue one of 6 cling-ons it was discovered that a one of them had never paddle a kayak before and a few more had never been on the Dead River before. Our group was great, besides the rescuing of the cling-ons there was a lot of surfing at some of the great early spots on the river. Eddy turns and combat rolls where preformed with perfection, from the youngest of the group, 14 year old Tom, to the oldest (let’s keep that a secret). The sun was bearing down on us and we all wonder what the hell was going on with the weather. No one was complaining, though some said they where extremely hot. Maybe that’s why they did so many practice combat rolls. After a few more rescues of the cling-ons we made it to the lunch spot. We made the very loud suggestion that they should get off the river for their own safety. We told them about our shuttle at the sand pit and that we would make some arrangements for them if they decide to leave the river. As we ate lunch, the weather started to look ominous, dark clouds everywhere. We finished lunch and off we went to the sand pit and hopefully the cling-ons would get off the river. After one more rescue of that group we got to the sand pit take out. We talked to that group and convince the entire group to stop now for their own safety. They did and we arranged for them to get back to there vehicles. That actually helped our group out because they where able to drive out two of our other shuttle vehicles as they left the put-in. So, now it’s just PPCS group paddling the rest of the way. As the clouds rolled in and the temperature got a bit cooler, we all new what was about to happen. Yeah, that’s right, RAIN and did it pour, but not the entire rest of the day. I saw a lot of great surfing, eddy turns, and combat rolls preformed all day long. Three more rescues where preformed of our group (well me) during the rest of the trip on the river, I guess I need to pay more attention to where I’m going (LOL) Thanks everyone. I think the trip was a great success. The higher water levels made the trip less boney than expected and the higher levels also made for some great surfing waves. Everyone made it down the river safely and I believe everyone had a great time.

Submitter: Evan Eichorn
River: Moose River
Section: Maccamp Road to Brassua Lake
Date: 2009-05-31
Level: Runnable!
Participants: Evan Eichorn - TC OC1, Wendy Weiger OC1, Steven West K1, Andrew McPartland OC1
Report: The theme of the day was the unsettled weather which changed too many times to count, but we were able to get the trip in before the heaviest rain and lighting moved our way. We passed through some class I warm up riffles before our scout of the Demo Road Bridge upper rapid and ledge rapid below. Safety lines were ready as well as cameras for this interesting drop and wave train. The line was right-center into the eddy below. Everyone had clean runs with some excellent set up, low bracing, and loose hips. We did not want anyone going into the nasty river center retentive hole which had an estimated 12 foot reverse flow according to Steve. We all had clean and scratchy far right runs over the 3 foot drop to easily avoid the hole. The rest of the run was 2-3 miles of fairly continuous class 2+ rapids with some excellent opportunities to practice eddy turns, ferrying, and front, back, and side surfing. There were some interesting diagonal ledges in the river at this somewhat lower level. We saw a bald eagle in flight and likely the same bald eagle feeding on its catch on shore. We couldn't agree if it was a fish or another type of mammal but we do know it was too big for the eagle to fly away with so it sat there and ate it while we passed within 50 feet! We found the take out marked by a white rope on a tree although none of the paddlers believed the TC that there actually was a rope marker. We can't make it too easy! Many thanks to everyone for coming and help with the shuttle and ride home. Everyone agreed it was a fine whitewater run with excellent scenery. Special thanks to Ryan and Mason Galway and "Bubba" for moving shuttle vehicles and helping with pictures.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Rapid
Section:
Date: 2009-05-16
Level: 1200 cfs
Participants: K-1: Randy Berube, Ron Chase, Bruce Weik, Greg Winston & T/C Brent Elwell OC-1: Roger Hassel
Report: The Rapid was not the scheduled run of the day, but neither the Carrabassett or Orbeton were high enough to run. The hardest thing about running this river is knowing if there will be enough water released to make it runnable. The flow phone is not updated until between 9:00 and 10:00 am the same day. It ended up that the group met in Bethel at 9:00 am and got confirmation soon after. The back up plan was to hike something local if there was no water. Ron and I ran the shuttle with much needed advice from Randy. There has been a lot of logging near the take out, so the road looks much different now. We had a good tail wind heading across the Pond in the River which was out of the ordinary. Randy decided to walk in to Smooth Ledge, so we met him and four other boaters there. It is very rare to have only ten boats on the Rapid. The fishermen outnumbered the boaters by at least 2 to 1. The forecasted rain started just as we carried the boats up to the take out road. We were lucky to get an early season run on this nice stretch of river before the summer crowds.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Machias
Section: 3rd Lake to Holmes
Date: 2009-05-01
Level: 1.9 to 1.7 Stud Mill gauge
Participants: Tom Meredith/Laurie Wunder - tandem; Kenny DeCoster - solo; Suzanne Cole/Helen Hess - tandem; Doug Field - solo; Tonia Kittleson/Erin Rees - tandem; Peter Brown/Helen Johnston - tandem; Dylan (AKA Dillon) Brown - solo; Nancy Chase (AKA The Bow Person Who
Report: On May 1st, a lucky group of 13 paddlers assembled at the Route 9 Bridge over the Machias River to stare intently at Airline Rapids. We consisted of five tandem teams and three solo paddlers. Our assessment, the water level was more than adequate and rain the previous night coupled with showers forecasted for the afternoon and evening should provide us with fluid conditions for our Mini-Machias Canoe Trip. After dropping vehicles at Holmes Falls, we drove to the outlet of 1st Machias Lake and set up camp, which allowed us to run the 7 to 8 mile section from 3rd Machias Lake to the campsite empty. Our very competent group ran technical Class III Long Falls without incident, enjoyed a very pleasant stretch of continuous Class II below and arrived at camp in plenty of time for a delicious evening meal. Arising early to sunny, warm conditions on Day 2, we packed our gear and paddled quick water to Carrick Rips, an easy Class III run with a “must miss” boulder at the bottom on river right. Continuing past the confluence with the West Branch, we encountered a steady diet of fun Class I/II rapids to Airline Rapids. Some of us scouted while others ran blind, but all had good runs except the Trip Coordinator, who insisted on going right against the wishes of The Bow Person Who Must Be Obeyed. “Thump,” answered the offended river gods. Sorry, Paul. We ate lunch at Airline Rapids Campground, while conversing with a group of Rhode Island river trippers who were just putting in. It seems they were on a different time schedule (Second Shift) and generally started their paddling mid-afternoon. Sunny conditions persisted and tailwinds propelled us 4 or 5 miles downriver to Little Falls, a solid Class III rapid with a river wide ledge drop. After a thorough scout, all had great runs with multiple photo opportunities. Since we were camping at this beautiful location, several in the group took the time to carry boats up for second runs. Day 3 began with sunshine and the ominous buzzing of a few black flies. By the time we reached the Wigwam Rapids about 5 miles downstream, the black flies were out in full force. Scouting the Class III 1st and 3rd Wigwam Rapids, we successfully ran all four. We ended our trip with a 4 mile flatwater paddle to Holmes Falls. Ours was an outstanding trip of good water on a classic river, fine weather and exceptional comraderie. The trip was replete with noteworthy events. Most memorable for me in more or less chronological order were Doug returning to form after heart surgery, Kenny and Helen Hess redeeming themselves with excellent runs on Long Falls, Suzanne showing us that she is more than just another pretty kayaker, Tom and Laurie nailing Carrick Rips, Peter and Helen having a picture perfect run at Little Falls, Erin and Tonia rescuing a runaway boat belonging to the Second Shift and Dylan catching a series of micro eddies on Upper Wigwam Rapid. For Nancy and I, the highlight was sharing the trip with a great group of friends while completing just our second tandem canoe trip in nearly 30 years. As with all trips, there were hills and valleys. Kenny lost his status as “The Man” to Peter on the second night out, only to regain the coveted title when Peter committed an egregious act of omission on the final boat shuttle. Dylan’s alter ego, Dillon, proved to be a tortilla toaster extraordinaire. We were already talking about next year (so what’s new?) before the trip had ended; the West Branch of the Machias, possibly the Gaspe and maybe Newfoundland.

Submitter: Kyle Duckworth
River: Kennebago
Section:
Date: 2009-04-26
Level:
Participants: Participants: TC Kyle Duckworth, Kenny “Bago” DeCoster (canoes); Randy Berube, Greg Hamilton, Clyde Mitchell, Russ Moody, Tom and Patti Rutka, Lauri Sibulkin, Kate Walsh (kayak); and Greg and Sharon Pelotte (shredder).


Report: TC Duckworth was subbing for Paul Plumer, who along with Morrill Nason has for years negotiated access through the locked gate on the Kennebago road. Of the 12 paddlers, 7 were making their first trip down the Kennebago. They were very lucky to have chosen this day to do it, as warm temperatures (mid-60’s) and a great water level (8.5’ on the gauge, or about 1000 cfs) resulted in a memorable and unusually fine run.

The Kennebago flows into Mooselookmeguntic Lake a few miles west of Rangeley. It is in many ways a perfect river. The first two or three miles warm you up with some class I and II rapids, building up to a class III before the lunch stop. But from there on down, you’ll need all those carbs from lunch as you negotiate fairly continuous class III and III+ rapids for another 2-3 miles. It’s down hill all the way, but with an even gradient and no severe ledge drops. You have to read the water as you go.

New members Greg Hamilton, Russ Moody, and Lauri Sibulkin were welcomed to the wonderful world of PPCS in fine fashion. Lauri (he says it’s a Finnish name but I can’t help thinking of a Boy Named Sue) had his hands full on the most challenging day of his month-old paddling habit. But he was utterly fearless, paddled hard, and had a perfect run. (A little coaching on the first half of the trip by Tom and Patti Rutka didn’t hurt either, and it was obvious from his several combat rolls that those pool sessions this winter had been worthwhile.)

Kenny DeCoster was pushing his envelope as well, and rose to the occasion. (If you haven’t paddled with him in a while – he’s come a long way since he bought that playboat last summer.) Running a dry line in an open canoe is not an easy task on the Kennebago, and several times he had to resort to what he called the “Kim Perkins technique” - boat full of water, point it down river, paddle like hell.

Greg and Sharon Pelotte, who had run the Kennebago the week before and had the rapids committed to memory, did a fine job probing for the group, and occasionally hopping out to set up a throw rope.

Advice for next year: Don’t change a thing, except remember to stay off of the shoulders on the road. Soft!

Submitter: Dave Lanman
River: Ossipee
Section: Kezar Falls to Cornish Station
Date: 2009-04-26
Level: Class 2; 7,030cfs (Saco Gauge)
Participants: Arne Klepinger, Jim Francoeur, Jim Tierney, Dave Lanman, Bob Radowicz, Jan Gauger, Dave Benham, Kathy Kinch, Rich Sousa, Carolyn Welch, Hildegarde Heary
Report: This was the annual MOAC Ossipee trip, which was posted for PPCS members as well. For some, this was the second Ossipee run of the season. The most significant difference between the earlier 4/12 run and this one was the much warmer air temperature. On the earlier trip, chilly extremities were the rule. On this trip, most were feeling overdressed in their wet suits. We met at the take-out on the Saco at Cornish Station at 9:00. We left some vehicles and headed to the put-in at the power station in Kezar Falls. We slid our boats down the slope to the race coming out of the power house, then headed out for the run to the takeout. Our group consisted of 3 tandem canoes, 3 solo canoes and 2 kayaks. One couple with a vintage wood and canvas canoe, which had sat in storage for a while, discovered that there was a leak. But with an occasional quick bail, it didn't slow them down much. We stopped just short of where the river splits around the large island to discuss going right or left, or both. Someone from the earlier trip, who had taken the right channel at that time, cautioned that a tree needed to be dodged. That said, the group chose the sharper drop of the left channel. After the island, the river changes from standing waves to fast water until another rapid just before the river enters the Saco. We stopped for lunch and conversation at a traditional spot on river right. In spite of the fact that the Saco Cornish gauge was lower (7,030cfs) than on the 4/12 (11,100cfs) the Ossipee level seemed just about the same, an indicator that using the Saco gauge to judge the Ossipee level may be further off than we thought. The trip was topped off with an ice cream stop on the way out. As usual, a good time had by all.

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Lower Carrabassett
Section: below Kingfield to wire bridge
Date: 2009-04-25
Level: medium class 2
Participants: T/Cs; Ken Severy and Carolyn Welch
7 paddlers, 7 boats: Solo canoes: Doug Field, Rich Sousa, Dave Lanman & Ken Severy; Kayaks: Jim Francoeur, Dave Wallace, and Carolyn Welch
Report: We met at McDonald’s in Farmington at 9:30, consolidated cars at the wire bridge take out, and convoyed up route 27 to the put in across from the yellow building with the green roof (Twitchell’s sign gone). Lots of sun and quite warm, about 70degrees, warming to over 80. No. Anson stream gauge: falling from c.2700 to c.2400cfs. We were in the water by 11:00. The medium level was about 1 foot higher than last week, so several spots were class 2. We played in the surfing waves, practiced our eddy sets, and arrived at the wire bridge about 1:00. We had lunch/snacks at the take out picnic table.
Doug Field suggested we try the small side stream which enters the Carrabassett just south of the wire bridge. The 5 small boaters put in on river right just above the 2nd bridge in town. Rich and Dave did the shuttle and watched us along the way. We portaged around a small dam. Lots of rocks! I got hung up a couple of times - Dave Wallace pulled me off a rock, and I came down one chute backwards…. We arrived at the take out in about 20 minutes. A lot of fun! Good call, Doug!
Soon we were at Gifford’s ice cream in Farmington. Another perfect day on the water!

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Lower Swift - New Hampshire
Section:
Date: 2009-04-25
Level:
Participants:
Report:

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Lower Swift - New Hampshire
Section:
Date: 2009-04-25
Level: Low
Participants: Kayak: Randy Berube, Greg Winston Open Canoe: Kyle Duckworth, Kevin Rogers Shredder: Greg & Sharon Pelotte, Brent Elwell & Morrill Nason
Report: The day was incredibly warm. The temperatures soared into the high 80's, but with water temperatures still really cold noone opted to dress too lightly for the summerlike conditons. This was Kyle's first run on the Swift and he made the most of it. The water level was on the low side which created new routes at the two most significant drops. It was possible to run both Cabin Gorge and the Staircase on the left side. Kyle provided the most excitement at Cabin Gorge with an expected eddy out above the final drop which necessitated a backwards run through the drop and a roll below it. There were still places to play - mostly front surfing. We were even able to find a great place for the shredder to side surf, but kept the shredder on a leash so it could be pulled out. The run lasted about four hours. Kyle came through at the take out with cold beverages for all before the shuttle was run. All the warm temperatures got the snow melting in a big way. According to the USGS gauges the Swift became quite a different animal the next day.

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Middle Saco
Section: Bartlett to Humphrey's Ledge
Date: 2009-04-20
Level: low
Participants: T/Cs: Carolyn Welch and Tom Sawyer
6 paddlers, 5 boats: Solo canoe: Tom Sawyer, Diane Sawyer, Rich Sousa; kayak: Jean Miller; tandem canoe: Erin Woodsome and Carolyn Welch.
Report: Chuck Kalil, owner of Humphrey’s Ledge area (cell phone 603-554-7870), was fine with our parking across the road and bring cars back across to load up at end of trip. I explained our paddlers were members of Penobscot Paddlers and/or AMC.
Our usual on the water leader, Ken Hutchins, had not completely recovered from knee surgery. Tom Sawyer, who has recently built a house quite nearby, graciously stepped up.
We met at 9:30 at the juncture of River Rd and West Side Rd in No. Conway. Tom reported that the level was down, but the thought we could get thru, maybe some scratchy spots. We left a car at the take out. The gauge at Bartlett Bridge showed about .4 which well below the 1.0 we like to see. We were in the water about 10:45. I hit a rock on river left and turned the canoe over just before the bridge. Our companions got us to shore, and we were good to continue. (Next time I will do river right under the bridge!) Tom & Diane know every bend in the river. We stopped for snack and lunch breaks; several folks gave me extra dry clothes which helped a great deal. Sun was mostly hazy, breeze a bit cool, between 45 to 50 degrees. Tom’s expert guidance got us thru with no further mishaps. We arrived at the take out gazebo about 4:15. The entrance had a cable across, but plenty of room to park. [There was even a portapotty, not yet taken away after a gathering earlier this month!] While we were loading up, Chuck Kalil and his young daughter came by. We thanked him, made introductions all around, and left about 4:45. Many thanks to the Sawyers for guiding us! A great day on the river.

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Lower Carrabassett
Section: below Kingfield to wire bridge
Date: 2009-04-19
Level: class 2, medium low.
Participants: T/Cs; Dave Lanman and Carolyn Welch
6 paddlers, 5 boats: Tandem canoe: Dave Lanman and Erin Woodsome. Kayaks: Jim Francoeur, Andrew Carey, Lauri Sibulkin, and Carolyn Welch
Report: On Friday eve Brent Elwell reported that the gauge under the bridge was running about ¾, so it seemed there would not be sufficient flow to do the middle section. No. Anson stream gauge: about 1800 cfs. We met at McDonald’s in Farmington at 10:00, consolidated cars at the wire bridge take out, and convoyed up to the put in across from the yellow building with the green roof (Twitchell’s sign gone). There was lots of sun and mild, about 55 degrees. We were in the water by 10:45. The medium low level made the trip mostly class 1. We played in the surfing waves, and practiced our eddy sets, and arrived at the wire bridge about 1:00. Sandy Francoeur (Jim’s wife) took photos from a spot in the rock garden. We had lunch/snacks at the take out picnic table. Jim and Andrew opted for a second run thru the rock garden. They put in at the second roadside turnout north of the wire bridge road. The bank is a bit steep, but they reported a good run, about ½ hr down to the wire bridge.
Some of us convened at Gifford’s in Farmington for a well deserved ice cream cone. Another great day on the water! And great photos by Sandy Francoeur!

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Kennebago
Section:
Date: 2009-04-19
Level: Medium
Participants: Morrill Nason & Brent Elwell - Shredder, Greg & Sharon Pelotte - Shredder, Steve West K-1 and Randy Berube K-1
Report: We had a nice sunny day on the river. There were still snowbanks in places on the sides of the road to remind us that winter was here not too long ago. The water temperatures were still on the cold side. There are excellent surf spots at this level. Morrill estimated the water level at between 600 - 700 cfs. Randy and Steve tried to hit as many of these as they could. This was Steve's first trip down the Kennebago and he enjoyed it. This is also a very shredder friendly river with many good play spots for the inflatables. This river is much more manageable in a small group. Morrill routinely had huge groups when he ran trips here 10 to 20 years ago. We encountered people fly fishing about halfway down the river. This was the only time that I can recall encountering fishermen on an April trip. A word of warning about the moose - they are out in full force. I saw ten on the drive between the take out of the Maine Swift and Rangeley on Saturday evening. One was even lying down in the road. Please be careful if you are headed into the western Maine this weekend.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Almost Heaven West Virginia
Section:
Date: 2009-04-18
Level: Class III thru V
Participants: Nancy Chase, Jim Smoot-PA, Bruce Weik, Jason McAllister-MD, Carlisle Landel-DE (co-conspirator), Suzanne Cole, Gary Cole, Carolyn Young-MA, Frank Yulling-MA, Jill Benson-NC, Jake Tipton-NC (co-conspirator), Stella Benson Tipton-NC, Dana Hoffman-NC, Mark "
Report: Where is whitewater West Virginia, the curious PPCS paddler asked? This writer considers it to be an area not a state – southwestern Pennsylvania, western Maryland and the State of West Virginia. The common denominator being steep mountain rivers and creeks located in the central Appalachian Mountains of the Mid-Atlantic region. West Virginia was the site of our recent PPCS whitewater trip. We were a large interstate group of PPCS paddlers and friends. Boating rivers with rapids named Big Splat, Little Splat, Wonder Falls, Undercut, Shoulder Snapper, Hard Tongue, Dimple, and The Hook (respectfully called “Mister” Hook), we experienced runs rated Class II/III through IV/V and activities also included hiking, museum meandering, and Class III shopping. It was a trip of extremes, contrasts and very exciting challenges. We overcame “ignominy” on the Lower Yough, steep, creeky runs on the Middle Fork, Upper Big Sandy and Lower Big Sandy, intimidating big volume water and carnage on the Tygart Gorge, covert culvert capers and seemingly endless portages on mysterious Saltlick Creek, a rollicking, rockum-sockum ride down one of the classic Class IV/V runs anywhere, Lower Big Sandy Creek, and finishing our trip with hundreds of fellow boaters celebrating the arrival of spring run-off at Stony Creek Rendezvous. Our hardy band of Chowderheads overcame a multitude of obstacles including medical problems, bad river karma, a mile-long railroad track carry, nasty swims, a runaway boat, a cattle herding shuttle, cold, raw weather with “near snow” precipitation coupled with horizontal winds, “bad boat” syndrome, barbed wire strainers, hair trimming culvert runs, a boat ejection, missing dams, guidebook malfeasance, a vicious on-river attack by a crazed goose and a suspected plot to overthrow the Trip Coordinator. Persevering, we ran dozens of Class IV and V rapids, caught most of our “must catch” eddies, rolled and rolled some more, and generally had a most outstanding and stimulating whitewater West Virginia adventure. Logistics, particularly organizing shuttles and shuttle drivers, was perhaps the most significant off river impediment. Special thanks to Gary Cole who provided the only truck for most of the week carrying a disproportionate share of boats, gear and shuttle responsibilities. Bruce Weik also was a major shuttle player with his aging Honda Civic, particularly noteworthy was a four hour round-trip shuttle from Albright, West Virginia to Hollsopple, Pennsylvania. Other shuttle participants were Nancy Chase, Jim Smoot, Carlisle Landel, Suzanne Cole, Jason McAllister, Jake Tipton, Jill Benson, Dana Hoffman, Mark Hoffman, Carolyn Young and Dave Kogut. Especially helpful was Jason McAllister, who volunteered to provide the group with river gauge readings on his non-paddling days. There were too many adventures and misadventures to relate in a trip report, so stay tuned for the rest of the story and exciting, real-life photos of your fellow club members in the 2010 Trip Book or visit my blog site at Trekalong.com.

Submitter: Dave Lanman
River: Ossipee
Section: Kezar Falls to Cornish Station
Date: 2009-04-12
Level: Class 2; 11,100cfs (Saco Gauge)
Participants: Dave Lanman, Jim Francoeur, Dave Butler, Ron Adolf, Craig McKinnon, Doug Field, Kim and Jim Gass, Kevin Piccone, Andrew Carey
Report: We met at the take-out on the Saco at Cornish Station at 1:00. Air temperature was about 41 degrees, but the occasional strong gusts made the wind chill that much less comfortable. We consolidated some gear to leave vehicles at the take-out and headed to the put-in at the power station in Kezar Falls. The right turn off Rt. 25 on to Garner Ave., which leads to Powerhouse Rd., is marked by a house with a blue roof which can be used as a landmark, as the Garner Ave. sign has disappeared from the sign post. The power house gate was open, which is unusual, and facilitated our dropping boats right at the put-in. The operator was kind enough to wait for us all to unload our gear before closing the gate. We put in down the steep slope to the race coming out of the power house, then headed out in the large standing waves for the approximately six mile run to the takeout. Our group consisted of 4 solo canoes, 1 tandem canoe and 4 kayaks. I believe that 3 folks had not done this run before. The river forks around a large island (marked for several years now by what looks like a shed that drifted there and stuck) about a mile after the put in. The group opted to split, some taking the sharper, shorter drop to the left, others the easier, longer channel to the right. We met on the confluence on the other side and continued. The Ossipee then meanders as fast water quickly through the country side and under several bridges. There is another rapid just before the Ossipee enters the Saco. At this level, most rocks were washed out, but standing waves were plentiful. We use the Saco Cornish gauge as an approximate indicator of what the Ossipee level will be. In the last several years, we have run it in the spring as low as 8,000cfs and as high as 12,500cfs. We had one kayak over just before we entered the Saco, but he recovered quickly, happier that it had happened at the end of the run rather than the beginning. At the take-out, complaints of cold hands and feet were common, but all were glad for the afternoon on the water.

Submitter: Kyle Duckworth
River: Souadabscook and Marsh Stream
Section:
Date: 2009-04-11
Level:
Participants: TC Kyle Duckworth, Richard Benner, Peter Brown, Ron Chase, Chris Colin, Kenny DeCoster, Helen Hess, Brent Elwell, Scott Gee, Bud Gilbert, Scott Nelson, Jeff Nichols, Dan Pelletier, Kate Walsh, Steven West, Greg Winston, David Whittingham, Michael Young
Report: Since 2006, PPCS has provided safety boaters and people on shore with throw ropes at the major rapids during the Souadabscook and Marsh Stream downriver races. These two races have the most difficult whitewater of any in the series of weekly races run each spring, so it is essential to the safety and peace of mind of the racers to have us there.

At Saturday’s Souadabscook race, we split up into twos and threes and drove or paddled a short distance to our assigned rapid. The Sou was running high this year, so there was good action at several spots, particularly the drop above the Manning Mill bridge (at the put-in). After the race we all gathered back at the put-in for our own run of the river. While the racers thought the water level was a little more than they would have liked, we felt it was just fine, and surfed and played all the way to the old water works in Hampden.

On Sunday, we found both the air temperature and water level at Marsh Stream to be a bit low for our taste. Turnout for the race was lower too, probably because it was Easter. So it was an off-year in terms of rescue opportunities. But again, we got in a run of the river after the race. The gang scouted Flat Rock Falls, a 60-yard-long sloping ledge, and a handful of people ran it on the far right (a line you’d never take at higher water.)

Race organizer ACA New England donates proceeds from entry fees and sponsors to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Maine. In the past, they have paid up to $500 to outside organizations to provide safety personnel. PPCS does it for free, so that much more money can be donated to charity. PPCS member and Souadabscook race chairman Gary Brooks reported that the Sou race netted about $1400 and the Marsh around $1100 this year. Thanks to everyone who gave up all or part of their weekend for the good of others!

Submitter: Skip Pendleton
River: St. George
Section: Woodmans Mill to 105 takeout
Date: 2009-04-05
Level: high / just below flood stage
Participants: Nancy & Ron Chase,David Boyle,Larry Litchfield,Rich Roughgarden David Butler, Steve Gifford, Skip Pendleton
Report: This St. George River trip starts at Woodman’s Mill and goes for about 10.6 miles to the takeout in North Appleton, route 105.. There is a must take, out where it crosses under route 131 in Searsmont Village. The water level was high and the river was cranking,just under real flood stage. In this group of 8 we had 2 tandem canoes 2 solo canoes and 2 kayaks. At the start below the bridge is a double ledge drop with some nice standing waves, next is a tight fit under or a take out around a snowmobile bridge. About 2 miles of moving flat water, then about a quarter mile of rapids + a ledge to go over, more flat water.At about 3.5 miles starts more rapids for about 1.5 mile to route 131 which we carried over. However the excitement started before this! Partway down these last rapids is a old dam site, then a bridge under route 173. The exciting part was we manage to pin one of those tandem canoes on the 2 large rocks in the middle of the river and the middle of the drop/ dam site.A week ago I did good wipe out at this same spot in my kayak With the river really moving, there was plenty of excitement. The only thing missing was a camera. The real good news was the great team work getting the people safely on shore with throw lines and then getting the canoe off the rocks. Great training exercise and great team work. Stopping for a lunch,and then paddling for about 2 miles to the next stretch of rapids. The water level covered most of the rocks, the river pushed us very fast through the 1.5 miles of rapids.Lots of standing waves, the canoes had to do some bailing. Many of the best surfing waves were wiped out.Maygog Drop was hardly there, just a long tongue of water. In a few more minutes we were at the take out..Another great trip to enter into the memory book. Wish you could all have been with us. CHEERS SKIP PS I checked the river today (04-07-09) there was a foot of water over those rocks.

