Lower Black River - Highway 7
Sunday, April 15, 2007
length: 1 day
organizer: Not sure
participants: Caroline Owen, , Mitch Mitchell, Peter Farr,
Water Level:12.506 at the Black River Near Actinolite
Today would be my first descent down the Lower Black Highway 7 run.
I left Kingston around 7:15am. I was not sure how long it would take to drive up to highway 7 and Black River road. I was amazed to be in Kaladar around 08:20. I decided to have breakfast at the restaurant at the gas station as I was way to early to meet Pete at 09:45. Just for the record there is wireless internet access there. Not sure if it belong to the gas station but I checked the weather forecast and emails.
The weather was overcast and cool. It probably did everything from rain to snow and absolutely no sunshine.
I met Peter and Mitch almost at the right spot. We then drove up to the dam in Queensborough. We were the first ones there and then it began. The boats just kept coming and coming. I would guess by the time we left to do shuttle there had to be about 30 – 40 boats there easy. It was like a big high school reunion or something as people were getting re-aquainted. It turned out that there was a large contingent of boaters doing the Upper Black which is way out of my league and a couple of smaller groups doing the Lower Black.
Our group was all open boats except for one kayaker. Our group consisted of Peter, Mitch, Mike, Bonnie, Cline, Carole, Gerry, Stephan (he was the token kayaker), and myself. I think that was everybody. Hmm someone was missing … oh yes it was Peter’s son Stephen. He paddles one of those plastic beer coolers known as a CU-Fly and he WIMPED OUT BIG time by not wanting to paddle the big flat water sections of the river. All he wants to do is surf surf surf. He abandoned us to go paddle at the Crowe bridge with Chris.
We suited up at the putin and did the shuttle.
Please note that in between all the various swifts and rapids there are large sections of flatwater to paddle.
This was also the first trip down this river for a good part of the group. It was a very pretty river to paddle on.
I can’t remember everything about the river. I know the first swift/surf place was at the bridge in town. After that the first four foot drop was fun to run. I almost had the right line. I made it down without taking on much water.
There were a few spots that were fairly tame and all the good open boaters were going from eddy to eddy practicing their skills. I am not that good yet and just ran down where ever I could. But I did have to catch some of the eddies in order to boat scout.
Some of the runs were pretty narrow with the standard big waves, rocks, and holes with pretty strong current flow. I can’t remember where I swam … and for the record it was only once. It was down a long narrow run that had a couple of big holes in it. I got nailed at the second one. The water was definitely refreshing considering I don’t have a fully drysuit yet. There were swims by others but somehow I have magically forgotten who they were.
There was also one drop that looked about eight feet or so. I took a look at it and said nope not for me. Everyone walked it except for Carole, Gerry, and Stephan. I ended cutting my face near the bridge of my nose and eye on a branch while portaging my boat. It looks like I have been in a bar fight. The rest of the runs were fine for me except for the time I got stuck on a small rock at the bottom of one of the runs. I had to do the hip forward swoosh a few times to get off it.
My feet were kind of cold by the end. I forgot the wool socks again. The best part about taking Peter and Mike back to the putin was the local ladies auxiliary. They had a tent set out by the river. The burgers, etc were not started yet but I did have a piece of the coconut cream pie. It was still warm and hit the spot. After that it was back to the takeout to pack up. Mike showed up a few minutes later and said he had grabbed a slice of the same pie and said it hit the spot as well.
I have been quite happy with the spring paddling. I have been on four different rivers that I never paddled before and met more and more friends to go paddling with.
I personally had a great day and I am glad that I stayed overnight in Kingston to do the trip. Everyone said they had a great day. Thanks to all for making the long drive to come and paddle.
I stopped to stretch my legs in Havelock. And for the record the restaurant at the Train Station has free wireless internet. I was parked beside the north west corner of the building checking my email, etc. I had to have a catnap before I got to Port Perry. It has been a long and tiring weekend. I will be sleeping good tonight.
I will leave the pictures up for a few weeks. I still need to practice on moving targets as they are still a bit blurry. I will have to go to the highway and take pictures of moving cars. It could have also been the temperature.