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Old 08-18-2013, 09:25 AM   #1
stripperguy
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Boreas River Ordeal

It all started here, well, it actually started many years ago, but that recent discussion lead to another of my, uhmmmm, miscalculations.

Here's a fast forward photo to keep everyone's attention



But, let's start at the beginning. The plan is simple:
Paddle from Cheney Pond to the Boreas River, taking out at the Rt 28N bridge.
We studied the maps.
We poured over satellite images.
We consulted guide books.
We asked many questions, received few answers.

Ultimately, there is no substitute for boots on the ground/paddle in the water recon...

We spotted a car at the roadside campsite at the Rt 28N bridge.
Then we put in at Cheney, with lifting fog and no wind.

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Old 08-18-2013, 09:37 AM   #2
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The pond level is a bit higher than years past, a pair of beaver dams on the outlet makes for better paddling.



It only took a few minutes to wiggle through the outlet.



And then we were on the Boreas River.
Oh, the we in this case is myself and Hickoryskier. I paddled my Mohawk 13XL, a fat solo that's idealy suited for these waters, and Hickoryskier paddled his Wee Lassie II stripper, not ideal for these waters.

I would divide the route into 4 sections:
Flatwater (mostly) above Lester Dam
Flatwater below Lester Dam
Rapids below Lester Dam
Rock gardens below Lester Dam.

The flatwater above the dam is a treat! The closer to Lester Dam we got, the better the views were looking N.





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Old 08-18-2013, 09:46 AM   #3
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When we got to Lester Dam, we were shocked to see an elderly couple standing there...they had hiked in on the trail. There were no cars anywhere when we put in, apparently they made better time walking than us paddling!! They said that the trail must be lightly used, and is in serious need of maintenance. We chatted for a few minutes, then pushed through the woods on river rt to scout the ledges and rapids, and/or find a suitable carry around.

Carrying on river rt didn't look like an option, so we hopped across to the left, to further study the river and any possible carry. After studying a bit, we decided that we would just run the ledges...Here's the river from L side, upstream to downstream views.







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Old 08-18-2013, 09:56 AM   #4
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Where were we?? Oh yeah, 2 hours into the trip and we're just below Lester Dam. My fat Mohawk made the ledges and rapids too easy!!
Here's the view from below, looking back towards Lester Dam.



The flatwater sections below Lester Dam were great, not a single reminder of man's intrusions...



And then there were more rapids, for the most part. the drops and chutes were fun...kind of like threading a needle, or like back country skiing. Be very careful as you pick your line and you'll be rewarded...or not!!

These are a set that I ran, almost without a single bump.



And here's Hickoryskier picking his line. I have to say, he did a great job, working with the limitations of his boat.

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Old 08-18-2013, 10:07 AM   #5
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And so it went, flatwater interspersed with rapids...and perfect weather besides!! What could be better?!





Sounds too good to be true, right?? Let's see...flatwater above Lester Dam, flatwater and rapids below Lester Dam...what am I forgetting?
Ohhhhh yeah...the rock gardens.
No photos here folks. We would eventually have to line about 1.5 miles of the river, all the while slipping and sliding on a rock covered bottom that we couldn't see. Just not enough water, even for me with my slippery bottomed boat. A longer boat may have had less draft, but would never be able to thread the needles...If we only have a few more inches of water.

OK, I have a few photos of lining the rock gardens...



Here's Hickoryskier cutting across to reenter his boat.



And more fun stuff

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Old 08-18-2013, 10:27 AM   #6
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Here's where I had lunch, after lining all that you can see and a whole lot more...



Here's a view of the little ledge, at that sharp L bend, a ways before the island. This is less than a mile from the take out, I think...




A little more flatwater...



And then this waterfall between rock walls, beautiful, but tricky to line around. There was a primitive campsite just below these falls, on river rt, a really nice spot, but probably very tough to reach going upstream.



See what I mean...




And more rock garden, and then we could hear the cars on Rt 28N..Phew...


For you folks that must have numbers:
7 1/2 miles total (give or take a bit)
25 feet per mile average drop below Lester Dam
1.5 to 1.75 miles of lining (have to study GPS track)
Time to Lester Dam 2 hours
Total trip time 8.5 hours

As I sit here now, my quads and calves are pretty worn out, and my abs too!!
Would I recommend this trip to anyone? Hmmmm...
You need the right boat, must be able to handle class II whitewater and then some, have appropriate footwear and expect to spend a lot of time lining.

Oh, and as usual, I have many more photos on Picasa.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:37 AM   #7
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Amazing. But it does look like equal parts work and leisure!
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:59 AM   #8
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Nice pics and good narrative--and a lot of work!! Thanks for posting.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:04 AM   #9
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Sounds and looks like a great stretch of river! What was the date you went? I want to check the north creek gauge for that day..... to know what your water level was (approximately).... With fall rains, this might be a bit more enjoyable.... I just came into a mohawk 13, and can't wait to get it wet!

