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Independence Paddle Party

Friday-Monday Jul 1-4, 2005
Kayak: Cheryl & Simon, Dan & Anne, Damon & Ashley, Steph & Eric John G, Jim P, Matt, Mike, Lisa, Ann M and Jack.
Organizer: Cheryl Robinson
Difficulty: intermediate WW
Level: medium
Gauge (ft): N/A
Gauge (cfs): N/A
Author: Cheryl

The weekend began Friday with various parties hitting Holebrothers Watertown NY at different points in the day. Simon and I arrived around 5:30 pm and spent a few hours enjoying the pool party atmosphere created by the local raft guides, surfing pool toys and drinking beer.

We arrived at RiverRun a little around 1am closely followed by other people in the party. I wasn't happy we had only packed basic summer gear and the Temp outside was 54c ...bloody cold. I prayed that this weather wasn't here for the whole weekend...I only had a shortie drytop.

We awoke Saturday morning to blazing sunshine and many eager paddlers only too willing to face the wrath of Phil's hole.

Day 1 Morning paddle...quick breakdown...a few people miss threading the needle line hit Phil's and take either a small or large beating...result some I hit the line, then lost total focus and swam into the next large hole Horseshoe...which left me with a nasty and thankfully the only injury of the weekend. (I missed two paddles because of that damn swim!).

The rest of the Main channel goes pretty uneventfully, large big fluffy bath water and we were all the little ducks happily playing around...does the saying "too much fun" exist?

Exhausted and hungry some of us resign to the fact we will only get to paddle once and enjoy the rest of the day drinking wine and's a hard life!!

Day 1 Afternoon paddle...oops we get back to camp rather late from the first paddle and discover Eric and Steph have arrived, given up all hope of us returning, and got on the river by themselves...Oh dear...the Ottawa has many channels, will they get the right channel?

The guys head out to catch them up and luckily catch them at the first rapid...They have a few surfs at the beautiful Baby face wave and head of down the main channel for another exciting but uneventful paddle.

Party Time. Saturday night was perfect. We had a huge cook out, lots of wine, Strawberry margaritas and beer. John and Eric entertained the crowd with their guitars and singing while Jim beat his African drum. It was great, fun and possible couldn't get any better except for a fly shelter...but we won't get in to that.

Day 2 Morning Paddle The crowd heads out minus a Cheryl (I had a nice lazy day with Ashley, the only none paddler of the group. We headed to the beach, nap chat, nap chat nap.). Two trips were made, one down the middle, a fairly easy but fun trip...nowhere near the excitement and thrill of the Main. The main group stopped at a rapid called Brain douche...a swirling eddy line full of whirlpools...the game who can get the biggest down time was formed, not in boats though swimming. Yes you heard right they were purposely swimming.

Day 2 Afternoon paddle. We all headed out again. including me and hit the river again. Some of us stay at baby face for park and play, (beating the queues that form during the day). While the rest head down for yet another paddle down the main.

The sunsets on yet another perfect day. Tired and exhausted there isn't much of a party scene tonight, but we did get a little campfire going and toasted our Marshmallows.

Interesting fact, did you know that if you throw a melted citronella candle on to the fire it is like throwing fuel on it...mmm where did all those little citronella candles go and why did my marshmallows taste like lemon??

Day 3 Three days of paddling had started to show on people. Some headed off home early others decided for a park and play at Baby face. Some of us decided to run the river again...some decided to take another beating in Phil's for the third day running..? (Not me, I was too scared to run it and took the sneak zoom chute).

The last paddle of the weekend was nice and relaxing, few incidents, lots of surfing and huge amounts of down time at brain douche....did anyone see Matt and Ann come up again??

The paddle ended with playtime at Farmer blacks...a trashy hole on one side and a wave on the other. Most of us played on the wave...while the hard core few took beatings in the we paddled off down stream we heard a cry of "get my paddle". We turned to see a paddler (who will remain anon), boat and paddle floating down stream,. Did we try to help...well not much, we laughed, giggled and pointed, telling him to pick himself up " how could he have let himself down and swam on the last surf"

On return to the campground the group dissipated and headed home...except for a small group who sat around enjoying a BBQ, the sun and taking it easy!! PERFECT.

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