River Moose – New York State

It was August and September 2007 when we went exploring the North Eastern States of America for some paddling; we knew we’d get the Yough and the Gauley and the Beaver and some other good dam releases, but at the same time we were disappointed that we would miss the October Moose Fest.  However some locals persuaded us it could still be a jolly, even at low summer flows so we went and investigated….

 Big slide on the moose

I’ve seen pictures of this drop when there’s actually some water – quite a terrifying hole forms at the bottom. [Chris and Nick]

Chris on the Slotty Drop

Chris on a little slotty drop further down the Moose

There was some definite scrapeage between the drops – when the river widened there wasn’t really enough water.  However the weather was amazing and when we did get to the drops they were fun and picturesque.

Toms Head on the Moose
Bottom of the Slot – Tom goes deep 🙂

One car was always an issue – at the end of this run Jo and I had a long walk back to the car.  It was quite intimidating: crazed dogs, suspected of rabies, even the squirrels were a potential threat.  It was a real wilderness walk!

River Moose - Chris Smith

Chris: The final drop of the day, just a huge reservoir and our long walk.


Black River Gorge: New York State

This river runs throughout the summer and has some sweeeet play waves as well as some pretty big drops – it was fairly low so the gorge wasn’t too pushy.  The Poop Shoot still provided entertainment and butterflies for all (good downtime opportunities…).

Pete was still playing around with his fancy new digital SLR and as you can see I’ve been playing around with photoshop!

Poop Shoot
Scally #1

Chris on the Poop Shoot
Scally #2
Like most of the rivers we paddled in the States (Summer 2007) the water was really warm; even though we didn’t have the sunshine it was still a thermal only type of day.  Special thanks to Tom for nailing the ‘slot of depth’ and surprising us by passing through it with relative ease…
Play Wave in the Gorge:
Chris on what I think is Inner City Straits play wave…
The Big ‘L’ : I think this is the Inner City Straits Playwave on the Black River Gorge : Either way it was very fast and superfun.

Mainly Driving to Canada with a little bit of Ottawa Playboating

Chris Smith on Baby Face Ottawa

Big Jim had paddled the River Hudoson, NY, 763 times.  He had a beard and all the raft guides knew him.  So when he told us that the R. Ottawa in Canada was only a 2-3 hr drive from our campsite we believed him, who wouldn’t?  A lesson was learnt that day and we reaslised that if he’d paddled the Hudson 763 times then it was unlikely that he had ever been to Canada.

Chris Smith on Baby Face, Ottawa [Close Up]

Chris on Baby Face, Ottawa

We left our campsite in Lowesville, New York around 9am and drove through a typically gorgeous day.  We arrived at around 3pm, the same time as the clouds and the dismal weather.  Also the garberator and push button were crammed as it was the eve of the Canadian Freestyle Champs.  This left us a short afternoon of play on Mckoys rapids and mainly Baby Face 🙂

The Team Chilling on the Ottawa

[From Left to Right : Nick Broad, Joanne Mackin, Chris Smith and Pete Hollis]

It was a long day out but the Ottawa was a new experience for most of us so I think it was worth the slog – definitely an adventure and an extra stamp in the passport (!?).  Plus we got to eat huge deep pan pizza (mainly bread actually) on the long journey home.  Happy Days….

Waterborne American Atrosoties

While we traveled the breadth of the Eastern States of the USA we were surprised to find a wide range of creatures – some of which we were fortunate enough to capture through the combined skills of the group and Pete’s expensive camera.

The rarest and scariest of our finds was the snapping turtle – we captured a particularly malodorous specimen and made it angry enough to snap a small twig clean in two:

Chris and the Snapping TurtleChris Smith and the Snapping Turtle

Alex and the Snapping Turtle 2

Chris and Alex – Turtle Hunting [Photo: Peter Hollis]

The Potomac

Great Falls, Potomac

Joanne and Chris – Great Falls [Photo: Pete Hollis]

This was Alex’s first river of the trip – we walked in the stiffling summer heat of Maryland to the base of the famous Great Falls on the River Potomac – along the way we paddled a snapping turtle infested canal, climbed over rocks (which would’ve been mountains in the UK) and crossed streams (again UK rivers!) to reach horseshoe rapid:

Joanne Mackin - Great Falls

Joanne – Horseshoe Falls [Photo: Chris Smith] 

The falls were impressive but I’m sure they lost most of their ‘greatness’ with the summer levels, while some lines were tempting we were happy to play at the bottom and enjoy the sunshine.  The potomac turned into a gentle float; time for Alex to practice some rolls, and the young ‘uns to launch themselves off rocks:

Flying Scallies

You can take the scally out of Salford but you can’t take Salford out of the Scally : Pete Hollis 

I thought that Great Falls National Park was a beautiful part of North America, especially considering its proximity to Washington DC.  While the river didn’t hold much spectacularity, I am assured that this was only due to the unusually low levels.  We had an enjoyable couple of days in this region. 

Chris Smith Stern SquirtChris Smith Stern Squirt 2Chris Smith Stern Squirt 3Chris Smith Stern Squirt 4Chris Smith Stern Squirt 5Chris Smith Stern Squirt 6

Old School Pyranha I3 Action [Photo: Joanne Mackin]