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Sheepscot
Section: Kings Mills to Head Tide
Date: 2009-03-28
Level: class 2 est 750 cfs
Participants: 8 paddlers: solo canoe: Dave Lanman and Bob Gonyea; kayak: Dave Boyle, Denny Harnish, Jim Francoeur, and Carolyn Welch tandem canoe: Erin Woodsome and Alan Anderjcak
Report: It was the day after a good spring rain, so the water level had come up a few inches since our paddle here last Sunday. All the stream gauges showed iced in except the Sebasticook, which had been about 1550 cfs last Sunday, and was up to about 2100 cfs today. We met at the takeout at Head Tide at 9:30. The water was about 2 feet below the dam. It took a while to do the shuttle and get everyone launched. Dave Lanman managed to slip off his canoe while launching – good thing water was only a foot deep, so only his legs got wet. During the wait Erin decided the conditions were still too wintry, and she decided not to go. Altho Alan had his kayak, he decided not to paddle. It was overcast, with a high of 53 degrees predicted, but it didn’t get up to 40 while we were on the river. There was still a lot of ice and snow at the put in and take out, blocks of ice perched on boulders in the river, actually a pretty chilly day. The water was a medium low level – lots of rocks, much fun doing eddy sets and surfing. We admired Bob Gonyea’s poling technique. At the takeout, Dave Boyle managed to get himself and me ashore quite near the parking lot. The rest took out about 50 yards upstream, and pulled boats over the snow to the parking lot. It was about 12:30. Alan was waiting for us at the takeout with my canoe, interested in the second run. As we were loading up, talking about a second run, Paul Plummer arrived, planning to do an afternoon run, and invited us to join him. However, none of our group decided to brave the chill a second time. Still, it had been a good day on my favorite river

Submitter: Dave Lanman
River: Sheepscot
Section: Kings Mills-Head Tide
Date: 2009-03-22
Level: Class 2
Participants: Carolyn Welch, Dave Lanman, Dave Butler, Skip Pendleton, Kenny DeCoster, Rich Sousa, Roger Hassol
Report: We met at 10:00AM and launched at Kings Mills in Whitefield to do this four mile stretch of flat water and Class II whitewater to Head Tide Dam. Skip and Carolyn had their kayaks. The rest had solo canoes. For all but Skip, who had done the St. George, it was the first paddle of the season. It was a year to the day of our first run on the Sheepscot last year, and conditions were similar with high snow banks to negotiate at the put-in and a small, ice encircled pool to stage in before heading out into the wash below the dam. Dave L., attempting to ski down the snow bank in his Tripper, had nothing but air to brace on at a critical point and tipped over in the pool (to his chagrin, this spill was to be repeated at the same place a week later, under slightly different circumstances). But recovery was quick, and we headed on our way. Air temperature was upper thirties, and the sun helped warm us as it darted in and out of the clouds. The gauge on Route 126 was still reading “ice” on the USGS website, but the river was open. The level was three or so feet below the top of the dam, providing enough cover so it was not too bony, but with rocks exposed for play. We surfed and played in the eddies, chatted on the flat stretches and slipped past ice sheets teetering on the rocks and extending from the shore. By the time we remembered to check the remnants of the the annual snow sculpture near the top of the long rapid, we had already passed it, so who knows what we missed. At the take-out, ice and snow shelves prevented us from landing at the usual place near the rock, but we found a grassy area farther upstream, and tromped with our boats over the snow to the parking lot. A bit too chilly for a second run, but I good day had by all.

Submitter: Suzanne Cole
River: Sunday River Whitecap
Section:
Date: 2009-02-28
Level:
Participants: Suzanne and Gary Cole, Tom Meredith, Laurie Wonder, Bruce Weik, and Karen.


Report: The last day in February turned out to be a great day for a hike. The six of us climbed Sunday River Whitecap. Although the weather was colder and windier than we expected, and some of us wore those “reserve” layers, we had a good day. Starting from Route 26, at a parking spot slightly uphill from Screw Auger Falls, we started off on a snowmobile trail. We followed this for about one mile and headed uphill into the woods (yes - bushwacking) on the left side of a stream. The intent was to follow this stream until we intersected the Grafton Loop Trail near Miles Notch. As we were following a logging road that ran basically parallel to the stream, we noticed that it was flagged so we followed the flagging which was headed in the right direction. We followed the flagging until it came to a boundary pin and realized we were too far south, and had missed the Grafton Loop Trail. We backtracked to a relatively open area and headed east toward what we hoped was the summit of Sunday River Whitecap. We came out onto a big open area and found a trail leading to the summit. This was not the trail we expected to cross. It was very exposed, but sheltered somewhat from the wind. It had great views of the Presidentials, Goose Eye, and Sunday River Ski area. We were able to reach the top on snowshoes and bare boots by maneuvering around the ice. Time at the top was brief because of the wind, but we found a sheltered area where we added Pleasant Mt. and Mt. Abrams to our southeasterly views, and to the north, Mt. Abraham, Saddleback, and Mt. Blue were visible. We headed down the trail we initially intended to come up. This was mildly unpleasant as we were walking into the wind and there was an exposed section to cover before we got into the trees again. We found the trail, and with slight difficulty stayed on it until it intersected our earlier tracks. It was easy to see why we missed the trail on the way up; you would have had to look behind you to see the blaze. Nearing the end of the hike, Karen spotted a porcupine in a tree, which held our attention for a while, and Gary helped a snowmobiler get unstuck and back on the snowmobile trail.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Baxter State Park
Section:
Date: 2009-02-28
Level:
Participants: Kim Perkins, Greg Winston, Brad Fox, Steve Ward, Brent Elwell, Allen Gaskell and TC
Report: LLOYD BROWN MEMORIAL BAXTER STATE PARK WINTER TRIP - Our winter trip into Baxter State Park was dedicated to our great friend and mountaineering buddy, Lloyd Brown, who passed away last spring at 60. For many years, Lloyd was a mainstay in the Maine hiking community and Baxter State Park was one of his favorite outdoor haunts. The original intent of our trip was a traverse of the entire park from south to north on sleds. On day one, we hauled heavy, gear-laden sleds 12.5 miles to Roaring Brook. The following day, five of us hiked to spectacular Hamlin Ridge and Chimney Pond while two members of the group broke trail and probed rugged Russell Pond Trail with the intent of pulling sleds to Russell Pond on Day 3. A perfect storm of circumstances (snowstorm, poor trail conditions, difficult stream crossings and the availability of an alternative park itinerary) dictated a change in plans. Remaining in the southern end of the park for 5 more days, we continued our adventure by sledding to Chimney Pond Campground where we held a memorial ceremony for Lloyd on icy Chimney Pond and explored remote North Basin. On the succeeding days, we snowshoed the Russell Pond and Wassataquoik Trails, climbed to the summit of majestic South Turner Mountain for panoramic views of the Katahdin Massif and ended with a snowy sled out of the park. In summary, it was an exciting, challenging winter adventure in a frozen mountainous wonderland while inundated with mindless, confusing park rules and regulations inconsistently administered. Lloyd, who was on our minds throughout, would have loved every minute.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Juniper Lodge
Section:
Date: 2009-02-14
Level:
Participants: Ellis, Orrin, Gretchen & Daryn Slover, Helen Johnston, Peter Brown, Kim Perkins, Brent Elwell, Nancy Chase and TC
Report: Juniper Lodge (www.juniperlodge.com), a magical winter retreat where snow is limitless, ski trails continuously groomed wicked fast, and it's always Happy Hour. We converged on the lodge for four great days of cross country skiing, dog sledding, skijouring, and hanging out at the hot tub. We enjoyed outstanding communal meals and a great, relaxing social time. The snow was fantastic, our personal groomer, Rodney Reed, did an excellent job, and Andrea Reed cooked up some great food. Couldn't have been better. For the rest of the story and some great pictures, visit my blogsite at www.trekalong.com, click on ChaseOutdoors and see Juniper Jollification.

Submitter: Suzanne Cole
River: Mt. Blue
Section:
Date: 2009-01-31
Level:
Participants: Gary and Suzanne Cole, Ron and Nancy Chase, Brent Elwell and Steve Ward.


Report: Because of conditions, we were looking for a possible ski / hike combination. Steve came up with the idea of Mt. Blue, and off we went. The six of us drove as far as we could on the Mt. Blue Road and parked where they had stopped plowing. We skied about 2 ½ miles until we reached the trail head where we changed over to snowshoes. Brent continued on his backcountry stubby skis to the fire warden’s cabin. The hike was short, 1 ½ miles, and steep. We took turns breaking trail until Brent forged ahead because he wanted to get a workout. At the top, we took time to eat lunch and take in the view to the south and east. The trip down was uneventful but still entertaining; we watched Brent “crash down” - whoops - I meant “come down” on his little skis. At the trail head, the rest of us changed over to skis again and glided back to the cars. On this last segment of the trip, some of us noticed the print of a roughed grouse landing. On the side of the trail, we saw a beautiful splayed feather pattern in the snow with foot prints leading off into the woods.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River:
Section:
Date: 2009-01-10
Level:
Participants: Participants: Ben, Caroline & Sam Mathis, Gary & Suzanne Cole, Greg Winston, Jim Tierney and T/C Brent Elwell
Report: The snow conditions were very good as we just had some powder snow dumped on the trail a couple days earlier. The temperatures were a bit on the chilly side. The trail was groomed recently, so no trail breaking was required. The skate skiing was great!!! Five of the eight members of the group opted for skate skiing. The whole Mathis family was skiing on skate skis including Gary and me. The balance of the group skied on the classical skis. The “Huts to Trails” trail starts near Valley Crossing and has a nice parking lot at the trailhead. We were actually able to start from camp about a half mile south of the trailhead and avoid driving the extra distance. There is no fee to use the trail which even makes the trail more attractive. It is about a 2.5 mile climb up to the first hut. Four of the skate skiing group decided to ski beyond the hut to the Carriage road and then return to the hut to eat lunch with the rest of the group. They served a great lunch for $8 at the hut. It was nice to warm up and have warm food. Later in the day Greg and I encountered a big group snowshoeing in the hut for a gourmet dinner. They planned to hike out in the moonlight after dinner. After lunch the hut staff gave us a tour of the power facilities which includes hydropower and solar panels. The hut also has a composting toilet system. After the tour we headed back to the camp. The trip back was fast with almost all of it downhill. It was good to have the Mathis family along on this trip. This was the first time I had ever met them.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Camden Hills Traverse
Section:
Date: 2008-11-22
Level:
Participants: Paula Lunt, Dave Duggan, Dave Boyle, Nancy Chase and TC
Report: It was a cold, snowy, blustery day for our Camden Hills State Park Traverse. We departed from the Youngstown Road Trailhead, hiked up the Snowmobile Trail, followed the Loop Trail, which connects with the old Route One Trail, to the summit of Bald Rock where we enjoyed sporadic views. After descending Bald Rock, the group followed the Cameron Mountain Trail to Cameron Mountain, which is an interesting barren summit that overlooks the winery on Youngstown Road. Despite carefully reading our maps, we somehow missed our connection with Zeke's Trail and wandered off in the wrong direction - how many hikers does it take to read a trail map? After some "free mileage," we regained our bearings, followed Zeke's Trail to the Ridge Trail and over the summit of Megunticook to Ocean Overlook where we had unfettered views of beautiful Camden Harbor and Penobscot Bay. Crossing the Tablelands Trail to the summit of Mount Battie, we then dropped steeply into the Town of Camden. All in all, we had an excellent day of hiking and enjoyed the company of Paula who was on her first PPCS Fall/Winter trip.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Mount Monadnock
Section:
Date: 2008-11-09
Level:
Participants: Nancy Chase and TC
Report: Due to stormy weather, the Franconia Ridge trip morphed into Mount Madison, South Moat Mountain and finally Mount Monadnock. Participants dropped out along the way and the trip became a family affair, which made cherry picking the peak based on weather a less complicated process and the final decision was made at 7:45 A.M. on the day of the hike. We made a fortunate choice enjoying great weather on a spectacular peak that is the most popular mountain climb in the world (well, maybe second, as there is some dispute as to whether that dubious honor belongs to Mount Fuji or Monadnock). Following the directions in an excellent guidebook (that would be Mountains for Mortals - New England), we easily located the trailhead and completed the White Dot and White Cross Loop hike in a little over 4.5 hours with an extended stay on the distinctive, exposed summit with 360 degree views.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Lake Traverse
Section:
Date: 2008-10-25
Level:
Participants: Kim Perkins, Allen Gaskell, Randy Berube and TC
Report: The first Fall/Winter Trip of the season was a 3 day sea kayak traverse of Lower & Upper Richardson, Mooselookmeguntic and Cupsuptic Lakes. A forecasted fall storm with gusty winds from the south forced a last minute change in plans to a south to north traverse. Beginning in the tiny community of South Arm on Lower Richardson, we paddled north with blustery tail winds and breaking waves at a rate of 4.8 miles per hour (according to Randy's GPS) to Black Point on Upper Richardson. We quickly raised tarps and tents and hunkered down for a stormy night of heavy rains and howling winds. Clearing conditions greeted us in the morning. Paddling north, we portaged around the dam to Mooselookmeguntic Lake. Gentle tail winds propelled us up the west side of the lake to Stoney Batter Point campsite opposite Bald Mountain. Sunny conditions allowed us to dry our gear, while savoring a potluck supper in the shadows of Bald Mountain (there was insufficient time to bag the peak). The trip ended on a particularly high note with a beautiful, clear sunny paddle north through Cupsuptic Lake. A couple of particularly noteworthy events punctuated the trip: Kim paddled a sea kayak for the first time under quite challenging circumstances quickly adapting to the use of a "training paddle" and we experienced a spirited competition between the consummate gear guys, Allen and Randy. At the take out, Allen observed something to the effect that Randy wasn't quite ready for primetime and Randy countered that Allen was over-the-hill - Kim and the TC were glassy-eyed. Next fall - traverse of Moosehead.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Sea Kayak Coast of MDI
Section:
Date: 2008-10-12
Level:
Participants: Melissa Howes, Randy Berube, Ken Gordon, Steve Ward, Pierre Larue and TC - apologies if I've forgotten anyone
Report: We had near perfect paddling conditions for a paddle along the east shore of Mount Desert Island from Bar Harbor to Seal Harbor. With sunny skies and gentle breezes, we embarked from the public landing near Bar Island on the west side of Bar Harbor. After paddling past town and the breakwater, we experienced outstanding views along the rugged shoreline passing Champlain Mountain, Schooner Head, and Great Head to Sand Beach, where we enjoyed a leisurely lunch while providing entertainment for curious onlookers. After lunch, we navigated along Gorham Mountain past Thunder Hole, Otter Cliffs, Hunters Head, and Ingraham Point to Seal Harbor. We had a spectacular paddle and boat experimentation was the order of the day, as Melissa was in my boat, I in Josee Paquet's, and Pierre in anyone's who would let him.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Frenchman Bay Sea Kayak
Section:
Date: 2008-10-11
Level:
Participants: Nancy Chase, Gary Cole, Suzanne Cole, Helen Hess, Chris (husband of Helen, unsure of last name), Pierre Larue, Josee Paquet, Ritchie Bedard, Ken Gordon, Randy Berube, Steve Ward, Dave Wallace & TC - apologies for anyone I've forgotten
Report: The mission: A traverse of Frenchman Bay from Bar Harbor to Winter Harbor. Our biggest obstacle turned out to be the shuttle, which took more than 2 hours round trip and included incredibly slow traffic and active road construction on a Saturday. We had outstanding weather island hopping past the Porcupines with a gentle tailwind at our backs. After an easy open water crossing, we navigated Halibut Hole between Jordan and Ironbound Islands, continued along Grindstone Neck and then north to Winter Harbor. We experienced near perfect paddling conditions and, despite the long shuttle, arrived back in time for the Fall Supper.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Fall Supper Bootleg Biking
Section:
Date: 2008-10-10
Level:
Participants: Alice Douglas, Bill "Grampy" Kaiser, Nancy Chase and TC
Report: Unable to control our enthusiasm for the scheduled weekend of activities, this intrepid band arrived early to test their questionable biking skills on the Carriage Trails of Acadia. Fear is always a factor when riding with Grampy Kaiser, as his stated goal is to run down anything in his path (he takes particular glee in a prior dog collision on the Franconia Notch Bike Trail). Keeping Grumpy, I mean Grampy, safely between us, we had a pleasant ride around Eagle Lake with no casualties. Contentious debate then arose over continuation of the ride and we angrily departed company with Alice, Grampy, and Nancy storming off on the Witch Hole Loop, while I road west on one of the world's best rides - Around the Mountain. Returning from our respective adventures, we made amends and headed to Kyle & Laura's for wine, food and song.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Bootleg Webster Brook & East B
Section:
Date: 2008-09-17
Level:
Participants: Kenny DeCoster, Kim Perkins, Helen Hess, Doug Field & Ron Chase (later joined by Paul Plumer)
Report: Trip participants assembled at club member and Maine Guide Dan Pelletier's house in Alton on a sunny September morning for a planned canoe trip on historic and remote Webster Brook and East Branch of the Penobscot. Since Dan was unable to join us, we hired him and his boat trailer for our shuttle. After paying exhorbitant fees to enter the Allagash Wilderness Waterway and fending off overly curious waterway officials, we embarked from Chamberlain Bridge Thorofare and had an uneventful but scenic 7 mile crossing of Telos Lake. After portaging the dam at the outlet, we encountered medium low water for our trip down Telos Cut, where loggers rerouted the north woods waterflow 150 years earlier. The cut contains continuous Class II+ whitewater and a steady gradient, which made for difficult navigating with full boats. One member pinned and swamped his boat and our rescue skills were fully tested. We spent night one at the Telos Cut Campsite at the outlet of the cut, where four members of the group conspired to burn a hole in the Trip Scribe's canoe with a cookstove. A follow-up investigation determined that no one knew how it happened and, most certainly, no one was to blame. On Day Two, we paddled three miles across Webster Lake, stopping at the Baxter State Park Ranger Cabin, and entered beautiful, remote and exciting Webster Brook. After about 2.5 miles of continuous Class II whitewater, we passed a BSP lean-to campsite on the right and then successfully challenged Class III Indian Carry Pitch, a multi-level ledge drop. Three additional Class III drops followed with the Trip Scribe swamping in a hole while probing the third drop - only desperate upstream braces, sheer luck and the river gods kept him in his boat. After carrying Grand Pitch, three members of the group paddled the Class III/IV outflow and then all participants successfully ran two additional III/IV drops - with one running the final drop in reverse. On Day three, we paddled down Matagamon Lake in the shadows of rugged Horse Mountain in just a little over 3.5 hours, portaged the outlet dam, and ran Class II whitewater to the Matagamon Wilderness Campground, where we enjoyed a restful afternoon of cards, showers, and clothes-drying while awaiting the expected arrival of Paul Plumer. On Day Four, Paul arrived in a cloud of dust with his scarf blowing out the Subaru window at 9:25 A.M. The six of us descended the East Branch in beautiful sunny weather surrounded by autumn colors and Traveler Mountain Range to our immediate west. After 4.5 miles of quickwater, we easily ran Class II+ Stairs Falls and arrived at the first of four "mandatory" portages in this section, Haskell Pitch. After carefully scouting the entire rapid, which is about 1/4 mile long, we ran everything with just one minor casualty at the bottom of the pitch. Continuing downriver, we portaged Pond Pitch and Grand Pitch, where we camped next to the magnificent falls. On our final day, we portaged the top of Hulling Machine, ran the Class II/III outflow, Class II Bowline Rips and finished our trip with a 16 mile stretch of quickwater to our planned takeout near Whetstone Falls. We were blessed on our trip with a great shuttle driver, outstanding fall weather, good water levels and a fine group of paddlers, the boat burning incident notwithstanding. Ron Chase Trip Scribe

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Forks Weekend
Section:
Date: 2008-08-30
Level:
Participants: Nancy Chase, Dan Pelletier, Doug Field, Kyle Duckworth, Adam Chase, Sandy Ross, John Brower, Ken Gordon, Julia Richmond, Randy Berube, Patti Rutka, TJ Rutka, Morrill Nason, Bruce Weik, Dave Wallace, Melissa Howes, Quebec Guests: Pierre Larue & Richie Beda
Report: Saturday, the group paddled Canada Falls at about 600 cfs in cloudy, but warm weather. We had a large group and experienced some minor carnage at the falls. Otherwise, it was a good day but we had insufficient time for a second run. The group feasted on a great potluck supper at the Webb's Campground. On Sunday, we had 15 boats for a beefy 5500 cfs. It was an outstanding day of surfing and riding the big waves while enjoying continuous grins from Melissa and Nancy on their first shredder run together. Most of our group then went to Melissa's camp on beautiful Moxie Pond for a cookout. On Labor Day, we had a smaller group for multiple releases on the Kennebec. We hurried to the put-in for a 4800 cfs release to Magic and then waited for the 7500 cfs release for the balance of the run. We did have one swim in the Alley Way, but were able to pick up all of the pieces before Z Turn Rapid. All in all, it was another outstanding weekend of paddling and socializing.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Jewell Island
Section:
Date: 2008-08-23
Level: Sea Kayak Trip
Participants: Marion McCord, Dave Duggan, Steve Ward, Randy Berube, Nancy Chase and TC
Report: Jewell Island is a gem. Our group departed from the Dolphin Marina in South Harpswell and headed south into Casco Bay with an outgoing tide and a gentle headwind. Motorized boat traffic was light with moderate swells as we passed the west side of Horse Island, so we opted to take the approximately 5 mile open water crossing directly to Jewell Island, stopping briefly at the Brown Cow ledges. We had 2 to 4 foot seas for the last 2 miles and decided to land on the west side of Jewell in "Cocktail Harbor" to avoid disembarking in the waves. Sailboats and campers abounded on this popular destination island, but we found a nice, uninhabited beach just south of the old pier. We located the trail system nearby and hiked about a half mile to the old military towers that we believe were used to protect Portland Harbor during World War II. The towers provided outstanding views in all directions and interesting insight into a different time. After a nice lunch on the beach, we navigated around the south end of the island in fairly big seas and continued along the east shore with steady 4 foot waves. Attempts to enter Punch Bowl Cove were frustrated by waves crashing through narrow openings in treacherous appearing ledges, so we continued northeast with the tide and winds at our back to historic Eagle Island, home of the Admiral Peary home. Just prior to reaching Eagle, we entered turbulent water near submerged ledges that challenged all paddlers. After an extended rest on the beach below the Peary home, we finished our 13 mile trip paddling north past Upper Flag Island to South Harpswell. It was a near perfect day of paddling with beautiful weather and outstanding conditions.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Magalloway
Section: Power Station to Bridge
Date: 2008-08-23
Level: 1200 cfs
Participants: Gary & Suzanne Cole, Julia Richmond, Brent Elwell T/C K-1 John Brower, Tom Sawyer OC-1 Tee Brower, John Pratt & Diane Sawyer Shuttle Drivers
Report: The higher of the two release levels always creates a jack rabbit start to this run. The first half mile had some trees down which you had pay attention to. The river was very uncrowded. We only saw a handful of other boaters. The group chose to take two runs on the river. The first run was much more surfing focused than the second. The front surfing spot had three waves that could be front surfed fairly easily. The second run generated more group excitement as we had one swimmer at the last big ledge drop, but all the pieces got picked up fine. This river has one of the sweetest shuttles of any river in the Northeast - only a couple of highway miles. It was a very good day to be on the river with warm temperatures and sunny condtions. This trip was Julia Richmond's first trip to the Magalloway. Most of the group overnighted near Rangeley and hiked the Bemis Range on Sunday. It was an exellent hike with many berry picking opportunities.

Submitter: Suzanne Cole
River: South Branch of the Penobscot
Section: Canada Falls
Date: 2008-08-16
Level: 600 cfs.
Participants: Gary and Suzanne Cole, Brent Elwell, Bruce Wiek, John Brower, Randy Berube, Ken Gordon, Greg Winston, & Clyde Mitchell
Report: Our original plan, plan "A", was to boat the West Branch. However, this plan was foiled because they were releasing over 3200 cfs, and it just isn't as much fun that high. So, we went to plan "B" and took our trip to Canada Falls. The slide flipped a few of us and some ran the right side of Upper Split Decision,which is usually run on the left. The trip went well until the takeout where Ken Gordon had a flat tire. Unfortunately, this is way too common an experience at this takeout, and we suspect the sharp rocks used to create the parking lot. Fortunately for Ken, Randy had a breaker bar and was able to remove the lug nuts that were not coming off with the tire wrench that Ken had. Thus, Ken was able to get to Roll Dam on the little tiny spare.
Most of us boated Roll Dam in the afternoon and joined Helen's group there. Sunday, most of us joined Helen's trip on Roll Dam, while Randy and Greg paddled the West Branch. Jonathan Wheaton broke his paddle surfing at the put in but was able to borrow a paddle so he could continue down river. Monday, Jonathan Wheaton, Gary and Suzanne Cole went to the West Branch and paddled from Big A to the Horserace.

Submitter: Peter Brown
River: Dead
Section: Lower
Date: 2008-07-27
Level: 1300
Participants: OC-1: Wendy Weiger, BB Adams, Helen Hess, Kenny DeCoster, Ben Mathes, Ben Meader, Tom Meredith, Dan Pelletier, Skip Pendleton. OC-2: Peter Brown and Helen Johnston. K-1: Laurie Wunder. Duckie: Caroline Mathes
Report: Rain fell all night Saturday. Then it really started to rain during the drive into Spencer. There were some mutinous whispers of “sore shoulders”, “not enough warm clothing”, “thunderstorms”, and the like. But we ignored Kenny and pressed on. By the time we were in our boats, the rain had stopped, and by Hayden’s the concern was for sunscreen. We were lucky again to have two kind shuttle drivers (Scott Howell and Sam Mathes). Tom and Laurie made an early exit at the gravel pit to get started back to New Hampshire (something about work!!). As this was a warmer day than Saturday we had lots of boat-swapping and surfing, which led to more swimming. Most swims ended with Dan scooping up the swimmer in his Legend for the paddle down to their own boat. This was also Wendy Weiger’s first ever run of the Dead River.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Kennebec
Section: Gorge
Date: 2008-07-27
Level: 5000 cfs
Participants: Ryan Galway, Jason McAllister, Evan Eichorn, Steve West, Doug Field, Brent Elwell, Greg Winston, John Brower, Kevin Rogers, Colby Libby and TC
Report: We had a beautiful, sunny summer day and 5000 cfs for a rollicky ride down the Kennebec Gorge. There were a couple of remarkable aspects to the trip: For the first time in years, open boats outnumbered decked boats on a gorge trip and five first-timers on one trip was the most in memory. We eddy hopped our way down the river discussing each rapid as we went. In the upper gorge, the rapids get progressively bigger and more difficult, culminating in Big Mama and the Upper Alley Way. As we progressed through Taster and Rock Garden, the frequent question was "does it get any bigger." The simple answer was "yes." The trip was essentially incident free with just one short swim on an eddy-line just below Mama. Several boaters acquired good air time on Big Kahuna and everyone avoided Maytag Hole on Magic Falls Rapid. We honed our rescue skills with a boat and paddler retrieval on Big Black Rapid below Carry Brook. All in all, it was a near perfect day on one of the great rivers of the northeastern United States.

