Ottawa River at -1
Friday, September 12, 2003
length: 8.0km, 1 day
leader: Chris Mack
participants: Chris Mack, Peter Farr,
My first trip down the Ottawa River (OWL gauge at –1)… wow! What a blast!
I met up with Chris and Shadow at the Gull Thursday night and we left first thing Friday morning for Foresters Falls. Breakfast in Palmer Rapids (where else?) and we were at Black’s takeout by 11:30 or so. I have to admit to being pretty tense and it didn’t help when, right after getting onto the water at the OWL put-in, we warmed up in the outflow of a couple of smaller rapids and I blew my first ferry – just nerves I hoped!
About my only truly anxious moment came as we approached McKoy’s, which just got bigger as we got closer (how long is that wave train?) I headed toward the lower part of the waves to ferry across, but I could hear Chris calling me back. He took me up to the river-right eddy at the bottom of the rapid, then got out to scout. I was afraid he wanted to run it… what was I getting into? As it turned out Chris just wanted to show me some of the more famous lines, not feed me to the river gods.
After watching the kayaks for a while we headed on down. I am afraid most of the day went by in a blur. Mostly I remember having lots of FUN, but no great detail. Some highlights do stand out, though: Iron Ring followed by surfing (and swimming) in S-Bend; the amazing feeling of accelerating down Butterfly and launching up over the standing wave; completely blowing my line on Lower No Name (Chris: “I didn’t see you take one stroke”) and getting trashed in the waves at the bottom; redeeming myself slightly by catching (barely) the eddy I wanted on Black Velvet.
It was all over far too soon. What a fantastic introduction. Thanks, Chris.