Gunpowder Gorge
October 21, 2007
Double Dip Trip

Paddlers:  K1-Lee, MC, Mitchell, Mickey, Art; OC1-Chip Walsh
Water Level:  Nice, ~ 180cfs
Shuttle First run, to  Masemore Road.  2nd run, to Lower Lot.
This was my first time on the Gorge and I loved it.  While short, it has clear, cold water and several fun and challenging rapids. 

I once had a local tell me that canoes can't make this run.  Why, I asked.  "Is the streambed that narrow?"  "No," said the local kayaker, "but the hike in is so rugged you'd never make it with a canoe."   Well, the carry was a long one, that's for sure, but it's not that bad.  The last 50 yards is treacherously steep, and I put the canoe on the path in front of me, grabbed the stern painter, and let the boat slide down that last pitch with me holding onto the painter.  There is a quarter-mile walk in front of the last pitch to soften you up before you get there, but that's another matter.  At first I thought the carry was no worse than going down to Anglers, or climbing out of the Lower GP to Jones Road.  Then, after a second trip, I thought, "oh ya, it's worse."  But heck, since we are all in this for the exercise (wink, wink) the carry is just more work-out to compensate for the short distance of the run.


Morning on the GP
There were so many boaters out on this Sunday that it made me feel bad for the fishermen.
Double Drop This little rapid features several drops of a foot or more, with some timber constriction, just to spice it up.  During a seamingly long wait for the kayakers to serially put themselves together and launch off a rock, I walked down and positioned myself on the rocks with a camera.  Not my usuall OptioWR, but a Canon A-20, a nice camera.  It works well when properly set and I thought I was getting some shots with good compisition.  Sad to say, the little water-mtn icon means landscape, and  I didn't realize it would stretch the shutter speed.  The motion is all blurred.
Lee at double drop Some of the shots came out interesting, like a little psychedlic thing, but they are largely ruined from the too-slow shutter.

That's Lee.  That wave in the middle would like to toss him against the wall.
Mickey at double drop All a blur.  Damn!

Mickey hit the wave at excactly the right spot.

Big Red, coming through Mickey must have a steadier hand.  His picture of Chip was better, but still blurred.

Mickey, with more light? There are more pictures but they are even worse than the ones I put up.  Verrrry disappointing.

Much as I whined about leaving home in the dark, it was nice, if a little cold, to be out early.  We worked the river a bit and were in no hurry to get finished.  I can't speak for all, but I was having excellent fun.  I paddled well enough, but still broached my canoe at the top of a rapid when it caught on a stick.  The boat was filling with water and I wanted to get it off before it was all full.  I was able to jump across to another rock and pull it off without even wetting my shoes (not quite true--they were wet when I left my boat).  We reached Masemore road about noon. 

When we shuttled back to pick up our cars at the put-in, we met some GBCC-ers who were getting ready to run shuttle.  Mickey and I decided to join them for GPG round 2.  It was shaping up to be a perfect paddling day, and one time on the alleged "class IV" put-in trail just wasn't enough!

Bill, Laura and Becky were working the features the way we had on our first loop.  Mickey and I were not quite as enthusiastic, slowly drifted off the front of the GBCC trio, and were soon on our own.  I came out of the canoe in one of the holes, and Double Drop double dipped me when I hit that wave on the left side.  I had so nailed that line the first time.  Coming into it the second time, I was trying to remember the second part of the drop, because you don't see it until you are on top of it.  I couldn't remember and just figured I'd wing it.  Woops!  And it is true what they say about that water.  It's cold!

And then we were back at the lower lot.  My, that is a short run if you don't work it.  Still, way lovely.  Many thanks to MC, Lee, Mitchell, Mickey and Art for showing me down the GPG!  It was a great day.  And thanks Mickey for "working through lunch."

Words and Pics by Chip Walsh. 
Do you have to say you "reserve rights" to have rights?  Beats me?