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Mill Brook, Jericho

Saturday Oct 8, 2005
Kayak: Dan Beideck, Will Bucossi, Chris Weed
Open Canoe: Eric Bishop, Tony Shaw
Organizer: Tony Shaw
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium
Author: Tony Shaw

I get my hopes up for a Mill Brook trip with every soaking summer rain that's forecast, but most of these fail to bring sufficient rain to raise Mill Brook to a fun level, or they bring it up overnight and by the next morning it is too low to enjoy. Small creeks in small drainages are like that.

Although it can still be bony in the class II boulder gardens in the lower reaches, and there will always be a handful of impenetrable logjams that must be lifted around, Mill Brook is otherwise a micro-creeker's dream - tiny, lovely, away from the road, and with a slew of scoutable/runnable ledges over its 5 mile course. For the first time we chose a put-in alongside Nashville Rd. about a mile above the usual Field Lane put-in. The slog through an alder thicket to river's edge was a challenge, but our first descent of the high ledge drop just downstream made it worthwhile. This day also marked the first time we all attempted to run the hydro-project ledge, and only one of us got turned the wrong way (if you know what I mean). When it is not riffling along as class I or rock-dodging class II, Mill Brook is decidedly pool-drop in character. One "got worked" and needed to swim out of the hole at the base of the falls just above the Tarbox Rd. bridge, which is usually not that sticky.

I have been paddling Mill Brook since the late '80's. The first time was in a tandem canoe no less, and we carried everything. Today, for the first time, I can say that I have run ALL of the drops on Mill Brook without a swim (though never all on the same outing)!

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