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whitewater play intermediate paddlers 1 day
Credit River
Sunday, April 10, 2005
length: 10.0km, 1 day
difficulty: intermediate

participants: Karonne Lansel, Joe Amodeo, Herb Beedell, Carol Soper

The spectacular weather and high water levels continued, so four of us who had run the Ganny yesterday (over too soon!) decided to run the Credit today. It was pretty fierce - there were a couple of moments whipping through those tight turns when I wasn't sure we'd be able to hold off being smushed into a bridge abutment or retaining wall. That's why I'm giving it the intermediate rating today instead of the usual novice grade. But if you hi-octane VVCCers think I'm exaggerating, let me know.

By coincidence, our companions on the river were four Mississauga firefighters in two rafts. They were practising their chops for when they're called upon to perform river rescues. At first, we didn't know who they were; we were portaging around the dam and we saw these rafts coming behind us, but they weren't pulling in. We watched them keep going towards the dam, and ironically we were a little worried that we'd have to rescue them. The first one went halfway over the dam, then got totally hung up and folded over. They weren't going anywhere at that point, so finally one guy bailed out and then his partner flushed over with the raft and picked him up. It was almost a repeat performance for the second raft, but they managed to shimmy over and carry on.
Later, when we all pulled over to inspect a downed tree blocking almost the entire river south of Burnhamthorpe Rd. (you can get by on the right), we had a chat with them and realized our worries for their safety were well-intentioned but laughable.

They told us the pool just below the dam was full of salmon heading upstream, and the guy in the water had been bumping into them! We didn't see anything. I guess we were so intent on staying right side up, we didn't dare look down!

Our two canoes leapfrogged down the river with the two firefighters' rafts - and no, they didn't have to rescue us, although I was tempted to make it happen! - and then at the end we all bought hot dogs and chatted till it was time for them to get into their big red fire trucks (parked incongruously alongside our minivan and SUV) and head back to the station.

By the way, did I say what a great day it was and how much fun we had playing on the river? ... I can't help it, I'm female, and the fascination with firemen is in our genetic makeup!

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