These photos are actually about a week old now. Right before it really got warm last weekend and the creeks started to rise Mitch Noddin and myself were desperate for some whitewater kayaking. The only thing running in the area was the Carrabassett River. We headed to North Anson because the S-Turns section up by Sugarloaf was still too low. To our surprise North Anson actually had some pretty good whitewater in it. We were a little hesitant at first even though we had run it in the past, this section of river is all sharp blasted rock and nasty unnatural pour-overs created during the log drives. The water was also extremely cold. We decided to give’er after much route planning and discussion. When running something with just two people you are taking some pretty big risks and safety is limited. We had several game plans for any situation that could have come to be on the water but in reality we really needed to be on our A game and stay on our lines. We stopped strategically several times throughout the run in eddies to re-group and plan the next stretch. The pictures without a kayak in them don’t really do justice to how big and intimidating the water was. Definitely a fun run, also a bit terrifying. After running the North Anson Gorge we headed up to where the Katies Crotch Road crosses the river and ran the section under the bridge there too. That section is much tamer and less stressful, next time we’ll warm up there first. Whitewater kayaking is just too much fun…
For perspective, here’s a shot of Paul from several seasons ago just below the 3rd big island up from the bottom of photo 4 above
Spring is just around the bend and we figured why not get everyone together for a run down the Kennebec to kick off the Maine whitewater season. We’re hoping rafters, body boarders, kayakers and anyone else will join us for an early season run on April 7th. We’ll be meeting at the put-in around 10. To prepare for the chilly day on the river we’ll be partying at The Marshalls in The Forks the night before, April 6th. Chris and Karen have graciously invited the Maine whitewater community and anyone else that would like to join us to come together for drinks, music and whitewater films. We’ll be playing a random assortment of whatever films people show up with all night. Bring some whitewater footage if you have any, also an instrument if you like to play music. There’s sure to be lots of jamming. The Marshalls has hotel rooms and so does the Inn next door. There might not be snow in the campground by then either. We hope to see everyone there! Jeremy and I will be giving away a free spot in one of our Swiftwater Rescue Clinics www.senditwhitewater.com
Info for the 2013 Send It, Whitewater Racing Series will be up shortly. Some new formats coming this year. Hope everyone is getting ready for spring, we’ve got some good snow waiting to fill the rivers up.
At 7pm tonight in the Unity College Performing Arts Center, Unity Maine, there will be a re-screening of the Maine Outdoor Film Festival. The first screening was hosted in the field at Three Rivers Whitewater in the Forks Maine this past summer. If you couldn’t make it come to Unity tonight and check out the films. Mainely Boating will be playing again on the big screen and you can check it out online here! See you tonight!
A 20 year vision for Sacarappa Falls and the Westbrook River park
Jan. 4-5 the town of Westbrook is hosting a winter festival in the same area of the Presumpscot River where Rob Mitchell has proposed a whitewater park. Sappi, a paper company owns and operates a dam at Sacarappa Falls. If you haven’t been following along, Rob is proposing that Sappi installs a whitewater park instead of a concrete fish ladder. The park will act as a natural fish ladder. Sappi must install a fish ladder to comply with re-licensing agreements, it’s simply a matter of convincing them to consider paddlers and community recreation when they do it by creating a whitewater park and natural fish ladder.
To rally some support and show the town that people are excited about the idea Rob is looking for whitewater kayakers to attend the Westbrook Winter Fest and run Sacarappa Falls (flow permitting). Make sure you show up with all your boats on the roof so people see lots of kayaks. Bring cameras, friends and lets send it. Sounds like people are meeting West side of Riverbank Park at the AMVETs Hall (Dunn st) a little before noon. Be there! This is a great opportunity to promote whitewater kayaking in Maine and get the ball rolling on whitewater parks!
Digging through old files I turned up a few shots from Madison sometime in the summer of 2008. The huge air shot of the yellow Pyranha is Tim Norton, who actually doesn’t really paddle anymore… something about being a dad and all? The female shredder is Sarah Pine, who’s basement I actually live in now and of course Chris Hull in the orange Pyranha bringing style to the wave sesh as always. Just good old whitewater kayaking in Maine.
Good eats are all part of a successful camping trip. The Marhsalls crew fostered up this feast while enjoying an empty Omaha beach in the fall. There’s actually a beer can, I think it was a nice full PBR, stuffed in that chicken with a little bacon wrap for the blow hole.
Earlier this summer we had a bit of a dry spell. Itching for some big wave surfing, Chuck managed to talk Andy Wahl and myself into a road trip. We decided to head for Montreal where bigger waves can be found on the Lachine rapid of the St Lawrence Sea Way. Realistically it makes more sense to spend a couple days, the drive is about five hours one way. With jobs preventing a multi day trip we left The Forks at 4am and set off on a day trip. It’s actually a fairly scenic drive and we made it back to The Forks sometime after 10 that night. It was worth it.
Here’s a short edit of the “Madison Wave,” one of Maine’s many hidden gems. Madison is well known amongst the boating community here in Maine and attracts whitewater kayakers from all parts of the state when its in. Madison generally runs after heavy rains or in spring. Ideal flows are around or just above 17,000 CFS on the Kennebec River at Madison USGS gauge. This video was filmed at slightly higher than ideal flows making the wave a little less retentive than usual.