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Sunday, April 8, 2007
length: 1 day
Water Level: 18ish according to Gary George
Well today was an exciting day for me. It would be my first descent down the Beaver Creek.
I left Kingston around 8am and had breakfast in Marmora.
I met the gang at the Macs Milk around 10:15. It was just going to be three of us Cale, Eric, and myself. We found out later that Gary, Rich, and a bunch of others had just missed us at the Macs Milk and they were paddling on the river behind us. This was Eric’s first trip down the Beaver as well.
I apologize for not taking as many pictures as I wished to as we were on a tight schedule as the others had Easter dinners to attend.
The weather was kind of cool and overcast to start but not cold enough for me to wear gloves yet. We had some sunshine peek its head out at the end of the day.
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.
Please note that in between all the various swifts and rapids there are large sections of flatwater to paddle.
We arrived at the first big rapid. After scouting I elected to walk it. There were some holes that I was not comfortable running. The one at the bottom looked real nasty to me with the shoreline that had come down. There was also a tree with huge ice hanging from it which is not good for an open boater. I was also very worried that I would end up have my boat wedge into the shoreline and decide nope … not this time. Eric and Cale ran it clean.
They ran everything clean the entire day. I on the other hand was a different story.
As we paddled down the river Cale we would scout the biggest sets of rapids prior to running them and boat scout the rest.
The rest of this report is going to be a blur and might not be in proper order as it is hard to keep track of things in your head when you are swimming.
My first swim happened as we were going down this long canyon run. About halfway down there was this wave which was up to my shoulders in height and it pushed my open boat pushed me to river right wall. I ended up with a new dent in the front. I was only in the water for about 20 seconds. I self rescued the boat emptied it out and continued on. (mental note: save money for a full drysuit).
I decided to walk around the top part of a drop after scouting it. I did not feel comfortable running the river right as it had an ice shelf that might boat would most likely have been stuck under. The river left run was no better as there was a couple of very sharp flat rocks on edge that would have ripped my boat open like a can of beans.
We ran a couple of small canyon runs cleanly. I know I did a dumbass swim when I was not paying attention and hit a small rock in the middle of frickin nowhere after running a hole cleanly. I felt real stupid but hey crap happens. I put my gloves on after that swim.
My final swim happened when we ran a drop on river right. Cale and Eric went first and I followed. It had to be about a three and half foot drop onto a ledge that led to a two foot drop. All you heard after I went down the first drop was a loud bang. Cale turned around and looked at me right away. I hit some small rock under the water and it stopped me dead. All he saw was me be pushed forward by the force of me being stopped and a crap load of water coming up from behind and over my shoulders. I managed to tilt the boat a bit and get out and let it do the small drop by itself. I walked to the top of the small ledge and basically did a belly flop out far into the deep water to avoid the hole. I swam to shore and emptied out the boat. I noticed that I out another big dent in the front of my boat. It looks ok but it might be time to get a Kevlar skid plate on it. I blame Cale for that dent. We both thought that there was enough water flowing to make it down but I guess not. Crap happens.
I decide to walk around the top part of the Bridge run. There was no way I could duck and get enough speed to make it safely to the bottom and have to deal with taking on lots of water. I put in just below the big stuff.
The rest of the runs were fine.
After that it was a short paddle to the takeout. Eric drove Cale and I back up to the putin to get our vehicles and that is when Rich came bombing into the parking lot with one of their group drivers.
I was kind of freaked out when I got back to the takeout. Gary asked me where my boat was. They said it was not there when they came on shore. Turns out that someone out of their group took it and hid it down by the water under the bridge. My guess is Gary or Rich.
I personally had a great day and I am glad that I stayed over in Kingston and was able to do this trip as well as the Salmon the day before. I would like to thank Cale and Eric for letting me tag along and being patient when I had to stop and drain water out of my boat and when I was swimming. I will definitely be back.
I learned a lot and had fun. The two things I learned this weekend were get my pump installed into the boat and get a full dry suit. I also learned what my limits were and walked around things I did not feel were safe for ME to run. After all I have only been in my open boat since August and really have not done to much shallow and steep creek runs (my opinion only).
Here is a link to the pictures. I will leave them up for a couple of weeks.
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