Cartecay
— It was supposed to be a sunny day, however, the sun never quite
came out on the Cartecay as we had all planned. We got an early
start on the river in order to let those that were interested in the
Super Bowl get home in time to take in the game. The river was
running around 2 + feet, although it was hard to tell as the gauge at
Burley Stover put in was broken off.

We
had no problems at Burley Stover or the rest of the day with river
access. There had been reported access problems on this river and we
were very attentive to this issue, however, the day went with barely
a word from the landowners. On the trip were myself in an open
canoe, Jason Schnurr in a Mad River Rampage, Lisa Bankoff,
Christopher Bankoff, Dave Chaney and LeRoy Roberts in kayaks. I’ve
seen several of these craft since and just don’t understand the
attraction.

The
level was high enough that many of the nice play spots were largely
washed out or were merely ripples. Many of us ran S-turn straight
through just for the change. One hole was particularly grabby and
grabbed Jason faster than he could get out. I was on the bank
attending to my own needs and not attentive at all to the emerging
situation until I heard Jason call for a rope. This was not a very
good trip coordinator/river runner safety episode in my book and it
made me much more aware the rest of day. I apologized to Jason and
was glad that he is such a steady paddler and good river runner that
my delay didn’t create any more problems.

After
lots of play at Blackberry Falls, we ate lunch at the Blackberry
take-out. As the level was so high and we had a group of eager
paddlers, we decided to ride all the way to the bottom to take out.
While it is not run as often, the section below Blackberry Falls is
actually quite nice, particularly at this higher level.

Everyone
picked their way through the various bolder gardens and rapids with
no swims, pins or other extracurricular excitement. Everyone decided
to leave the hole at Mr. Twister alone, as on this day, it looked as
if it may not let you go in a comfortable amount of time.

Clear
Creek Falls was full of water. One of our crew members simply
paddled to the right of the falls and came over the rocks that would
normally be just a rocky slide. Everyone else ran the falls
successfully and we were all encouraged for the long flat water
paddle to come.

When
you leave Clear Creek Falls, you think that it would be just a short
time until you get to the take-out. The DNR take-out is actually
quite far (especially on a chilly, gray day such as ours). I tried
to identify a land mark for the DNR take-out (which was closed due to
hunting season) and the best I could do was a set of white rocks on
river right approximately 100 feet before the take-out. There were
also some red ribbons tied to trees at that take-out, however, I
wouldn’t count on those being there the next time you paddle the
river.

Our group of canoes and kayaks continued all the way to the bottom. As the level was
high enough, there was no poling required, however, it was still a
very long flat water trip. When we finally arrived, everyone was
glad to get out of their boats and finish what was regarded by all as
the “Super Bowl” of paddling.

by
Jim Harvey
January 26, 1997