This is my log book for every kayaking trip I’ve ever been on. I typed it up to have a digital copy. I hope that some fellow kayakers might find it useful as I do include river levels, descriptions of rapids, etc. However, this is my personal log, so if it seems like I’m a little self-absorbed with entries like: “I surfed Awesome today!” it’s because at the time, I was only writing it for myself. So, anyway, enjoy. And I hope someone else might use this to find as much fun on the rivers as I have. Just a note, most of these rivers are in Upstate NY. The Salmon river features prominently since it’s only 45 minutes away from Syracuse. cfs = cubic feet per second.
Dan’s Kayaking Log:
I first got the itch when I went whitewater rafting on the Lehigh in ’99. I was like, “This is fun, but look how much more fun they’re having.” meaning my guides in the safety kayaks. Then I went rafting again on the Black river in ’02. That’s what decided me. During that time, I’d learned the mechanics of a roll at the YMCA pool downtown. It took me all night, but I was able to get up by myself at the very end. Then I got a Wavesport X and everything else I needed from Northern Outfitters. Steve, Greg, and I did Onondaga Creek that day. I had to wet exit right near the end because of a strainer (log, debris) After pool sessions in my backyard I had a little better, more consistent roll.
7-13-02 Salmon River, Pulaski NY dam release 750 cfs
This was my first kayaking experience and it was awesome. All I remember was waiting in the eddy at Titanic. I asked someone if I should try going into the hole to surf. I said it was my first time. He asked, “This season?” I said, “No, ever!” He looked very surprised that I would even consider going into Titanic my first kayaking trip ever. After he got over the shock, he said, “Go for it!” I remember feeling great that I had the confidence that can only come with a well-practiced roll. I paddled up to the eddy line and pulled myself over it, sliding into the (massive, to my beginner eyes) maw of the hole. I side-surfed for a second, then flipped. But I rolled right up, all smiles to cheers from the other boater waiting in line.
7-27&28-02 Salmon river 750 cfs
8-10&11-02 The Salmon 750 cfs
8-31-02 The Salmon 750 cfs
9-28&29-02 The Ottawa River -2 ft. w/ Phil
I could hear McCoy’s chute from the put-in (a mile away) and it was scary. It was cold. I had to pee. I followed Phil around Saddler’s hole and right through Phil’s hole on the left. I stayed up to get the tongue but flipped before Babyface wave. We tried to surf but I never really caught it. We scouted every rapid except Butterfly. Iron Ring was no problem and we hung out at S Turn to play while people had lunch. There was a tiny hole with a strong current. I did some awesome stern squirts with everyone watching. Then I flipped on Butterfly but rolled. We carried Garvin’s Falls and scouted Lower No Name. I picked a good line and followed it with success. After a few more little ones, we reached the take-out and relaxed at the campsite. The next day wasn’t sunny. It was a little colder too. I hooked up with a Wilderness Tours group to do McCoy’s chute. This time, we busted through Saddler’s and Missed Phil’s hole to eddy out on the left. I fought the eddy to go down a little chute to the line at Babyface. After a few failed attempts, I surfed for 7-10 glorious seconds. I ended on a good note and we moved on. More stern squirts at S turn but I got tired of rolling and had to wet exit. I made it down Butterfly & Garvin’s. We didn’t scout the second day. I wanted to try surfing in Lower No Name, but hesitated & flipped. Rocks hit my head and arms. I got slammed on my back against a boulder. I tried to roll but couldn’t, so I wet-exited again. Then we went down the last couple & drove back to Syracuse in time for Samurai Jack!
10-13-02 the Route 3 wave, Black River 1350 cfs
Nick I. came over with Crazy Shawn’s boat and we left at 2:00. When we got there, it was raining and you could see your breath. We put in right there and tried paddling upstream but that didn’t work. We hiked up and put in and met these guys from Placid. Nick was overwhelmed by the size of the wave. It’s bigger than anything on the Salmon. I tried a couple times, and so did Nick although he never made it on. After 2 wet-exits, he was done and went to get his camera. He got some good pics of me and then I wanted to see how long I could surf. After a few short surfs, I was on there for 3 min 34 sec! I was in control, carving left and right, leaning up and down, back and forward. It was Awesome!
3-15-03 Salmon River 750 cfs
Phil woke me up with a phone call at 7:20 am. I got ready and we were up to the put in around 8:50 to meet Dan Marcoose. He loaned me some nice pre-curved NRS gloves. We got all ready and met Lauren, Kevin, Ryan, Dan, Deb, & others. I slid in on snow after putting on some paddle wax. It was a beautiful day. 40* maybe? I just took it easy. I didn’t stop to surf at all except at the 2 ft. ledge. I didn’t flip or practice my roll, but I wasn’t trying much either. I just wanted to run it clean. I did. I was happy. At the parking lot, I started a trend of sledding down the hill in our boats. That was fun too.
4-5-03 The Lehigh 3,400 cfs w/ Phil (trip report by Phil M.)
Dan M. and I traveled to Pennsylvania to scout out the Lehigh river for the first time on a cloudy and chilly first weekend of April. I had been thinking of the trip for several weeks, visiting the AW site, and watching the weather and river levels. My original thought was to do the upper section (White haven to Rockport) a 9 mile run, but saw that it would be closed for the first week of trout season in early April. As I found out later, this section was open and wouldn’t be closed to the following weekend. The level was high at 3,500 cfs at the dam, 5 miles below the takeout, for several day before but was slowly dropping which I took as a good sign. On the Saturday we arrived, it was 2,900 cfs. The weather otlook was for cloudy with a high of 55 degrees, unfortunately we found out the high was more like 38 degrees, but we were warm enough, being well equipped from Northern Outfitters, and the almost nonstop paddling.