Submitter: dave Wallace
River: Dead River
Section: Spencer to Forks
Date: 2008-07-27
Level: 1800 fps
Participants: Spencor Lincoln, James Pendleton, "BB" Adams, Helen Johnston, Peter Brown, Karin Wilson, Dave Duggan, Benjamin Meader, Wendy Weiger, Richard Ellis, and Dave Wallace, TC
Report: It was another great day on a beautiful river, a few flies, a couple of swims, [but who we can't remember] and a great finish to the Annual Summer Picnic.

Submitter: Peter Brown
River: Dead
Section: Lower
Date: 2008-07-26
Level: 1800 cfs
Participants: OC-1: Peter Brown (TC), Tom Meredith, Kenny DeCoster, Ben Mathes, Helen Hess, Ben Meader, BB Adams. OC-2: John Kaiser and Eben Thomas. K-1: Colby Libby and Laurie Wunder
Report: With the Dead River running huge for a week or more prior to our trip, this new trip co-ordinator nervously watched gauges, called 1-800 numbers, and repeatedly called citizens of West Forks looking for accurate information. However, by Saturday the river had come down to a wonderful “juicy 1800” level, which made for a fine day on the river.

Shuttle drivers Scott Howell and Helen Johnston made it easy for our group of 11 paddlers to get on the water by 10:30, and they actually joined us for “first lunch” at the gravel pit put-in. We scattered a number of swimmers around the river, but strong self-rescues were the order of the day. My own highlights for the day would include: Helen Hess’ combat roll to thundering applause from the group; Eben and John just not giving up at Lower Poplar despite the boatload of water in their Tripper; BB’s rescue of a paddler (not with our party) stranded on a mid-stream rock in Lower Poplar; and Ben Meader’s display of solid paddling and rescue skills in Lower Poplar.

Submitter: ron hicks
River: Roll Dams
Section:
Date: 2008-07-04
Level: around 800 cfs
Participants: ron hicks, pam brooks, steve west, helen hess, mark nelson, brent elwell, john brower, kyle duckworth, lori white, skip pendleton, tom nelson, james nelson, adam chase, tonia kittelson, doug field, dominic brisson, marc sarve, luc bournival, paquin dents,
Report: A great 3 - 4 day weekend (my case 5 days) at the Roll Dams campsite. Lots of fun people & boats, fantastic weather, nice water level & an awesome pot luck supper. We had boaters go to Canada Falls, run Roll Dams several times & even a paddle down to Lobster Stream...just about anything anyone could want. If you've never paddled Roll Dams, its a must do !! I started leading club trips there in the early 80's & its still one of the best whitewater runs in the state (just more people now). Sorry if I miss-spelled anyone's name. Some of you guys write worse than me. The Park Ranger (Tammy) asked me to write her supervisor and request additional camping sites be added to the Roll Dams area, which I will do. She was thinking of adding some platforms & lean-to's in the more wooded areas. Now that I'm getting old, electricity for my camper would also be nice :) I wish whoever gets our money at the gate would invest some of it back into road maintenance!! see you on the water, ron

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Cold Stream
Section:
Date: 2008-06-22
Level: .96 on the gauge
Participants: Gary & Suzanne Cole, Randy Berube, Brent Elwell
Report: This was a bootleg trip, as club trips were cancelled due to high water. Randy had been itching to do some kind of creek since Saturday morning. The gauge had shown 1.3 Sat. morning which was on the high side. Sunday it had come down to just below a one, which Randy assured us was a good level. He was the only one to run this stream last year, so he became trip probe. He was the only one to run Double Drop after the rest of the party opted out. Randy was flipped at the lip of the falls and the outcome of the rest of the run did not look real good at that point, but he flushed out of the hole at the base of the falls, scraped his knuckle on the river right ledge and rolled up. He helped validate the rest of the party's decision not to run this drop. Everyone had good runs at the second falls and all other rapids. Gary was the only member not paddling a creek boat, but did fine. The most carnage was what the black flies inflicted, as there were many bloody bites counted at the takeout. This stream is a real gem to catch and especially so when the water is warm. Randy was as aggessive driving the shuttle in his new car as he was paddling the river.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Kennebec
Section:
Date: 2008-06-22
Level: 18,000!
Participants: Tom & Patti Rutka, Mary Brinkman, John Flaherty, John Brower, Ron & Nancy Chase, Roger Hassol
Report: The scheduled trip was cancelled due to highwater. A bunch of paddlers organized bootleg trips. Torn between steep creeking on Cold Stream or testing exceptionally highwater on the Kennebec from Carry Brook down, a group of us opted for the big water and that's what we got: 18,000 on the USGS gauge! None of us had ever paddled even half this volume on the Kennebec. We had a big wave train beginning at the put-in and continuing on until long after Black Brook Rapid and then steady waves and current to the take-out. A testament to the speed and volume, it took the group less than an hour to complete the entire 9 mile trip. It was great fun and quite benign.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Austin Stream
Section:
Date: 2008-06-21
Level: 1 on the gauge
Participants: Tom & Patti Rutka, Gary & Suzanne Cole, Mary Brinkman, John Flaherty, Randy Berube, Brent Elwell in kayaks; John Brower, Ron Chase, Roger Hassol & Tom Sawyer in canoes; and bunnies Nancy Chase and Tee Brower.
Report: The club trip on the Dead was cancelled as the scheduled 3500 cfs was 13,500. We had no Coordinators or Leaders; just a group of paddlers pointed downriver. Austin Stream is a beautiful, robust stream which dumps into the Kennebec in Bingham. During the summer months it usually is just a trickle under the Rte. 201 Bridge. Not this day. It was running a perky foot on the gauge which translated into a fun level. The top half was particularly engaging. There are no ledge drops, but plenty of rocks to avoid. The last couple of miles include some fine work by the Army Corps of Engineers (post 1987 April Fools flood). The Corps took a transit and bulldozer and graded the river bed removing whatever river features may have existed. Now it is just a trough of moving water to the Kennebec as efficiently as possible, so we just kind of flushed through. We took out just below the Rte. 201 bridge. Doug provided sandwiches for everyone. This fueled us up for our second run of the day - Kingsbury Stream. The Kingsbury was at a minimal, but doable level. We just ran the top half of the regular run. The put in was at the Rte. 16 and takeout at the Cole Road bridge. The group had dwindled to the three open boaters and three kayakers. Back at Webbs Campground things were very quiet until we got back. The campground was vacant except for our group. The potluck meal and solstice celebration was great. A trip participant provided tense momemts as he fell of a log on the riverbank next to the dinner table and suffered a dry land foot entrapment. The rescue team spearheaded the rescue effort and despite the poison ivy extracted him from his predicament.

Submitter: S. Cole
River: Dead River
Section:
Date: 2008-06-07
Level: 5500
Participants: Gary and Suzanne Cole (TC), Ron Chase, Ken Gordon, John Brower, Randy Berube, Dave Wallace, Bruce Weik, Jonathan Wheaton, Tom Rutka and Patti Rutka Stevens.
Report: It was a beautiful day and the bugs were not too bad (on the river anyway). It was like old times to have Jonathan with us after a couple years break. The excitement of a 5500 run was compounded as we practiced our rescue skills on a couple of swimmers and boats. All in all, it was a great day on the river.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Quebec Rivers
Section:
Date: 2008-05-24
Level: High water - Class III, IV & V
Participants: Ken Gordon, Randy Berube, Nancy Chase and TC. Quebec guests: Josee Paquet, Pierre Larue, Richie Bedard and Jean Guy Verrette
Report: Originally scheduled for the weekend of May 17th, the Quebec Rivers Trip was postponed to Memorial Day Weekend. After a winter of heavy snows, we had three choices in water levels: Big, bigger and biggest. We began our trip on Friday, May 23rd with biggest: The Donnaconna section of the Jacque Cartier. For the uninitiated, Donnaconna is arguably the best wave surfing section of whitewater in North America. It was running about 12,000 cfs and Randy, Ken and I were treated to continuous Class IV waves from the put-in to the bottom of the canyon and then phenomenal wave surfing to the take-out. On Saturday, we were joined by our Quebec friends for a Class IV/V run on the Tourilli, which is a creek like paddle through a steep, narrow canyon. We had about 18 on the internet gauge, which is apparently unreliable as it is an extrapolation. Our friends told us it was "medium high." Whatever the level, it was far higher than any of us had ever seen it. We had 3 miles of almost continuous Class IV water with a smattering of ledge drops rated Class V. Scouting consisted of catching micro eddies beneath sheer cliffs and boat scouting or peeking over rocks while clinging to the walls. We had a great run with minimal problems and Ritchie and Jean Guy were particularly impressive running their open boats - and this was Pierre's first run of the year! On Sunday, Pierre, Randy, Ken and I ran the Middle Montmorency (It used to be the Upper, but someone paddled higher) at about 3000 cfs, which was an almost continuous Class IV run that I would describe as a cross between a big water Dead and the Cheat/Lower Gauley Rivers. Two of the more impressive rapids, Can Opener and Pillar, were especially challenging. We were joined on the Lower by Team Shredder, Josee and Nancy, which was a great Class III play section in a beautiful river valley with some excellent surfing waves. On Monday, Ken and Randy returned to the Donnaconna, while Nancy and I caught a bike ride on the return trip home. As usual, this was an outstanding weekend of great boating with wonderful friends and no black flies on Memorial Day Weekend!

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Dead
Section:
Date: 2008-05-24
Level: 5500 cfs
Participants: T/C Brent Elwell K-1, Bill Duplin K-1, Den W? K-1, K-1, Gary & Suzanne Cole K-1, Scott Nelson K-1, Tom & Patti Rutka K-1, Johnathon Wheaton K-1, John Brower OC-1 & Doug Field 0C-1
Report: We could not have asked for a better day. It was a warm and cloudless day. The road into the Dead was in the great shape. The river was not very crowded. The usual surf spots were wide open for playing. However, the black fly season is offically open with predictions it will last for at least the next couple 5500 releases. Many of the trip participants were on their first Dead River trip of the year this weekend. We did not set any speed records getting to the put-in. Half the group opted for the Webb shuttle ride in and the other half ran their own shuttle. The shuttle ride in was as exciting as the river paddle. We got pulled over 2/3 of the way in on the access road by another vehicle. The driver told us we were dragging a boat. It was my boat, but we were not really dragging it. It was kind of suspended off the back. It was old and has taken much more punishment before than this shuttle ride could ever dish out. I still think the shuttle is a good way to go. When we finally pulled in to the bus parking lot it was pushing 10:30 am – meaning we did not start until about 11:00 am. The cold temperatures of Saturday night knocked the black flies back a bit, but they came out in force before we were off the river. Fortunately, the wind helped keep them away. There was no carnage to report. Tom pulled out a strategic roll at Hayden’s (Humpty Dumpty) on his second attempt and John pulled out a nice brace at Upper Poplar where a wave almost pushed him past the tipping point. Because there was no shuttle run, most of us were able to hang out at Webb's for awhile before the ride home.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Kennebago
Section:
Date: 2008-05-14
Level: 1.5 - Class III
Participants: Morrill Nason, Art Mahoney, Roger Hassol and TC
Report: With water levels dropping and the Usurper, Paul Plumer, off on some quixotic canoe camping excursion down Chemquasabamticook Stream, it looked quite grim for our mid-week paddling adventure. It was the Count of Kennebago, Mr. Morrill Nason, Jr., to the rescue. Recognizing our desperate circumstance, he used his superior negotiation skills to arrange access through the gate and down the private road, an excellent water level, and a superb, warm, sunny day -a combination that Mr. Plumer could only conger up in one of his fanciful dreams. On the river, we celebrated diversity, as Morrill & Arthur paddled a shredder, Roger navigated his open boat, while I surfed along in my RPM. With distinct and spectacular West Kennebago Mountain in the background, we had a simply wonderful day of paddling with that special ambience that only the Count can provide. Despite the beauty and serenity of the day, we had the unnerving sense of a phantasmagoric presence as we drifted through the waves of Bumpin Rapid. Eerily, the wind seemed to whisper "Paul, where is my son Paul."

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Sheepscot
Section: Kings Mills to Head Tide
Date: 2008-05-11
Level: Class 2 497 cfs
Participants: 6 paddlers: tandem canoe: Dave Duggan and Marion McCord; solo canoe: Dave Lanman and Karl Dornish; kayak: Dave Boyle and Carolyn Welch
Report: It was a bright and sunny day, some northwest breeze, about 60 degree. We met at the takeout at Head Tide at 9:30. The water was about 2 feet below the dam. This was a big change for Dave Duggan who had run it last weekend when it was a couple of inches over the dam, 1700 cfs. There was a huge pile of river debris on the right bank, apparently taken out because it had blocked the river right spillway. The salmon folks were stringing the cables for the 4 fish counting rigs. We met Dave Lanman at Kings Mills, and were in the water about 10:00.<> The water was a medium low level – lots of rocks, much fun doing eddy sets and surfing. At the bend before the takeout, a family group had their canoes ashore and were picking fiddleheads on the flood plain. We were at the takeout about noon (the mud at the take out was quite slippery….) and had lunch at the dam.<> The second run was just Dave Boyle and me. More fun bopping along, practicing eddy sets and surfing. A couple paddling shiny fiberglass sea kayaks passed us in the rock garden – no wet suits, no helmets…. We were at the takeout about 3:00. A wonderful relaxing day on my favorite river!

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Machias
Section: Entire River
Date: 2008-05-01
Level: 3800 to 1800 cfs
Participants: Kenny DeCoster, Doug Field, Helen Hess, Matilde Ott, Kim Perkins, Dennis Powell and TC
Report: Beginning on a beautiful, sunny May 1st, we had an outstanding 6 day descent of the Machias River starting at it's source, 5th Machias Lake. The water levels were high (ranging from 3800 cfs at the beginning to 1800 cfs on our final day), the black flies were scarce, the rapids challenging, food excellent and the company great. The high water levels made this a solid Class III trip with a couple of rapids approaching Class IV. We were all in solo boats and everyone did an excellent job with just one minor swim. The teamwork was exceptional and it was an absolute joy to watch everyone pitch in making and breaking camp, cooking and cleaning dishes, setting up safety and assisting with portages - we only portaged boats on Upper Holmes Falls. Appropriately, the trip ended on another warm, sunny day in beautiful downtown Machias. For a more comprehensive report, stay tuned for next year's Trip Book.

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Middle Saco
Section: Bartlett to Humphrey's Ledge
Date: 2008-04-27
Level: Class 2 . River level 1.2
Participants: Kim Gass and Ed Bossom (tandem canoe); Ken Hutchins, Jim Tierney, Tom Meredith, (solo canoe); Laurie Wunder, Karin Wilson and Steven Lane (kayak)<>Report by Kim Gass
Report: A cloudy drizzly day greeted us when we met at the strawberry field at the intersection of River St and West Side Rd. in North Conway. The day was cool in the upper 40’s yet all were dressed to enjoy the paddling.<>After leaving two cars at a private takeout at Humphreys Ledge (with permission from the landowner, whom Ken Hutchins spoke to in advance) the group went to the put in just after the bridge on River Rd. All were launched by 11 AM.<>The launch on river left is tricky as the launch is in a very small eddy. The water level at Bartlett Bridge measured 1.2; the river had been running above 2 earlier in the week. Bridge abutments make early maneuvering mandatory.<>Sweepers may be found on this stretch of river: however all were easily seen ahead of time and avoided.<>There was sufficient water to play in the rock gardens near the route 302 bridges but the weather stayed cool and showery enough to push us on. Regretfully we were not able to see any of Mount Washington due to the low ceiling.<>All were out of the water and enroute to warm clothes at 4PM.

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Lower Carrabassett
Section: Twitchell's to Wire Bridge
Date: 2008-04-21
Level: Class 2
Participants: 3 paddlers: solo canoes: Ken Decoster and Dave Lanman; kayak: Carolyn Welch
Report: T/Cs; Dave Lanman and Carolyn Welch No. Anson gauge: about 6000 cfs Valley Crossing gauge about 1 1/4 We met at McDonald’s in Farmington at 9:30, and went to the putin on the right on Route 27 across from Twitchell’s Fuel (yellow building on the left). A hazy sun came out, but it was cool, about 55 degrees. There was some snow on the banks and in the woods, but the parking at putin and takeout was fine. At the wire bridge takeout there were only a few rocks showing – a somewhat higher level than what we have had the past few years. After completing the shuttle, we were in the water about 11:00. We played in the surfing waves, practiced our eddy sets, and arrived at the wire bridge about 12:30. Although I longed for a second run, my paddling buddies had other commitments, so we packed up and headed to Gifford’s in Farmington, our favorite ice cream parlor. (I highly recommend the Mississippi Mud…..) Another great day on the water!

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Middle Carrabassett
Section: Valley Crossing to Highway Garage
Date: 2008-04-20
Level: Medium Class 2+
Participants: 6 paddlers: solo canoes: Ryan Galway and Evan Eichorn; kayaks: Karin Wilson and Skip Pendleton; Tandem canoe: Ken Severy and Carolyn Welch T/Cs: Ken Severy and Carolyn Welch
Report: Valley Crossing bridge gauge: start: 1 1/4 finish: 1 3/4 We met at McDonald’s in Farmington at 9:00 and called Brent Elwell in Carrabassett who reported the gauge to be 1 1/4. We agreed this was perfect for the Middle Carrabassett, so we convoyed up to the Highway garage, left a car and went on up to scout the bridge at Packard’s Pool. At the Valley Crossing putin, I checked with the firefighters about the availability of indoor plumbing (yes!) and told them about our group and plans. There was hazy sunshine, about 60 degrees, and some breeze. We put in above the ledges about 11:00. At the Packard’s Pool bridge, Skip decided to portage, Ken and I did river left, the rest did river right. We stopped along the way for a stretchbreak and snack, then later stopped at a gravel bar and pool where Ken tried out the little solo canoes, and reported they were very challenging, after he went over in one of them – this gave Evan the opportunity to demo his throw bag technique which we agreed was excellent. Ken decided his wet suit was a bit damp, so changed his upper body clothes and was warm and dry again. We bopped and played along, arriving at the take out about 3:15, and declared that it doesn’t get any better than this! After completing the shuttle we convened at Gifford’s in Farmington for ice cream cones. Another great day on the river!

Submitter: Kyle Duckworth
River: Webb and Swift Rivers
Section:
Date: 2008-04-19
Level:
Participants: Participants - Webb: TC Kyle Duckworth, Dave Duggan (OC-1); Ron Chase, Suzanne Cole, Ken Gordon, Clyde Mitchell, Dave Wallace, guest Karin Wilson (K-1).

Participants - Swift: Kyle Duckworth, Ron Chase, Brent Elwell, Ken Gordon, Colby Libby, Clyde
Report: WEBB RIVER
Paul Plumer has run this trip for many years, but he had work conflicts. TC Duckworth proved a poor substitute, and there were leadership issues from the beginning. Kyle’s PPCS-list email to the club was a source of confusion, as it said to meet at Dixmont instead of Dixfield. Both he (who last paddled the river two years ago) and Ron Chase (who last paddled the river two days ago) drove by the put-in.

Temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s for several days had rapidly melted much of the snow and brought water levels up to high. This was to the delight of all but Karin, who found the action at the put in to be a little overwhelming. After her brief swim though, she quickly regained her composure and had a good run otherwise.

Ron, Ken, and Suzanne found plenty of surfing at this level. The rest of us were content to work our way downriver on a spectacularly warm and sunny spring day.

SWIFT RIVER
Participants: Kyle Duckworth, Ron Chase, Brent Elwell, Ken Gordon, Colby Libby, Clyde Mitchell. After a quick lunch at the take-out of the Webb, the gang caravaned over to the Swift, a half-hour drive to the west. We picked up Brent and Colby for this very short run between Walker Brook and Swift River Falls. The Swift was cranking at around 1500 cubic feet per second – kind of pushy and definitely requiring full attention. The unfortunate Colby, paddling a Thrill-Seeker inflatable kayak, broke his paddle shaft in the Gorge and ended up swimming. Without a spare, he was forced to walk back to the car (an easy chore since the road parallels the river and we’d gone less than a quarter mile.) So his run lasted about ten minutes. As for the rest, their run lasted no more than an hour, as the current was strong and fast all the way to the takeout.

Somebody said that the run was too short, and Brent suggested that we continue our adventures with an impromtu run of the East Branch of the Swift, a Class IV creek that dumps into the Swift above Coos Canyon, a few miles to the north. Kyle and Ken Gordon were game, and with a quick shuttle courtesy of Lori White, we found ourselves putting in for the third time of the day, with the East Branch at a beefy 2.0’ on the gauge and rising. I won’t go into the details of this unofficial trip, but they involve a several minutes of confusion and anxiety looking for a separated paddler; a severe beatdown in an ugly hole; exhausting walks through deep snow; loss, pursuit, and recovery of boat and paddle; and a sinking sun. In other words, great fun and adventure – PPCS style.

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: St. George
Section: Searsmont to No. Appleton
Date: 2008-04-19
Level: medium class 2
Participants: 5 paddlers: Skip Pendleton, Karin Wilson, Dave Wallace and Carolyn Welch in kayaks, Bob Gonyea in solo canoe.
Report: Bootleg trip. T/Cs: Skip Pendleton and Carolyn Welch (Stream gauge at Sheepscot: about 725 cfs.) We met at the takeout on Route 105 Camden Rd in No Appleton at 10:00. (Another good meeting place is the gas station at the juncture of routes 17 and 105 which has a deli and indoor plumbing…) The weather was gloriously warm and sunny – at least 70 degrees. We stopped at the Ghent bridge to scout the rapids. The water appeared to be a medium to medium low level. Skip, who paddles this river often, gave us good local knowledge tips about various routes and eddies. We were on the water about 10:45. We stopped for a stretch break on river right at the large boulder in the middle of the stream, just before the rapids. Skip kindly offered to stand by with a throw bag on river left just before the bridge. We all went thru with no difficulty, and stopped at the big eddy on river right at the end of the wave train. Bob poled his solo canoe with much finesse! The next mile or so was easy class 1. We stopped to scout the drop at the old dam. Dave Wallace took the right side, the rest went easily thru the center. We were at the take out on river right just after the bridge about 1:15. After doing the shuttle, Skip, Karin, and I returned to Searsmont to have excellent sandwiches at the deli. What a lovely day on the water - and the anxiety I had felt about coming back to the river where Jim McLarty died last year was finally conquered! A special thanks to Skip for his guidance and patience.

Submitter: Morrill Nason Jr
River: Marsh Stream
Section:
Date: 2008-04-13
Level: 3.1
Participants: Greg Winston, Ron Chase, Scott Nelson, Brent Elwell, Scott Gee, Bud Gilbert, Colby Libby, Denise Skonberg, John Crocker, Helen Hess, Kyle Duckworth and TC.
Report: The Marsh Stream Race got twelve PPCS'ers out on a cool spring day to give safety support. Several racers appreciated the ropes and hands when help was needed. Boaters helping boaters and donations to the Make-A-Wish Foundation made this a win-win event. Permission to use a small takeout at the dam was obtained from the owner, another plus. Running the Marsh was a first for several members. There was good surfing at several rapids and drops. The highlight, depending on one's view, was watching or participating in the running of The Slide. All who ran it were successful. Gary Brooks invited all to his home for lasagna and refreshment, but most were tired from having a great day on a great river.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Soudabscook
Section:
Date: 2008-04-12
Level: 2.0
Participants: Peter Brown, Bud Gilbert, Morrill Nason, Greg Winston, Scott Gee, Brent Elwell, Colby Libby & TC. Kyle Duckworth, suffering from Trip Envy, refused to sign up.
Report: Eight PPCS members braved cold weather, frigid water, and a high gauge reading to provide safety for the Soudabscook Canoe Race and support a worthy cause - the proceeds went to Make-A-Wish Foundation. Of course, we also got to paddle the river. It's a good thing we had a strong turn-out, as there was much carnage. Boats were lost, swims were numerous, but thru it all our determined band of rescuers persisted. We had a very interesting post-race run with several good surfs and the waves at the snowmobile bridge were particularly exceptional. About half of the group ran Great Falls without incident; however, we did have a swimmer below, as one member of our group was toying with a particularly sticky hole (or, more accurately, it was toying with him). We got off the river in time for a late dinner.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Geriatrics Do the George
Section: Montville to 105
Date: 2008-04-07
Level: Medium+
Participants: Skip Pendleton, Dave Wallace, and Ron Chase
Report: Bootleg Trip on the St. George: A motley band of senior citizens assembled at the Route 105 bridge on the St. George on a beautiful sunny spring day. The plan: Paddle from South Montville to the normal take-out. Putting in at a bridge on the West Appleton Road, we paddled thru a tight, easy Class II/III rapid and then told lies and harassed a flock of Canada Geese as we weaved circuitously in a low lying area. After a couple of miles, we paddled thru a fairly long Class II+ rapid followed by a long Class III rapid. Part way thru the Class III, we encountered a river wide strainer. While portaging around, the author, apparently suffering from dementia, lost his boat in the river and it ran the balance of the rapid without him. This was not a pretty sight: Three elderly men flailing on land and river in pursuit of a empty fast moving kayak. After multiple tumbles and bumbles, all boats and boaters were reunited. Fortunately, the balance of the trip was uneventful, as the participants needed to get back to the "The Home" by 7:30. We're the Geriatric Boaters - come join us for some memorable weekday paddling. Ron Chase

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Ossipee
Section: Kezar to Cornish
Date: 2008-04-06
Level: Class 2
Participants: TC's Dave Butler and Carolyn Welch; Bob Radowitz & Jan Ganger, Rich Sousa, Ken Hutchins, Karen Wilson, Kevin Piccone.

Report: 8 paddlers, 7 boats: Tandem canoe: Bob Radowicz & Jan Ganger.
Solo canoes: Dave Butler, Rich Sousa, Ken Hutchins, & Kevin Piccone
Kayaks: Karen Wilson & Carolyn Welch

We met at Saco River bridge, routes 117 and 5 in Cornish at 9:30

Weather was overcast and cool, slight breeze. Still quite a bit of snow along the roads and in the woods

At the Kezar dam putin, the bridge tenders arrived as we were unloading at the gate, so I drove on down: 2 kayaks fewer to carry.

The snow was pretty deep. We dragged the boats over the snow to the putin. Some folks postholed, but the crust held some of us up…!

We were on the river about 10:30. The water was up in the trees, a fairly high level, current was 4+mph. Much of the whitewater was washed out. We saw a deer swim across to river left, and 5 deer running along together on river left, where there was somewhat less snow. There was too much snow along the banks for a picnic stop, and weather was too cold anyway.

In a moment of inattention, Bob and Jan went over in the last rapid, but were quickly helped to get back in their canoe. This is why we all wear wet suits…!

We got to the takeout about 1:15. There was a lot of snow on the steps at the takeout, and we were again postholeing to the top.

Of course we were glad we did it…..but agreed that maybe we were pushing the season a bit….we were too cold to seekout the icecream stand…



Submitter: Kyle Duckworth
River: Marsh Stream
Section:
Date: 2008-04-06
Level: 2.5'
Participants: TC Kyle Duckworth, Peter Brown, Ron Chase, Skip Pendleton
Report: This trip was a substitute for the planned run of Kingsbury Stream which appeared in the trip book. Kingsbury was still locked in ice.

A number of people called with some interest in the run, but the day dawned cold and raw and in the end only four showed up at the store in Frankfort where we met. Ron Chase was the lone kayaker with three solo canoeists for company. Peter Brown was running Marsh for the first time, and while Skip had run it several times before, it was always at a much lower level. The gauge at the railroad trestle said 2.5', which is a good, juicy level.

