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North Branch of the Lamoille

Saturday Sep 28, 2002
Open Canoe: Paul Carlisle, Pat Cleary, Ray Ingram, Fritz Senftleber
Organizer: Fritz Seftleber
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium

The trip started out on a beautiful warm fall day. A definite plus, the weather was good. The crew was up for it, Paul Carlisle, Ray Ingram, Pat Cleary and myself: "no brace" Fritz. We were headed for the Gem, the North Branch of the Lamoille. I heard about it, read about it, I was scared to death. The weather was good, the crew good, the gear was set, the level was perfect.

I can't really remember what happened next. Lots of rapids, hard work, high levels of paddling demanded, lots of finding that eddy to pull into for a breather. It was all good/exciting/paddle clenching fun. I did not dump, but Ray wasn't sure if I might rather swim though!! "I told you how to do that..." Well Ray I was at my skill levels end, maybe over it, my bailer in my mouth, stuck in an excuse for an eddy in the middle of a roaring river with no spot to pull over with my half full boat. I was just surviving!!

I did survive and learned a lot, go with a good group, have good weather (not too cold) have your gear set, use common sense and be cautious when need be (say no if you really do not feel comortable). This trip would not have been a pleasure, with 10 degree colder water or air temp, or had I dumped at the beginning and had to shiver through the rest. Use common sense, have fun! "How do you get out of a side surf anyway, Ray?"

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