We knew it was about a 3 hour drive from Syracuse, but due to a ½ hr adjustment to the departure time the night before, and a power outage failure of alarm clocks didn’t leave until 7:45. We came down 81 and the Penn tnpk to drive to Jim Thorpe from the East, but I called for a turn onto 209 N as I knew we had to go north, but I should have seen 209 S was the answer! That cost us another 20 min. or so. Finally arriving about 11:30, we went to look at the river take out at Glen Onoko, which had recently been upgraded with lots of parking and a new road. We knew traveling with only one vehicle was a weak point, but thought to count on the local outfitters. The shuttle up to Rockport is a long 16 miles. After visiting several raft companies in town, we were getting gloomy as no one seemed in a position to help. Fortunately a parking lot attendant (Debbie) referred us to her Sister’s flower shop just down the road whose husband might help out. Our spirits lifted, unfortunately that didn’t work out, but a helpful salesperson and a phone book got the right person on the phone for us. We went up to the put in. Dan returned to Jim Thorpe and I paced and watched the boats. On future trips we plan to travel in a bigger group to facilitate the shuttle! Dan arrived back at 2:30 and we shoved off at 2:45.
It wasn’t raining, but a good fog misted the valley. We knew a raft was ½ ahead of us, but we never saw anyone on the river. A large group of kayakers was finishing the upper run just as we put in. They said that they enjoyed that section. The entrance rapids were class 3 according to the extensive river descriptions on the internet, but didn’t seem much. The lower has 16 sections of rapids listed as class 2 & 3. We quickly passed the first several sets, “Pinball”, “Eye of the Needle”, taking a conservative line, and making good time, as the current was swift. The steep banks of the gorge were beautiful, multitudinous Rhododendron covered much of the hillside, giving a refreshing green. We were of course giving thought to our late put in time. Many stonework remnants of a canal system dating from 1850 lined and gave interest to the river bank. Our first major rapid I thought would be a sharp 120 degree turn with a submerged boxcar from a past train derailment. We ran the island to the right as Richelle suggested without incident and the pace picked up, “mile long rapid” (1,000 yards by my book) was bank to bank excitement. After several more sets, we stopped for food and a 15 min. stretch. That was a good thing as the river ahead became much more demanding.
The final 5 miles after passing under the Penn-Haven rail line was an endurance test. “Sea of Rocks” rapids became Sea of Pour-overs. We found the meaning of “Hurry Right” as we came upon it. Two huge waves at “Oxbow” we estimated at 5 ft. plus, with a steep cliff on the left. The final few rapids took determination. “Towers” and “Snaggletooth” almost flipped me twice, but strong braces kept us up and going. We arrived at the take out near dusk. 5:30 nearly 3 hours, very happy and satisfied. Delay in the driving and shuttle almost ruined the trip, must do more exact planning in the future. Fortunately we had no problem in the river as any swimming would have brought us in after dark. I am looking forward to many return trips to the Lehigh, as it is well worth the drive. Summer crowds, and low water, would point to trips after (or during) heavy summer rains.
P.S. We caught up with the rafters on the drive home, walking back to the put in because they left the keys to their car at the take out! Dan was helpful to give them a ride out of his way back to Rockport. Another reminder to pay attention to details when planning river trips.
5-26-03 the Salmon 1,200+ cfs w/ Phil and Greg
We drove up in the pouring rain. We stopped to get ready under the pavilions of Fireman’s Field so Greg could see the rapids. Then we dropped my car off at the take out and went to put in at Pineville to give Greg a taste for the boat and the river before the ral rapids began since it was his 1st time. I ferried out to the island eddy and when Greg tried to get into the current, he flipped, but Phil was right there. We took a break at 2A after seeing blue herons and swallows. I tried to surf but Greg rammed me off. At the eddy on the right Greg flipped again. I tried to surf the hole below Titanic but I flipped. I only got a ¼ breath and then water, so I swam. Then Greg flipped again after I got back in mine. The roll “clicked” with Greg at the take out. Then a good wet ride home.
6-16-03 Moose River (middle branch & middle section) 3ft. w/ Phil
What an awesome day! We left late at 9:00 & got up there at 10:30. We stopped at the Rt. 28 bridge to check the river. The 1st thing I noticed, besides it being beautiful, was the black flies. They were bad. We found the put in and unloaded. I changed and then waited for Phil to return from the takeout by bike. If you were still, the flies killed you, so I paced up and down Scusa rd. for an hour and a half. The we jumped in our boats and started off. It was flat with a little rapid section past Singing waters campground. We got out to scout at the RR bridge. The 4 ft. drop looked kinda bad, but there was spray 100 ft. down river. I wanted to see what that was. It was a 6 ft. drop/ slide. We got in our boats. I said a quick prayer, and we were off. The first 2 weren’t bad and I tried to setup for the 4 ft. drop. I was a little left of where I wanted to be, but I boofed fine and made it no problem. Then I got setup for the last drop but the current pulled me left. I dropped fine, but got pushed into a rock, so I leaned and made it to the boulder field. The flat marsh afterwards was beautiful. It sounded like a nature CD. The next section was filled with stealth pour-overs and each turn looked like a drop off. There was a nice steep chute. I found a paddle with a # on it. I strapped it to my PFD but it was cumbersome through the rocks. After more rocks, we made it to another long flat section and we passed an old mill & took a break under Rt. 28. After another long flat section it got steep and rocky again. Right before the start of the Lower section, there were lots of 3-4 ft. drops. Phil lead me through Iron Bridge & we got out to scout Tannery Falls. It looked runnable, but we were tired. I back-ferried across. We packed up and left. Ice cream on the way home. Awesome!