We took our time and scouted all the drops. After a short swim below the snowmobile bridge at the put-in, Skip redeemed himself with a perfect line at Pine Island rapid - the first time he hadn't portaged it. Skip was the only one who had sense enough to walk around Flatrock Falls. Ron had a good line there but the unpredictable gauntlet of waves and holes at the end required a combat roll on his part. Kyle's run through Flatrock was upright but was interrupted by a violent head-on collision with a rock, and Peter underestimated the cross-current and was flipped by the long, diagonal wave on the slide.

The paddlers had had a notion to make an afternoon run on the Souadabscook, but any such possibility died after an exhausting carry up the hill to the take-out behind George Adams Construction on Rt 1A. The snow was thigh-deep, and even though boats supposedly drag well over snow, it took teamwork and cooperation to get the boats up without a heart attack.

Submitter: Greg Winston
River: Souadabscook Stream
Section: Upper (Cold Brook Rd. to Grand Pitch)
Date: 2008-03-23
Level: zero on Manning Mill Bridge gauge
Participants: Roger Hassol (OC-1), Helen Hess (OC-1), and TC Greg Winston (K-1).
Report: First let's talk about the run that didn't happen. I don't know what I was thinking when I planned a Marsh Stream trip at the fall supper. Or maybe I wasn't. Way back then I was sure I could count on the Marsh for the first weekend of spring. Not after this winter. With everything still frozen in Frankfort, I didn't think people would be up for lugging boats back up through the woods, postholing through four-foot drifts or tripping along a mile of railroad tracks. The Marsh is my favorite Bangor-area run, but even I have my limits.
So taking what nature would give us, I opted for the faithful Sou, where you can pretty much always find some moving water. I've had great runs there from Super Bowl Sunday to the Fourth of July, though it's usually a bit bigger and better about halfway between those. This week it was not what you'd call torrential, just a prelude to spring runoff sloshing around the base of the Manning Mill Bridge abutment. Low but runnable.
The high winds and blowing snow of the previous few days settled down just in time to make this a good early season paddle. It was 25 degrees but sunny at gametime. There were beautiful ice sculptures along the banks and hanging from the trees in two precise layers, about a foot apart, recording the recent mixtures of rain and snow. It took about thirty minutes for our fingertips to warm up, and that remained a constant project. I did my usual wiggles and stretches to fend off frostbite. Typing this up a week later might be counted part of the recovery.
The usual ledges and surfwaves all had at least something going for an early-season tune-up. And for some reason I always like the feel of snow under my river shoes (more on that in a bit). The ledge drop around the corner at Crawford's (which we did not scout but probably should have! familiarity breeds complacency) was probably the most altered at this water level. We had a crash course in geology there, running the center and right lines. Roger and I took a twisted labyrinth at the center, and then I looked up to see the smooth tongue you want at river left. After her own boulder-bumping on the right, Helen found there was not quite the depth to roll as she'd found the previous week in pool session, so she rode it out patiently to the next island where she found room to reset. So keep that left line at Crawford's for lower levels. Another foot of water though and you can hit the other angles.
Now back to that snow under foot. And boat. The added bonus this time of year is the prime boat-sledding at the gravel pit (riverright about 150 yds. past Crawford's). The cold day created a perfect snowpack, both for solid footing on the ascent and great speed on the ride down. I almost made the water in one shot but had to apply the paddle-brake and swerve to avoid Roger's Esquif. Brent, can I get turf-and-surf credit for that?
I had scouted Grand Pitch before our shuttle, just to see if that was an option for us at the end, and it looked like a go. Its pockets deepen at lower water, but the left line is still there. It was a smooth descent. There's still a tree hung up about ten yards from the bottom, parallel to the current and easy enough to avoid with a move to the inside or the outside. Just be alert for it as soon as you come off the wave train after the falls.
After a good ninety minute run--we played more than I thought we would--we hauled the boats back over the drifts for the load-out. A frozen zipper had me trapped in my PFD for a few minutes, but that was the only ice-jam of the day.
I'm not sure if any of the scheduled Sheepscot or St. George trips made it out in these past two weeks. If not, then we'll claim bragging rights for being the first river trip of the year. There were some tracks in the snow by the takeout, but I think walkers', not other boaters'--the treads didn't appear to say NRS. That stands for Not Really Spring. But it's coming.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River:
Section:
Date: 2008-03-02
Level:
Participants: Jim Tierney & Brent Elwell
Report: This adventure was a back country ski trip on the Avalanche Brook Trail out of Pinkham Notch, NH. I have never complained about too much powder on a ski trip; however there are first times for everything. We knew that the Presidential Mountain Range hade received a good 10 -12 inches of snow the day before, but did not know that the heavy winds had blown an incredible amount onto the Avalanche Trail. Jim and I had both skied this trail before with considerably less snow. The trail was broken out for the first half mile or so. We took turns breaking trail thinking we were farther ahead than we actually were. The 5.5 mile trail usually takes about 3 hours. We took seven hours with an average speed of .75 miles / hour. The trail is well marked with blue markers and most of the stream crossings have excellent bridges. This is especially good to know when the headlamps are out and you are wallowing around in two to three foot snowbanks. The last 2.5 miles drops 1500 feet, but I never got more than ten feet of glide before my skis buried due to the deep snow. I was kicking myself for not bringing snowshoes for most of the second half of the trip. It was a very memorable trip, but not one I care to repeat anytime soon. With 20/20 hindsight, we should have hiked up and skied down the Sherburne Trail. That would have been a much better time.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Bald Mtn. & Saddleback Wind
Section:
Date: 2008-02-09
Level:
Participants: Gary & Suzanne Cole, David Boyle, Ginger (Golden Retriever)& Brent Elwell T/C
Report: Weather: Just below freezing, little wind and beautiful snow. The snow was the type we are not supposed to have on the East coast - it was very light & fluffy really nice snowshoeing & skiing snow. We all started on snowshoes with one of us carrying up skis. We encountered a snowboarder track soon after leaving the trailhead. It is about a mile to the top of Bald Mtn. and another couple of miles over to Saddleback Wind summit. There was not much of a track to follow, but fortunately there was some intermittent flagging marking the way over. There were really interesting rock formations between the summits. Fresh moose sign kept us on the lookout for the big critter. Ginger had issues with snow balling up between her toes, but was able to soldier on. It took some serious bushwhacking, but we were able to break out on to the ledge east of the summit before our turnaround time. There was one steep, icy spot before the summit which we all got though fine. The views from Saddleback Wind were great. You can see three ski areas easily. Mt. Abram, Black Mtn. and Sunday River are easily viewed. The trip back took very little time with the trail broken out. There was a little anxiety when foot prints were observed on the trail beyond where my skis were left in the open on the trail, but it was needless worry. They were right where I left them. The ski down was great. The open ledges near the summit had great powder. We met a guy dragging a snowboard up on the descent. There were sled track from the top also. This was a great winter hike. We capped the day with a trip to the Boiler House in Wilton for drinks and food.

Submitter: Suzanne Cole
River: Baldface Circle Trail
Section: Evans Notch, NH
Date: 2008-01-26
Level:
Participants: Brent Elwell, Ken Gordon, Adam Chase, Gary, Ginger (dog), and Suzanne Cole (TC).
Report:

It was a perfect winter day for hiking above tree line: temperature in the 20’s, no wind, and mostly sunny. We hiked the Baldface Circle Trail clockwise over South Baldface, North Baldface and back to our starting point on Route 113. Conditions were challenging at times. We needed both snowshoes and crampons as conditions ranged from breaking trail to icy ledges. One member of our party had the interesting combination of in-step crampons and an ice axe! By going up South Baldface first, we went up the steepest part of the trail and came down lesser steep trails. Even so, we spent much time searching for a good route, stomping for secure footing, and scrambling for handholds. Using a rope and dog harness, Gary pulled Ginger while Adam pushed her up over the questionable terrain. Next time, Ginger might decide to skip a winter assent of the Baldfaces under these conditions.

Above treeline, these mountains are truly bald. We traveled about four miles, from peak to peak, with views in all directions. At the halfway point, we met a group of four, plus a dog, coming from the other direction. Keeping the dogs apart on a steep section of trail below North Baldface was interesting, but Gary has lots of experience with this and put a small fir between the two dogs. We continued on our way as the sun was getting low. “The boys,” who were all good sports about it, were stuck with my pace as we descended. Most of us were using headlamps before we got back to the car. It was not a big surprise to meet up with a member of the other party as we approached Route 113. We all agreed that we had enjoyed a perfect winter day in the mountains.

Submitter: Suzanne Cole
River: Mt. Meader
Section: New Hampshire
Date: 2008-01-13
Level:
Participants: Ken Gordon, Gary, Suzanne, and Ginger (thd dog) Cole.
Report: After a weeklong “January thaw” and a day of heavy rain, we thought carefully about conditions before deciding what to do and where to go. Mount Meader is in Evan’s Notch, between the Baldpates and the Royces. It’s an easy hike at 2782-ft. elevation and 6-mile round trip. It was a lovely day, although a bit warm, in the low 40’s. We used snowshoes and crampons, as conditions ranged from boilerplate ice to mash potato snow. We alternated between equipment types, and occasionally broke trail through the crust so Ginger could get a grip. The summit of this mountain is wooded and .2 miles from the signpost, also in a wooded area, that feels like the top. Lunch was enjoyed on a bare shoulder lookout, where we luxuriated in the sun, as we did our best to identify mountains and lakes to the north, east and south.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Georges Highland Path
Section:
Date: 2007-11-11
Level:
Participants: Brent Elwell and TC
Report: As we had no other takers, this became an Executive Trip. We hiked the relatively new Georges Highland Path from Pleasant Farm in Hope to the Barnstown Road in Camden. This is a truly spectacular trail. We deviated from the primary trail and bushwacked over Pleasant Mountain, which is a barren summit and provides phenomenal views of Penobscot and Muscongus Bays. Following a compass bearing NNW,we navigated to Pleasant Mountain Road and regained the GHP and summited East Spruce Mountain, where we again enjoyed views of the Bays. Continuing on, we crossed Route 17 and summited Ragged Mountain, where we were able to savor panoramic views of Isle au Haut and Mount Desert Island in the east and Mirror Lake and Grassy Pond west. We crossed the Ragged Mountain Ridge and dropped down to the the parking area on the Barnstown Road, about a 9 mile trek.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Grafton Notch Loop Trail
Section:
Date: 2007-11-04
Level:
Participants: Ken & Susan Gordon, Brent Elwell, Nancy Chase & TC
Report: The original sea kayak trip on Mooselookmeguntic Lake was cancelled due to inclement weather. The Grafton Notch Loop Trail was a new one for all participants. Our intent was to summit Sunday River Whitewap; however, a late start due to poor planning on the part of the TC left us too little time to make the summit and return in daylight. This is an excellent trail, but multiple stream crossings. We hiked over Stowe and Bald (it's not really bald, more like thinning - i.e. the TC)Peaks for over 5 miles to the tentsite on the east slope of SRWC. There is a bit of a parking problem, as parking on the trailhead is prohibited and hikers must leave their vehicles at the Puzzle Mountain trailhead .6 mile further north on Route 26. Next time, we'll get a 9:00 start and complete the 14 mile round-trip hike from the parking area.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Schoodic & Black Mountains
Section:
Date: 2007-10-28
Level:
Participants: Nancy Chase, Adam Chase, and TC
Report: This trip was rescheduled from October 27th, due to heavy rains on the day of the Fall Supper and the Acadia Bike ride was cancelled. The trip became a family affair. We had clear skies but gusting winds over 30 MPH. The hike to Schoodic was spectacular and about 3 miles round-trip. We returned and hiked to Black Mountain, a first for all of us. This is about a 6 mile round-trip hike, with outstanding views of Tunk Lake from the summit of Black.

Submitter: John Brower
River: Roll Dam
Section:
Date: 2007-09-29
Level: Class III
Participants: Evan Eichorn, Cathel & Meigen McLeod, and Greg Winston in K1, Colby Libby in ducky, Morrill Nason & partners Shweta Galway and Wendy Wieger, Peter Brown, Kenneth DeCoster, Laurie Stearns and Tee & John Brower in Real Boats.
Report: The paddlers who chose to paddle the last regular trip of the year to Roll Dams were treated to a fantastic weekend. The river was at a fun level of 800cfs, the weather was great (no need for a tarp), fall colors were near peak, and there were "no" bugs. There were 15 for a late start on Saturday morning. Conditions were ideal for a lot of playing, and rolls or swims were fairly common. The highwater allowed the TC to lead several alternate routes during three runs, especially through the maze. We had a quick lunch at camp where we were joined by Colby for a last run before shoulder surgery and Wendy, a new member paddling an Outrage. Somehow, Morrill persuaded Shweta to paddle the shredder with him again even after he pushed her off into a hole on the first run. Wendy practiced swimming rapids and rest of us practiced rescues. Several left to sleep in warm cabins, leaving the rest of us to eat a delicious potluck supper that everyone ate standing around a roaring campfire. We had brought drywood and the Boy Scouts had left us lots of cut and split wood, also. The food was so good that a raccoon finished the leftovers during the night. It was a clear, moonlit and cold night, and there was ice in the pots in the morning. After a late start to allow it to warm up, nine paddlers played their way down a fun river on a beautiful day (see what the rest of you missed!). Combat rolls all worked and lines improved or new lines were tried. Wendy decided to shred with Morrill and seem to have a good time.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Dead
Section:
Date: 2007-09-15
Level: 3500
Participants: Participants: Sean Donohue K-1, Alan Hammersmith K-1, Ted & Helen Sparks OC-2, Dave Wallace K-1, Evelyn Hopkins K-1, Gary & Suzanne Cole K-1, Peter Brown OC-1, Patti & Tom Rutka K-2, Don Skolfield OC-1, Doug Field OC-1, John Brower OC-1, Ken Gordon K-1, R
Report: It rained on the ride up to the Forks and stayed wet throughout the day. The sun did not come out until we reached the takeout. This did not dampen our spirits however. The leaves were starting to change color and you could smell fall in the air. The shuttle ride was a sloppy affair, but we were able to park just up the hill from the landing. We had great surfing opportunities at the usual spots. It was great to have the Southern Boaters along. Ted, Helen and Evelyn were all fun to paddle with. Mid-September is always a good time to paddle the Dead.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Flagstaff Lake
Section:
Date: 2007-09-08
Level:
Participants: Scott & Kelly Anchors, Ron & Nancy Chase, Bob Kelly, Lori White and Brent Elwell
Report: We had a very warm start to the weekend - Friday was in the 90's and Saturday was in the 80's. It was perfect for kayaking. Ron, Nancy, Scott, Kelly, and T/C headed north from the Round Barn Campsite to Long Falls Dam at the outlet of Flagstaff. We saw a couple of moose on the way over and some loons. The gorge below the dam had some impressive drops which we scouted. Ron expressed interest in running some of the drops, but Nancy thought the tandem sea kayak was not the appropriate boat. We saw only one other human powered craft and a motor boat. This lake does not get much traffic. The views of the Bigelow were outstanding. While we kayaked Lori and Bob hiked up Avery Peak. Everyone had a good meal after we met up back at the campsite. A couple words of caution to people using the Round Barn Campsite: bring a wheelbarrow the sites are spread out and at least 100 yds from the vehicle and the campsite varmints are aggressive. I had a squirrel in my cooler upon arrival from the sea kayaking trip. On Sunday we just beat the afternoon rain. Ron, Nancy, Lori and myself paddled from the campsite to the takeout at the far eastern end of Flagstaff. It was about four miles and went by quickly with the tailwind. It was a good weekend for Flagstaff. The opportunities for biking, hiking and sea kayaking are really fantastic.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Labor Day Weekend
Section:
Date: 2007-09-01
Level: Class IV
Participants: Nancy Chase, Carolyn Young, Frank Yulling, Kyle Duckworth, Tom Meredith, Randy Berube, John Brower, Doug Field, Barney Spurr, Brent Elwell, Morrill Nason, Ken Gordon, Greg Pelotte, Sharon Pelotte, Kim Perkins, Suzanne Cole, Gary Cole, Dave Wallace, Dan Pe
Report: We began the trip with a cool, sunny run on Canada Falls at 750 cfs. This is an excellent level and the landing on the slide is softer than lower levels. We did have some carnage at "the new rock" on Cabin Rapid and "the old hole" on the next rapid. After a potluck supper, Kyle entertained us around the fire long, long into the night - too late for an old man such as myself. On Sunday, we had a large group who paddled the Dead at 5500 cfs that included new paddlers Anna, Elijah, and Kyla (new at least for me). They all did great and we enjoyed having them join us. Sunday night we had a outstanding cookout at Melissa Howes' beautiful camp on Moxie Lake. Paddling was a bit fractured on Monday, as some people paddled the early 350 cfs release, others paddled both the 350 and 4800 to Carry Brook, yet others paddled just the 4800, but all the way to the ballfield. All in all, it was a great weekend with an outstanding group of people.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Magalloway
Section: Upper
Date: 2007-08-25
Level: 1200
Participants: Mike Cummings K-1, Doug Field 0C-1, Kim Perkins C-1, Tom Sawyer OC-1 and Brent Elwell K-1
Report: The trip got off to slow start as the TC and one of the participants were a little late. With only five participants we had a compact group and we were easily able to make two runs. This section of river has one of the eastiest shuttles of any river in Maine. The 1200 cfs level allows for some incredible front surfing which everyone took advantage of. The Bowdoin Outing Club was on the river with us on the first run. They are a friendly and enthusiastic group of paddlers. It was fun to be on the river with them. The weather could not have cooperated better. It was a very warm day on the river which actually made the paddling / rolling more enjoyable. The only drawback were the second hatch of the season blackflies at the takeout. We camped on Azichos Lake Saturday night where we enjoyed a thunderstorm. Doug and Kim were able to start a campfire with what looked like a blow torch and mattress inflating fan - no small feat given how wet the wood was.

Submitter: Greg Winston
River: Penobscot
Section: West Branch
Date: 2007-08-19
Level: 2800 cfs
Participants: Mark Levine C-1, Barney Spurr K-1, John Brower OC-1, Kevin Rogers OC-1, Randy Berube K-1, Mike Johnson K-1, Greg Winston K-1 (Trip Coordinator).
Report: We had ideal weather for Sunday on the West Branch. Cool overnight and early morning temperatures (low 40s) made it feel more like October than mid-August. It also gave us crystal-clear skies and a total Katahdin view as backdrop to our morning warm-up paddle down Abol and Pockawockamus. We had some good ferrying practice in both, and stopped at the top of Pock to allow first-timers Mark Levine and Barney Spurr a chance to scout.
In the afternoon, Randy Berube, Mike Johnson and Greg Winston ran Rip Gorge. Mike and I took the right side line, then the ferry beneath Exterminator to Football Eddy. Randy took the left line, along False Exterminator, catching Football as well. We took the left, middle and right lines down Staircase, and then stopped to play the waves a bit before heading downriver, through the narrow Little Heater.
John Brower and Barney Spurr met us at Troublemaker. The kayaks got in a few spins in the whole before we resumed the trip towards that inevitable encounter with the Cribworks. After a quick Crib Test, we rounded the bend to Telos Bridge and took out just above the Mighty One to have a quick look. It was everyone's first Crib run of the year, so it seemed advisable to refresh our memory. Marker wave and Turkey Chute were still in the same place, so Randy, Mike and I got back in our boats. All had solid, upright runs through to Final Chute. John and Barney portaged and put in again in the eddy above Postage Stamp, just in time to rejoin us for Bonecrusher and the other surfable holes and ledge waves in that vicinity.
Randy and Mike took out at Big Eddy, while the rest of us paddled down to Big A, running the top-right boof line. Then the kayaks took the left side of the last two ledges, getting in a few surfs at the legendary, high-speed playwave. John ran the textbook open-boater's line on the left, and by then, after two great days, we'd had our fill.
We met our incredible Shuttle and Support Services Team--Tee Brower, Sherry Spurr, and Susan Levine--at the Big A take-out. For both the Canada Falls and West Branch runs, we couldn't have asked for a friendlier, more efficient shuttle team. Like magic, our trucks were waiting at the takeout after every run. Thank you again! Thanks

Submitter: Greg Winston
River: Penobscot S. Branch
Section: Canada Falls
Date: 2007-08-18
Level: 600 cfs
Participants: Colby Libby IK-1, Barney Spurr K-1, Mark Levine C-1, John Brower OC-1, Kevin Rogers OC-1, Greg Winston K-1
Report: This was one of those northern Maine days whose weather has the effect of three days, if not three seasons, in one. We paddled through sunshine, overcast, sudden gusts of wind, rain showers, and back into sun. Repeat process three or so times and you have the basic pattern. Temperatures in the high 50s meant the water felt warmer than the air for much of the day.
A good friend of mine has called the Canada Falls section Creeking 101. 600 cfs is a terrific level for first-timers, of which there were two in our group. To their credit, Mark Levine and fellow Georgia paddler Barney Spurr both got to know Canada Falls for the first time in borrowed boats and gear. I promised them one of the best Maine whitewater runs, with some technical drops and stunning scenery, and I hope it didn't disappoint.
The two most interesting moments of the day happened in the two predictable places, the Slide and Cabin Rapid/SYBOFF. At the Slide, Colby "Tough as Nails" Libby flipped his inflatable kayak in the hole and notified me in the eddy below that he'd dislocated his right shoulder. This was exactly a year to the very day that a Massachusetts paddler suffered the same injury in the very same spot, and we had to evacuate him to the hospital in Greenville after failed attempts by an EMT and Wilderness First Responder to get the shoulder back in. I made mental preparations for another evac. as I helped Colby reset his shoulder. After a few minutes of our combined effort, he said it was back in place and he was good to go. I do not recommend this for everyone--no, hardly anyone--but Colby said he had done this four or five times before, so I trusted he knew exactly what his limits were. I pestered him about every other minute for the rest of the run to be sure the shoulder was working and he assured us it was fine.
Mark Levine got a tough working in SYBOFF but took it very much in stride. I came around the corner and saw his C-1 doing cartwheels in the hole, its inflated airbag pointing like a windsock in a full-force gale. The boat remained there for over a minute, a reminder of how retentive SYBOFF can be, even (especially?) at a low-level release.
One new feature worth noting: There is now a pyramid rock guarding the entrance to Cabin Rapid. It's still possible to run the same right line at the top ledge, just to the right of this rock, then catch the next eddy and make the traditional ferry above SYBOFF.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Casco Bay
Section:
Date: 2007-08-11
Level:
Participants: TC, Steve Ward, Jeremy Ward
Report: It was a beautiful, sunny summer day. Because we were only three, we decided to change the trip plans to an itinerary that we hadn't previously done. Steve and son Jeremy were in a tandem kayak and I was solo. We left from the Dolphin Marina on Basin Point in South Harpswell, crossed Potts Harbor, paddled around Haskell Island, past Little Mark Island, and thru Jaquish Gut at the southern tip of Bailey Island. Here, we entered virgin territory for us. We made a 3+ mile crossing to Ragged Island, where I bagged a new buoy for my collection in a beautiful protected cove. We then ran east past White Bull and Mark Islands to Wood Island, where we had lunch in a little cove below old friend Steve Winter's island home. We then made a crescent shaped return along Flag, Elm, Two Bush, and Ram Islands to Pond Island, where another buoy found its way into my boat. We finished our day by passing under the bridge between Bailey and Orr's Islands, crossing Harpswell Sound and returning to the Dolphin Marina, about an 18 mile day in all. Couldn't have had a nicer day.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Rapid
Section:
Date: 2007-07-14
Level: 1300
Participants: Alex Wilson, Morrill Nason, Clyde Mitchell, Kevin Rogers, John Brower, Colby Libby, Kim Perkins, Doug Field, Gary & Suzanne Cole
Report: There was a good sized trip of eleven participants paddling ten watercraft. There was good balance: four kayaks, four open boats, a shredder and thrillseeker. Kevin rode out a good portion of Second Pitch upside down after an awesome back surf and hit his roll in the pool at the bottom. Gary brought his Sleek out of retirement and got some good moves in at Smooth Ledge. We were not disappointed by the crowds at Smooth Ledge. It was not as bad as past years, but still crowded. We had a couple Rapid newbies on the trip - Kevin and Clyde. They did great. The take out trail was in great shape. It had been relocated a bit near the road. That made for an easier carry out. The road could use a lot of tree removal if anyone wants to do a public service. Just gived Morril a call. Thanks to Morrill, Kevin, John Colby and Doug for running the shuttle. No easy task as it takes almost an hour each way. Morrill is off probation after completing a year of safe incident free shuttle driving since last year's truck beating Rapid shuttle. It was a great day to paddle. We finished the day with dinner at the Sunday River Brew Pub.

Submitter: BB Adams
River: Dead River
Section: Spencer to Webbs
Date: 2007-07-08
Level: 1800 cfs
Participants: BB Adams TC, Ben Meader, Aaron Carlson, Kenny De Coster, Carolyn Welch, Kim Gass
Report: Todays group was even smaller than yesterday. I had not signed up as trip leader, being unsure of my availability. But as we readied ourselves for the drive to the put in, Carolyn and Kim showed up to boost our group to 3 play boats, 1 kayak and 1 shredder. Half way down the river, the sun decided to come out, warming us to the point of shedding layers. Ben Aaron and Kennny surfed every chance they got. As we ate lunch @ Haydens, a group from Quebec who paddled really cool play boats showed up. Ben waltzed right up and asked in his best French if he could try out one of the boats. With an affirmative answer, Ben squirted across the river to test the spin, stability and automatic bailers on the craft. There were several swims by our surfers but the girls..... myself included, chose to stay dry. It was another heavenly day on the water!

Submitter: BB Adams
River: Dead River
Section: Spencer to Webbs
Date: 2007-07-07
Level: 1300 cfs
Participants: BB Adams TC, Ben Meader, Aaron Carlson, Alex Graff, Kenny De Coster, James King, Paul?, Asa?
Report: We arrived at Webbs at 8:30 a.m. and got packed and organized for the day. We waited for our buddy, Dan-Dan the safety man, Pelletier but he didn't show. So Ben picked up some other paddlers who seemed to have some interesting boats and techniques. They rode in to the put in with us and spent the day surfing and playing along side our small group. Unfortunately I can't go into much detail because I am heraded off to Europe tomorrow and need to get packed. All I want to say is THANK YOU to my daughter Emily for driving the van out for us, Althoug I was sad that she didn't feel well and couldn't paddle, she was a great sport and team player for doing the driving. We had a fantastic day!