Dave
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:36 AM   #10
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Nice trip report. The pictures planted in there throughout the report help keep my A.D.D in check
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:12 AM   #11
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Your posts are my fav...love the pics and descriptions
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this will be my 10th summer on the water in the Daks since moving here from Oregon. I enjoy the ponds now as much as ever.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:37 PM   #12
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Thanks to all who enjoy my posts...I don't want to make it sound better or worse than it was...Dave (hickoryskier) and I have been trying to figure out how to make lemonade out of the trip. There is a pretty decent length of flatwater below Lester Dam, and the ledges and rapids immediately below are fun enough (or short enough to line around)...an out and back to the 2nd set of rapids would make an enjoyable, full day trip.

Mr. dchris, we went on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013...I too would like to have a water level reference, all that seperated joy from misery through the rock gardens was probably 4 or 6 inches of water...

And can I indulge for a minute or two about that Mohawk 13XL?
I bought that boat used about 2 or 3 years ago, with this kind of water in mind. When I tried it out on the Mohawk River near home, it was pretty uncomfortable to sit it, worse to kneel for any length of time, and it spun around like a top with a slight stroke of my paddle or wisp of wind. And forget about carrying, it weighs 57 lbs!! I brought my trusty knee pads with me, the ones I use for laying tile floors, that helped immensely. You should have seen me on Cheney Pond, slipping into 270 degree drifts, it was comical.
But once on moving water, and better yet, among the rapids, the boat really came into its own!! I could flit from eddy to eddy with reckless abandon.
With my flatwater boat, I don't dare get croosed sideways in the current. This hul doesn't seem to care, I can cut from bank to bank across the current with complete control. The slippery hul (Royalex, I think) would glide over the rocks that I didn't see, and the full bow and stern made it easy to drop over ledges and into holes...really fun.

I do hope you guys and gals are looking at the Picasa photos in my link, some of the scenery is drop dead gorgeous!!
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:23 PM   #13
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For those so interested, the North Creek Hudson gauge during Stripper Guy's trip was about 1700 cfs (not counting the Indian release bubble). The gauge at Newcomb on the Hudson was at 850 cfs. The tributaries really do add a bit.... (cedar, boreas, indian). Both numbers are from the USGS gauges, via the American Whitewater website. Incidentally, AW also lists the boatable gauge ranges for the Boreas (using the North Creek Hudson gauge) as 5000 - 20000 cfs.... This would put the Boreas into a different sort of cat altogether..... (read - kitten-to-lion!) Perhaps there is some middle ground....

Dave
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:44 PM   #14
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I enjoyed that trip quite a bit, but was getting pretty upset when around EVERY corner it seemed like another rock garden! There was a couple times when I decided it just wasn't worth getting in the boat for 50 feet, and getting out and walk again. Stripperguy had gapped me about 1/4 mile by the end I think.

My boat (a 13 1/2' wee lassie stripper that I built) is obviously not meant for these waters. It was pretty awesome in the flat water though, dipping a paddle in occasionally and moving along at about 3mph, enjoying the sun and the splendid scenery.
With a shallow v-bottom, and sharp stems with barely any rocker, I dunked it about 3 times, and slipped on those super slippery rocks into the water about a half dozen times lining it through the rocky sections. Fun.
I've trout fished on these rivers and creeks for years, and never really came across such slippery rocks. Has anyone else experienced this? Perhaps Rock Snot?, the time of year when the algae is the most prominent? I don't know...I would like to hear from anyone that knows to satisfy my curiosity.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:52 PM   #15
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Oh, and here's my boat after the "ordeal"
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMGP7195.jpg (60.6 KB, 225 views)
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:18 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by stripperguy View Post
There was a primitive campsite just below these falls, on river rt, a really nice spot, but probably very tough to reach going upstream.
Good to know.
Awesome report Mike.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:35 PM   #17
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Holy smokes! @ that stripper...
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:47 PM   #18
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Oh, and here's my boat after the "ordeal"
I just built the same boat....sanding and varnish next. I hope to scrape mine as you did yours.

It's funny, some rivers/ sections are more slippery than others. Two that come to mind as the most slippery are the Salmon River/ Pulaski and the West Branch of the Penobscot in ME
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Old 08-20-2013, 12:13 AM   #19
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Sounds like it would be an awesome paddle with a few more inches of water. We should get a group trip together this fall or next spring. Again, great report & photos.

John M.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:25 AM   #20
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Oh, and here's my boat after the "ordeal"
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchris7833 View Post
For those so interested, the North Creek Hudson gauge during Stripper Guy's trip was about 1700 cfs (not counting the Indian release bubble). The gauge at Newcomb on the Hudson was at 850 cfs. The tributaries really do add a bit.... (cedar, boreas, indian). Both numbers are from the USGS gauges, via the American Whitewater website. Incidentally, AW also lists the boatable gauge ranges for the Boreas (using the North Creek Hudson gauge) as 5000 - 20000 cfs.... This would put the Boreas into a different sort of cat altogether..... (read - kitten-to-lion!) Perhaps there is some middle ground....

Dave
Dave,

Maybe after a heavy rain there would be enough water, I'll keep in mind that USGS gaging station info...

Dave (hickoryskier dave),
Nice looking scars!! Every scar tells a story, but you've seen me naked, so you know...

Justin,
I should have gotten out of the boat to check out that site below the falls, maybe there's a path to it from 28N?

CYankee,
All it needs is just a little more water to be a classic trip...after Laster Dam there are no trails for emergency egress. Cold water would definitely add to the excitement!!
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