6-21-03 The Salmon 400cfs w/ Phil and Simone
I had to work till 1:00, so I got home and got ready. Greg is sick so he couldn’t come and no one else wanted to go so I figured I’d just wait at the put in, but thank God, when I got there, Simone was standing there waiting for Phil. He showed up & we took off. There were lots of little surfing waves. It was fun. I almost flipped near Fireman’s Field but I jammed my paddle on the bottom & pushed myself back up. I surfed in the main middle wave in Town Rapids too. I’m getting OK at changing from front surf to side surf. I also caught a wave at the last gorge section right before the take out.
6-22-03 The Salmon 400 cfs w/ Cath and Pete (1st Time)
We skipped out of church at the peace and got ready. Cath drove up separate and I explained to her over the cell phone how the boat will handle in the rapids. Cath and I set up the shuttle. We started out out Pineville and Cath couldn’t keep her boat straight. At a real shallow spot, we had to go under a tree, but Cath got pinned. We tried to stop at Rt. 2A but they went past the eddy. They did fine with the ledge and Pete semi surfed, but flipped over too. Everything else was fine. Town rapids were fun and they made it through the gorge fine. They swam at the take out after trying to roll. We had Burger King & then I raced home to ride at NAVAC.
6-28-03 Rt. 3 wave, Black 1,700 cfs w/ Phil
We drove up after I got out of work. It was a beautiful day & we took my car. We could see people playing as we got closer. We saw Lorn and Michelle. The wave was nice. I played for a bit, then got out and filmed. This Canadian guy offered me his tripod so I set it up & went back in. I found that if I got up in the foam pile I could break loose, so I tried a wave spin & I did it! Then I got flushed off. I did that a few more times, then I did a full 540. It was awesome! And I got it on tape. I also did one and backsurfed, but then the water caught my stern and flipped me. A very good day!
7-6-03 The Salmon 750 cfs w/ Phil and Simone
Today was fun. We met a man & his son Danny, and we took them down with us. I surfed a lot. The ledge is really easy. I lost my stern squirt ability! Town rapids was fun as much as was the gorge. I caught that wave on the last set of rapids again but only for about 5 sec.
7-19-03 The Salmon 750 cfs w/ Phil and Carl
I went straight from work. It was a great drive. I paced a band’s (Switchblade Romance) tour van for a while, listening to good music & the sky was beautiful. I waited a little bit. Put a note on the other WRX wagon. We got Carl all set to go and took off. That guy John from last time was with us too. Everything was cool. I watched a lady do squirts and picked up some tips. We went down fine & saw people playing at the last rapid. They were surfing the wave that was hiding. It’s a great flat wave.
7-20-03 The Salmon 750 cfs w/ Dad!
We had a nice run. Dad flipped & wet exited 3 times. Twice in eddies, and once in Widowmaker. I also flipped there, & rolled, but that cut down on my rescue time. First I paddled hard to get the paddle before it got swept down Titanic. Then back upstream to get the boat. But I didn’t have a rope, so all I could do was ram it to the side. But it didn’t catch anywhere. I got it down the little channel on river right, & it finally got stuck under some branches. Then I got out and waded upstream to find Dad. We got to the top of the channel and jumped in. We floated over rocks down to the boats & then finished. Dad is much more appreciative of what I do now.
8-2-03 The Salmon 750cfs w/ John & son, Mike, and Bob.
I loaded up my gear before work & then booked it for the river. It was another beautiful day! I got to the 2A bridge & was unloading my stuff when a voice said, “Is that Dan?” It was John, the guy, and his son. Cool! I didn’t have to wait for someone to go with. Bob was John’s friend & had whitewater canoe experience so he could read the river.
8-3-03 The Salmon 750 cfs w/ Phil & LYDIA!
Lydia’s home! Yeah! She called me during communion so I called her back after the service. She wanted to go kayaking! We went in my car & Phil took the truck. We set up fast & were on our way. Going down to “squirt turn point,” Lydia went over a pour over weird and almost tipped, but she reacted fast with a good brace and hip motion. And she made it into the eddy no problem! She’s a natural. We continued down. She had two more close calls, but each time reacted correctly. I followed her through the gorge & watched her safely through “Twister” & then flipped myself, but rolled fast to go through “Titanic.” After surfing and rolling there, we surfed at “last chance” wave. Then Lydia tried to roll and almost got it her 2nd time. She likes it!
8-31-03 The Salmon 750 cfs “Hooks!”
10-18&19-03 Middle Moose (1st Moosefest!) 5.5 ft. Sat. 4.8 ft. Sun. w/ Phil
Awesome! What a great trip. Phil picked me up after work & we drove up to Fowlersville Falls cause that’s where he heard everyone was going to be. No one was there. But it was cool. We went to Singing Waters & got prices. Then we went down to the party @ Whitewater Challengers. There was a big bonfire, tent w/ kayaking videos, & naked jousting. I met Jessica & Jaime Schofield’s roommate. Then bed. There was snow on the tents when we woke up. We got to the put in and met Steve. I also met/ hung out with people from Ithaca Cornell Outing Club. Brendan, David, Dale, Kayla. Steve did some practice rolls and I just told him to save it for the river. Nice flat water to the RR bridge. Then we scouted Nelson’s Falls. Tons of people were carrying around. 80-90%. Of the few that did run it, ½ of them got trashed! Wrecked, duffed. I ran it fine. Then I taped a little bit. We put in right next to the big drop and immediately Steve flipped on a rock & wet exited. He swam the whole rapid. I met Adrian at the bottom. We navigated the rest of the rapids & took out at the bridge. Big Party inside a municipal building just outside town. I bought some dry pants and talked with some guys from S. America Kayak Co. & a guy who’d been on Everest 3 times. There was a jazz band. It snowed again that night. All our stuff was cold and wet. We started at the bridge. Flat water. The first rapid, Steve flipped twice. Then on the second one he flipped again, then Phil. House Rock was good. I went a little right. We got out at Iron Bridge. Steve stayed up on the bridge and filmed. Phil went first. The first part was fine, but when it turned left there was raging water & a drop off. I decided quick & ran the 4 ft. drop. Then the other part was fine and we took out. I filmed some at Tannery Falls, then we left.
