A
total of 18 boaters showed up at the parking lot below the railroad
trestle. One paddler got another offer at the put-in and left our
group to paddle with some friends he ran into, leaving us with a
still sizable group of 17 people in 13 boats. With such a large
number, we broke into two groups, one headed by me and the other by
Don Clements.

Don’s
paddlers included himself, Cathee Gallant and Mary McKean, each in
solo canoes, William and Debbie Gatling in a tandem cane, and Don’s
daughter Rachel and friend Dylan in a funyak. My group included
myself and Rachel Gates in a tandem canoe, Michael Paul and Katherine
Baer in a tandem canoe, Mary Vachon and Daunn Guthrie, each in solo
canoes, and John Abbey, Catherine Abbey, Tom Johnson and son Billy
Johnson, each in a kayak.

Don’s
group was on the water first. My group took a little longer to get
on the water and cruise down the river. Well, we didn’t exactly
cruise. We paddled downstream. Well, we may have paddled upstream
about as much as we paddled downstream. Eventually, we arrived at
the three-foot ledge, which everyone ran with no problem, although
some people took more of the drop than others.

My
group caught up with Don’s group at the lunch spot below the ledges.
They were heading out just as we arrived. After lunch, we played in
the surf with the open boaters trading boats, paddling partners or
both. The kayakers took all this in stride, amusing themselves in
the surf and telling us they were in no hurry.

We
meandered through the islands to funnel rapid. We played a bit there
and then headed on downstream. We paddled into the creek just above
Devil’s Shoals and floated (sans boats) in the comparatively warm
water of the creek. Rejuvenated, we successfully took on the waves
of Devil’s Shoals. When we arrived at the take-out, Don’s group was
already gone, either back home or to the campground where several of
us were staying that night. Don reported later that everyone in his
group had good runs that day.

Thanks
to all for a great day on the river. The day was bright and sunny
with hardly a cloud in the sky. Thanks again to Don Clements for
leading half the boats. And thanks to Mary McKean and Mary Vachon
for being sweep boats in their respective groups.

by
Brannen Proctor
July 26, 1997