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whitewater play intermediate paddlers 1 day
MKC Middle Madawaska
Saturday, April 28, 2007
length: 1 day
difficulty: intermediate

participants: , Derek, Neil and AnnaLisa, Jess, Val, Stephanie, Alex, Jackson



Water Level: 15 according do Dirk from MKC.

We decided to do a trip to the Middle Madawaska at MKC. We were supposed to meet in the front parking lot at MKC at 9am. I did not make until 9:30 as I had to make sure I picked up my order of a dozen fruit tarts from Timmy Who’s. I also had to drop of a computer I fixed to some friends that own the trailer park in Head Lake.

I went into MKC office to say hi to Robyn. I also went over to talk to Dirk and Giff as they were working on some deck repairs. We told Dirk we were going to do a run down the river from the bridge. He asked if we would mind if the youngsters Stephanie, Alex, and Jackson could come down with us. We said sure no problem.

The weather was overcast but still ok.

Our group was now pretty split between different types of boats. The open boaters were AnnaLisa, Neil, Derek, and myself. The kayakers were Jess, Val, Stephanie, Alex, and Jackson. We were also expecting Dan and Erin to show up but he apparently bailed.

We headed up to the bridge after tieing on the extra boats. It took a few minutes to get organized at the putin and we were off. On the way down the river Alex asked Val if he was a hard core playboater. He said no and after watching Alex doing a bowstall Val thirty something was hoping to pick up tips from him 18ish.

I tried to take as many pictures as possible. Derek was backup photographer today.

We arrived at the top of staircase. Some of us got out to scout the rapids. The youngsters just went in and started to play. I watched Derek, Jess, and Val do their first runs and followed them with the camera. I then took my first run. It wasn’t elegant but I made it down rightside up without swimming. Derek managed to take pictures of me on my second run. I ended up doing one of the ledges backwards but spun the boat around for the rest of it.

My third run was ok for the first 2/3rds … I ended up sided surfing in the last sticky hole on river right. I ended up being the first swim victim of the day. I was standing on the rock an down stream of the hole and had to grab my boat as it was being sucked back into it. I then flipped it over my head, emptied the water, and shoved my paddle back into it. There was no way of getting back into my boat. I ended up just lining it up a pushing it down the river. It went down the river unscathed and caught the eddy at the end on river right all by itself. I then swam over to the shore and walked down to pickup my boat.

Val got in some good surf time where I picked up my boat. Derek, and Jess did multiple runs down staircase with no issues. AnnaLisa did only one run but had no problems at all. Neil also did multiple runs but ended up being the second swimmer of the day and he won the swimming for distance award. He ended up swimming the section of staircase that my boat did on its own.

After that we all headed down to Chalet rapids and took out for lunch break. There was an ORCA MW instructor’s course going on. We exchanged friendly greetings will all the people we new and it was a lot. We retrieved our vehicles from the putin and had lunch in the parking lot in front of MKC. It was a mixture of fruit tarts from Timmy Who’s, Tim Bits, Cheese, etc. After lunch we did the shuttle to the takeout at the bottom of Mud Bay.

Everyone started heading down Chalet. I was the last one to go down. I ended up out of my boat for a second time after side surfing another hole on river left. I was able to do a short self rescue and get back into my boat. I felt like a real idiot during that swim as it was in plain view of the ORCA course that was going on. I hope not one noticed. I thought at that point in time I was the leader for number of swims, but apparently Neil had a dumbass swim as well and we were tied at two.

After Chalet we head down to Claudia’s Roller for some surf time. Everyone was having a blast. Neil and Derek both tried to do 360 flat spins but it was too sticky for them and managed to only do about a 180. I managed to have an excellent side surf. Val was impressed as he never saw me surf anything in my open boat. I was also the only one who almost complete a complete 360 flat spin. AnnaLisa was the only one that swam while surfing at that was her first for the day.

After that we headed down river and ran Gravel Pit and Cottage rapids. I am not sure what the name of the one with the big hole where if you have to surf it at do three complete 360 overhead spins of your paddle to get on the MKC but the slide over the rock into the huge hole was fun.

We then had a leisurely paddle to the take out. Derek thought it would be ok to put two of the open boats on his vehicle with kayaks as bookends. He said it would be fine for out trip to Palmer Rapids. Well it didn’t work out and about half way to Barrys Bay the two kayaks started to hang down both sides of his vehicle. He finally stopped after noticing more orange hanging down in his window and pulled over. After that Val and Jess took their boats back and put them in their vehicles safe and sound.

We had dinner Balmoral Hotel. I download the pictures onto my laptop and we had a slideshow while waiting for dinner. There were many interesting conversations at dinner including how Colin liked to so and that he preferred wearing women’s size fleece underwear as they fit better. But the best comment during dinner was from Neil and AnnaLisa. Apparently earlier in the day above Staircase AnnaLisa asked Neil if the were going to do the run Doggy Style when she meant to say Ducky Style. Well that comment stuck for the rest of Saturday and Sunday. We also kept asking them if the Wanted to get a room as they were always late doing stuff when coming from the woods, etc. Their newlyweds … what else would you expect.

After dinner we headed down to Palmer Rapids. Some of us took a quick look at the river before setting up tents, etc. After that it was a nice relaxing sit around the fire where we met up with Greg, Paul, and Brenda who were also open boaters that were joining us for Sunday.

I will leave the pictures up for a couple of weeks.


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