10-25-03 The Salmon 1,550 cfs w/ the Club
Phil called me Fri and told me we’d meet at 12:00. So I got my oil changed at Bill Rapp w/ the kayak on and left straight from there. I was the first one there, then Phil showed up. After shuttles, we set out w/ Ron, Andrew, John, Dan, Mark, Phil, and I. Andrew was a beginner & couldn’t roll yet so we watched him close. We were gonna meet Dan Marcoose and Lorn @ the ledge, but they got impatient and we met at Titanic. The river was fun. I didn’t try too much stuff. The two feeder eddies were strong. Town was fun! We stopped past the bridge and regrouped for the gorge section. Lines and plans, etc. Widowmaker was big, tall, but not bad. I went right on Twister & missed Titanic. Then I watched surfing. Phil had a good 30 sec surf w/ turns sideways. I tried once for 10 sec. and flipped. My roll was automatic. 1 good surf on Last Chance wave. There’s a whole tree in the middle of the Black Hole.
10-29-03 Cortland pool w/ Beth
11-12-03 Cortland pool w/ Lydia (watching) Beth, and Katy Dahl.
4-17-04 The Lehigh (lower) 650 cfs w/ Phil, Simone, John, Dan, Don, Steve, David, and me. What a good day! The drive down was nice, but slow because Don was leading. As we got closer, Dave called and said that the Upper was closed. We did the shuttle and pushed off right at 12:00. The water was chilly but it was a beautiful day. It went well until 3 people swam at once. Don’s goggles were fogged up so he paddled right past us thinking we were another group way ahead. So I paddled after him against a strong headwind. After yelling a lot, and paddling hard, I caught him. Then rested. Dave was good. After all the big rapids there was a few miles of rock gardens. It was fun to weave in & out & choose your own route. I flipped once going over a 3 ft. ledge. The trip was right after I read “The Goshawk” by TH White so I was looking at all the hawks along the canyon walls.
4-21-04 Dorwin Ave. wave & stream 221 cfs
I went after work & put in above the slide. I went down into the hole and almost got flipped. Then I circled around & went in. I side-surfed for maybe 12-15 sec & then flipped. It was really powerful. I helped a trout back in, then got out. I saw Dave D. using a 4 wheeler. Then I drove up to route 80 and put in at the pond. I talked with the owner of the Lydia Center. Then I ran the falls and front ended a few times on the way down. Then I threw my golf discs for a while in the field next to the stream.
4-24-03 The Salmon 1,700 cfs
Phil let me borrow his new boat (liquid logic Airhead) so I picked it up and dropped Pete off @ Lax practice. Some people from FLOW were at the put in when I got there. We shuttled & then set off. We had a group of 11. 2 guys and a girl were from Syr. I surfed on a little wave near the beginning & flipped but rolled right up. It was cold with a stiff breeze so I didn’t play a lot after that. The ledge was big. Victoria swam before squirt turn point. Town was fun. The gorge was good. Twister was washed out. I tried Titanic 3 times. My 2nd time it spit me right out again. I surfed well at the last wave only after I realized I didn’t have to lean back as far. On the way back, I stopped at NAVAC, then dropped the boat back off to Phil.
5-1-04 Hole Brother (Black river, Coffeen st. exit) 4,500-4,800 cfs
After some good frisbee in Cortland w/ Lydia, I went back home to grab my boat & then left up 81. I was a little late, so Adrian called me. I met him when I got there. It was a hot day, but I noticed everyone still had their dry tops on. I’m glad I put mine on cause the water was cold. There were 6 of us at 1st, but it got up to 14! The eddy was the squirreliest ever. Weird boils and currents kept you constantly shuffling and on guard. I got the wave on my 3rd try. Then I worked on just being comfortable surfing on it. I watched people surf for a while too. Then I tried some wave spins and got some! I need to work on backsurfing though, but I’m getting better. Then Adrian, Kevin, and I went to eat @ Colman’s & it was mad good.
5-22-04 Owasco Outlet 500 cfs & Keuka Outlet 3 gates
A great day. Phil & I left at 7:30 to go up towards Auburn. We got to the bridge early. Scott showed up, then Andy. He told us the ledge @ the bottom was retentive and we should sneak it. We put in & I missed the 1st eddy. Very nice quiet stream. All through woods. Fun little surf waves. At one point, all 4 of us were surfing on the same wave. There was a 2 ft. dam we played @. I side surfed a few times but I flipped twice. The 2nd time right after I came up, I had to duck to miss a low branch blocking ½ the stream. There are 3 big features. At one ledge, there was a small hole that I surfed. I did wave spins & back surfed! like 4x. At the end, Phil pushed a branch out of the way so he didn’t have enough speed to escape the hole. He swam, & his boat got worked for 1 min. Then we rescued it & had to book to Penn Yan to run the Keuka outlet. The guys were already in the water, waiting for us. 13 of us. Fast moving, small eddies, strainers every 300 ft., not wide. We eddy hopped down most of it. Don kept swimming. I surfed once & did a few ½ stern squirts. At one point, ½ walked cause there was a 90* turn and a drop. I ran it on the right and did fine. Hidden waterfall. We walked around 2 waterfalls. 1st was huge, 40+ ft. 2nd at end was big but runnable @ lower levels. We had lunch at the first one. Once, I looked up and saw a tree blocking the whole river, so we floated down a little path in the reeds to this nice squirt spot. We took out at the second falls with all the old chemical plant buildings. Then went home & had a BBQ.