Submitter: BB Adams
River: Dead River
Section: Spencer to Webbs
Date: 2007-07-01
Level: 1300 cfs
Participants: BBAdams TC, Kenny DeCoster, Ben Meader, Helen Johnston, Peter Brown, Dylan Brown, Dr. Ben Mathes, Skip Pendleton, Scott Gee, Scott Howell (my guy), Laurie Wunder, Alex Graff, and Aaron Carlson.
Report: July 1, 2007 Dead River Chowderheads 1300 cfs Participants: BBAdams TC, Kenny DeCoster, Ben Meader, Helen Johnston, Peter Brown, Dylan Brown, Dr. Ben Mathes, Skip Pendleton, Scott Gee, Scott Howell (my guy), Laurie Wunder, Alex Graff, and Aaron Carlson. Today was somewhat overcast and very cool. Most of us wore warmer clothing than yesterday, remembering how chilly we got on the river. After bringing the group together for our traditional joining of minds and spirits, I identified the people who would serve as lead, sweep and rescue. Today these people were Ben Meader in his Probe 12, Dylan in his kayak, Helen and Peter in their tandem white water canoe, Scott Gee in his playboat, and Kenny in his Encore. Alex had the first swim of the day, if I remember correctly. I just envision him hanging on to the back end of Ben’s boat as his sit-on-top floated farther and farther down stream. Laurie, being new to kayaking (crossing over from playboating) was searching for easier routes... following in behind me. Scott H. also followed closely. He is new to the white water scene since starting to date the trip leader.... We stopped at the beach before Hayden’s for our 1st lunch and at Enchanted Stream for 2nd lunch. Helen and Peter went on ahead to set up their camera for pictures of us all coming down the shute at Elephant. One by one we worked our way over to the shute, smiling for the camera as we plunged into the hole..... with Ben and Aaron going through backwards on purpose just to be different... We stopped at Upper Poplar for a quick indulgence in gummy bears and nuts. At Lower Poplar, we set up safety just past fryolator with Peter and Helen on shore with a throw bag, Scott G. farther down with a throw bag, Ben and Dylan on the water half way down, BB leading and Kenny sweeping. There was no yard sale to sweep up, however, and everyone made it through with no mishaps. Aaron took his kayak right through the thick of the waves and finished his day with a HUGE grin. I would like to publicly thank Heidi, my Occupational Therapist for making me a special orthopedic splint, formed directly for my paddle. Without her compliance and help, I would not have been able to paddle these trips! Thank you AGAIN, Caroline Mathes, for hanging with my son and daughter for the day. Without you, I could not have paddled today. respectfully submitted by: BB Adams

Submitter: BB Adams
River: Dead River
Section: Spencer to Webbs
Date: 2007-06-30
Level: 1800 cfs
Participants: BBAdams TC, Kenny DeCoster, Ben Meader, Emily Meader, Helen Johnston, Peter Brown, Dylan Brown, Dr. Ben Mathes, Sam Mathes, Skip Pendleton, Carol Kinsey, John and Conner Scofield, Paul and Chris Meyer, Don Skofield, Melanie Lanctot, Alex Graff, and Aaron
Report: June 30, 2007 Dead River Chowderheads 1800 cfs Participants: BBAdams TC, Kenny DeCoster, Ben Meader, Emily Meader, Helen Johnston, Peter Brown, Dylan Brown, Dr. Ben Mathes, Sam Mathes, Skip Pendleton, Carol Kinsey, John and Conner Scofield, Paul and Chris Meyer, Don Skofield, Melanie Lanctot, Alex Graff, and Aaron Carlson. Wow! What a wonderful day on the river we had! The 1800 cfs seemed to be a generous flow as we left the put in at about 11:00 a.m. With 19 people filling 14 boats, we had our hands full keeping track of everyone. To begin the trip, I married the trip members together by reading the trip waiver form and discussing the importance of self rescue. When everyone said “I do.” and signed their names on the dotted line, I identified the people who would serve as lead, sweep and rescue. Since I am recovering from a broken hand, I relieved myself from the “rescue” list right away and served primarily as “leader” and “hospitality girl.” I started padding tandem with Kenny in “Emma, ” my OT Tripper and we promised the beginners that we would be taking the easiest line we could find. Therefore Don S. in the shredder, with his partner Melanie, served as on and off the water body and boat rescue and well as sweep. Ben Meader in a Probe 12 and Dylan in his kayak were “on the water lookout”, helping wherever they could, and Helen and Peter in their tandem white water canoe often served as sweep. After surfing at Spencer for a while, we made our way toward “Basin” and Carol had a scary swim with her new playboat. We discussed the probability of more such swims and quickly decided that it might behoove the group of we did a little people rearranging. Carol became Kenny’s bow babe and I got to paddle her new boat for the remainder of the trip. We stopped at the beach before Hayden’s for our 1st lunch and a pause for the surfers to play across the river. The air was rather chilly so there was not as much intentional swimming as usual. Back in the boats, I took the sneak route on the far right and had a trail of followers past the “big stuff” in the center. At Enchanted Stream, we stopped to stretch our legs and have what we call “2nd lunch.” This also included the discussion of doing the shute in behind Elephant Rock or playing in the waves down the middle. Most of us chose the shute because of the big plunge at the end. It also serves to set us up for bailing and surfing the wave after everyone is through. During our third stop at Upper Poplar, we ate chocolate, gummy bears and nuts and we also discussed the strategy for the last two drops of the day. Don set up with a throw bag just below “Fryalator” on Lower Poplar as the rest of us scouted. We had many beginners along and we wanted everyone to feel comfortable with their route. Again I found the easier sneak routes starting center and moving right on both Upper and Lower Poplar and had many followers. Highlights of the day included: Kenny taking Carol down the middle of Humpty Dumpty and hearing him Whoop it up as only he can do! Ben surfing and pulling eddies in the middle of the most torrential water... Helen smiling and smiling and smiling, Peter helping and helping and helping.... Sam ROLLING the Torrent again and again!, Emily wearing the color coordinated gear and making her mother run Lower Poplar, Dylan popping the roll (much to Aaron’s awe)...and surfing in his kayak.... Dr. Ben trying new routes and pushing himself... OOps, that was not where he wanted to be.... Skip improving with every rapid he ran! John and Conner quietly waiting for all the “yahoos” to finish surfing, never complaining about the wait and not visually ticked off at being forgotten at the beginning of the shuttle.... sooooooo sorry!!! Paul was happy to learn some sneak routes and Chris FOUND HIS PADDLE!!!! Thanks again, Don for giving the kayak a ride on the shredder. Aaron swimming and swimming and swimming but never having a broken spirit.... gotta get that roll, eh? Call Brent soon! Hey Alex, next time You spring for the trail mix and the cashews! Did you eat enough? We had a GREAT RUN and wonderful cameraderie. Thank you Caroline Mathes and Scott Howell for running from River Drivers to Caratunk with Forrest Meader anddoing our CAR SHUTTLE!!! You are the best! respectfully submitted by BB Adams

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Kennebec
Section: Winslow - Augusta
Date: 2007-06-10
Level: 8000 - 9000 cfs Sidney
Participants: Larry Litchfield OC-1, Doug Field OC –1, John & Tee Brower OC-2, Marcy Shrader-Laninger & Danna Lee OC-2, Troy Alexander & Brent Elwell OC-2, David Duggan K-1, Marian McCael K-1, Randy Berube K-1, Dave Wallace K-1, Helen Hess K-1, Ron Chase K-1 and Nan
Report: Weather: We had beautiful weather on this trip. The temperatures were in the low 80’s with plenty of sunlight and very little wind. Even a little head wind can make this 17-mile trip a grueling experience especially in higher profile boats like canoes. Sunburn was the biggest danger of the day. This was the first time that the lower Kennebec was listed as an official trip. I was very surprised at the large number of participants. The 17-mile was not enough mileage for some of us, so we headed upstream towards the Waterville dams at Taconic Falls from the Ft. Halifax put in. The water was quite clear and you could see the bottom in many places. Evidence of riverine abuse was still apparent in the discarded auto wheels and at least one ten-speed bike, but it is a much cleaner river now it has been free flowing for eight years. The Edwards dam in Augusta was removed in 1999. There were many bird sightings; bald eagles, ospreys, cormorants and blue herons were up and down the river. The fish were surfacing everywhere. We even saw a beaver. The rapids were not ferocious – nothing over class two. This is a very nice paddle and can be broken down into a shorter trip by using the Sidney boat launch roughly halfway between Winslow and Augusta. It took the group about five hours to reach the take out. I highly recommend this stretch of river to anyone who wants a scenic paddle.

Submitter: Dave Wallace
River: Dead River
Section: Lower
Date: 2007-06-09
Level: 5500
Participants: Dave Wallace, John Brower, Greg and Sharon Pelotte [shredder], Tom and Patty Rutka, Ron Chase, and sometimes Randy Berrrube.
Report: The day started clear and beautiful, thunder and lightning at the beginning, and showers and drizzle thru much of the day. We had a very uneventful day enjoying the river, surfing waves, and trying s few new routes. Tom and Patty showed their surfing skills in their Jacksons. No mayhem, no swims, just another average great day on the Dead! And very few other hard boaters.

Submitter: Suzanne Cole
River: Dead River
Section:
Date: 2007-06-02
Level: 5500 cfs
Participants: TC: Gary and Suzanne Cole. Participants: John Brower, Kim Perkins, Brent Elwell, Troy Alexander, Greg Winston, Steve West, Don Skolfield, Mark Nelson, Scott Nelson, Denny Harnish, Randy Berube, and Ken Gordon.
Report: For a day the was supposed to be rainy, we were happy with just clouds. The day’s events started at the put in when Boater X realized he had forgotten his spray skirt in his car back at Riverdrivers. A fellow paddler was a good sport and went with Boater X to get it. They eventually met up with the group at the gravel pit. This worked out well (for most of us) because all vehicles were driven out. (Thank you Tee Brower for shuttling the third vehicle out.) They picked up the skirt and drove back to the gravel pit. The gravel pit is where Denny had intended on taking out all along, so he drove Boater X’s vehicle out. The day proceeded with lots of light heartedness and playing until the second to the last rapid. Boater Y was traveling down a wave train in Upper Poplar when his bow pinned. He jerked forward taking a blow to his middle, but was able to push off the rock and the boat slid sideways. He got out of his boat, took a breath, and went into a hole. He recalls standing on the sandy bottom, looking up, when he made a deliberate move to the side and came out of the hole. Boater Y swam to the bottom of the rapid where others were waiting to help. We got him to shore and back into his boat before Lower Poplar. However, the paddle was gone, or so we thought. Two in our group had breakdown paddles, so one was assembled and Boater Y proceeded through Lower Poplar. Luckily, others saw the paddle, retrieved it, and Boater Y and paddle were reunited. This incident was a sobering reminder that the last person in a group is the most vulnerable. Boater Y was the last person in the group. It was also a reminder that it is a good idea to have a breakdown paddle. The one that was borrowed from Mark had been converted from two pieces to four pieces so it would fit in a small boat. Once this paddle was reassembled, it worked fine. This could have been a really bad day if it weren’t for the cool headedness of Boater Y, and the forethought of Mark and Steve who both had breakdown paddles. As to forgetting gear… Boater X needs a checklist.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Machias
Section: W. Branch & Upper Section
Date: 2007-05-20
Level: Low Medium
Participants: Kyle Duckworth OC-1, Mark Berry K-1, John Crocker & Denise Skonbey OC-2 and T/C Brent Elwell K-1
Report: Thank God we the Machias watershed got enough rain to bring the river up enough to paddle. I rescheduled the trip from Saturday to Sunday because of the forecasted rain on Saturday. Since I had never coordinated a trip on the Machias trip before, Kyle who had run these rivers before volunteered to help with the trip. The W. Branch was a real gem. It had nice ledge drops and outstanding scenery. John and Denise were on their first PPCS trip. They looked comfortable paddling their tandem canoe. Barring the one time John wrestled with a tree on the approach to a drop, they stayed dry. Kyle showed us how to self rescue when he got his paddle jammed between a rock and the boat on the downstream side of the boat in a real shallow section. Mark got some spins in on a real nice surfing wave at the bottom of a ledge drop. Most of the drops in this section involved ledge. The last one was the biggest and gnarliest. The second section of the Machias we paddled was the part between Second and Third Machias Lakes. Mark could not paddle, so it was down to four of us. It would have been really good with a little more water. There was great scenery on this section also.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Piscataquis/Union
Section:
Date: 2007-05-05
Level: Class II/III
Participants: Nancy Chase, Gary Cole, Sharon Pelotte, Greg Pelotte, Kim Perkins, Suzanne, Cole, Helen Hess, Mark Berry and TC
Report: Due to impassable roads for Dead River access, I cancelled the Forks Weekend trip and replaced it with the Piscataquis on Saturday and Union (West Branch) on Sunday. We were particularly happy to have Mark Berry join us for his first club trip. Mark is one of several new members that I've met for the first time this spring that also includes Helen Hess, who joined us for the Sunday paddle. It's great to have some fresh faces on the river and we welcome all of you. On Saturday we had a cloudy, cool day and medium water levels when we put on the Piscataquis just above Barrows Falls. No names will be mentioned, but we had some "bottom feeders" on the falls. The falls had some nice surfing waves and hard to catch eddies, so several of us carried up for a second run. After the run, Kimbo Perkins invited the group to his newly renovated house in Alton. It was the first night that his wife Tammy was away on her vacation and so he naturally threw a party. On Sunday, we had medium water levels on the Union. It started out cloudy, but by lunch it was a beautiful sunny day. There were several fairly decent surfing spots and, except for a minor misadventure at Hell's Gate, we had an uneventful but very enjoyable day.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Carrabassett
Section: Upper
Date: 2007-04-28
Level: 1.0
Participants: Troy Alexander, Brent Elwell, Morrill Nason, & Greg Winston
Report: Trip Coordinators: Brent Elwell & Troy Alexander The trip will be offered as a turf and surf next year. A ski at Sugarloaf in the morning and a paddle of the Carrabassett in the afternoon. Greg and I were able to do that this day. The skiing and boating could not have been any better. The trip participants included Troy Alexander K-1, Kirk Ross K-1, Greg Winston K-1 and Morrill Nason and Brent Elwell S-2 (Shredder). The weather was a bit on the nasty side with an intermittent drizzle and temperatures in the mid 40’s. Troy and I had run this section the weekend before at a lower level with some scary ice shelves on the sides of the river. Fortunately, the shelves were flushed out from the higher water levels in the week prior to the trip. We put in on “Oh My Gosh Corner” and paddled down to Valley Crossing. Greg, Kirk and Troy all had good runs at the major drops. Except for Kirk losing a contact lens somewhere below Bailey's Hole there were no mishaps. The shredder did do a taco at Bailey’s Hole, but did not flip. The Upper Carrabassett is always fun when it is at this level regardless your choice of boat.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Sheepscot
Section:
Date: 2007-04-08
Level: Class II (IV)
Participants: Doug Field & TC
Report: For some strange reason, nobody was interested in my proposed Class IV trip on the Cathance. It may have had something to do with the cold temperatures in the mid-30s and high winds. I did find a willing victim for the Sheepscot in Doug Field,who is recuperating from knee surgery. One of my favorite spring runs, it's a combination of flatwater and Class II with a solid Class IV optional run at the put-in and a tricky optional slot run thru the dam at the take-out. It was about 600 or 700 cfs, which is perfect for running the washed out dam at the put-in. The rest of the run was medium low with a couple of decent surfing waves. By the time we reached the dam, we were near hypothermic no cared about the slot. Doug complained about some discomfit in his knee. I on the other hand had no feeling in either leg. We need warmer weather and higher water soon!

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Soudabscook
Section:
Date: 2007-03-24
Level: Class III/IV+
Participants: Adam Chase, Kim Perkins & TC
Report: Thanks to Scout (AKA Adam Chase) we were able to confirm that the Sou was open (our original plan had been Cobbossee Stream in Gardiner). At 1.1' on the gauge at the Emerson Mill Bridge, it was an excellent level for a cool, sunny spring day. We were able to get some good surfing in at several spots, including under the snowmobile bridge and there were no major obstructions found in the river. There was the usual drainage from Mount Sawyer, the Hampden highpoint. Since scout had done yeoman's work checking out the river, we let him lead us over Great Falls, which was also a good idea, as Kim and I couldn't remember the line. No one had any rock collisions in the drop, so it was a good line. Also, some excellent surfing waves at 1.1 in the falls runoff.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Ski Trip
Section:
Date: 2007-03-18
Level:
Participants: Brent Elwell & TC
Report: A backpacking trip in the Presidentials scheduled to begin on March 17th was revised and rescheduled as a ski trip beginning on the March 18th due to the St. Patty's Day storm. Your Prez and VP had to carry the load for the rest of the membership, as there were no other takers. On the 18th we had great snow conditions for a Cross Country ski at the Carrabbasset Valley Touring Center. We did the Haute Route Loop, which has about 1200 feet of elevation gain over the east shoulder of Burnt Mountain and then provides a wild and wooly descent to the base lodge. On the 19th, we Tele skied Saddleback Mountain. Again, we had outstanding snow and a beautiful, sunny day and there was only a handful of people on the mountain. No waiting lines and cheap lift tickets! That's it for the Fall/Winter Schedule - paddling's next!

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Burnt Mountain Hike
Section:
Date: 2007-02-17
Level:
Participants: Dave Duggan, Greg Winston, and I tackled the Burnt Mountain hike two days after the 30" snowfall.
Report: Burn Mountain's summit if less than 2 miles from the summit of Sugarloaf as the crow flies. The trail was broken out for only about the first mile, so we got first tracks for the remaining 1 and 1/2 miles or so. It was quite a workout - we were glad that we did not tackle one of the 4000 footers in the area. The above tree line area was mostly clear of snow, so we ditched the snowshoes soon after we broke treeline. We rewarded with great views and windy conditions on the top. It took three hours to make the summit and less than half that to get back to the truck. This is a great mountain to winter hike with a very well marked trail and excellent view of Sugarloaf and the Bigelow range.

Submitter: Gary Cole
River: Sunday River Whitecap Hike
Section:
Date: 2007-02-11
Level:
Participants: Ken Gordon, Sharon & Greg Pelotte, Suzanne & Gary Cole, Babe and Ginger
Report: We had a beautiful sunny day. Snowshoes were a plus although not necessary. Ken and I brought skis in hopes of a quick descent. The road is a snowmobile trail in the winter so we had to keep an eye out for the snowmobilers. We turned south off the road a short distance after crossing the second bridge. We followed parts of logging roads til we had to cross a brook coming west off Sunday River Whitecap. The biggest complaint about this section was the whippets in the logging roads but they really were just a nuisance. After crossing the brook, we keep moving south to the col between Sunday River Whitecap and Slide Mountain. Before reaching the col, we came onto the trail that leads to the summit of Sunday River Whitecap. We left the skis here and headed up the trail. However, due to blowdowns, we lost the trail at one point and ended up following the boundary markers up to the first open rock area. This brought us back onto the trail. The summit is open and has great views. As usual, it was a bit windy on top and we had to find some trees to get out of the wind for lunch. We followed the trail back down to where Ken and I left our skis and picked them up to carry them back to the road. There just was not enough snow to allow for skiing down through the woods. We ended up only skiing the road back to the parking area just off Route 26. What skiing we got was good. If only we had gone after the big snow storm on the 14th but then braking trail would have been a real chore. We had a good day out in the winter.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Baxter State Park
Section: South Branch Campground
Date: 2006-12-28
Level:
Participants: PPCS members: Lori White, Brent Elwell, Allen Gaskell, Suzanne Cole, Gary Cole, Nancy Chase and TC. Guests: Ken Gordon and Brad Fox
Report: THE LOST WINTER: At 9:00 A.M. sharp, December 28th, a small group of would-be mountaineers met at the Mattagamon Trailhead in the far northeastern corner of Baxter State Park. The goal - to find the Lost Winter of 2006/2007. Armed with gear laden sleds, boot stabilizers, weather radios and an array of satelite devices called GPS, they wandered off in a westerly direction on the Perimeter Road. After eleven arduous miles of sled pulling, this intrepid, but diverse, band of mountaineers found winter secreted away in the South Branch area of Baxter State Park, that pristine land of a million rules and regulations. On December 29th, about half of our group summited North Traveler Mountain, which is about a six mile round trip climb, much of which is along the exposed cliffs of the southern face of the mountain. On the 30th, five of us did the Traveler Loop, which is a 10.6 mile hike over Peak of the Ridge, Traveler Mountain (which at 3541 feet is a Maine 100 Highest) and North Traveler. Until recently, hikes to Traveler were bushwacks. However, the park has opened a new trail that connects Traveler to both Peak of Ridge and North Traveler. It is an outstanding trail with a significant amount of exposure that begins part way up Peak and, with a couple of short exceptions, ends part way down North Traveler. For New Year's Eve, most of the group negotiated the icy South Branch Stream crossing and then completed a seven mile loop hike over South Branch (Black Cat) Mountain and a return trip along the south and east shore of South Branch Pond. There were additional hikes on North Traveler Mountain, South Branch Falls Trail, Howe Brook Trail and the Ledges. Since everyone thought that they were bringing wine for the whole group, we had New Year's Eve and pre-New Year's Eve parties every night. A nasty ice storm forecast for New Year's Day and a wrenched knee separated the sissies from the non-sissies, as some members of the group decided to brave the weather, while three Certified Sissies (Allen, Nancy and the TC) huddled themselves in the warm and comfortable South Branch Bunkhouse for an additional night. The South Branch Campground is simply an outstanding winter outdoor destination and winter can often be found hiding there.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Juniper Lodge, New Brunswick
Section:
Date: 2006-12-08
Level:
Participants: Ellis, Gretchen & Daryn Slover, Lori White, Brent Elwell, Nancy & Ron Chase, Tarsha Reed; and, Trip Coordinators Andrea & Rodney
Report: We met at the Reed's beautiful sporting camp, Juniper Lodge, in Juniper, New Brunswick for four days of skiing, hot tubbing and wine sipping. Located just across the border from the Mars Hill area, it is a great place to ski, bike, paddle, snowmobile, fish and hunt. The participants brought food for evening meals and Rodney & Andrea treated us to outstanding grilled Caribou steaks on our last night. There was ample snow to ski the tote roads in the Juniper area on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, we split up and the Slovers explored the bike trails in Fredericton, while the remainder of the group traveled to Mount Carleton Provincial Park, which is about a 3 hour drive. Our goal was to summit Mount Carleton, which is the New Brunswick high point. However, there was about a foot of snow and the roads were unplowed. So, we opted for an outstanding day of cross country skiing with near perfect conditions and spectacular views. It would be possible to summit Carleton by skiing and snowshoeing, but would require a very early start. There is definitely a club trip back to the park in the future, as it has great hiking, biking, skiing and camping possibilities. Ron Chase Trip Scribe

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Camden Hills
Section:
Date: 2006-12-02
Level:
Participants: Guests: Richie Bedard and Josee L'Eculyer of Quebec, Dave Boyle and Dave Duggan; PPCS Members: Suzanne Cole, Gary Cole, Nancy Chase and TC
Report: After a night of hard partying (by geriatric standards), a small group met at the Camden Hills State Park. We hiked the Megunticook and Adam's Lookout Trails to the Megunticcok Overlook and the Tablelands Trail to the summit of Mount Battie and then descended the Nature Trail. We had a clear, cool and windy day with spectacular views of Penobscot Bay. Much of the day's discussion was about Richie's lifelong dream to go swimming at Old Orchard Beach. He fulfilled his dream with three dives into the icy waters next to the Pier the following day.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Burnt Hill Hike
Section:
Date: 2006-11-25
Level:
Participants: Ron & Nancy Chase, T/C Brent Elwell
Report: Ron and Nancy's first hike up Burnt Hill could not have been under better conditions. Warm & sunny with clear views of surrounding mountains. We loitered on the top. We could clearly see skiers on the one open trail on Sugarloaf. We met many hikers on the way down. It was the most crowded I have ever seen it in the many times that I have hiked it. People must have been anxious to work off the turkey.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Goose Eye Mountain
Section:
Date: 2006-11-19
Level:
Participants: Lori Wunder, Tom Meredith, Suzanne Cole, Gary Cole, Dave Boyle, Nancy Chase and TC
Report: Goose Eye Mountain is a 100 Highest Peak located in far western Maine near the NH Hampshire border and is part of the Mahoosuc Range. We began our hike on the Success Pond Road, which is a logging road that connects the Grafton Notch area with Berlin, NH. The hike actually begins in NH and crosses the border part way up the trail. We had a gray, cloudy day with scattered snow showers, particularly at higher elevations. However, the group was enthusiastic and prepared for the elements. Goose Eye has an alpine like summit and we had sections of ice that we had to scramble around. There was only about 50 to 75 feet of visibility at the top with light snow, but we all agreed that these conditions had their own special allure. We found shelter from the wind and had a chilly lunch. This is one of the easier 100 Highest, when approached from the north, and only has a little over 2000 feet of elevation gain and is about a six mile round-trip hike. We capped the day off with pizza and pasta at Mr. Pizza in Gorham, NH.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Kearsearge Mountain
Section:
Date: 2006-11-11
Level:
Participants: Nancy Chase and TC
Report: We had a small turnout for a great hike on a beautiful day. The trip was originally scheduled for Sunday the 12th, but a rainy forecast dictated a change. Kearsearge is a 3000 footer just to the northeast of North Conway in NH. It is a little over 6 miles round-trip and affords great views of the Presidentials, the Carter Range and the peaks of Evans Notch. There is a fire tower at the summit where 360 degree views can be enjoyed while protected from the winds. We spent about 45 minutes eating lunch and feasting on the views. We ended the day with a little shopping in North Conway.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Georges Highland
Section:
Date: 2006-11-05
Level:
Participants: Gary & Suzanne Cole, Lori White, Brent Elwell, John & Tee Brower, Nancy Chase, Ginger the Dog, Isaac Gates (the littlest hiker) and TC
Report: We completed a traverse of the Georges Highlands Trail in the Camden Hills. It was a beautiful partly sunny day with spectacular views of Penobscot Bay and the surrounding hills. We began our hike at the Pleasant Farm Trailhead in Hope and hiked around the summit of Pleasant Mountain and then over Spruce and Ragged Mountains to the Barnstown Road Trailhead, which is about a 9 mile hike. The beginning of the hike was particularly interesting, as Pleasant Farm has an eclectic assortment of animals, including Emus and ostriches. The first portion of the hike was quite wet and 7 year old Isaac managed to find virtually every puddle. He was also a little disappointed with his new binoculars, which didn't appear to help much. We concluded that they were probably designed for spotting elephants. Several of us finished the day with a great feed at Rebeccas Restaurant in Augusta.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Flagstaff Lake
Section:
Date: 2006-10-22
Level:
Participants: Brent Elwell, Randy Berube, Dave Duggan and TC
Report: We had a cool, but beautful, day for the first trip of the Fall/Winter Schedule. Flagstaff Lake parallels the north side of the Bigelow Mountain Range and is the source of the Lower Dead River. We began our trip on the west side in the Village of Stratton and estimated that it was probably about 15 miles to the boat landing on the far southeast corner of the lake. We had a light tailwind for most of the day and spectacular views of the Bigelow Peaks through out. We stopped on an island at about the midway point on the trip that was the northern portion of Flagstaff Village, which was flooded a little over 50 years ago to create the lake. There is an excellent Maine Forest Service campsite on the island and several rusted vehicles are all that remain of the village. Further east, where the lake narrows, the channel on the southside of a large island is blocked by debris and the only water route is north of the island. In fact, based on Randy's GPS, the actual distance was 20.3 miles and our average speed was 3.6 MPH - not bad for an old man trying to herd three youngsters across the pond. We had an ongoing discussion about Benedict Arnold's march to Quebec, which traveled right through the area that we paddled, and we still arrived at the takeout before dark, but not much before.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Dead
Section:
Date: 2006-10-06
Level: 6000+
Participants: Greg Pelotte, Steve West, Randy Berube, Scott Nelson & T/C Brent Elwell
Report: We lucked out with the weather. It was warm, clear & sunny. The group size was very manageable and noone got out of line. It was Scott Nelson's first time on the Dead on a high release in a kayak. He did a good job. This was a really nice level. There were many opportunities for front surfing at the usual play spots. The river traffic was very light, so you could surf to your heart's content. It was the perfect way to close out the paddling season on the Dead River.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Southern Rivers
Section:
Date: 2006-09-28
Level: Class III to V
Participants: PPCS Members: Mark "The Wildman" Hoffman, Dana Davis, Carolyn Young, Frank Yulling, Andy Webb, Randy Berube, Nancy Chase and Ron Chase; Carolina Canoe Club Members: Bill & Annie Poorboy; Andy's Rafting crew: Charlie, Mike, Carolyn, Erin and others.
Report: This was a joint PPCS/Carolina Canoe Club trip. It began with a run on the Class III Lower Yough in Ohiopyle, PA on September 28th, with the Chases and Frank & Carolyn paddling this fun run at a fluid 1.8 gauge level. That night all of the participants met at the Battle Run Campground in Summersville, WVA, near the put-in for the Upper Gauley. On Friday the 29th, we paddled the Upper at a beefy 3000 cfs. The Upper is one of America's classic whitewater runs, with five Class V big water rapids and many that are slightly less difficult. There were thrills and spills for the first half of the run followed by carnage on the long Class V rapid, Lost Paddle. We had two swimmers, including a long, exhausting swim of most of the rapid by one paddler. It was followed by a difficult one hour boat and paddle rescue. Andy and his crew were invaluable, providing the exhausted swimmer with an opportunity for rest and recuperation. The adventure continued with exciting runs on Iron Ring, Sweets Falls and Frank completed a mysterious disappearance move on the hole at the bottom of Wood's Ferry. The following day, we paddled the 16 mile, Class IV Lower Gauley run. The Lower has two Class V rapids and a bazillion Class IV. Mark and I surfed a 40 foot wave just below Backender Rapid in honor of our fallen comrade, President Kyle Duckworth. I also kept my promise to website guru, Carlisle, and surfed a wave for him at the ledges. The run ended with a white knuckle run on the Class V rapid, Pure Screaming Hell, which is aptly named. On Sunday, we had a detuning run on the New River at the Class III/IV level of about .25 foot. The New River Gorge might be the most scenic section of river paddling in WVA and the Keeneys always get a paddler's attention. After parting company with the CCC and the rafting crew, the rest of the New England contingent headed north to Maryland for a run on the Upper Yough. The Upper Yough is a Class IV/V dam release creek like run that drops at a rate of about 140 feet per mile in the gorge, which is almost continuous Class IV/V. Frank provided the entertainment by running the Class V Heinzerlinger Falls upside down and the Class V Lost and Found Rapid backwards, which seemed appropriate, as he appeared to be lost. Overall, we had great paddling, excellent weather and an outstanding social time with our Carolina paddling friends. We might have to do it again next year.

