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whitewater play novice paddlers 2 days
Head/Upper Salmon
Friday, March 29, 2002 to Saturday, March 30, 2002
length: 2 days
difficulty: novice

participants: Caroline Owen, Chris Mack,

I guess Chris is too busy paddling to post a report on the weekend's adventures.

We had planned to paddle the Black River on Friday, but I did a little scouting at the Head and then went to the Black put-in to round up the ones interested in joining me at the nearby Head. I persuaded Chris, Glenn, Dianne, Gerry, Martyn and Sandy to come along. We had a great time even though the water was on the low side. Sandy and I paddled tandem in Martyn's caption and had one little upset near the beginning of the trip. We also ignored my cardinal rule: "Never follow Chris" and tried to get into an eddy that looked big enough from above, but it turned out to be precisely super-fly sized and nowhere near big enough for a tandem boat. We ended up pinned, jumping out of the boat, jumping back in and paddling the bottom of the rapid backwards while Martyn watched from below, flinching as we tried to be as easy on his boat as possible.

Chris flipped his superfly and missed his roll when his t-grip popped off in his hand! We were all concerned when he swam up with
reddish-purple drips coming from below his helmet. It turned out not to be blood draining from his ears, but semi-permanent hair dye!

We stopped for a snack at the coffee shop that's part-way along the run. Very civilized!

It started raining shortly after we took out and Sandy and I headed east to find a motel through some pretty rotten driving conditions. We ended up sleeping in a small motel on hwy 7 and drove the rest of the
way to Tamworth in the morning to meet a large group, including Chris, for a run on the Upper Salmon. It was a little chillier and a bit more challenging than the Head, but tons of fun. We spent hours paddling and
playing and making the most of the river.

The group was huge. There were probably about 10 open boats, plus a couple of c1s and a kayak. We broke into smaller groups partway through the run and I didn't see Chris again until I got the the takeout and he was there warning us to get off the river or risk being beheaded by a low bridge just downstream! The upper Salmon is a great run with mostly class 1 and two drops. There are a couple of more challenging drops that most of our group decided to portage.

I'm not sure what's up yet for next weekend, but we'll keep you posted as there should be lots of choice for the next few weeks as the snow melts and the rivers rise.


posted by: Caroline Owen

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