6-26-04 The Salmon 400 cfs w/ Lydia, Phil, Simone, Deb, Andy, & Dave
We had a wonderful day. The water was warm and we played a lot. We stopped at squirt turn point & I tried a lot and did some. Lydia flipped once in the eddy. At the next eddy we did the same. I did a little better than before with right handed squirts & Lydia kept trying peel-outs. Andy helped her a lot. She flipped twice because she didn’t lean hard enough. At the previous eddy she did well though. The good wave above Fireman’s field was a lot harder to get and stay on. So was last chance wave. Lydia scared me when she got ahead of everyone through town rapids. I caught up with her so I couldn’t play. She made it through the gorge fine. Titanic was good for surfing. On a smaller wave later, I did some wavespins & back-surfed! Then Thai food & free Krispy Kreme samples. Awesome day!
7-7-04 Rt. 3 Wave 1,650 cfs w/ Phil, Kevin H, Trish & Tasha, Julia
We drove up there after work and got there @ 6:15. We could see people playing. Carry your boat up as afar as you can before putting in. The wave seemed bigger than I’d seen it before, even though the level was officially “lower.” I had some good surfs. I did some ½ spins and 1 or 2 full spins. I also tandem surfed w/ Kevin. I flipped once catching an eddy line right off the back of the wave. Right as everyone was leaving, I spun & back-surfed for a good 5 sec. or so. It was great. Then we went to a Chinese Buffet & grubbed. Hard rain all the way home.
7-10-04 The Deerfield River (Fife brook – Zoar Gap) 700 cfs
We got up very early & started off from the Wurslin Farm in Vermont. It was a beautiful day. We put in right below the dam and waited on top of rocks for the water level to rise. The sirens went off & so we were off too. A pleasant river with not too much except for Zoar gap which was a class 3. Complicated with tongues. We both ran it fine. There were a ton of people there just running that one over and over, like snowboarders sessioning a rail in the park.
7-24-04 The Salmon 750 cfs
8-7-04 The Salmon 800 cfs w/ Phil, Simone, John, & Ken
9-3-04 Owasco Outlet 1,280 cfs w/ Andy, Dave, David Kim, & Charlie
Even though tonight was “date night”, I left straight from work and got there at 5:25. We got on at 5:50. It was moving fast with hardly any eddies. That good glassy surfing wave was there but it was hard to get on. I flipped a few times. Once the current kept me from rolling up so I switched sides to my off-side and popped right up on my first try. Yeah! A huge step. We played all the way down. Some big waves, 5 ft. The bridge section was big and fast. At the bottom, we went far right and boofed 3 ft. down a ledge, then ferried over to the take out. A nice, secluded, fun run. (Rt. 5, R on Turnpike rd. 45 min from Syr.)
9-4-04 The Salmon 801 cfs w/ Phil, Simone, John, Dan, Ken, Dave, & Greg Today was great for paddling. Hot & sunny. I surfed and spun on almost everything I could catch on the way down. I taught Ken how to boof at the ledge. I brought the camera but the battery was low. I did some awesome squirts on both sides today. A big win. I surfed great on everything. Awesome.
9-11-04 Middle Branch Moose (still water behind Mtn. Man Outdoors)
After hearing about some sales on the net, I started dreaming about a new boat. MMO had their whole inventory online, so I started researching good candidates. I drove up to Old Forge Saturday. Beautiful drive. I got there & immediately started pulling boats off the rack. Couldn’t fit into the Skip. I basically moved all the seats back and changed the thigh braces. I test played 4. The Riot Air 55 was uncomfortable on my hips. The cockpit was narrow & it was hard to roll. The Liquid Logic Space Cadet was too small, bouncy, and unstable on end. Plus it took 7 or 8 tries to roll up. After that ordeal in flat water, I didn’t even want to think about what might happen in the rapids. The Necky Chronic was good, but tight in the toes, hard to get of…and $770. The Wavesport Zero Gravity was easiest to get into, comfy toes, an easy roll, good play, well placed thigh braces, and $700. Sold! and orange! This starts a new chapter in my kayaking journey.
9-16-04 Dorwin Hole, Onondaga creek 130 cfs
Mad fun! The ZG spins so fast! Surfing was so much easier and spins were great. Flipped once. It was shallow and wrenched my shoulder against the concrete. Still fun though.
9-18-04 The Salmon 890 cfs w/ Phil & Steve
My 1st real trip w/ my new boat. Awesome. Definitely different. Surfing was hard in some spots and much easier in others. The ledge was harder. The first bog hole at Firemen’s field was much easier and very similar to Dorwin. That hole is awesome. There were a lot of fisherman closer to town, and 100+ through it, all lined up on the top of the wall staring at us. It was like a sci-fi/ horror movie, where all the zombies/ aliens are lined up on the sides of a long hallway “sleeping”. “Shhh. Don’t make a sound or sudden movement and they won’t notice we’re here.” I can fit in that 2nd wave at Widowmaker now. Titanic was great too. I still side surf a lot, but now I can spin too. Last chance wave was pretty good. The flat spots have now become bow stall practice areas.