Submitter: Dave Wallace
River: West Branch, Penobscot
Section:
Date: 2006-08-18
Level: 3250 and 2450
Participants: Gary and Suzanne Cole, John and Tee Brower, and Dave Wallace and Dawn Craig
Report: We had a really small group on the West Branch for late August at the Horserace Campsite. And the weather was beautiful Friday and Saturday. However thunderstorms arrived Saturday night, after the potluck and bonfire, and Gary's guitar accompanyment. John, Gary and Suzanne had a late Friday run on Abol and Poc, and Saturday morning we all did it again. In the afternoon and again on Sunday morning the intrepid three did from McKay station to the Horserace campground while Dave gave Dawn lessons on the Horserace. And Sunday was another damp day for the trip home

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River: Rapid
Section: Main
Date: 2006-08-05
Level: 1300 - 1400 cfs
Participants: Trip Participants: T/C Brent Elwell K-1, Tim & Kelly McKeen K-1, Troy Alexander K-1, and Greg Winston K-1. We had two shred heads: Morrill Nason and Arthur ?. Sorry about the last name Arthur.
Report: The Rapid River is known for its horrible shuttle and long waits for surf time at Smooth Ledge. It lived up to its reputation on both counts. Morrill lead the shuttle a.k.a. Western Mountain Road Rally. The roads were in particularly tough shape due to recently downed trees. Morrill knocked the capital “T” off his Toyota emblem on the passenger side door and beat up his headlight assembly. He has been placed on probationary status for one year, and he will have to successfully complete a defensive driving and anger management course before he can be allowed on another PPCS trip. The two drivers following Morrill did not fare quite as badly, but were not impressed with the road conditions. It was suggested that the Rapid River take out trail caretaker should also perform road maintenance, but the Trip Coordinator was able to quickly discourage that suggestion. The majority of the trip members were newbies to the Rapid River experience. They included Tim, Kelly, Troy and Greg. They all were impressed by the surfing at Smooth Ledge and even more by the length of the waiting lines. A couple of the group (Tim & I) hiked back up to the Pond in the River with their boats and drove out the cars left at the put in. The rest of the group paddled out to the traditional take out and drove straight out. They beat us out by about an hour. I think the best way to paddle this river is to park at the Smooth Ledge trailhead and carry the boat down to the river (about ½ mile).

Submitter: Kyle Duckworth
River: Surfathon Hammerhead Challenge
Section:
Date: 2006-07-29
Level: Dead at 2400, Kennebec at 2500
Participants: Sledgehammers: TC Duckworth, Tennie Coleman, Kim Perkins Claw Hammers: Greg Pelotte, Amanda Shorette, Steven West Ball Peen Hammers: Gary Cole, Suzanne Cole, Randy Barube, Gary Brooks, Sharon Pelotte.
Report: The few and the proud left Webb's Campground in The Forks at 8 AM on Surfathon Day, to begin the paddling marathon that men call the Hammerhead Challenge. The day started off hot and sunny, and the dress code was bare arms.

The Hammerheads don't have much time to fool around, but they did take a few minutes to surf a couple of prime waves. Gary Brooks, who usually paddles racing canoes with the MaCKRO folks, had his hands full with a borrowed Mohawk Viper 12, which didn't track as straight as the 18' kevlar boats he was used to. Just as he was starting to get the hang of a playboat, he had to take out at the gravel pit so that he could paddle in the Dead River races at 11 AM.

The remaining seven Hammerheads kept up the pace and soon found themselves at the Poplars. Sharon Pelotte set off into Lower Poplar with a great deal of trepidation, but she kept her composure and had a great run. Her helmet has a decal that says "next mood swing in 6 minutes", and it was true that day as she was all smiles for the rest of the run to the Forks.

After a quick lunch at Webb's Campground, everyone except Sharon (who had Surfathon duties to tend to) headed to the Kennebec for Part II of the Hammerhead Challenge. At Harris Dam, we met up with Gary and Suzanne Cole and Randy Barube, who had just finished a morning run from the dam to Carry Brook takeout. The Gorge is not often run at the lower afternoon level, so we had an interesting run on an unfamiliar river. There were no mishaps, though, and soon we were at Carry Brook takeout, saying good-bye to Claw Hammers and Ball Peen Hammers. The remaining Sledgehammers - Kyle, Kim, and Tennie - set out on the last 8 miles of their 28-mile day, from Carry Brook to The Forks, accompanied by Gary Cole. Gary, in a chivalrous mood, offered to trade Kyle his kayak for a canoe (Kyle had been whining about sore knees). This was a move that Gary soon regretted, but by that time Kyle was too far ahead and in no mood to give up his comfortable seated position.

It was almost 6 o'clock when The Hammerheads finally made it back to camp, tired, satisfied, and powerfully thirsty. The good news was that they didn't have long to wait for the Surfathon potluck supper!

Submitter: Gary Cole
River: West Branch of the Penobscot
Section: Rip Gorge to Nesowadnehunk Deadwater
Date: 2006-07-16
Level: 2460 cfs
Participants: Gary & Suzanne Cole TC, Tim and Kelly McKeen, Brent Elwell, John Brower, Betsy Darken, Kyle Duckworth and Kim Perkins
Report: We decided to paddle from Big Eddy down to Nesowadnehunk Deadwater to wrm up for the Gorge run later. Ken Gordon, Randy Berube and Greg Winston decided to start with the Gorge and so headed up to McKay. We had a beautiful day and great views of the Katahdin from the river. At Big A, most of us chose to run the left route with the McKeens choosing the right route. Tim was getting some good rides at the bottom of Big A. We then paddled back to Horserace Brook Campground.
After lunch, Kim and Kyle decided to head home. The rest of us went up to McKay to run the gorge. With John setting up safety for us below Staircase, we all ran the gorge successfully. Betsy showed us a great low brace in Staircase. We did the usual surfing and enders down below the heaters and near Troublemaker. We all walked around the Crib and then paddled down to the takeout at Big Eddy. It was a great day to be on the water.

Submitter: Gary Cole
River: West Branch of the Penobscot
Section: Abol & Pockwockamus and Rip Gorge to Nesowadnehunk
Date: 2006-07-15
Level: 2460 CFS
Participants: Gary & Suzanne Cole TC, Ken Gordon, John Brower, Kyle Duckworth, Brent Elwell, Greg Winston, Kim Perkins, Betsy Darken, and Randy Berube.
Report: In the morning, we paddled Abol and Pock to warm up for the bigger stuff later in the day. The flow was about 2460 cfs due to maintenance on one of the turbines. Everyone had clean runs. The wave/hole at the bottom of Pock was not sticky so we did not play too long there. Tee was correct about the bugs at the takeout on river left and so we had done the shuttle prior to the run. Thus, we were able to escape the area in good order.
After lunch, we went up to McKay Station to run from Rip Gorge down to Nesowadnehunk Deadwater (most of us were camping at Horserace Brook Campground). The gorge was run successfully by all with some choosing the route down the right through the edge of Exterminator and others choosing the left route into the eddy just above Exterminator. John did do a lttle bit of surfing on the right route and looked good doing it. At the Cribwork, some ran and other chose to walk it. Greg gave us a thrill with his run as he ended up going over the left side of final chute upside down. He rolled up no worse for wear. In fact, he climbed back up and ran from the island down again and went of the ski jump quite nicely.
We had nice trip down to Big A with the usual playing at Little A. You could see the Kyle and Kim were making use of their Madawaska instruction as they were surfing up a storm. At Big A, some ran the right side over the ledge and others ran the left side. From here down, John and Suzanne switched boats. Kim paddled my kayak, Kyle paddles Kim's canoe, and I paddled Kyle's canoe. We all managed to get to Horserace Brook campground with no problems.
We had a great potluck supper even if there was a thunderstorm. It is always nice to be in the shadow of Mt. Katahdin. Susan Gordon and Dave Wallace joined us for the supper. The food was great. Kyle entertained us later so we had a really nice evening.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Carolina Canoe Club Week of Ri
Section:
Date: 2006-07-01
Level:
Participants: PPCS members Dana Davis, Mark Hoffman, Carolyn Young, Frank Yulling, Nancy Chase and Ron Chase and about 400 Carolina Canoe Club members
Report: Trip Coordinators Mark Hoffman and Dana Davis were the perfect hosts for the Carolina Canoe Club's Annual Week of Rivers. Based at the Great Smokey Mountain Meadow Campground a few miles south of Bryson City, North Carolina, during the first week of July, a multitude of rivers were paddled by hundreds of enthusiastic boaters. Led by Mark, the PPCS contingent paddled the Ocoee, Nolichucky, Big Laurel/French Broad, Pigeon and Nantahala. Mark was able to get a run in on the dropping Section IV of the Chatooga the day before we arrived. From previous joint Gauley trips, old friendships were renewed with Jake, Jill, Robert and Milt. Dozens of new friends were made. Dana led daily off-river trips and treated us to many culinary delights. When we arrived, Mark and Dana had already set up a large open tent area and had staked off (and fended off)a prime spot for our campers. We couldn't have felt more welcomed. We're now looking forward to a possible joint Gauley trip in September. All PPCS members should consider this trip next year. It's a beautiful setting in the southern Great Smokey Mountains, there is something to paddle for everyone everyday (Class I to Class V) and the hospitality can't be improved upon. Ron Chase Trip Scribe

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Sheepscot
Section: Kings Mills to Head Tide
Date: 2006-06-17
Level: class 2
Participants: 6 paddlers: Solo canoes: Dave Lanman, Bob Gonyea, Myles Jordan, Rich Sousa. Kayaks: Rick Washburn and T/C Carolyn Welch.
Report: After all that rain, the Sheepscot was still up, a week later. [Last Saturday June 10th, Dave Lanman, Dave Wallace, Ken Severy, Dave Duggan, and Marion McCord ran it at 1500cfs, and reported a great day!]. How could we not do this run?? We met at the Kings Mills putin about 10:00. A warm and cloudless day.

We did the shuttle, and were in the water about 10:30. Bob Gonyea poled (very impressive!), the rest of us paddled. The mayflies were hatching in profusion; we saw lots of fish snatching a snack. There were some black flies, but the breeze kept most of them at bay. The water was warm, vegetation lush, so different from our early spring runs! An easy day of cruising, surfing and doing eddy sets. After lunch at Head Tide, Myles departed, and the rest of us did a second run, just as delightful as the first. The stream gauge dropped from 800 to 700 cfs during the day. We were off the river about 3:30. I went south on route 27 and found a new ice cream parlor called Here’s the Scoop. It’s just north of Wiscassett, serving Gifford’s(!). A perfect finish to a perfect day.

Submitter: Gary Cole
River: Kennebec River
Section: Harris Station to The Forks
Date: 2006-06-04
Level: 4800 cfs
Participants: John Brower, Tim McKeen, Kelly McKeen, Suzanne Cole and Gary Cole
Report: After a Saturday night of rain, five of us met in the West Forks to paddle the Kennebec. I admit I was hoping for Cold Stream but it did not rain as much in the West Forks so that was out. Tim and Kelly and their dog, Belle, had a rather wet Saturday night camping plus they had paddled the Dead that day in the rain. We ran the Kennebec Gorge without problems, although John gave us all a thrill at Big Mama. It was reported that Big Mama is different and it looks a bit different. The wave does not seem to smooth out for as long and remains breaking at least at 4800 cfs or is this a case of not having seen the wave for about seven months. Some of us even got to surf a few waves. Suzanne, Tim, and Kelly took out at Carry Brook and John and I paddled to the West Forks. We got to see a bald eagle in the area where the osprey nest is and that made the trip worth it.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: BIG MACHIAS RIVER
Section: Big Machias Lake to Ashland
Date: 2006-05-06
Level: 4300 to 4800 on the Washburn gauge
Participants: Doug Field, Kim Perkins and TC Ron Chase
Report: May 6th thru May 8th. We had a small, but intrepid band of enthusiastic boaters all on a first descent (for them). The water levels were medium low to medium (4300 to 4800 on the Washburn gauge of the Aroostook River). Participants were Doug Field, Kim Perkins and TC - all in solo boats. Using Zip Kellogs river description, we were able to locate the take-out at a boat landing in Ashland and the put-in at the outlet of Big Machias Lake. We didn't get the put-in right the first time, but we will next year. The trip itself was a gentle Class II trip with steady rapids or current for about 27 of the 32 miles. This is just about a perfect trip for a group looking for fun rapids and a short wilderness experience. Former Prez Doug Field came looking for more - the penultimate fishing adventure. Fishing the mouth of every brook and the bottom of every rapid, each day we day we anticipated succulent brookies sauteed in olive oil and white wine. Alas, we were treated to but a solitary, barely legal appetizer. Despite, or because of the fishing disappointments, Doug and Kim both insisted that this is a "must" trip for future years. We'll be there at the same time and same place next year. Will you?

Submitter: Gary Cole
River: Dead River
Section:
Date: 2006-05-06
Level:
Participants: TC: Greg Pelotte. Participants: Randy Berube, Suzanne and Gary Cole and Sharon Pelotte, shuttle driver and mountain biker extraordinaire.
Report: Since Morrill was unable to lead a trip on 5/6/06, the trip coordinator responsiblities fell to Greg Pelotte. Water levels dictated something dam released so Greg decided that the Dead River was the river to do. The weather forecast said there would be showers. It did rain but only at the put in. The rest of the day was partly sunny and reasonably warm. There were bugs but they did not seem to biting just flying into your mouth as you were whooping it up running the rapids or surfing a wave.

We had a delightful trip down the river. It was not too crowded as it is still early in the season so we did not have long waits to surf on the waves. We also did not have to duck too many rafts. There were some great waves at this level and we all had some good rides although Greg said the rides he was getting were not long enough. None of us took on the really big breaking wave at the top of Hayden's but we all admired it. The wave above Horse Fly was awesome as were several other waves. Randy must have been on that wave for 10 minutes. Suzanne led us down Mile Long with everyone smiling after riding down through the wave train near the bottom of the rapid. Upper Poplar had this really big wave that we rode over hoping it would not break on us and it did not fortunately. We arrived back at Webbs at about 2:30 pm, a quick trip but it was just right. Sharon was waiting for us and she said she had a good bike ride. Greg and I both agreed that the Dead did not seem to be big compared to the Tygart River on the West Virginia trip in April. The Tygart was huge. I also volunteered to write the trip report for Greg so all the exaggerations are mine not Greg's.

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Lower Carrabassett
Section: Kingfield to wire bridge
Date: 2006-04-22
Level: 820 cfs
Participants: 14 paddlers, 12 boats: Tandem canoe: Ken Severy and Cheryl Berg; Carolyn Welch and Shelia Karajin; solo canoes: Dana Dibaise, Dave Lanman, Dave Duggan, Rich Sousa, Mike Parker; kayaks: Jim McLarty, Dan Cartledge, Keli Strander, Jason Hook, Rob Peale
Report: Although there had been frost overnight, the sun was beginning to warm things up. We met at McDonaldís in Farmington, and convoyed up to Kingfield to the put in behind Longfellowís. The on-line stream flow at the No Anson gauge was 820 cfs, quite low, but passable.

We were in the water by 10:30. The low level made the trip mostly class 1. We played in the surfing waves, and practiced our eddy sets. The rock garden was a lot of fun because there were many more rocks than usual. We arrived at the wire bridge about 1:30, with some close calls, but no swimmers. The sun had disappeared, and there was a chill in the wind. So we had lunch at the picnic tables, and decided against a second run.

I scouted upstream above the rock garden, and found that at the roadside turnout 8/10 mile north of the Wire Bridge Restaurant, we could go over the bank and reach the river for a second run thru the rock garden; certainly worth considering another time Ö

Most of us reconvened at Giffordís in Farmington for a well deserved ice cream cone.

Another great day on the water!

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Southern Trip
Section:
Date: 2006-04-15
Level:
Participants: Kyle Duckworth, Carlisle Landel, Greg Pelotte, Sharon Pelotte, Gary Cole, Suzanne Cole, Carolyn Young, Frank Yulling and yours truly. We were joined by soon to be member Ken Gordon and by Carlisle's graduate school buddy, Tim Kallman
Report: ALMOST HEAVEN WEST VIRGINIA (and PA & MD). During the week of April 15th thru the 21st, an intrepid group of PPCS boaters participated in the "Southern Trip." Members consisted of Kyle Duckworth, Carlisle Landel, Greg Pelotte, Sharon Pelotte, Gary Cole, Suzanne Cole, Carolyn Young, Frank Yulling and yours truly. We were joined by soon to be member Ken Gordon.

Ken & I got a jump start and paddled the Class III/IV Stony Creek in southwestern PA at a medium level on Saturday. While there, we heard rumors of raging waters in central WVA, which were quickly passed on to the rest of the group. On Sunday, we paddled the beautiful 13 mile Class III/IV Laurel Fork, which is a very difficult river to catch at a decent level. It rained all night and we decided to paddle the Middle Fork and Tygart on Monday, as the levels were at near maximum. However, the water rose dramatically while we were on the river and this normally Class IV trip was much more difficult - read that scary. We had thrills, spills, swims and adventures, but all lived to exaggerate about it. Just ask one of us the question - how big was it? It may be the only time that the near mile carry at the take-out was a welcome relief. We had a detune day on the Class III/IV Lower Yough and then back to the Middle Fork/Tygart at a more manageable level. We were joined by , on the Lower Yough. A NASA scientist, he wanted to study the effects of our interplanetary travels on the high water Tygart. Our memories of Monday somewhat dimmed, on Thursday we took on the Upper Yough, which has a 3 mile stretch of continuous steep Class IV/V water. Except for one minor blip on the radar screen, a successful day was had by all and President Kyle had his virgin run on the "Upper." We finished our trip with a beefy Class IV run on the Cheat, where we surfed until we wore the waves out (maybe it was just the opposite). It is difficult to imagine a better all around trip. We had great water, weather and comraderie.

Submitter: Ron Chase
River: Cathance River
Section:
Date: 2006-04-09
Level: 2 ft
Participants: John DoSharon Pelotte (K1), Greg Pelotte (K1) Daryn Slover (K1), Morrill Nason (Shredhead) and TC (Shredhead), Expectant Mom Gretchen Slover (Bunny) and Undelivered Son Ellis Slover, who at zero is probably the youngest club member(Junior bunny and future
Report: It was a beautiful spring day and the water level at 2.0 feet was good but not great.

All of the drops were eminently runnable; however, there were obstructions in the big drop known as Little Gorilla and/or Magic Carpet Ride and the final drop. There is a strainer near the top in the middle of Little Gorilla that can be avoided by carrying around it on river right and putting in just below, which was easily accomplished by Daryn, who was the only person to run it. The final drop was more problematic, as there was a strainer that extended out into the hole at the bottom on river left. However, we were prepared for this eventuality with two small camp saws and about 20 minutes of work solved the problem.

It was a great day of paddling, socializing and river clean-up and even Morrill managed to stay in his boat. We ended the day with pizza and beer at the TC's house.

Submitter: Kyle Duckworth
River: Soudabscook Safety Team
Section:
Date: 2006-04-08
Level:
Participants: TC Kyle Duckworth, Kim Perkins, Peter Rappaport, Morrill Nason, Greg and Sharon Pelotte, Dave Gillespie, Michael Young, Jeremy Dube, Wayne Daggett and his niece Sarah.
Report: TC Duckworth was proud that so many stepped forward to help make the Souadabscook Stream whitewater race safe and successful. The Maine Canoe and Kayak Racing Organization (MaCKRO) organized the race and pledged all proceeds to the Taylor Pelotte Surfathon, which this year is being held to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Maine. The PPCS was asked to help out by providing safety personnel at the difficult rapids.

PPCS volunteers put on at the Manning Mill Road bridge and paddled down the river, dropping off in groups of two or three to stand watch at the various rapids along the way. Unfortunately for the would-be rescuers, water levels were low and there was minimal ìcarnageî. In fact, Michael Young was the only volunteer to record any saves, standing watch by himself at the snowmobile bridge. An inconveniently-placed rock there was responsible for several upsets.

MaCKRO held an awards ceremony at the Kiwanis Club in Hampden after the race, where the volunteers were recognized and thanked by race organizer Gary Brooks. All in all, it was a good day, made better by the knowledge that we were doing a good deed for our fellow paddlers and helping to raise money for Make-A-Wish of Maine.

Submitter: Carolyn Welch
River: Sheepscot
Section: Kings Mills to Headtide
Date: 2006-04-08
Level: 373 cfs
Participants: Morning Run: 13 paddlers, 11 boats: Tandum canoe: Dave Lanman & Bob Gonyea. Erin Woodsome & Meg Dellenbaugh. Solo canoe: Dave Butler, Kenny DeCoster, Helen Hess, Rich Sousa. Kayaks: Carolyn Welch, Kenny DeCoster, Dan Cartledge, Jim McLarty, Dave W
Report: Our first trip of the season! The weather was cool and somewhat overcast, but out enthusiasm was high.

We gathered at 9:30 at the Kings Mills Rd put-in, just below the juncture of routes 218 and 194 in Whitefield. We did our shuttle to Head Tide, and were in the water about 10:30. The water level was medium low. We played in the surfing waves, and practiced our eddy sets.

We reached Head Tide dam about 12:30 and met the afternoon paddlers. We did the shuttle and were back in the water about 1:30 or so. Ron called our attention the really big snow sculpture on river left high up in a field, about half way thru the rock garden. Local residents apparently make a snow sculpture each year. Looked like a big dinosaur... The wind had picked up a bit, and there was a chill in the breeze. With so many rivers iced in and some very windy days on earlier weekends, we were delighted to finally be out on our first of the season paddling event.

Submitter: Peter Brown
River: Penobscot
Section: Seboomook/Canada Falls
Date: 0013-07-06
Level: 500/500
Participants: Peter Brown, Helen Johnston, Helen Hess, Rob Neish, Skip Pendleton, Julia Richmond, Mike Smith, John Brower, Tom Rutka, Patti Rutka, Matt Hearst, Laura Mamchur, John Preble, Kyle Duckworth, Cathi Reinfelder, Rodney Reed, Ron Chase, Nancy Chase, Morrill Na
Report: Nineteen paddlers hit the Penobscot for a great PPCS weekend. Most took advantage of the 850 ish cfs running on Seboomook Friday before things dropped down to around 500 cfs for the rest of the weekend. We broke the mold and had a pot luck on Friday night. "Kyle and the Helens" entertained around the campfire, with a special guest appearance from Bert and I (aka John Brower and Rodney). Who knew? Saturday's Seboomook run saw John Preble returning to whitewater after a few years away. Some of us headed over enjoy Canada Falls where we were joined by Nancy, Ron and Morrill. We even pulled off a "left-over potluck" on Saturday night, and one (or two for the 4 Canadians) more sweet run down through the Roll Dams on Sunday.

Submitter: Tom Rutka
River: Dead River
Section:
Date: 0008-08-09
Level: 2400 cfs
Participants: Canoe: Helen Hess, Melissa Howes, Tom Sawyer, Diane Sawyer, Kenny DeCoster, Doug Field, Kim Perkins. Kayak: Jim Francoeur, Joe Guerin, Tom and Patti Rutka
Report: The weather was cool for August and we had an unusual head wind at times on this popular weekend for boaters. It was Diane's first run at 2400 cfs and she did beautifully, though there was an unsolicited pesky side surf above Elephant that put her swimming through the chute, complete with all her gear, as rescue awaited her arrival. The rest of the river went smoothly for her. Nice job running the river at a new level, Diane! We had two more swims at Mile Long and Upper Poplar with one banged knee, and we did lose a boater who got ahead of the group at Mile Long, though he was later recovered back at Webb's campground comfortably stretching his legs on dry land. Canoes outnumbered kayaks, and Patti remarked (off the record) that canoeing was more fun than kayaking, which made Doug's day,or week, or millenium - he wasn't sure which the more he thought about it. Thanks to the guys who brought the trailers, and thanks to Joe for running sweep with me when it counted.

Submitter: Doug Field
River: W. Br. Penobscot
Section: Roll Dams
Date: 0007-07-08
Level: 422cfs
Participants: Scot Nelson, Laurie Stearns, Skip Pendeleton,Tom & Mark Nelson, Paul Plumer, Ron Hicks, Ryan & Adam Shorey, Kim Shorey, Helen Hess, Tonia Kittelson, John Rousseau, Greg & Sharon Pelotte, Steven West, Morrill Nason Jr. Suzanne & Gary Cole and T/O Doug Fiel
Report: The weather was good the bugs not so good, but not as bad as they could have been.
Steve, Morrill, Greg & Sharon went to Canada Falls Sat. morning. The rest made do with what we had in our back yard. We had a great time playing and taking differant routes down the river. We had several young, but learning real fast, paddlers on the river. Adam paddled W/W for the first time with Ron Hicks, Ryan is starting to put it together in his OC1 and Tom was fantastic in his K1. Tom really reminded me of another 12 year old that paddled Roll Dams for the first time with the PP&CS a few years ago, Dustin Urban!
On the second run Arnie Klepinger and everyone except Steve from Can. Falls joined us as well as Kim, who helped me get my tamden boat down. For the most part it was just as great as the morning. The exceptions being Skip getting beat on by his boat after window shading. He was quickly taken to shore and attended to by our resident doctor. Tom had a great roll after getting stuck in the top hole at the last drop. That is not an easy place to roll, but he hung in there hit his second attempt.
The potluck supper was excelant and even without Kyle we had outstanding entertainment with 3 guitars, a banjo, and I don't know how many harmonicas. Tonia was the hi-lite of the nite, you won't believe the way she can sing.
Sunday was more of the same, we lost some and added Gsry & Suzanne Cole for the run.

