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Q20 canoe river trip #3-Winooski


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Skip report, go straight to slideshow.  https://photos.app.goo.gl/KwT9coajfVZN6Vhv7

Plans to continue section-paddling the Pemi were put on hold, once N found a likely candidate while browsing the AMC river guide. Bonus features for paddling the beautiful Winooski River in Vermont included having N’s college buddy, C, join us for the long day trip, since he lived within a mile from the takeout, and, joining J, another mate/alum, for pizza after the paddle, when we retrieved the shuttle car back in Montpelier.

#1 son N and I drove separate cars, the plan calling for dropping off the canoe (with cable lock) in Montpelier, driving NW to pick up C in Jonesville, car-topping his kayak, then driving back together in my car to the put-in.

Despite ambitious plans, including leaving the house at 6:40 AM, we finally got our paddles wet at 10:10. Mid 60s, mostly cloudy, NW at 10, below-average water levels were the ingredients for the day.

Routes 2 and I 89 would be our companions (zero other boaters/floaters) for most of this trip, though the high river banks and rippling water would drown out most of the traffic noise. We meandered/scraped our way 6 miles downstream, the first “obstacle” at Cemetery Corner (NOT named for the number of paddler deaths; there is a cemetery beyond the riverbank). A last-second, 1-foot drop through un-scouted challenge #2 surprised us, but didn’t separate us from our boats.

At length we arrived at Middlesex Dam for our first portage. Our hero and pack animal for the day would be our dolly, “Llama.”  



After a climb up a steep muddy path, we settled the canoe atop Llama, and the kayak on top of the canoe, clearly looking like folks “from away.”  Llama made short work of the roadside portage.


 Before launching again, we enjoyed a repast of veggie Italian and roast beef sandwiches from you-know-where.IMGP0024.thumb.JPG.8819679549c7f00965dae68326650467.JPG













The second, longest (10+ mi.) leg of the trip from Middlesex to Bolton, would carry us through riverside landscapes we had yet experienced. We smartly landed our boats to scout Junkyard rapids.




 The line would be easy, but well worth the preview, as the chute was not visible behind the obscuring, jutting ledge.



We came to the conclusion that the word “gorge-ous" came about while traveling through a river section such as this.  

IMGP0034.thumb.JPG.6d21e96036dc3c2af83d01e1c2d03b23.JPG    IMGP0035.thumb.JPG.5870b222ebcbd856e8ef1cc3f9a1bcad.JPG    IMGP0037.thumb.JPG.eb7562c3784e9eaa1d6af8886b1216f3.JPG




We were NOT going to Grandmother’s house, but “over the river and through the woods“ would be the mantra for the portage at Bolton Dam-a rigorous steep, uphill slog, through muddy woods, then downhill, across the picnic area, and finally to the beach, a 2000-foot trek.


IMGP0044.thumb.JPG.be7d1f23fe4165f668801db340d86f8c.JPG   IMGP0045.thumb.JPG.a6330d93316ebde55de533db5f049958.JPG




This would be the answer to the riddle “How do you gain 300 feet of altitude while paddling downriver?“ 













Downstream, the dam displayed a fairly decorative finish–large brownstone-like facing, similar to what one might see on a decades-old town library or a train station-quite elaborate, but visible to only a few.



The third, and final segment of the trip would bring us 6 miles through mostly quickwater, beautiful pastoral scenery, geese and duck families,

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 scattered small and large-grouped humanoids enjoying the river, and fly fisherpeople.


We finally got off the river at 1830, loaded up the vehicles, short-visited C’s home and wife, then drove back to Montpelier to join J for delicious pizza from Positive Pie (+π), arriving back home at 10:20.


Link to track here


Local knowledge  here


FWIW: flow rate for this trip ~900cfs.  Given the amount of new scratches on the canoe, this would be the minimum flow I'd recommend for this paddle


The "other" Dolly Llama:     Dalai.png.946e5707b6c82f9b4669d2849bc38792.png

Edited by gyork
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45 minutes ago, prudenceb said:

Italian?  Roast beef?  Since when do you not have a have a vegetarian sub sandwich from you know where, Gary??!

Well, yes, Veggie Italian X2, RB X 1 for the 3 paddlers.

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