9-25-04 The Salmon 400 cfs w/ Phil, Steve W. & Jim Livi
This was a great trip. Besides a crazy, cursing fisherman at the ledge, it was fun. (they were blocking the tongue, & our beginner hit one on the ankle because he wouldn’t move. A guy on shore flipped out and threatened to call the DEC. I told him it was our river to enjoy too, and he was welcome to. He didn’t like that. Sometimes, I’m glad I have a river knife on my PFD) Jim did really well for his first time. The surfing wasn’t that good except for Fisherman’s field, which was awesome. Steve and I had a great time pushing each other out of waves and stuff. Stern squirts were really good. Jim even tried surfing in Titanic. Then at Last chance wave he flipped and almost forgot to pull his grab loop. Then we were roll practicing & I asked Steve to spot me for a hand roll. I tried once and didn’t succeed. Then I leaned way back on the deck & did one! I did 3 more for good measure. A very good day.
10-2-04 Owasco Outlet 500 cfs w/ Phil, Simone, Andy, Ken, & Chris
We met at 9:30 & surveyed the last drop. The river was nice even through a grey day.
10-16-04 The Middle Moose (Moosefest) 2.8-3 ft. w/ Phil, John, & Steve
We met around 10 & set up the shuttle, leaving my car at the 28 bridge as a possible take out option. It was 40* & raining the whole day. We scouted Nelson’s Falls & the guys ran it while I filmed. Then I did it. I made the upper drops fine & ferried over to the right. Then I ran the slide. I braced passing the eddy line and lost speed, then slammed into the hole. It stopped me dead in my tiny playboat. I turned to side-surf out & flipped. I got WORKED! 35 sec? I tried rolling 3 times. I bailed and swam. I held onto my boat & paddle & straddled a rock 100 ft. downstream. Dumped the water out and swam to the R shore, pushing off rocks. The rest was fun boulder gardens & flatwater. Iron Bridge was fun. As we were going down, the wind blew all the golden in the air & it was sunny for a second. Awesome.
10-17-04 The Lower Moose 3.4 ft. w/ Phil, Deb, Eric & Bill (OH), Chris & Dave
Another cold and rainy day. Wet gear sucks. We met Deb above Iron Bridge & then E & B joined too. We ran Iron Bridge fine, then scouted Tannery. I flipped in the first hole, but rolled. Then navigated down to the Whale hole & they scouted it. It went fine but then 2 more guys (C&D) followed us and Dave got trashed. There was still a lot of flatwater. We scouted almost every rapid. I ran every one except Mixmaster. It looked like it wanted to eat someone that day. Froth hole was easier than I expected. So was Elevator shaft. I was expecting a straight drop of 8-15 ft. not a nice slide. The hole at the bottom was big, but no problem. My first solid Class IV run.
11-20-04 Rt. 3 Wave
11-27-04 The Salmon 600 cfs
12-12-04 Owasco Outlet 700 cfs w/ Ken, Andy, Chet, & Doug
Very fun. Kinda cold but I warmed up. Snowed a little, sunned a little. I surfed very well & caught many places that I wasn’t able to get before, like the deep wave where the field comes down to the water, & at the culverts through the bridge. We boofed R right at the end & then went down farther to surf the last wave. A good day.
2-15-05 Owasco Outlet 700 cfs w/ Ken
A beautiful February morning, 45* & sunny. We got ready, ran shuttle, & put in past a dead deer. We didn’t play too much & went through almost everything. But I did surf on a few waves like the nice one mid-river than can fit 4. We saw some ducks, a blue heron, and a few hawks. The bridge culverts were fun and gave me a good rush. We went left at the last drop. I hit a shelf of ice in my left ribs & I thought I was going to flip but I saved it. Then we hiked up to his car & packed up. Now I’m at work. L Awesome morning though.
4-9-05 Fish Creek! 2 ft. w/ Phil, Deb, Kevin & Carol, Terry & Jennifer
Awesome! Crazy! Insane! So cool. 10 miles of straight whitewater w/ no breaks 30-40 big holes & rapids in between big wave trains. 100 ft. cliffs & 90* turns every 300 yards right next to the cliff. I used a reactionary pillow for the 1st time. And I saw a beaver. Phil flipped at a huge hole & swam for 5 min. Then at the dam, we had lunch & then he rode the raft the rest of the way down. The gorge was steep & filled with ice on the walls. Then less tall, & then farm country & sandy with strainers. Getting out before the dam wasn’t hard. I was expecting a mad dash to a tiny eddy, only feet from the edge and certain death. At the end, there were 5 surf waves & I finally flipped on one right before I got out.
4-12-5 Owasco Outlet 1,175 cfs w/ Ken, Chet, Mike
I kinda played hooky from work from 2:15 -6:00 today to go kayaking. The water was high but good. We all packed into Chet’s car and put in. I went down the 1st wave far right, hit a rock, and promptly flipped. But I rolled fast and still made the eddy. Cold. There were a lot of good holes & I caught and surfed many of them well. We took the middle R tube & that flushed great, then down through the holes. Exciting. We boofed R at the end and I tried to surf but then got pushed past the bridge to the lower waves. Then Ken & I ran it again while Chet taped us. We took the same line but I caught the second wave & surfed no hands for a while. Then Andy showed up while we were practicing our throw rope techniques. Then I went back to work and used the throw rope to make a clothesline in the green space behind the building. (bought Lydia’s Engagement Ring)
4-17-05 West Canada Creek 900cfs w/ Phil Ken, Craig, Zane, Heath, & Carol
I did a long, gravely seal launch. One of the guys did a flatwater loop. Very impressive. The rest of the river…not so much.
