Salmon River Tamworth Section
Saturday, April 7, 2007
length: 1 day
organizer: Cale and Stephanie
Water Level: 5.029 on Salmon Tamworth gauge
Well today was an exciting day for me. It would be my first descent down the Upper Salmon River.
I left the Barrie area at 7am and was in Napanee to do some shopping by 10am. This was good a time for me considering I stopped twice.
I met the gang in Tamworth around 11:15 at to my surprise there was the Imaginary Boydo. Kind of bizarre as we only met at the Kip concert and he we are twice in one week. The other paddlers in the group were Cale, Stephanie, Andrew, Jeff, Bryan and myself. I was the token open boater and I have never paddled with any of them before.
Stephanie pointed out later that we actually met last year at Palmerfest in the Billy Harris Mountain Surf mobile.
The weather was kind of cool and overcast but not cold enough for me to wear gloves yet. I hate the frigging things. We stopped at the takeout first, suited up, moved boats around and headed to the putin. It was a nice warm up paddle down to the first set of moving current which was basically small. The next set had more flow and some rocks to dodge but nothing major to worry about.
Please note that in between all the various swifts and rapids there are large sections of flatwater to paddle.
As we paddled down the river Cale and Stephanie mentioned we would scout the three biggest sets of rapids prior to running them. T
he first big set was fun. I took lots of pictures of everyone. We even had a huge otter come down to the river only to take off back up the hill after seeing Andrew, Boydo, and Cale up above the rapids. Everyone made it down in one piece and Cale asked me if I was going to run it in. I said yep. I hit the hole in the bottom and took on lots of water. (mental note: get the parts for the pump and install in boat). I successfully paddled to shore with lots of water in my boat emptied it out and retrieved my camera back from Cale.
We exited the boats to scout the second big set. It was a long canyon that was pretty pushy. You had to be careful as about half way down there was a big reactionary wave pushing of the left wall across the river to the right. It could easily push anyone into the right hand shelf ledge. Once again I was the last to go down. I had a slight problem on the way down. I was pushed over to the right shelf ledge. I did what Boydo refer to as a “Rock Splat”. My whole body was laying on top of the ledge. I was still attached to the boat and had my paddle. I did a big push of the ledge and hip flick at the same time. I paddled the last half of this set with lots of water in my boat but made it right down to the end without swimming.
We exited the boats to scout the third and last big set. The top was straight forward. The only problem was the big ass hole at the bottom. The clean run was to stay tight between the left wall and the big rooster tail at the hole. Stephanie, Jeff, and Bryan decided to walk around. Andrew, Boydo, and Cale each had a clean run. I was still undecided as to what I was going to do. Luckily we caught up to a group that had a couple of open boaters. They all took the same run and made it clean and look easy. I basically said I am either going to run it or swim it. I got into my boat and started heading down. My line was off. I hit the hole dead on. I almost made it through to the bottom. I did not have enough speed and I think I paused and stopped paddling for a few seconds. Bad mistake. I ended up catching air as I was literally starting to spiral my boat as I was going down river. I think it was a bad attempt at trying to do a helix or something to that effect. Bryan was taking pictures of me with my camera. They looked cool on the screen but were slightly out of focus but you could still see me before I swam. Boydo went after my boat and brought it back up. I asked Cale if I could run it again. I carried the boat back up. Took the exact same line but kept on paddling. The boat took on lots of water (mental note: pump) but I paddled it all the way to shore. I was happy that I decided to run it again and made it down.
After that it was a short paddle to the takeout. I personally had a great day and I am glad that I made the trip over. The good thing is that both Cale and Stephanie said I would have no problem running the Highway 7 Beaver Creek run. I might have to walk one fo the rapids but I should be good to go for the rest of them. Well we shall see about that tomorrow.
I would like to thank Cale and Stephanie for letting me tag along. Same goes to the others in the group. I really enjoyed myself.