Last night Jim and I decided to take advantage of the evening and do the 7.5 mile stretch of wappingers creek that runs near my house. There is only one put in, and one take out, between water falls, and it's a one way trip down stream, so you need to plan with 2 cars.
For those that haven't noticed, we've gotten nearly 10 inches of rain this month, so the river level is high, and thus pretty fast still. There is only one section of this that I think you could call white water, which occurs about a mile in. But it's in a wide part of the river and very straight, so you just don't let it turn you around. The real challenges of the trip were the whirl pools, which there are many. As we were in 14.5 ft boats, they are more susceptible to being turned around, which you want to avoid at all costs (my shoulder is going to be sore from a last minute recovery the one time I nearly got spun around). There are also 2 low trees that you need to get your positioning right on (failure to do that on the first one got me a little wet, though not out of my boat), and one log jam that I had to just bump up into then muscle over a log to get back into the main flow.
Over the course of the trip we saw Malards, and Wood Ducks, adult and babies. At one point we kicked up 40 or so wood ducklings that led us down the river for 2 miles until they finally figured out they could go to the shore to get out of our way. It was pretty cool to see that flock of wood ducklings splash away in front of us. 🙂 We also managed to see a beaver swimming across, as well as a couple of great blue herrons hanging out in a large dead tree towards the end of the journey. A beautiful site at sunset.
I only got my arm wet as I dodged under the first low tree, but Jim did manage to get fully out of his boat right before put out, as he got a little close to a tree that took him out. Overall it was a great 2 hour evening boating adventure. We'll definitely do it again, though it wouldn't hurt to let the water level go down just a bit so the tree dodging isn't so bad. 🙂