5-18-05 Jamesville Beach & Dorwin Hole 77 cfs w/ Phil, Gregg, & Chris W.
I went to the hole to say hi to whoever was there, but there was only Phil. Then I went to Jameville. It was cold & windy but I got in anyway& just tried some initiation strokes and bow stalls. I got a stall for about 4 sec. After a while, I got dizzy, so I stopped and went back to the hole. They were surfing so I got in & had fun. It was a good level & I did a lot of spins. Gregg did some without using his paddle, so I tried it and could do it a little bit. Then this guy told us a fridge was floating down, but Phil tackled it to the side before it could go down the slide. My last surfed lasted 10 min. Then I found out Chris knows Uncles Will & Lou.
5-21-05 Jamesville Beach w/ Phil
I broke my paddle! I went to the EMS paddle day to play in the flat water. So I was doing a bow stall & I went to press down on the left and my blade my snapped off! It sunk to the bottom & I flipped. Thankfully some EMS guy let me borrow a paddle for the rest of the time. Then Lydia showed up so I stopped.
5-28-05 The Sacandaga River 4,000 cfs w/ Phil & Simone
6-15-05 Dorwin Hole 71 cfs w/ Phil, Chet, & John
6-22-05 Dorwin Hole 70 cfs w/ Karl B. Phil, Chet, & John
6-25-05 The Salmon 400 cfs w/ Steve & Amanda, Phil, John & Dan
A very fun day. We got up there a little late because of slow traffic on 81. We started fine & I played & flipped a lot @ the 2ft. ledge & both eddies. I did some really nice stern squirts on both sides & am working on the bow initiation stroke. Amanda did really well and we T-rescued her every time. Titanic wasn’t that good. Then Craig showed me more of the initiation stroke at the Black Hole.
7-9-05 The Salmon 1,150 cfs w/ Dave R. Phil, Simone, Ken, John, Jake, Kathy, & face mask guy. A very fun day. I played a lot & tried to keep an eye on Dave too. Right @ Fireman’s field, his paddle broke in half. He tried to fit a stick down the middle with my knife, but it broke. He made it down to the boat ramp and we switched. 1st I used one like C1, then I used both like I was walking down the river. I did actually manage to surf on a wave in town & all the while Greg is laughing hysterically as I did some wave spins. Then Dave dumped his boat on shore and swam the rest of the way. I saw Adrian, David Kim, and Jason down at Titanic. As I was surfing, an old guy came down in a white kayak & blew me out of the hole. We both flipped & he swam.
8-6-05 The Salmon 1,150 cfs w/ John & son Mike
A beautiful sunny day. I tried wearing my sunglasses, but after flipping, they were annoying when wet. I had fun flipping and squirting. I love the first hole at Fireman’s field! I worked it for several minutes. I took the far left line down Twister & did fine with a paddle brace. We caught up to Ken, Phil, Simone, Steve E, Chet, & others. I gave Ken & John copies of my movie & they loved it. Ken also told me he was doing the Black tomorrow w/ Gregg. I said I was in.
8-7-05 The BLACK & bloody knuckles 1,300 cfs w/ Gregg, Ken, Kathleen, Ron, & Ken I got there right on time and we ran shuttle. Hole Bros. was up first. I skipped into the eddy and then waited my turn. I surfed pretty well. The ZG is fun. Then we got out to scout Knife’s Edge. There’s a diagonal ledge from left downstream towards the middle of the current. Then a big hole on the right. I tried cutting down at the far end of the diagonal but cut too deep and flipped. It was very shallow as I tumbled down so I pushed off the bottom. I went down the next 4 ft. ledge backwards and flipped again. I rolled up quickly before I got swept into the undercut rocks 20 ft. away. As it was, my bow was pushed halfway up the rocks, then I made it to the eddy. My fingers hurt so I looked down. There was blood dripping everywhere. Seven of my knuckles were shredded, a few down to the bone. Oww. I ran everything else regardless, except for a small waterfall where we had lunch. The rafters would not spare me their first aid kit. Booo.
9-4-05 The Salmon 839cfs w/ random group.
I left the triplets for a few hours & went up alone. I hooked up with a guy w/ his wife & son & 3 other guys. One was from Pittsburg, another I didn’t know, & Craig. It was sunny and warm. Surprisingly enough, we got to play at the ledge & the two eddies & other spots down the river but we did have to brave the EYES of the fisherman of which there were lots. Fireman’s field hole was good as always & town was fun but there was a guy 5 ft. from me waiting for me to finish, so he could keep fishing. We had to go around more in the gorge & I only did Titanic 2 or 3 times. Then playing at the Black Hole & Back to the cousins.
10-15-05 The Middle Moose 5.7 ft. w/ Phil, Ken, Steve, …
10-30-05 Owasco Outlet (upper & lower) 863 cfs w/ Andy, Ken, & different Ken
11-6-05 Dorwin Hole 95 cfs
11-19-05 Fish Creek 1.75 ft. w/ Chet, Jen, & Dave
1-2-06 The Salmon w/ Phil & Steve E.
