The Vermont Paddlers Club

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Rapid River

Sunday Jul 25, 2010
Participants:
Kayak: Gerard Ganey Travis (Charly) Keller Brandon Alling Jamie S AJ Seibel
Organizer: AJ Seibel
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium
Gauge (cfs): 1800
Author: AJ Seibel

A Great day on a remote Maine river...

The adventure began with a 1 hour and 45 minute wait while Travis and Brandon set shuttle, got lost, got lost, got lost, took a wrong turn, and eventually found their way back to the put-in. It continued with some class II flatwater across the 1.5 miles of Pond in the River, with whitecaps and a strong headwind.

Finally, the current began and things started to look more like a river. Some fun surfing was had in the warm-up class II rapids and then it was game on. First, Second, and Third pitch are big rapids at the 1800cfs level, and all had a great time eddy hopping, ferrying and surfing the big waves in the first few rapids.

Next up: Smooth Ledge. If you like surfing or playboating at all, you NEED to get to this playspot. It started out as a nice 2-3 foot wave with a retentive foam pile, but a non-retentive green tongue between the two holes. As the levels dropped, the hole became more of a hole, and we were all able to get a little play time in, a few spins, and lots of rolls. Spectating was as fun as the play this day as there were a good number of talented boaters at the playspot throwing down, and cheering everyone else on. The place has a magical summer vibe to it!

After that we headed on down through S-turn, finding it to be surpisingly easier in practice than most guidebooks would lead you to believe. Then came some great play in Devil's Hopyard with some great waves and holes to play in, and generally easy and fun class III followed by the darned flatwater. Another half to three-quarters of a mile out brought us to the hidden take-out on Lake Umbagog. To top off the day, you get to go back through all the logging roads to fetch your car and tempt the tire-flattening gods one last time before the commute home...

All in all, a pretty freakin' excellent day on the river!

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