Submitter: Gary & Suzanne Cole
River: Dead River
Section:
Date: 0006-01-13
Level: 5000+
Participants: Clyde Mitchell, Ken Gordon, Jonathan Wheaton, Nancy Chase, Ron Chase, Tom Rutka, Patti Rutka, John Brower, Randy Berube, Suzanne Cole, Gary Cole
Report: We took Webb's shuttle to the put in. The ride in was on a bus very full of people and boats but we all made room. We had a very beautiful day with the temperature around 80 and it was great to be paddling in a shorty top and shorts. Just the previous Saturday, we had paddled in a cold rain with temperature maybe at 40 so this was truly nice. Granted, an afternoon thundershower came in just to cool things off a bit but it warmed right up again when the sun came back out. John Brower and Patti Rutka paddled tandem and did a great job (no surprise there). They were a treat to watch. Ron and Nancy Chase did a great in the shredder and fortunately did not have to rescue anyone all day (seems that those in shredders are always saving someone). At the put-in, we had two kayakers ask to paddle with us, George Feinstein and Eric Luigi (not sure of the spelling). They were a welcome addition to the trip and both enjoyed paddling with the PPCS. Hopefully, they will join the club. Randy says he was not on the trip, but he must have been as he kept paddling with us between surfing spots. There were many good surfs by all the hard boats with some making it look very easy (Ken comes to mind). We had a very nice day on the river and look forward to many more.

Submitter: Henry Deshane
River: many
Section:
Date: 0000-00-00
Level: Too high and too low
Participants: Dan Cartledge, Carol Kinsey, Kenny Decoster, Skip Pendelton, Jim McLarty, Pete Grant, Mike and B.J. Mayberry and grandkids Kevin and Michael, and Tara McDonald
Report: The Wed. midweek trips schedule brought out a small but enthusiastic group of paddlers, and created a number of great spontaneous impromptu trips. We endured rain, snow, high water, low water, and wind, always in the wrong direction. We encountered an agressive moose that refused to let us pass, and Dan Cartledge was attacked by a giant killer beaver on the Kenduskeag. Carol Kinsey found out, from a local curmudgeon, that she has been cooking her fiddleheads wrong all these years. Tara McDonald, and her amazing three legged dog Dawson, made an honest attempt to climb Elephant Mt., even though the trail was twenty years overgrown. We followed the water all spring!! Frequently we had to cancel a Wed. trip for low water only to paddle it three days later at flood stage. We met great folks, saw some beautiful parts of this great state and never once wished we had gone to the office. Damn the wind!!!! Did I mention the wind?

Submitter: Brent Elwell
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Submitter: B
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Submitter: Brent
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Submitter: Brent Elwell
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Submitter: Gary Cole
River: West Branch of Penobscot
Section: Abol & Pock, Rip Gorge to Horserace
Date: 0000-00-00
Level: 2250
Participants: Ken Gordon, Randy Berube, Troy Alexander, Greg & Sharon Pelotte, Mark & Tom Nelson, Kim Perkins, Colby Libby, and Trip Coordinators Suzanne & Gary Cole
Report: As Suzanne and I were considering cancelling the trip due to lack of interest, a flurry of calls arrived in the nick of time so we had a trip. We met at Abol Bridge and ran Abol and Pock in the morning. The flow was around 2250 so we had a good flow. All paddled except Colby who helped on the shuttle. Everyone ran the rapids cleanly with just the usual excitement. The wave/hole at the bottom of Pock provided the usual entertainment. Sometimes, you were right side up and sometimes you were upside down. Randy in his short boat had the best rides. After lunch, Kim, Ken, Randy, Troy, Suzanne and I went up to run Rip Gorge. The carry down to the put in does not get any shorter as the years go by. With the rest of the crew watching from the top of the gorge, we split into two groups with one group of three catching the eddy on the left above Exterminator and the other three opting to punch Exterminator on the right side. It went well for the three on the left as they all got into the eddy. Then, things got a little more exciting as one of TCs thought he could ferry below Exterminator and then paddle back to Football Eddy. Well, the TC showed everyone how not to do it as he ended up swimming down Staircase. He managed to swim into the big eddy on the left just slightly battered. Ken got his boat and Randy got the paddle. In fact, Ken ran Little Heater without a paddle so the TC could have one to run Big Heater. Meanwhile, the other TC and her cohorts did not know what had happened and ran the right. Kim missed the line by a bit and filled up but got down OK. The rest of the trip was less eventful and much more fun. Ken, Randy, and Troy ran the crib with Troy rolling once where it really counted and doing it quite nicely. Ken, Randy, Troy, and Suzanne paddled with Colby down to Horserace while Kim and I ran a shuttle. They had a nice paddle and everyone had fun. Greg, Sharon, Tom and Mark ran from Big Eddy down to Horserace. They had a good trip and ran the right side of the first drop at Big A. The second drop provided for some entertainment as it got Tom. At least it is a short swim. They had a good time. We had a really good pot luck supper with more food than we could eat but what else is new. Seven of us camped at Abol Falls with the others camping at Abol Pines. Those of us at Abol Falls had the better deal as it was quieter.

Submitter: Gary Cole
River: West Branch of Penobscot
Section: Abol & Pock, Rip Gorge to Big Eddy, Big Eddy to Bi
Date: 0000-00-00
Level: 2250 cfs
Participants: Ken Gordon, Randy Berube, Sharon & Greg Pelotte, Mark & Tom Nelson, and Kim Perkins, and TCs, Gary & Suzanne Cole
Report: Ken, Randy, Suzanne, and I ran Abol and Pock in the AM. We had a fun time time surfing where we could and catching the eddies. The wave/hole at the bottom of Pock had it usual fun with the boaters who were trying to do something with it. It really likes to flip you upside down so it can fill your nose with water and flip your visor up. Again, Randy had the best surfs. Greg, Sharon, Tom, Mark, Kim, and Colby ran the section from Big Eddy down to Big A. They had a good trip down and ran the left side of the first drop of Big A cleanly. Again, the hole in the 2nd drop provided the excitement. It got Colby and his boat and separated them for a short while. After lunch, Greg, Sharon, Tom, Mark, and Kim ran Abol and Pock and had good runs down both rapids. Meanwhile, Ken, Randy, Suzanne and I went up to run Rip Gorge. This time there were no problems at Exterminator and the Staircase. It was nice as everyone got to do some playing on the waves on river right directly below the slide. The surfing down to Troublemaker was very good. Only Randy would go in Troublemaker, and it actually treated him pretty nicely. We all ran the Crib without incident so the paddling day ended on a very good note.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River:
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Date: 0000-00-00
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Submitter: Brent
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Submitter: Ron Chase
River:
Section: Grafton Notch Trail
Date: 0000-00-00
Level:
Participants: Brent Elwell, Susan Gordon, Ken Gordon, Nancy Chase, and TC
Report: In what seems be a pattern, the original trip was cancelled due to a storm, Noel. It was rescheduled as a hike with the goal being Sunday River Whitecap. We started from the Grafton Notch Trailhead on Route 26 in Newry and hiked over Bald and Stowe Mountains to the Tentside on the east shoulder of Sunday River Whitecap. We ran out of time due to poor planning on the part of the TC, who didn't take the time change into consideration. The good news was that we got to the Brew Pub in Newry in time for the Patriot's victory game over the Colts! Had a good meal, too.

Submitter: Ryan Galway
River: Cathance
Section: 295 bridge to Cathance rd
Date: 0000-00-00
Level: 2.75
Participants: Ron Chase K-1, Adam Chase K-1, Kirk Ross K-1 Kevin Rogers OC-1, Ryan Galway OC-1
Report: The day started out sunny and cool for the 9:00 meeting at Macdonalds in Topsham. Despite the cool weather and Ron's disbelief that the river was truly "open" every one was in good spirits. We put on between 10:00 and 10:30 to a great level of 2.75' on the bridge gauge. The 1/2 mile of flat water at the beginning required some ice breaking to get through but for the most part things were open. The first rapid proved to be ice free and of no consequence. The second drop was scouted for ice and debris and then run. There was a log near the right shore which ended up catching Ron and Ryan and resulted in a chilly side surf at the bottom hole for Ryan with a roll assisted by Ron after the surf. The next 3 drops were run without incident. After each drop there did end up in some minor ice breaking on the flat water stretches, but it didn't spoil the fun. Next came CV little gorilla falls which Adam has run before, and Kirk would run also, if it wasn't for the large ice overhang on the left shore. So we all portaged this drop and headed for the last drop. This drop was scouted by all. Adam ran a scratchy right line, Ron ran a great center line which resulted in brain freeze as he totally submerged while punching the bottom hole. Next came Kevin the Kirk with a good center lines. Last came Ryan who has had trouble with this rapid in the past. This run proved to be no different as the hole at the bottom of the last chute resulted in a window shade and wet exit. Adam was quick with the throw bag, and the other boaters recovered the boat. All went well in the end with more ice breaking on the way out and a mild toned political debate ensued. This was a great midweek trip which ended up with a good time had by all in much welcomed warm weather around noon time. One final note, the parking lot at the take out on Cathance rd across from the demolished building is ok to use, but paddlers must take out on the left side of the river after going underneath the bridge. (not above it) We were confronted by a man who politely told us that this is the only public area currently available for take out.

Submitter: Dave Wallace
River: Dead River
Section: lower
Date: 0000-00-00
Level: 2400
Participants: Dave Wallace, John Brower, Brian Smith and son Brian, Marc Sauve', and Doug Field.
Report: The weather didn't move as quickly as Kevin Manix predicted, so was breezy and cold, which kept the group moving, or in PPCS lingo, "Little Mulling around". It was a typical riverrunning, only one unidentified swimmer [he was so deep in the water we couldnt see him] but the bottom of his boat was yellow. The bugs were'nt bad on the water. New OC-1 member Marc Sauve' from St George, Quebec surfed holes that we all hesitated to get in. And when we pulled out at Webb's campground, the sun came out and the temp went up about 15 degrees.

Submitter: Dave Wallace
River: Mt. Abraham hike
Section:
Date: 0000-00-00
Level:
Participants: Dave Wallace, "daughter" Stacy, and John Brower climbed, Tee Brower backed us up.
Report: Disregarding a forboding weather report, John and I decided to make the annual climb. The road in was OK, the bugs weren't bad except at the parking area, the Trillium, etc. were blooming, plenty of snow in the upper trail below tree line, and great visibility on top. We saw lots of snow on the Presidential range, and other mountains to the north. The old ranger cabin still stands, but is getting closer to collapse. The showers held off until we were on the approach trail going out. Another great hike!

Submitter: Ryan Galway
River: East Branch of the Pemi
Section:
Date: 0000-00-00
Level: 850-1150cfs water rose during run
Participants: Kevin Rogers OC-1, Evan Eichorn OC-1,TC Ryan Galway OC-1
Report: The original trip was for a scheduled Rapid River release of 1300cfs. Due to all of the rain the current release was somewhere between 3000-4000cfs which forced us to look elsewhere to paddle. We decided on the East Branch of the Pemigewasset after lots of river gauge searching and discussion. This was a new river for all of us, but it looked like a great chance to try a new spring snow melt river in August. We put on the river from the Kancamagus highway bridge around 11:30 to an overcast sky with temps in the low 60s. The upper part of the run proved to be fun and technical with enough water to provide a fluid run with much rock dodging. We stopped for lunch on a rock pile just after noon. Shortly after eating a heavy downpour started an continued for about a half hour. This didn't dampen the spirits as we all had great runs through culvert rapid. We scouted loon mountain rapid and ran far left with scraping on the lower portion. There was one short swim in a heavy rapid below loon mountain at the site of an old dam. A self rescue was initiated and no gear loss or injury took place. From here down there was plenty more excitement as the river continued to rise and become more turbulent. There was one combat roll executed, and no further upsets. Evan and Kevin decided to portage the site of an old dam, and Ryan ran a clean left to center line. All in all I feel it was a better run than the Rapid, and is probably one of my top five favorite rivers now!

Submitter: Gary Cole
River: Kennebec River
Section: Harris Station to Forks
Date: 0000-00-00
Level: 5000 cfs
Participants: Gary & Suzanne Cole (TC), John Brower, Greg & Sharon Pelotte
Report: We had a very nice trip in the Kennebec Gorge. Surfing various waves (Diappearing wave is still doing its disappearing act), watching John as he cooly paddles over Big Mama and seeing Greg & Sharon work as a team on the shredder. Greg, Sharon, and Suzanne took out at Carry Brook while John and Gary continued down the Kennebec to the ball field. We did not see an eagle on this day but we did see an osprey. The bugs were not bad for this time of year as we did not get carried off.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
River:
Section:
Date: 0000-00-00
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Participants: Megan Gahl, Darrin Kelly, Rod Reed and T/C Brent Elwell
Report: Juniper Lodge January 17 – 19 Weather: Cold, Cold, Cold & Snowy at the end of the weekend Trip Coordinator: Brent Elwell Trip Members: Megan Gahl, Darrin Kelly, & Rod Reed This was a trip into another country on what may be the coldest weekend of the winter. When I arrived at Juniper Lodge, Rod said I might want to warm stuff up by putting it in the refrigerator. They had -40 F temperatures at their place in the morning. Fortunately it warmed up to -24 F on Saturday morning. Needless to say the hot tub at Juniper Lodge did not get any use this weekend. On Saturday Rod groomed a number of miles of trails around the lodge. I got out and did some skate skiing in the below zero temps for a half hour and thought better of it because of the cold. I switched over to classical skis and skied for a couple of hours. There were a good amount of animal tracks including bobcat, coyote, moose and various other critters. The cold was pretty intense, but fortunately the wind was calm. The snow conditions were very good. Saturday night featured a nice potluck dinner in the lodge with some local folks. After dinner a fiddler and a couple of guitar players provided the musical entertainment. Sunday started out a bit warmer. We actually saw the temperatures above zero for the first time in three days. Megan, Darrin and I skied for about hour in the morning. We all headed over to do some ski jouring with Rod in the afternoon. Ski jouring is basically the same concept as dog sledding only you are pulled by the dogs while you are on skis. It was a blast! The dogs were mostly Siberian Huskies and they love to pull. My dog just wanted to run, run and run some more. His name was Dragon and he had participated a sled dog race in Alaska called the Yukon 600 which I hear is tougher than the Iditarod. It looked like everyone had a good time after a couple hours being dragged around by the dogs. I used my classical skis, but I would use my skate skis next time. I hear that Ron is really looking forward to this activity on his February Juniper Lodge trip. We had a nice powdery snow of about a foot overnight, so Monday Rod and I headed to the highest vertical in New Brunswick at Crabbe Mountain Ski Area in Millville. Conditions were great on the mountain, but I am glad Rod was able to break trail on the drive over. The lack of plowing made for interesting driving condtions. There were places with over a foot of untouched powder. We telemarked skied for about three hours and called it good. This is a real intersting mountain similar to say Mt. Abram in Maine. They have 2 for 1 deals on Monday and Tuesday, so for $35 Candian two can ski. It came out to about $15 U.S. for each of us. Can't beat that price. I think the February trip will be better attended than this trip. It is hard to beat the skiing options in the Juniper NB area. I want to try out Big Rock in Mars Hill next time. Rod and Andrea and their pet Truman were gracious hosts.

Submitter: Julia Richmond
River: Marble Mt
Section: International border, summit
Date: 0000-00-00
Level:
Participants: Tom Meredith, Laurie Wunder, Michael Grayson, Tony Scott, Mikan, Sylvain, Elijah Doerfler, and T/C
Report: The morning dawned with -32 C, but by the time we met at the Haut Bois Dormant, a fine B&B in Notre Dame des Bois, with a panoramic view of the Mt Megantic in a cloud, it had warmed up to -18. Tom and Laurie and I followed the Crazy Cannuks, this local group of hardcore teleskiers. By the time we made it up to the US / Canada border, they had already done a few runs down the first slope. The snow was mostly soft and powdery except on the steeper parts of the border where it was windblown. We followed the border up and down past luxury hunting blinds until we came to the return loop trail and one last sweet descent. We hung out at the bar while Tom and Laurie showed Michael some hot backcountry spots on his White Mountains maps. Sylvain volunteered to show us his favorite loop trail for the Marble Mt summit on Sunday, which greeted us with light snow, a damp east wind, and a high of -8. This trail was pleasantly narrow and wooded with a comfortable incline. Monday started with clear skies and finally a view of Mt Megantic. Tom and Laurie skied on the excellent trails there.

Submitter: Ryan Gakway
River: Kineo snowshoe hike
Section:
Date: 0000-00-00
Level:
Participants: Ryan Galway-tc, Shweta Galway, Evan Eichorn, Craig Hachey, Russell Collett, wife, and son Jeremy. We also had another 6 stragglers who joined and met us at the trailhead.
Report: The day started out with nice weather, sunny and in the teens-20s. We left Rockwood and headed across the lake at around 9:00. The crossing was good with no wind. We met 6 friends of Russell's at the Kineo trailhead around 10-10:30 and began our accent. A snowmobile had gone 3/4 of the way up the mountain providing a good trail. Jeremy cut the final 1/4 of the 1.25mile trip and we reached the fire tower around 11:30. After pictures, and lunch we headed down. The trip back across the lake was windy but tolerable and all in all it was a great day and great hike. The snow conditions were great and the trail scenery was spectacular.

Submitter: Skip Pendleton
River: St. George
Section: Woodmans
Date: 0000-00-00
Level:
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Submitter: Skip Pendleton
River: St. George
Section: Woodmans Mill to 105 takeout
Date: 0000-00-00
Level: High/ below flood stage
Participants: Nancy and Ron Chase, Dave Boyle, Rich Roughgarden, Larry Litchfield David Butler, Steve Gifford, and Skip Pendleton
Report: This St. George River trip starts at Woodman’s Mill and goes for about 10.6 miles to the takeout in North Appleton, route 105.. There is a must take, out where it crosses under route 131 in Searsmont Village. The water level was high and the river was cranking,just under real flood stage. In this group of 8 we had 2 tandem canoes 2 solo canoes and 2 kayaks. At the start below the bridge is a double ledge drop with some nice standing waves, next is a tight fit under or a take out around a snowmobile bridge. About 2 miles of moving flat water, then about a quarter mile of rapids + a ledge to go over, more flat water.At about 3.5 miles starts more rapids for about 1.5 mile to route 131 which we carried over. However the excitement started before this! Partway down these last rapids is a old dam site, then a bridge under route 173. The exciting part was we manage to pin one of those tandem canoes on the 2 large rocks in the middle of the river and the middle of the drop / dam site.A week ago I did good wipe out at this same spot in my kayak With the river really moving, there was plenty of excitement. The only thing missing was a camera. The real good news was the great team work getting the people safely on shore with throw lines and then getting the canoe off the rocks. Great training exercise and great team work. We Stopped for a needed lunch,and then paddling for about 2 miles to the next stretch of rapids. The water level covered most of the rocks, the river pushed us very fast through the 1.5 miles of rapids.Lots of standing waves, the canoes had to do some bailing. Many of the best surfing waves were wiped out.Maygog Drop was hardly there, just a long tongue of water. In a few more minutes we were at the take out..Another great trip to enter into the memory book. Wish you could all have been with us. CHEERS SKIP

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Submitter: Kyle Duckworth
River: Kennebago
Section:
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Report: Participants: TC Kyle Duckworth, Kenny “Bago” DeCoster (canoes); Randy Berube, Greg Hamilton, Clyde Mitchell, Russ Moody, Tom and Patti Rutka, Lauri Sibulkin, Kate Walsh (kayak); and Greg and Sharon Pelotte (shredder).

TC Duckworth was subbing for Paul Plumer, who along with Morrill Nason has for years negotiated access through the locked gate on the Kennebago road. Of the 12 paddlers, 7 were making their first trip down the Kennebago. They were very lucky to have chosen this day to do it, as warm temperatures (mid-60’s) and a great water level (8.5’ on the gauge, or about 1000 cfs) resulted in a memorable and unusually fine run.

The Kennebago flows into Mooselookmeguntic Lake a few miles west of Rangeley. It is in many ways a perfect river. The first two or three miles warm you up with some class I and II rapids, building up to a class III before the lunch stop. But from there on down, you’ll need all those carbs from lunch as you negotiate fairly continuous class III and III+ rapids for another 2-3 miles. It’s down hill all the way, but with an even gradient and no severe ledge drops. You have to read the water as you go.

New members Greg Hamilton, Russ Moody, and Lauri Sibulkin were welcomed to the wonderful world of PPCS in fine fashion. Lauri (he says it’s a Finnish name but I can’t help thinking of a Boy Named Sue) had his hands full on the most challenging day of his month-old paddling habit. But he was utterly fearless, paddled hard, and had a perfect run. (A little coaching on the first half of the trip by Tom and Patti Rutka didn’t hurt either, and it was obvious from his several combat rolls that those pool sessions this winter had been worthwhile.)

Kenny DeCoster was pushing his envelope as well, and rose to the occasion. (If you haven’t paddled with him in a while – he’s come a long way since he bought that playboat last summer.) Running a dry line in an open canoe is not an easy task on the Kennebago, and several times he had to resort to what he called the “Kim Perkins technique” - boat full of water, point it down river, paddle like hell.

Greg and Sharon Pelotte, who had run the Kennebago the week before and had the rapids committed to memory, did a fine job probing for the group, and occasionally hopping out to set up a throw rope.

Advice for next year: Don’t change a thing, except remember to stay off of the shoulders on the road. Soft!

Submitter: Doug Field
River: Dead
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Date: 0000-00-00
Level: 3500
Participants: Elijah Doerfler, Julia Richmond, Abraham Doerfler, Jim Francoeur, Steven West, Art Mahoney, Morrill Nason, David Whittingham, Johnathon Wheaton, Ken Gordon, Tom & Patti Rutka, Randy Berube, Kim Perkins, Peter Brown, Brent Ewell and TC Doug Field.
Report: We had 1 shredder, 3 OC1'S and 11 K1's. It started out sunny but quickly turned overcast and we had a little rain during the run.

We had another great day on the Dead with a few swims, it seems some people just don't get enough excitement from paddling class 3-4 whitewater so they check out some of the worst holes on the river. No serious injuries and a great learning experience, what more could you ask for? I feel we did have more water in the river by the time we got to lower part. Upper Pop. had some good size waves in it, it felt more like 4500-5000 at the end because Enchanted, Salmon and Stony looked to be kicking in a fair amount.

Some did the Kennebec at low flow the next day with similar excitement from what I heard.

On a personal note it was really good to see Ken on the river again, he and I spent a long winter talking quite a bit about life in general and boating in particular. Thanks for all your support Ken and I still owe you a beer, you took off before I thought of it.

FYI, I will be up to Roll Dams Wed. night before the fourth if people are interested in making it a long weekend.



TC, Doug Field

Submitter: Peter Brown
River: Carabasset
Section: middle and lower
Date: 0000-00-00
Level: 1.0 +
Participants: BB Adams, Helen Johnston, Ben Mathes, Caroline Mathes, Sam Mathes, Skip Pendleton, Ken Severy, and TC
Report: This small band of boaters had planned to take advantage of the multi-day 1300 cfs release on the Dead scheduled for early July. However, late June rains had the Dead running more like 3000 so we opted instead to paddle some natural flow rivers. BB came up with a great place to stay near Sugarloaf so we decided to hit the Carabasset.

When we met at the dam in Kingfield Thursday evening the lower Carabasset looked to have lots of water, but the middle section looked pretty bony with the Valley Crossing gauge reading only 1/2 foot. Luckily, about 10:00 pm that night thundershowers came through, and by morning the gauge was up to nearly 1 1/2 feet. We paddled the lower Carabasset on Friday morning (with Ben and Caroline paddling tandem), lunched by the wire bridge, and hit the middle after lunch (with the gauge now at 1 1/4).

Saturday we enjoyed the whole day on the middle Carabasset again (with Ben now paddling with Sam). BB did some gauge checking with her lap top Saturday night; heavy rains fell on the coast Friday. So on Sunday, (more-or-less) on everyone's way home, we were able to paddle both the Sheepscot and the Saint George. (The USGS Sheepscot gauge was reading 1000+).

No swims of note all weekend, although we did learn at Packard's pool a couple of paddlers (not mentioning any names BB and Helen) could use a little practise tossing the throw bag!

Submitter: Ryan Galway
River: West Branch of The Penobscot
Section: roll dams
Date: 0000-00-00
Level: 914cfs
Participants: Clyde Mitchell k-1, Tom Nelson k-1, Mark Nelsen K-1, Peter Rappaport K-1, John Brower OC-1, Elliot Rappaport K-1, Karen Merritt K-1, Scott Nelson K-1, Evan Eichorn OC-1, TC Ryan Galway OC-1
Report: After all of the rain this summer it was nice to be greeted with a warm sunny weekend for one of our classic ppcs runs. Saturday started a little different than expected on the ride up. All I will say is there are a lot of miles of bumpy dirt between The Forks and Seboomok, best to check the straps at least once during that ride. We arrived around 9:30 to find Peter who had taken up residence on Thurs. Clyde came shortly after and we put on around 10:30. A couple of drops into the run Tom and Mark caught up with us so now we had 6 for our first run. Things went well with great surfing by all, and a relatively uneventful run until the last drop. Peter mentioned the strong hydraulics at the z line drop and I didn't remember the line all that well and dropped over the ledge. I thought I was fine but got sucked back in and lets just say, my boat surfs even better without me than with me. After about an hour John put Tom on the bow of his Xl 13 and they got close enough to hook a combiner to it and pull it out. Thanks again guys for all the help. After a lunch break John, Elliot, and Karen joined us for a second run. There was more great surfing, rolling and a couple of swims but all in all a great run by all. Back at the campsite most retreated to screen houses and campers to avoid the worst black flies I have ever seen. Fortunately the didn't bother us on the river. Thanks to Peter for the cookies. The next morning we lost Peter who headed home, but picked up Scott. We put on sometime after 9. Clyde chose to run his new play boat after I told gave him the option of his play boat or my Taureau. Strangely he chose his play boat. It ended up being a good choice as he had a great run getting vertical and rolling on one drop. Scott, Tom, and Mark all showed us their freestyle moves and had great surfs throughout the day. Evan also had a strong showing in his OC play boat with great surfing and multiple rolls. All in all a great trip had by everyone. Again I want to thank everyone for coming, and putting up with me as TC still not yet paddling at 100% and restricted from rolling. It was a great weekend!

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Submitter: Ryan Galway
River: West
Section: Jamaica state Park
Date: 0000-00-00
Level: 1500cfs +OR -
Participants: Evan Eichorn OC-1, Kevin RogersOC-1, Jean MillerK-1, TC Ryan Galway OC-1.
Report: The group awoke to colder than expected temps on Saturday morning. This made for a later start than expected for the put in. We carried over Ball Mountain dam for the first run of the day. The run was great with every one having sucessful runs. Unfortunatly the Tc had to roll once as he got flipped while chatting instead of paddling. After the 1st run Jean left our group to meet other friends, but was seen on the river later in the day enjoying the great fall day with her friends. Everyone proceded to wear them selves out with the unlimited shuttle. Evan even showed the group why his nickname is Ender multiple times at the infamous ender hole. Kevin had a flawless day with some great surfing and many great tidbits of cboat history to share. All in all it was another great West fest with a large private boater turnout, prooving if the water is there the people will come.