4-2-06 Fish Creek “O that fateful day” w/ Deb, Kevin, Carol, Chet, Paul, Ron, Mike, Jay, Michelle, Steve, & ? Coming down on the 1st section, I went through a big hole & did a backflip. I was right next to the cliff so I rolled real quick and came up most of the way. But I started going back down, so I had to do two hard high braces with my right arm extended straight. As soon as I got up, I leaned forward and clutched my right shoulder. Something bad has happened. I kept with the group and did all the cheat routes. I let this guy try my boat & he flipped & wet exited, so I had to use his & it was real small. I strained my rotator cuff. 3 weeks physical therapy. 4 months till I would boat again.
7-15-06 The Salmon 900 cfs w/ Phil, John, Steve, Old Ken, Mark, and Gregg
My 1st day back on the river. I took it easy till squirt turn point, then tried rolling. Still got my offside. The next eddy was fun too & I played at the deep place right after. We caught up with the rest of the group at Fireman’s field & I caught the upper wave. I surfed a few times there & also at the 1st hole very well. Can still wave spin. Then town. I surfed well until I flipped up top. I ducked, but still hit my head & got slammed right on my hurt shoulder by a rock. But I rolled up. Gorge was cool. I taped @ Titanic but didn’t surfed well. I did on that little wave though. Then my best surf of the day was when I caught the wave above last chance wave on the fly. I stayed on for 4-5 min. Then I looped in the Black Hole! I still got it.
4-21-07 The Salmon 1000 cfs w/ Phil, Gregg, Roach, & Colleen.
My 1st day on the river in a while. We met Colleen at the put-in. She reminds me of Erin P. in looks and manner. I surfed a lot & fairly well for being gone so long. I flipped on purpose @ squirt turn point & rolled on my offside. I had a few good surfed at the top of Fireman’s field & at the bottom hole. I also caught a wave L middle through town & surfed that for a while. A huge tree & cliff is down on the left above Widowmaker. Titanic was deep but I got in a little. Then when I turned around at the lower playspot, Colleen hit my boat & flipped. Big rescue, they had to crawl up the side of the hill. I also caught a crayfish before that and he rode on my boat for a while. All in all, a good day. Great to be back on the river.
6-5-07 Rt. 3 Wave w/ Lydia watching, Brendan, & 3 others
7-7-07 The Salmon w/ Phil, Simone, Dave K, John, Colleen, Gregg, Parlina
9-13-07 Lake Pleasant
T the captured for Christ conf. @ Camp of the Woods, I took my ZG out and played around. I did two full loops. Yea!
10-13&14-07 Middle Moose 3.96 & 3.74 ft. w/ Phil, Steve E, & others
Two great runs! My camera wouldn’t show a picture so all 3 of us ran Nelson’s Falls @ once, then eddied out ½ way. I did a little slide down river Left on the last drop, then ferried over. Logs 20 m past the hole. The lots of flatwater. Phil flipped right before the final drop on Iron Bridge but rolled up at the last possible second and made the drop clean. Steve & I clapped and cheered. Epic save. I ran it fine. Awesome day.
The next morning we agonized over going down again but finally decided to go. Put in at RR bridge on Minniehaha rd. I ran Nelson’s same line & did great. Talked w/ a lady about penny whistle & East Durham Celtic Fest.
3-15-08 The Salmon
6-22-08 The Salmon 460 cfs w/ Phil
A great day. My first time out away from Andrew & Lydia. Pretty low level, but Fireman’s field surf was great. Long w. lots of spins. I caught a bunch of waves going through town. Then we waited for the group from Colgate OC I thought I would try a loop as they were coming towards us. I paddled up to a bow stall, went deep, and jumped, tucked, and rolled. Perfect. I came up to thunderous applause. Definitely a highlight of my loop career. One of the young real kayaks said, “You have to tell me how to do that.” & I told him about the beach ball. Titanic was good. I got to show off a little more. Then we played a little in the Black Hole & left. We went over to wish Pete happy travels over in Europe and I gave him (Uncle) Rick’s awesome ribs.
4-25-09 The Salmon 1200 cfs w/ Phil, John, and Don
5-2-09 The Salmon 750 cfs w/ Phil, Adrian, Michelle
10-17-09 Middle Moose 3.4 ft. w/ Phil, John & Amanda, Patrick math, & FLOW
Phil and I drove up that morning and got to the put in right on time. I was forced to join FLOW in order to stay with him on the river. We scouted Nelson’s and I set Phil up with my camcorder. This was the first trip I used my pelican case. I was one of the first people to run it. I eddied out just before the first big drop to see if Phil was taping, but I saw him put it down and walk away. After another minute or two, I continued down. I did the Left sneak route and then ferried over to the right shore. Phil told me he dropped my battery in the water and he could find it. Too bad it was the big, expensive one I got for mountain expeditions so I wouldn’t have to bring two. Luckily I had a small spare. Unluckily, it was dead. The rest of the day went well. The weather was beautiful, sunny, and no headwind for all that flatwater. We got out and scouted Iron Bridge, which I had never done before. Then we went to Singing Waters to set up camp. After getting free air for Phil’s low tire, we had a spectacular dinner at the Steak House. I had hot chocolate with whipped cream, a big salad complete with onions, a huge medium (but actually rare) rib eye steak with twice-cooked (baked, scooped out, mashed & mixed with cheese) potatoes. To top it all off, we ordered dessert too. A peanut butter pie for me and fudge cheesecake for Phil. We caught the tail end of a kayaking film at Mt.Man. Then went to slickers to see if anything was going down, but not much. No big party this year. Bummer. Really took the “fest” out of Moosefest. The next day dawned clear. We had breakfast and tea, then climbed Bald mountain. Great scenery. Then went to Crystal to watch crazy people do class 5 water. Then home.