Submitter: Troad/ Julia Richmond
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Submitter: Morrill Nason
River: Webb and Swift
Section:
Date: 0000-00-00
Level: 1.5/1.4 and 1300/4.2
Participants: Kyle Duckworth (OC-1), Nathan Nickerson (K-1), Rodney Reed (K-1), Victor Otley (K-1), Dennis Harnish (K-1), Suzanne Cole (K-1), Gary Cole (K-1), Ron Chase (OC-1), Tom Rutka (S-2), Ryan Galway (OC-1), Chris Burton (K-1), Max Meyer (K-1), Brent Elwell (K-1)
Report: There was a larger group gathered than anticipated at the old Opera House in Dixfield when the TC arrived. It was great to see such an enthusiastic gathering of old friends and a few new faces on a warm and sunny day. Kyle and Brent did a superb job on their new subcommittee function of organizing the canoe and kayak shuttles as the TC was responsible for the inflatables! The water level on the Webb was great, about 1.5' at the Rt 142 gage; 1.4' at Berry Mills gage. Tom Rutka measured the water with his handy-dandy thermometer at 40* F, cold enough so that no one wanted the IC headache feeling. Perhaps that was the incentive as there were no takers on the Webb. It certainly didn't stop the group from finding their own special waves and holes to enjoy. It was mentioned that there was a great wave someone had been dreaming of surfing since last winter. Oh, how we miss them, let us count the waves. PR gave THE wave several tries and the grins and smiles told the story. Thanks to Ryan Galway for posting some of the action on YouTube. Apparently the TC hasn't been giving the hard boaters enough space as he was reminded several times not to run over them! All this time the TC had been under the grand illusion that this was a bumper sport. People get under the skirt and the shreddah gets on their deck! Getting a co-captain may have just gotten harder as a compatibility test will now be a prerequisite! After lunch at the takeout, the group dwindled to 11 as several paddlers had other commitments but Greg Hamilton (K-1) joined us. We regrouped at Swift River Falls where it was good to see Sharon and Greg Pelotte who had finished a run from Byron. Going upriver a mile brought us to the Walker Brook Rapids putin. There was a brief indecision as to who might be the next shreddah victim. Patti won or was it really a loss? The river was running at a healthy 1300 cfs, 4.2' on the USGS gage. All were successful getting past the first ledge drop and most enjoyed the roller coaster ride through the gorge. However, there was one who saw it from the water but was quickly rescued. A comment was made that the roll would be improve and it would not happen again: a positive attitude! The kayak paddle was missing and although a search party was sent, it wasn't found. This section has great continuous rapids and play spots. As always at the takeout, some people gather and think about the power and beauty of the falls while others ponder the route that will be successful until the boiling, thrashing water with plumes of spray at the end brings them back to reality! It was a great day on two good rivers with great people. The only thing missing was a third run on the East Branch. A REMINDER: please extend the courtesy of calling a TC before joining the trip because someday a gate may be closed to you.

Submitter: Doug Field
River: W.Br.Penobscot
Section: Roll Dams
Date: 0000-00-00
Level: 526? cfs
Participants: Peter & Dylan Brown,Ken Severy,Julis Richmond, Helen Hess, Chris Petersen,Andrew Carey, Courtney Vashro, Peter Rappaport, Phil Urban, Mike Smith, John & Tee Brower,Tom & Patti Rutka, Skip Pendleton, Jim Francoeur, Carolyn Welch, Morrill Nason, Mike Therri
Report: FRIDAY:
There were a couple of late afternoon runs due to flat tires and latter arrivals, and they enjoyed the fantastic weather and for some, prepared for the moonlight run.
Morrill & Kyle in shredda, Lonesome Tom in K1, Patti, Kenny and myself in OC1s Jim & Andrew in a Hyside (forever more to be known as "The Great Eight") actually pulled off a planned moonlight run. It was very surreal paddling even the flatwater and a real rush going over the drops. At the big wave drop, I looked upstream to see multi-colored lights floating in the eddy like huge fireflies, a memory that will last my lifetime. We had no real problems on the trip other than occasionally getting buzzed by bats, some forgot their sun glasses and two swimmers; Kyle while surfing and I just relaxed a few feet too soon and the last little wave flipped me quick. It happens that way when your paddle isn't in the water! It was an awesome night for me and I want to thank all the paddlers, but especially Kyle for making this happen. It was something I wanted to do ever since a group of us did the Horserace at Midnight over fifteen years ago. Kyle and I were camped out over by the Rapid River last year and I was complaining about a missed opportunity the previous year when nobody at Roll Dams thought it was a good idea, and he suggested that I put it on the PP&CS schedule and he would do with me even if it was just the two of us. Kyle also added "because he was tired of hearing about all the missed opportunities over the years" (sometimes bitchin does payoff). At long last a commitment! Even still I thought the chances of us pulling this off on the first try would be pretty slim considering all the variables. The man just makes things happen!

Saturday:
Most of the gang went over to do Canada Falls and by all accounts had a fantastic time led by John Brower. The rest of us had to settle for two fun runs on Roll Dams, again with fantastic weather. People were boat swapping and trying different lines and having a good ol time on the river. This was new member Andrew's first look at the river on his second run, his first being last night! It took me more than 200 tries for a Roll Dams Moonlight run and he gets it on his first! Just goes to show, ya gotta take advantage of opportunities when they come at ya. There was an intense few moments when Mike Smith and Andrew both flipped on the first drop of Double Drop or Fresh Meat or Meatgrinder(whatever you call it, it's not a good place to swim) at the about the same time. After a couple of tries they both rolled up and everyone was smiling again. Andrew was not only prepared on the river, but off as well. During happy hour we were hearing what we thought was a loud chainsaw and soon Andrew was offering marguriters right from his propane powered blender. I do believe he will have no problem adapting to our paddling schedule. As always a superb potluck supper was had. Helen & Kyle brought delightful music to the Northwoods. I especially enjoyed hearing Dick Curliss's Tombstone Every Mile by Kyle up there.

Sunday:
Although we had an overcast sky, it was another great day on the river. We had 18 boats. Everyone played and did a great job. It was great seeing Chris on the river doing a great job paddling, with Helen's polite instructions. Skip looked great in his K1 with no problems that I saw. I got to paddle with Kenny tandem and had a great time, although he does need to work on his 360 turnaround while surfing! It was not what I would call graceful, Courtney did it with much more flare and was way less scarier looking while facing me. Thanks to all who made this one of my most memorable Roll Dams trips, and there have been many.

Doug

Submitter: Patti Rutka
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Submitter: Skip Pendleton
River: St. George
Section: middle
Date: 0000-00-00
Level: Low + 645 cfs
Participants: Ron Chase, Helen Hess, Sue McClatchy, Paul Plumer,Deb Walters , Larry Litchfield Doug Fields, Skip Pendleton
Report: The weather was nice,a bit windy, sunny. The day did turned out a little different then planned. Ron Chase decided he would like to run the double drop under route 131 in Searsmont village. The level was just right, no hole at the bottom. I agreed to standby with a safety line if needed. His run went very well Doug Field did get a nice picture. Ron and I planned to meet up with the rest of the group as the inter-section of the 2 rivers is just a short ways below the drop. It had taken some minutes for me to get back into my kayak and we thought we would meet them at the inter-section, not there?? we thought they must be ahead of us. After waiting a few minutes we left, thinking they were ahead of us?? Anyway they weren't Ron and I had a very nice paddle all by ourselves, planning on seeing them when we got there. Not there?? Ron and I waited a few minutes, went back and picked up Ron's car and then they did show up. They too also had a very nice paddle, minus Ron and I. So you see you never know ???? CHEERS SKIP PS This drop will go down in the books as Chase's Drop Route 131, Searsmont Village. The drop consists of 3' drop from a large culvet,then about 40' space, flat,fast water, then a 6' to 8'ledge drop,bumpy!!!!

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Submitter: Patti Rutka
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Report: The weather started out much more promising than the forecast had called for. Fewer rafts than had been on the 5500 release the previous weekend made for clearer lines of sight. Yet this did not reduce the amount of carnage that we had, unfortunately.

It all began with a certain kayaker doing his darnedest to stay on the surf wave at Quatro when the few rafts that were on the river bore down on him; he couldn’t pull off the roll, swam, and was rescued by Rodney “Bad A” Reed and Elijah, Julia’s son, who is clearly a hair boater and put us old fogies to shame for the day.

The next number up was for an OC-1 as it came through Hayden’s, flipped high up in the drop, and just narrowly avoided recirc-ing in the Humpty and Dumpty holes at bottom. That was the first attempt at what looked like person and canoe trying to separate. When we took a break at Enchanted Stream the same OC-1 started to drift off down stream by itself, as if it’d had enough of its owner, who bore a suspicious resemblance to a certain licensed Master Maine Guide. Fortunately, the boat’s owner waded out to corral it successfully and there was no more noise from that quarter for the day.

Elephant and Mile Long claimed another OC-1 whose operator worked to hit the rolls but had to give it up to the river gods. After that the crew tightened up and at Poplar contemplated how to safely get down the last two drops with no more mishap. Upper Pop went smoothly for all. The aforementioned OC-1 operator decided s/he had had enough dousing at this point and opted for a hard right line down Lower Pop, ending up 150 feet into the woods to make the day a surf-n-turf combo. Said paddler hiked to the bottom of the run as another boater ran the vacant boat down the drop, gaining an appreciation for just how hard it would be to roll that boat! Meanwhile, we heard that the remaining OC-1’s and kayaks did well. The Shredder had quite a sporty line on the left of Lower Poplar that caused Jim’s blood pressure to uncharacteristically rise. All in all it was a challenging and exciting day, and we were grateful to come out safely in the end.

Submitter: Jim Francoeur
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Participants: The Particpants Box on the trip report page only allows a small amount of information and all the names for my trip didn't get posted. So here are the particpants from the July 2-4 trip
Report: July 2 – 4, 2011 Weekend participants: Jim Francoeur TC, Sandi Francoeur, James Tierney, Carolyn Welch, Suzanne Cole, Gary Cole, Peter Brown, Helen Johnston, Patti Rutka, Tom Rutka, John Brower, Tee Brower, Jonathan Wheaton, Phyllis Wheaton, Julia Richmond, Doug Field, Helen Hess, Saras Yerlig, Ron Chase, Nancy Chase, Bruce Weik, Brent Elwell, Graham Fitter, Larry Witham, Nate Nelson, Peter Ocampo, Morrill Mason, Tonia Kittelson, Courtney Vashro, John Gates, Tom Taylor, Dave Ellis, Don Bertko, Clyde Mitchell. If I missed anyone or I spelled your name wrong sorry.

Submitter: Peter Brown
River: Dead
Section: Lower
Date: 0000-00-00
Level: 2400 cfs, 1800 cfs
Participants: Saturday: Julia Richmond, Paul Peters, Ada Peters, Kara Peters, Stephanie Peters, Shawn Drost, Chris Audet, Michael Smith, Roy Curtis, Brad Bigger, Laurie Wunder, Tom Meridith, John Brower, Tom Rutka, Patti Rutka, Dave Wallace, Peter Brown, Helen Johnsto
Report: Two awesome days on the Dead. For the 2400 cfs release Saturday I gathered 41 names on my list, likely around 35 boats! (And there were a few other smaller groups out there as well). Yes that sounds like a lot of boats, but it is a big river and there was tons of support out there within this group. So I think folks had a good safe day on the water. Things were quite a bit quieter on Sunday for the 1800 cfs release. We were down to only 8 boats. Great weather both days, incredible pot-luck Saturday night with live entertainment around the campfire.

Submitter: Jim Francoeur
River: Canada Falls
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Date: 0000-00-00
Level: 750 cfs
Participants: Jim Francoeur TC, Julia Richmond (Shredder), John Brower (OC-1), Ron Chase, Randy Berube, Jonathan Weaton, Ken Gordon, Gary Cole, Suzanne Cole, Kevin Olsen (from Missouri), Bill Blauvelt, Sally Blauvelt (K-1)
Report: We traveled from Webb’s campground to Canada Falls for a day on the river. The flow was scheduled to be 750cfs, but with all the rain we’ve had lately we were expecting more. We got more cfs than we thought and some say it was at least 1000cfs (unverified), so we’ll go with 1000+ cfs. The weather was cloudy and cool on the entire trip, but after the last rapid the sun came out (figures) and shined the rest of the day. We had three new paddlers on Canada Falls with us and with the higher than expected water scouting was called for at the normal spots on this river. The Slide was huge, but seemed a bit easier with more water. A successful run was had by all. Check out the video on You Tube. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JihAaBr1GXw) Two of the new paddlers ran the slide successfully. Three of the group used their better judgment and walked around this rapid. Better to be safe than sorry. Ron Chase had a great unplanned ender, Gary Cole had and amazing brace and Julia Richmond decided that she wanted to look for fish from the shredder. Cabin Rapid was up next, so we stopped and scouted. The rapid was run by a few of the old timers on this river and they set up safety near the hole at the bottom. All ran the rapid successfully, except the shredder. That left eddy we use to scout from is just hard to get out of with a shredder and we ended up not being able to get to the line we needed to make the first part of the rapid. So let’s just say we ended up on a rock leaning over sideways. Me being on the lower side of course, so as I got dumped out of the shredder I was headed down river towards the hole. There’s a big wave just about 50 feet before the hole, after I swam through that wave I got my bearings and saw where the hole was, saw the safety guys and decided this is not where I want to be, so I turned and swam like hell away from the hole and made it safely around it with only a few bumps and bruises. Somehow the shredder never got flipped and Julia expertly paddled it solo around the hole to pick me up at the bottom of the rapid. Split Decision rapid was next up so we stopped and scouted this one. The left side is the normal run, so we talked about the lines through the first drop and we all set off to run the drop. Most everyone had a great to good line through the drop. There was not a lot of room for error. Just be 5 feet to the right and you found a hole that was going to mess with you for awhile, as was the case with Sally B. Bill B set off through the drop perfectly; Sally was right behind him, but a few feet to the right of his line. She did the drop, but was sucked back into the hole and flipped. Julia and I sat in an eddy just below and next to the drop. We watched as Sally’s kayak stayed in the hole and about 20 seconds later her kayak moved a little from the large hole to a much smaller hole closer to the river bank. Still no Sally, just an upside down kayak in the hole. The kayak stayed in that hole for about another 20 seconds then we saw Sally’s pop up from the water. As Julia and I yelled at her to swim she looked dazed and confused, she was having a hard time breathing, spitting up some water and doing what we called later baby strokes to swim. I stretched out from the shredder and grabbed a hold of her and pulled her into the shredder. A bit dazed and confused, she tried to get out of the shredder, but with a little time and convincing her that she was safe and OK here in the shredder she seem to relax and get her wits about her. Even the very best of paddlers can find themselves in bad spots every now and then. It’s a great sport, but it just reminds us all that we must be mindful of the dangers at all times. After a short rest, Sally hopped back into her kayak determined to finished the rapid and the river. She’s a very good paddler and she was not going to let the river get the best of her.

Submitter: Jim Francoeur
River: Dead River
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Date: 0000-00-00
Level: 5500 cfs
Participants: Jim Francoeur TC and Julia Richmond, Adam Chase and Amber Collins, Frank Yulling and Carolyn Young (Shredders), Norman R (OC-1), John Brower and Patti Rutka (OC-2), Randy Berube, Jonathan Weaton, Ken Gordon, Gary Cole, Suzanne Cole, Kevin Olsen(from Misso
Report: As we planned our trip down the Dead River the weather was forecasted to be warm and sunny. We did our own shuttle from Webb’s campground with the help of friends to the put-in at Spencer Stream. The water level for today’s run was 5500cfs. While waiting for the entire group to arrive most of the kayaker’s headed down river to play in the surf wave at Quattro. This is a big day for rafters so waiting for rafters to clear the river is always figured into the schedule. We waited along the river after each of the early rapids for the rafts to pass by. They seemed to be a never ending line of rafts, but once we got back on the river from lunch they were all gone and we had the river to ourselves. The river at this level gives you many opportunities to choose your own line through rapids and play in the many surf locations. John B. and Patti R. in an OC-2 had many adventures, all of them fun, but we did hear many squeals and scream from Patti along the river. On past runs this summer down the Dead, many people mentioned the there was a tree down on or near Pyramid Rock on Lower Poplar causing a strainer. On Friday, Jim F, Jim T and Farrel worked 4 hours to remove the tree eliminating the hazard. Mother Nature must not have been too happy with us for some reason, as we approached Upper Poplar the sky started to darken and a sound of thunder could be heard. If you looked back up river around that time you would have seen a black cloud that was as dark as night. Soon it became dark as night on the river with heavy sideways rain, wind, thunder and lightning. There was no telling how long this would last so we did the best we could do and ran both rapids trying to beat the storm. Reading the river during the dark rain storm is very hard. Despite the weather everyone had a safe and fun run down the river.

Submitter: Jim Francoeur
River: Kennebec
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Date: 0000-00-00
Level: 5000 cfs
Participants: Jim Francoeur TC, Julia Richmond, Randy Berube, Gary Cole, Suzanne Cole (K-1), John Brower (OC-1), from Cary Brook Tom and Patti Rutka (OC-2)
Report: Rain, thunder and lightning made for an interesting night and with rainy weather forecast for the next day, some decided to call an end to the weekend. A few headed home early, while others braved the storm in hopes for a better day on Monday and a chance to run the Kennebec. A phone call from Webb’s to home verified that weather might be ok for most of the day so the diehard paddlers left at Webb’s planned to paddle the Kennebec. We packed our gear, left cars at the ball field and headed to the dam. The weather was cloudy and warm at the dam. The alarm sounded and the excitement began to rise as we saw the water rise. I’ve paddle the K-bec before but never in my kayak, so I guess this was my 1st trip, so to speak. This was Julia’s 2nd time on the river in her kayak. Neither of us were exactly sure of the lines and eddies while sitting this low to the water, so with the help from the expert’s (Gary, Suzanne, John) on the river we successfully paddled it like we were pro’s. At Cary Brook we dropped off a few and picked up Patti and Tom Rutka for the rest of the trip down the river. Everyone had a safe and fun trip down the river and we look forward to our next paddle down the Kennebec A big THANK YOU, to all that helped shuttle during the weekend, Sandi Francoeur, Tee Brower, Doug Field, Jim Tierney and Farrel

Submitter: DAvd
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Submitter: Ro
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Submitter: Dave Wallace
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Submitter: Dave Wallace
River: sea kayaking
Section: Basin to Popham
Date: 0000-00-00
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Participants: Randy Berrubie, Dave Duggan and Marion McCord, and Dave Wallace
Report: Finally a day with the proper tide, wind and sun, we put in just after high tide in "the Basin" a large bay on the New Meadows River and paddled sea-ward thru Sebasco and West Point harbors, stopping for lunch on a remote beach on Small Point. Then around Cape Small and the ocean swells to Popham. We stopped because of hard flowing tide at Pond Island on the mouth of the Kennebec River and while waiting were told by a lonely guy working for the USF&W that we couldn't stay because we were disturbing the birds [terns]. So after a hard ferry across to the beach we paddled upriver to the takeout near the old Coast Guard station, the shuttle vehicle, fresh water, and cold B---!! 11

Submitter: Tom Rutka
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Submitter: Kenny DeCoster co-TC
River: Sou
Section: Manning Bridge- Grand Falls
Date: 0000-00-00
Level: Class 3
Participants: Ron Chase K1, Helen Hess OC1, Jason Littlefield OC1, co-TC Kenny DeCoster OC1, TC Greg Winston K1
Report: At 5:30 am in West Kennebunk the temperature read 21 degrees, a questionable omen for a day of paddling. On the 21/2 hour drive north on I-95, I saw a pickup carrying an OC-1, but it was headed south-maybe a smarter plan for a river trip would be to head for warmer waters? At 9:30, five of us met at the Sou put in. It was a chilly 30 degres with the wind blowing over the treetops. The shore's ice shelf had icicles hanging down to the water. But this didn't stop us from wave surfing and styling the drops. The sun actually made a brief appearance and even warmed our hands up. There were a few oopses. 3 out of 5 of us got their heads wet, which was a cold idea. We discovered that the eddy above Crawford rapids doesn't fit 2 kayaks comfortably. And four of us pulled on a throw rope attached to the floating painter to extract a canoe out from under a tree crosswise in the current. The boat survived as did its paddler. (scout this from the Papermill bridge)
We were so overjoyed about returning to the heated vehicles and taking our wet gloves off, Greg, Ron, and Kenny decided to run the Kenduskeag drops. By the time we popped through Flour Mill into the ice cube tray, the sun was gone, the wind was up, and we wondered how fingers could hurt so much- we didn't stop to look at the scenery. You can see why the trip is called the "Ice Breaker". It’s harder to explain why there’s such a high ratio of TCS to paddlers…

Submitter: Skip Pendleton
River: St George
Section: Rte 131 to 105
Date: 0000-00-00
Level: medium
Participants: Skip Pendleton,Mike Smith,Bryce Koukopoulos,David Duggan,Jan Holder,Dave Boyle
Report: Weather was sunny and warm,The level was excellent, had come up several inches from the day before. Spent almost 4 hours on the river playing,lots of surfing. There was 4 kayaks and 2 canoes. Also 2 new paddlers to the group Jan and Bryce. A number of ducks and a hawk was seen. Great Day, although we did miss Carolyn. wishing she was with us and not on her skis. SKIP

Submitter: Julia Richmond
River: Mt. Megantic
Section: backcountry
Date: 0000-00-00
Level:
Participants: Brent Elwell, Greg Winston, Scott Nelson, Julia Richmond, Ken and Susan Gordon, Francis and Michel Roy, Ruth Doerfler, Cathy Tourmelin, and almost Gary and Suzanne Cole.
Report: Thanks to some fresh snow after the big thaw the previous weekend, we were able to actually ski. Brent, Greg, Scott, Cathy, and the T.C. met at the accueil at Mt. Mégantic, after the first three managed the border crossing. We joined Francis and his father skiing up groomed trails to a cabin with a cheery wood fire for lunch. (Cathy snowshoed up to Mt. St. Joseph.) Here we parted ways with Francis and Michel, who continued on groomed trails. We opted for the sentier nordique, winding our way up around the north side of the mountain on excellent powder through the woods with Greg breaking trail. The rest of us struggled with our skins until we happily removed them for the thrilling descent, then back onto groomed trails and the welcome wood fire, all before dark. It wasn’t until supper that we met up with Ken and Susan, who had also enjoyed a fine ski on Mt. Mégantic. As we feasted in the warmth of good company, we were saddened to hear that Gary and Suzanne couldn’t join us due to car problems after climbing the Weeks in New Hampshire. Sunday, Francis led Brent, Greg, Scott, Ruth, and the T.C. up to the borderline along Saddle Mt. with fast powder snow. The clouds parted for a good view at the top. The steep descent through the trees was exhilarating, some skiing back up for multiple descents. Francis shared his sheltered path through the woods for the return into the brutal wind. Monday, Ruth took Brent, Greg, Scott, and the T.C. on a tour of the maple woods, back to a steep amphitheater, finishing at the sugar cabin before lunch and the drive back to Maine.

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Date: 0000-00-00
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Submitter: Kyle Duckworth
River: Souadabscook Stream
Section:
Date: 0000-00-00
Level:
Participants: Kenny DeCoster, TC Kyle Duckworth, Helen Hess, Dan Pelletier, Patti and Tom Rutka. Kayaks: Andrew Carey, Ron Chase, John Crocker, Kirk Ross.
Report: It was a beautiful, crystal clear day with temps in the upper thirties and gusts from the northwest at 20-30 mph. Patti and Tom Rutka arrived with a list, compiled on the drive up from Saco, of all the things that one might do on such a day that involved being WARM. (First item was “Go to Dysarts for coffee and pie.”) But peer pressure is a powerful thing, and so here we were at the Manning Mill bridge put-in.

First order of business was a transaction involving a Dagger Ovation 11-foot canoe. The previously-negotiated price of two cases of Miller High Life exchanged hands and Tom Rutka officially joined the proud ranks of PPCS open boaters. There was a twinkle in Patti’s eyes and she beamed with pride.

We were pleased to see that the river level was higher than the TC was anticipating. It was about 14” below the top of the bridge footer, or what one might call “a little under 0.5 feet” if the painted guage actually extended down that far. What this means in practical terms is that there are many little surf waves available that are completely washed out at higher levels. And these we took advantage of to full extent.

Dan Pelletier was impressive in his 15-foot “playboat”, particularly at the wavey/holey thing ½ mile below the put-in, which he side-surfed while standing up. Ron Chase showed off his moves at this spot as well. Apparently he’s been spending some time with the young dudes at the Madison park-and-play wave, because he showed off quite a routine of blunts, helixes, and donkey flips.

The site of the old dam below Boy Scout ledge was a smooth glassy wave at this level, perfect for canoes. Patti and Helen demonstrated the “two-chick surf” here.

The waves just below Emerson Mill bridge were also in fine form, and we spent some time there taking our turns. Kenny DeCoster was having the perfect surf when Ron Chase paddled out and knocked him off the wave. This appeared to bystanders to be quite rude and uncalled for, until it was later revealed to be “payback” for some previous transgression. Apparently Kenny got what he deserved, and maybe a little bit more.

It was Andrew Carey’s first time on the Sou, so Tom Rutka helped him scout Crawford rapid. It paid off as Andrew had a perfect line, as did Tom in his new boat.

We regarded the tree in the river at Paper Mill bridge with respect. Although Jason Littlefield and some others did a great job recently to wrestle this massive log parallel to the current rather than across it, it is still “in the way,” and more or less in the center of the channel.

Ron Chase and Kirk Ross chose to run Grand Falls while the rest of us carried around. A quick run down the wavetrain to the old ball field take out got us within a short walk of warm, dry clothes. The TC brought cheap beer, John Crocker brought out good beer as usual, and along with some chips and hummus we socialized for another hour until somebody suggested that you know, there were warmer places to be. Ah, the wisdom of a crowd.

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Date: 0000-00-00
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Report: 45

Submitter: Allan Fuller
River: 25 Mile Stream
Section: Rt-139 to Sebasticook River
Date: 0000-00-00
Level: rocks
Participants: 4 potential paddlers
Report: Trip canceled or postponed waiting for a heavy rain.

Submitter: Tom Rutka
River: Dead
Section:
Date: 0000-00-00
Level: 1800 cfs
Participants: OC-1: TC Tom Rutka, Jim Tibbits. OC-2: Helen Johnston and Peter Brown. K-1: Owen Maguire, Skip Pendleton, Lora Fulton, Sally and Bill Blauvelt.
Report: This group addressed Spencer Rip differently than the group had the previous day. Some bugs had to be worked out on the very first and second rocks at the top of the drop by one of us who got his feet wet, but this only seemed to help shake the rust off his paddling skills as he aced the river the rest of the day. One of the novice paddlers who exercised excellent water reading skills got into her groove and also aced the river. Yey! Nice improvement. It was fun rock dodging and navigating the river. After spending the majority of the day on the right side of the river the TC discovered that there is no real right side of the river in lower Poplar and that you do have to go left to get into the rapid at this level. One of the more mature paddlers found his way down the river casually and relaxed, but made mention of upper and lower Pop being the surest rapids he ran because he's done them so many times that he knew exactly where to go. Owen made a sporting day of it by shopping for elusive surf waves early on. One upset him, but not to be outdone, he gave it five roll attempts before he called it a draw. The TC has never seen such an awesome hip-snap. Conditions were right, experience was good, and there was no better way to finish off the summer picnic.

Submitter: Brent Elwell
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Date: 0000-00-00
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